After the somewhat disappointing Sorcerer, Infocom's Enchanter trilogy ends with a spectacular bang in the name of Spellbreaker. This is everything a fantasy adventure should be: well-written, challenging, and satisfying. The only downside to the game I can think of is that the ending is a bit too short. |
Spellbreaker takes place after the events in Sorcerer, the previous game in the trilogy. You are now a powerful wizard, the head of the Circle of Enchanters. Crisis has befallen the kingdom - even magic itself seems to be failing. Spells fail to work or go awry, and the populace is restless. Needless to say, it is up to you to find out what is going on, and in doing so, you will discover no less than the ultimate conflict between good and evil.
Although the game is still set in the whimsical world of Zork, make no mistake about it: Spellbreaker is a very serious, very difficult game. Strange magical artifacts and surrealistic landscapes await your every move, and similar to Trinity, you can get irrevocably stuck many times during the game. Infocom ranked Spellbreaker's difficulty as "Expert," and this is largely deserved. The last few puzzles in particular are almost impossible to solve without a lot of trial and error and even some mathematical skills. If you dislike difficult game, Spellbreaker will frustrate you to no end.
So why should anyone play this game, if it is so frustrating? The answer is the game's captivating story, an atmospheric world, and interesting puzzles that are neatly tied to the plot. Even the most difficult puzzles in Spellbreaker are logical - they are elegantly designed, and obey the internal logic of the gameworld, even if that logic is not always obvious. True to the plot, you will find that your spells will sometimes stop working entirely. In these circumstances, you will have to rely on your own ingenuity to deal with the problem.
The intricacies and complexity of Spellbreaker will only become apparent if you are willing to invest a lot of time and patience with the game. The more you play, the more it will draw you in, until you can't help but marvel at Dave Lebling's masterful, multi-facted design. Of all Infocom games, only A Mind Forever Voyaging and Trinity can boast the same seamless integration of puzzles and plot. Definitely one of Infocom's best games, Spellbreaker is a must-play for every fan of interactive fiction. Highly recommended, and a deserved entry into our Hall of Belated Fame.
Reviewed by: Underdogs