I’m 32 years old and still play Dungeons & Dragons with my friends. Now that most of my gaming group are married and some even have kids, we hardly ever get to play anymore, but do cherish the times that we are able to get together. In the meantime, I like to play D&D games on the computer. It’s not quite the same as getting a bunch of friends together, but it can still be pretty fun.
Here are some of the D&D games that I’ve played on Windows PC:
Baldur’s Gate – This is probably one of the best role playing games of all time, and easily one of the best D&D games. It features a great story and a huge world to explore, plus it introduced a gaming interface that would be used several times over in other titles. What I love so much about this type game is that you can control a party of characters, as opposed to just one, and you have countless options available to you when creating this party. I wish more games were made like this one, because I’m not into MMORPG’s.
Baldur’s Gate II – After the massive success of the first game, it was inevitable that a sequel would get made. Since it was done by all the same people, this sequel is just as great as the first game. The only difference is that you don’t start out at first level, and the world is just a little bigger. If you played the first one, then you definitely need to get this one. It’s basically the same kind of game as the original, but with a new story and new locations.
Icewind Dale – This game looks and plays just like the Baldur’s Gate games, but is much more combat intensive. It is also a good bit more difficult because you are constantly fighting. Even so, the story is very good and it was fun to play in a different setting.
Icewind Dale II – I was a little disappointed with this sequel because I found it to be frustratingly difficult. I had problems with monsters randomly spawning on me and the game seemed to break too far away from the D&D rules. It is still a fun game, though at times I could have cheat codes running to give me all the best stuff and the game would still be insanely difficult. I never finished this one.
The Temple of Elemental Evil – This D&D game is set in the world of Greyhawk, but the game itself isn’t all that great. It looks and plays just like the Baldur’s or Icewind games, but is very short. In fact, the whole thing looks like they just gave up in mid-development because it seems unfinished. When you are out exploring the map, you’ll find half of it is unavailable to you. All that blank space just left me wanting more.
Neverwinter Nights – I know this was a very popular D&D game, but I never liked it. My main problem with it was that you can only control one character in the game, and I thought this went against the whole basis of playing D&D. I’ve always felt that D&D was about group gaming, so having to go solo took all the fun out of balancing a party of characters and working out strategies using each person’s skills. I bought this game when it first came out and even though I finished it, I found it to be quite buggy. There are a bunch of expansions available for it, but I never played them. One of these days I am going to pick up Neverwinter Nights II, which I hear is much better.
There’s also one called Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Dranor, but I never played it. I’ve not heard many good things about it, especially when compared to the other games like it, and it was known to have many technical issues. It went to the bargain bin very quickly.
I really miss playing these party-based role playing games, but I fear that most PC-based RPG’s have gone the way of World or Warcraft and Everquest in that you have to pay a monthly fee to play online. I just can’t buy into that.