FTL's Dungeon Master, released in 1987 for the Atari ST and a year later for the Amiga, represents a defining moment in the evolution of the computer role-playing game. Although it is certainly not the first 3D real-time computer role playing game (see Dungeons of Daggorath), it's probably the first such game to really hit the mainstream. It was the #1 best selling product on the Atari ST platform, and remains one of the best-known and playable of the early CRPGs. Indeed, I've recently become addicted to the game and will probably not be happy until I've completed it! What I intend to do here is discuss some of the game's more innovative features and try to get at what makes this game so endearing and important.
"Roll up, roll up, see the amazing Tyrannosaurus Rex, king of the dinosaurs, in his lair." Of all the things you might expect to find running on a ZX81 in 1981, a real time, first-person, 3D maze game would probably be somewhere near "impossible" on your list. Yet, that's exactly what Malcolm Evans was able to pull off--basically in his spare time, as little more than a diversion for himself. Nevertheless, Evans' tinkering became one of the most celebrated games for the ZX81 and a forerunner of the modern first-person game.