Clouds of Xeen & Darkside of Xeen

Machine Requirements -- 286 or above.

Memory Requirements - 2 mb

Disk Space -- About 15Mb each game.

Rating -- Why don't they make games like this anymore.

I have reviewed these two games under the one review as they are very similar in nature. In fact the games can be purchased together to form one larger single game. You may be able to get these two games combined on a CD ROM called World of xeen.

The plots are very similar in both games, destroy the bad guy, namely Xeen in clouds and Alamar in Darkside. There are numerous sub quests to perform and these range from the simple to more complex. Xeen is a game that tries to do everything, there are Dwarvern Mines, Caves, Dungeons, Plains, Deserts, Forests, Ice Fields, Swamps, Water, Mountains, Volcanoes, Lava Fields, Clouds, Pyramids, Towns, Cities, Towers and Sphinx's to name just some of the terrains and structures you will need to explore. The graphics and automap remind me a bit of Crusaders of the Dark Savant, although thankfully the graphics are much more varied then that games. The movement window takes up about half of the screen, the bottom of the screen is taken up with your characters portraits, which when clicked on bring up the inventory and statistic screens.

Movement is step based and you control a party of six characters who are made up of typical AD & D type races and occupations. You get to generate the characters at the start of the game by entering the nearest pub and signing in. It pays to put time into character generation and a well balanced team is a must. Unlike many later offerings ( Thunderscape springs to mind ), Xeen relies heavilly on you having magic users in your party. Combat is turned based and you will find yourself combating a variety of monsters. The monster graphics are quite good with a cartoon look about them. If you venture out into the wide world too early in the game you will soon encounter monsters that at your low level will be near impossible to defeat. Before battling monsters have your magic users cast the spells, Day of Protection and Day of Sorcery. These spells are very effective and will improve your parties chances out of sight. Sound as with most role play games of this vintage is sparse, but it is there and unlike Thunderscape the sound in Xeen does suit the game. There are some short samples of digitised speech when you visit a shop, temple or trainer.

In comparison to Crusaders, Xeen is an easy game to solve. I would put it on complex level similar to to Ravenloft II, although Xeen is a much, much bigger game.

The only critisms I have is that the game does drag out too long and the plot isn't very imaginative, although the variety of the side quests do make up for that.

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