Shareware buffs will no doubt have heard of Steve Moraff, author of a series of cult classic RPGs that bear his name. Moraff's Stones is the more obscure entry, not least because it is not an RPG. Rather, it’s a gambling game inspired by Moraff’s World-- and a fun one at that. You play a human who comes into one of the many taverns in Moraff's World, and you are invited to join in a game of Stones that a bunch of monsters are playing. Stones is a game where you trade precious/semiprecious stones around the table, trying to get the most valuable hand, or the most complete and valuable hand (you get a 100 silver piece bonus for the most complete and valuable hand). You continue playing until you are wiped out by cleverer opponents and don't have enough silver pieces to buy yourself back into the game. |
Although the game itself is little more than popular card games in disguise, what makes Moraff’s Stones very enjoyable is the fact that the game becomes more challenging each time you win. They start off pretty simple-minded and easy to beat, and even relatively friendly. But each time a monster goes broke and can't buy into the next hand, he (it?) gets replaced by a more intelligent and not-so-friendly monster. Eventually, you will be surrounded by backstabbing, hard-core gamblers at the highest levels of the game. The monsters will curse you, cheat, and do whatever they can to win. This real-life aspect adds a lot of atmosphere to the game, and make it much more fun. Definitely one of the most overlooked gambling titles ever made, shareware or not. Two thumbs up!
Note: This download is the registered, special version of the game with Sound Blaster support, which lets you hear the monsters’ insults in digitized voices.
Note: Although it doesn't say so on Moraffware's official website, all of the old Moraffware shareware games are still sold. Contact their sales dept. at the e-mail provided below for details.
Reviewed by: Underdogs