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Deathtrap Dungeon
Publisher: Eidos Interactive

Deathtrap Dungeon
Deathtrap Dungeon
The Deathtrap Dungeon Website features screenshots, background information, frequently asked questions, and a whole lot more.
Price: $39.99US
System Requirements:
Pentium 90, Windows 95, 16MB RAM (32MB recommended), 40MB hard-drive space (100MB recommended), 4x CD-ROM drive, Sound Blaster 16 or equivalent.

Deathtrap Dungeon Website
Eidos Interactive
Review: Deathtrap Dungeon

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Steve Lazarowitz

Deathtrap Dungeon by Eidos Interactive is a game apart. Eidos is responsible for the exceedingly popular Tomb Raider series, and they have turned that game engine into an entertaining swords-and-sorcery adventure that few competitors can match.

As with all Eidos games, the intro is fantastic. It gets you right into the story with great sound and graphics, much as if you're watching a movie. They've even letter-boxed it. The setup is pretty much what you'd expect. In the city Fang, there is a terrible labyrinth created by the evil ruler Baron Sukomvit. Each year, he invites the greatest adventurers in the world to try his labyrinth. If one of them succeeds, they will be granted riches beyond their wildest imagination. However, since no one has ever managed it, the task has fallen to you.

After the intro, you can choose one of two characters to guide through the underworld. The male character is somewhat stronger, but the female seems to be a hair faster. I've played the game with both, though I found it easier with the woman. Perhaps I've played too much Tomb Raider.

The controls are similar to Tomb Raider, but there is a difference in the way the game is laid out. Unlike its predecessors, Deathtrap Dungeon will change the view at certain points, giving the game a cinematic feel. At first, I found the change of angles distracting, but as I grew used to it, I began to really enjoy it. It really is necessary. There are items that you need to see that are not directly in your line of sight, and the game makes certain you know that they're there.

What I really enjoyed about the game is the feeling of being in a dungeon. As a long time Dungeons and Dragons player (as well as other RPGs), I have often longed for a game that placed me realistically into a vast, dangerous, underground labyrinth. Deathtrap Dungeon does just that.

Another difference between Deathtrap Dungeon and Tomb Raider is that this is a mission-based game. Each level tells you before hand what your main objective is. This gives the game the illusion of chapters, which makes it easier to stop playing when it's time for bed. Or it would, if I ever went to bed.

The graphics are exceptional, especially if your machine is equipped with a 3DFX or Voodoo Rush video card. The Playstation version of the game looks much like the non-accelarated PC version. Both play well.

The sounds are also impressive, as is the control, though a person new to Eidos games may need a bit of time to become familiar with them. Fortunately the game-makers, having anticipated the problem, have left the first area of the game completely devoid of enemies. This gives you an opportunity to learn the ropes, so to speak. By the time you've descended to the second level, you should be capable of handling the numerous creatures.

The puzzles are reasonably intuitive, though you need a bit of dexterity to get past some of them. The plot and the constantly changing array of spells, weapons, and creatures will keep you on your toes.

My single complaint is the game save feature. At certain fixed points, you'll find skulls surrounded by force shields. You can only save the game at those positions. However the rest of the game is so finely designed that the save feature is a relatively minor inconvenience.

If you like Tomb Raider or 3D adventure games, Deathtrap Dungeon is for you.

Copyright © 1998 Steve Lazarowitz

Steve Lazarowitz reads and writes fantasy and SF. His work has been published in a number of online 'zines and he is the editor of the Dragonclaw Showcase. His short story anthology A Creative Edge: Tales of Speculation is due out from Domhan books in 1999.

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