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Dark Quest II Review


Many gamers out there might not remember a board game called HeroQuest, but let me tell you that there was many an hour spent playing this game. The game had a set of characters which 2 - 5 players would take control of and move around on a grid-based board. There was a quest instruction book that gave the Dungeon Master the needed information to setup the board so that the adventure could begin. Well it turns out that there has been a digital attempt to recreate my fond memories of this game in the guise of Dark Quest II.

Dark Quest II centers around an evil wizard who has seized power and you playing anywhere from 1 to 3 characters to try to defeat him. The journey will be long, and there will be many obstacles, monsters, and twist that you’ll have to overcome, but if you can survive through it all you will be able to come out victorious.

The game takes place over 26 different areas, however you don’t have to take on all the areas as the path splits and doesn’t require the completion of EVERY level, however I would HIGHLY recommend that you take on all the levels. You want to be a strong as possible when it comes to the end game. Each area will have a quest requirement needed to succeed, and sometimes the odds will be heavily stacked against you, so you’re going to have to utilize some serious strategy. I do want to point out that if your party does wipe you will go back to town and for a small price (20% of your gold) you can resurrect each member of your party.

Speaking of the town, it is your base of operations. You will come back to it after each completed/failed area. In the town you will find a place to forge items (you can only create one of each item), a place to increase the power of your skills (you’ll need blue potions that you can gather through each area), a place to sell extra items (most of it will be junk you found while exploring), a place to create potions that can enhance or heal your character(s) (you will have 2 item slots for each character to use), of course a place to resurrect your characters, a place to give you temporary stat boosts (it’s a brothel), and the place where you will gain access to the area map and can choose where to go next.

At this point you are probably to the point of wonder what kind of characters you will have access to well you’ll have access to the following and each comes with its own unique skill set.

  • Barbarian

  • Wizard

  • Dwarf

  • Healer Knight

  • Dark Monk

  • Archer

Personally I’m the type of gamer that builds a party of the max size and then keeps with those characters throughout the entire game, so for me it was the Barbarian, Dwarf, and Archer. Honestly by focusing on just those three I was able to max out their skills as well as get the best items/equipment you have access to.

After covering all the basics I think it is only right to give you my thoughts on the game’s shortcomings. The first thing, and this is a game design that comes from the source material (HeroQuest), it’s the fact that you have access to one copy of the equipment. What that does is it makes it so that the player has to truly weigh the ups and downs of items equipped to one character over another. Sure it would make the game a lot easier to have multiple copies so that you can outfit your characters in a way to make them almost untouchable, but a gamer can dream (right?). The next qualm that I have for this game is that because the game is isometric (basically a grid that is turned 45 degrees) trying to navigate around the grid gets a bit disorienting and tricky. You then couple that with the fact that the move selector does allow you to move off the traversable area and it sometimes does become a struggle to find your way back to areas that you can actually move to. There’s also the fact that the move indicator doesn’t always start where you think it should be when moving from room to room, so you’ll have to go find it on occasion.

At the end of the day this game did its job, it gave me nostalgia, sure there were some bumps in the road, and sure I’ve been spoiled by the way RPGs have simplified rules and restrictions in comparison to HeroQuest (released in 1989, by the way). This might not be for everyone, but this is a game that I threw myself into and made damn sure that I completed EVERY level to make sure I could get the task done. 

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