Curse Of The Azure Bonds (Strategic Simulations Inc) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

Commodore User

Curse Of The Azure Bonds
By Strategic Simulations Inc
Commodore 64

Published in Commodore User #71

Curse Of The Azure Bonds

You've journeyed to the Pool of Radiance. You've been hailed as a Hero of the Lance. You've braved the dangers of the town of Hillsfar, and now it comes to this. You wake up one morning, groggy, with all your possessions stolen and no idea how it all happened. A passing landlord tells you that you were brought in after being attacked over a month ago, and this is the first time you've stirred since.

But that's not all. Your companions and yourself have five strange tattoo-like markings on each sword arm. It turns out that these azure coloured markings, known as bonds, are the result of a possession-like spell. When the bonds glow, you must do their bidding. The first one, for example, forces you to attack the royal carriage as it goes past, getting you into a nasty scrape with some royal guards.

The game follows along the same style as Pool Of Radiance, the first in the utterly brilliant series of AD&D games. The main part of the adventuring is carried out in the first person perspective, not completely unlike the system employed in The Bard's Tale series.

So, you've woken up, you go to see Gypsy Lea who tells you all about the bonds and your fate in connection with them; you've gone to see a weaponsmith, and bought stacks of really sharp toys for your party to play with; you've encamped so you magic characters can learn spells and you've got into your first scrap.

Played almost Gauntlet-style, you see the game from an overhead view of your characters, the enemy, and the surrounding area.

As with all the other AD&D titles, this game is big. So big, it comes on three double-sided disks, and each one is crammed full. Yet again, you cassette-based users have to miss out or invest in a drive.

The graphics are more or less the same as Pool Of Radiance, which is no bad thing, and thankfully the game is still as entertaining and involving as the original. I've said it before, and I know that US Gold are going to love me for it, but this is brilliant.

Tony Dillon