Thursday, December 20, 2007

Orcs and Elves

This is what I love portable gaming for. Orcs and Elves, a relatively new title for the Nintendo DS, is an old-school dungeon crawler done so well that it's hard to put down, yet quick and accessable to pick up and play for a few minutes whenever I want to.

The top part of the screen is where the first-person view of the action takes place. Monsters appear as 2D sprites, with only a few frames of attack animation. The graphics remind me of Hexen, another title by the game's makers, the classic Id software.

The bottom touch screen shows the player's feet and tool belt, looking down from the head. Touching items such as a sword or a map gives the player quick access to them, and it's a really unique way to play one of these games. The one spell I've got so far is also cast using the touch screen.

The game has combat, exploration, NPCs, and puzzles, with a few other surprises that show up. The shop is run by a dragon who keeps a small pen of goats around for food. While it's nothing too deep, it's perfect for portable play, and although it came out only a month or two ago, it's already dropped to twenty dollars at Gamestop, which lead me to pick it up.

I highly recommend Orcs and Elves for all you middle-aged gamers who want some old-school action on the DS.

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