Dungeons and Dragons has always been defined as the definitive role playing game. It had to be expected that D&D would soon make its appearance on the home computer - and it did. The first computer RPGs were nothing more than text adventures. Then multi-player elements and character selection came to light. Now RPGs contain more bytes than any other computer game, Kult is no exception. It combines elements of role play with innovative arcade adventure-style gameplay. Sadly, the software house feel they have to hide it all behind a mass of mind-numbing pseudo sci-fi scene setting in the instruction manual.
To cut a very tedious story exceedingly short, you play Raven, an estranged psi-mortal who has set off to a temple in order to rescue his buddies. The only way of doing that is by solving a series ot tasks throughout the temple to attain the rank of Divo, then face the high Priestess. The tasks mainly involve taking something to somewhere, twisting a few levers, and collecting a skull. Sounds easy? First, find the locations and avoid any traps, as well as aggressive guards.
Whoever designed the temple should be given a special award for managing to get so many colours in at once, without making it pukey. The movement around the temple couldn't be easier. A mouse-controlled cursor changes shape in accordance to the area of the screen it's in, helping you to decide your next action and making sure that you don't miss anything. The temple is circular with a series of rooms running from the epicentre. Each one forms a layer of the puzzle by setting a problem for you to overcome.
For example, one room contains a man with a rope around his neck. He can give you something useful but warns you not to approach - to ignore him is fatal.
When another character (or more) is encountered an enlarged picture is pulled onto the screen, complete with speech bubbles. Be careful here, a slip of the tongue can prove fatal. It is also inadvisable to get into too many fights as it tends to alert the temple guards or any of the other of the rest of characters, especially the Master of Ordeals (the guy who sets your tasks). Existing Divos are also to be found wandering about, not that offensive, but then I don't recommend an attack either (try it and find out!).
Your PSI powers contribute greatly to the overall fun of the game. If you're losing a fight, switch on the PSI extreme violence power and you instantly wipe the mat with the opposition. Other powers range from a magic light, through sticky fingers (which allows you to climb up walls), up to brain warp which mind numbs a person of your choice. All have one thing in common, they drain your energy, fast. So don't overuse them.
Superb graphics and excellent sampled stereo sound help enhance Kult no end. What it does lack though is the particular atmosphere that needs to be generated by an RPG to give it that special something. On the positive, Kult is a great, long lasting game, if just short of classic.