The Magic Candle III

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a game by Mindcraft Software, Inc.
Platform: PC (1992)
User Rating: 8.7/10 - 3 votes
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See also: RPGs
The Magic Candle III
The Magic Candle III
The Magic Candle III
The Magic Candle III

A strange blight has stricken the forest west of Telermain. Trees and plants are dying and withering away. With the King and his troops on a distant campaign, Queen Alishia summons Lukas. His quest--to take three brave volunteers, investigate the forest and discover how to stop the advance of this growing blight. Delay too long and it will consume the entire world.

Thus, The Magic Candle III (TMCIII) begins, providing an interesting story and a positive thrust. However, little time passes before one begins to feel that the blight threatening Telermain has actually spread to the game product itself.

My goal is always to allow a game to prove itself, even when problems are encountered prior to play. Yet, those I experienced before the first scene unfolded in TMCIII were a harbinger of more to come in this new FRPG. Installation and setup is not a friendly process. In most cases, the AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files will need to be modified before the game will load. Extended memory is required {expanded memory is not supported), with one megabyte needed for Sound Blaster sounds. Thus, if one's system is configured for expanded memory, it must be reconfigured as extended. The easiest solution is to create a boot disk. Still, the whole procedure is a pain.

In addition to the above, compatibility problems exist with some Ad Lib and Sound Blaster compatible cards. (I was never able to coax the game to provide anything more than PC speaker sounds with my Pro Audio-Spectrum 16 sound card.) In addition, the Print option was removed at the last minute, due to printer and printer driver conflicts.

Apart from these annoyances, TMCIII does not ask much of one's system. It requires only a 12 MHz 286 PC or better, with 640K RAM, VGA graphics and approximately five megabytes of harddisk space.

TMCIII has seen some improvement since its second installment. The mouse is now fully supported. Combat offers a Solo command (individual auto-combat), allowing the designated party member to decide what actions to take. Top down, isometric graphics have been improved, and occasional character portraits have been added to enhance game play. What little music is provided is fairly good. Unfortunately, while the graphics and sound are of acceptable quality, they are modest in comparison with those of other current RPGs. In addition, the interface, remaining basically unchanged from the previous game, shows significant signs of age. In all honesty, the technology level of this product is little more advanced than that exhibited in similar games released back in 1989 and 1990.

Overall, play is interesting, the story line being TMCIII's strength. However, game mechanics tend to get in the way, and atmosphere is lacking. The command menus never lose their cumbersome feel either. Though adequate, documentation is a bit on the brief side. In general, I found that there was just too much "work" involved to really enjoy this game.

I have played few games recently that I have not really enjoyed; TMCIII is one of them. The best I can offer it is a qualified recommendation. The product's quality does not match its $59.95 sticker price. And, at $49.95, it might be a fair value, but no more. Fans of The Magic Candle series will probably want to purchase this installment and will probably find some enjoyment in it. The rest of the RPG community, however, should look elsewhere to invest their entertainment dollars. Sadly, for most, this candle is best left unlit.

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System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

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