Home of the Underdogs
About News FAQs Contact HOTU GoogleGroup Music Manuals
Category Applications Action Adventure Education Interactive Fiction Puzzle Role Playing Games Simulation Special Sport Strategy War

Support the EFF
Welcome How you can help
Browse Games
Welcome Random Pick
Welcome By Company
  Welcome By Theme  
Welcome By Alphabet
Welcome By Year
Welcome Title Search
Welcome Company Search
Welcome Designer Search
Welcome Freeware Titles
Welcome Collections
Welcome Community Group
Welcome Twitter
Welcome Facebook
Welcome File Format Guide
Welcome Help: Non PC Games
Welcome Help: Win Games
Welcome Help: DOS Games
Welcome Recommended Links
Site History Site History
Legacy Legacy
Link to Us Link to Us
Credits Thanks & Credits
Abandonware Ring

Abandoned Places

Creative Commons License

Game #1369
Hall of Belated Fame Inductee  Merlin's Apprentice    View all Top Dogs in this genre
Puzzle   Collection

Rating: 8.27 (40 votes)

Merlin's Apprentice box cover

Merlin's Apprentice screenshot
Merlin's Apprentice is a delightful collection of challenging puzzles designed by Cliff Johnson, of The Fool's Errand fame. The premise is not as original as Cliff's previous games, but is well executed: you are a budding sorcerer who aspires to become apprentice to the legendary Merlin. In order to attract the attention of the mysterious wizard, you must prove your worth by weaving magical spells.

There are thirty puzzles in Merlin's Apprentice in all, of about eight different types. There are some action puzzles that require you to click on objects that float by, several logic puzzles that involve moving objects into a certain configuration using only a few types of movements, and word puzzles requiring deciphering some encrypted sentences. The game has three difficulty levels which can be set on a puzzle-by-puzzle basis and changed during the game. The puzzles in Merlin's Apprentice, though fewer in number and in general easier than those in Cliff Johnson's previous works, still present some intriguing challenges to be overcome. The logic puzzles present the most challenge, often requiring the player to carefully arrange each move to produce the desired result. The action and memory puzzles seem like filler, padding out the game. Some additional types of puzzles would have been welcome to add more variety.

The cleverness evident in 3 in Three and The Fool's Errand is missing from the more straightforward puzzles found here. Also, the beginner and advanced difficulty levels make the game far too simple and should not be used, at least not without first trying the expert setting. You'll get a lot more satisfaction at the expert level. There are 12 save game slots, and the game uses automatic saving. Once you complete the game you can replay the puzzles, but without the reward animations. Unfortunately, the state of partly finished puzzles is not saved when you close your game.

Though shallower than Johnson's previous work, anyone who enjoys puzzles such as those that appear in Games magazine will find Merlin's Apprentice a welcome diversion. The game also sports excellent production values, as the animated cutscenes are very enjoyable, and take full advantage of CD-ROM storage capacity. Two thumbs up!

Reviewed by: Underdogs

Designer: Cliff Johnson
Developer: Philips Media
Publisher: Philips Media
Year: 1995
Software Copyright: Cliff Johnson
Theme: Myth & Legend, Cartoon
None that we know of
System Requirements: Windows XP
Where to get it:
Related Links: Review of CD-I version, Author's Game Page
If you like this game, try: Labyrinth of Crete, Fool's Errand, The, 3 in Three

© 1998 - 2018 Home of the Underdogs
Portions are copyrighted by their respective owners. All rights reserved. Please read our privacy policy.