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Thanks for such a detailed and respectful review! Written from a "retro-gaming" perspective, the review brings up several historically-significant reasons why I should give this game another chance, as opposed to why I (as a jaded, lazy, quickly-bored young man) didn't give this game much interest originally.
Dungeon Master never really grabbed me the way it did many RPG enthusiasts for several reasons, many of which were touched on in this review. For a non-hardcore RPG player like myself, several factors of DM severely limited its appeal.
First off (as was mentioned in the review), there was a sameness to just about all the locations that made progression in the game less inviting. It appeared to me that DM was just a glorified 3D maze game with random encounters.
The lack of an auto-map feature meant that finding my way around the game would mean a tremendous amount of WORK, especially since all the locations look the same. I'm personally too lazy to go through all that for a game in general (although there have been several games that I made exceptions for).
The "secret locations" feature, as was mentioned in your review, meant the player would waste lots of time kicking every wall or whatever else, which seemed like a tedious chore to me. Granted, many CRPG's are guilty of this "feature" also, which may be why I didn't play a lot of these types of RPG's. I'd rather find secret locations by encountering some sort of clue or figuring out some puzzle.
For all the hype surrounding this game at the time, I personally preferred the "Bard's Tale" and "Alternate Reality" series. "Alternate Reality" particularly grabbed me for its sheer ambitiousness, an epic feat of programming for the Atari 8-bit version!
Just a few thoughts. I enjoyed the review.
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