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The Good Parts
The Dark Spire took me back to memories of playing RPGs in the 80s with a nostalgic look and archaic design, to its minimalist presentation to its antediluvian dungeon crawling, but was a lot of fun; totally satisfying entertainment that kept me engaged and left me satisfied at the end.
Exploring the various secret passages, enjoying the dramatic encounters with fantastic creatures, and the engaging and entertaining puzzles in each level was amusing and made me get down to work.
The combat system worked well by breaking up the action into discrete rounds and added typical game play elements you'll remember from the 80s.
Interesting and innovative touches like being able to sacrifice speed for power in your attacks or spellcasting improved the 80s retro RPG experience tremendously.
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The Bad Parts
Antiquated concepts limit The Dark Spire's appeal to the senses and human mind by requiring you to under take repetitive tasks and includes a painful difficulty level even on normal setting.
The Dark Spire requires a lot of old time grinding that might leave many new gamers shaking their heads and moving onto something requiring a little less of an investment in time to play and master.
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Sounds in the Game
The sound track included with The Dark Spire is entertaining, light-hearted rock and electronic tunes that keep your energy up in the quiet moments and try to keep the adrenalin flowing in the intense parts, but unfortunately is loops far too much.
The voice acting and written dialogue is sparse and kind of dull and boring, the writing seems to have been hurried or they decided it wasn't as important as other aspects of the game.
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The Game Graphics
The Dark Spire unfortunately isn't the best looking visually, with textures, details and an over all look that is definitely from earlier times in the interactive industry. You even have the ability to enable 8-bit style graphics which in itself tells you a lot about the graphical look of The Dark Spire.
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The game starts with you creating a group of faceless adventurers to brave the dangers of a dark and ominous tower in the heart of a wilderness. You'll grind through the levels, exploring secret passages, encountering dangerous and interesting characters and creatures, and complete fun, engaging, and satisfying puzzles.
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The Dark Spire probably has low ability to create the desire in many gamers to play again, but for those who love the old time RPG action/adventure title it will certainly do the job.
The Dark Spire contains many backward interface elements that take getting use too, but once you get beyond these growing problems the game becomes a lot more fun.
Well-designed puzzles and interesting encounters, like a mid-tower gambling den, pirate hideout, and satisfying combat had me entertained for the 16 hours it took me to finish The Dark Spire.
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The Final Word
The Dark Spire doesn't coddle the gamer and it makes absolutely no concessions in game play, interface or structure from days of old time RPGs. A tremendous challenge that isn't going to be every gamer's cup of tea, but one I would recommend for gamers who want to relive RPG memories of old and new gamers who want to see what old time RPGs really played like.