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DOS - 1984

Also available on: Amiga - Amstrad CPC - Apple II - Atari 8-bit - Atari ST - Commodore 64

Alt names Enchanter: INTERLOGIC Fantasy, Zork IV
Year 1984
Platform DOS
Released in United States (1984)
United States (1986)
Genre Adventure
Theme Fantasy, Interactive Fiction
Publisher Infocom, Inc.
Developer Infocom, Inc.
Dosbox support Fully supported on 0.65
4.35 / 5 - 20 votes

Description of Enchanter

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Enchanter is the first entry in the Enchanter Trilogy, a series set in the Zork universe, except casting you as a magic user than a clueless adventurer.

The premise is typical fantasy fare: you are a novice enchanter sent to Krill's castle to save the world from his evil plans. Your start out with a handful of not-so-powerful spells in your spellbook, but as you progress you will acquire more powerful spells which you can copy into your spellbook for later use. Similar to AD&D RPGs, you will need to memorize spells before you can cast them. This is a bit cumbersome, but once you get used to it, it becomes second nature.

Enchanter has all the charm of Zork games, although it (and the entire trilogy) is decidedly much more serious and less whimsical. Almost all puzzles require appropriate use of spells. None of these is particularly difficult - you can solve most of them by simply trying out all the spells in your repertoire. This makes the game a good introduction to the much harder sequels (Sorcerer and Spellbreaker).

As you can expect from an Infocom game, the writing is excellent and the parser powerful enough to understand a wide range of synonyms and sentence structures. One thing I particularly like is how location descriptions change as Krill's destructive spells spread across the landscape. This corresponds to a time limit you have to accomplish your mission (although that time limit is so generous that you should be able to finish the game with plenty of time to spare. Part of the fun in Enchanter lies in reading the game's often funny responses when you cast spells on the wrong objects.

True to Infocom's tradition, there are numerous tailored responses that show an amazing level of attention to detail. Although it is a more serious game than Zork series, Enchanter does have a few hilarious moments. My favorite is the encounter with the "adventurer," a bumbling fool who looks like the player (i.e. you) in Zork game, who will make you chuckle with his funny antics.

Even with the banal plot and easy puzzles, Enchanter is a fun game, thanks to atmospheric writing and interesting spells. The only nitpick I have is that the game forces you to deal with "realistic" conditions like thirst or hunger - a nuisance that doesn't add anything to gameplay. Otherwise, Enchanter is a good game that marks a good start to the trilogy. Two thumbs up!

Review By HOTUD

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Comments and reviews

archcorenth 2021-12-28 0 point

Some of these text adventures need reviews!

This is a really fun one. It's set in the Zork universe, and the cleverest bit in it is that you even meet the adventurer from that game in this one! It's a bit easier than Zork, but I guess I like that. It is also much better written. The place seems a lot more coherent as opposed to the hodgepodge world of its predecessor. Most of the puzzles involve spell casting, and it's fun that casting the spells often do amusing things when what you have done is not useful for completing the game. If you thought you might try a text adventure for the first time, I think you couldn't do worse than this one or Wishbringer. But I would suggest downloading a spoiler-free map, so you don't have to do that on your own.

I just noticed that the other review for this game says it is harder than Zork. That is absolutely not true. For starters, you at least have a goal in this game, in Zork you're just plopped down rudderless.

Seraephus 2013-04-29 1 point DOS version

Enchanter, Sorcerer, Spellbreaker, and Wishbringer (the spiritual prequel to the Enchanter series) rank among my most favorite games of all time. If you've never tried a text adventure, start by playing Zork; this series is a lot harder.

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