Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Below the Cut: Gateway to Apshai (Colecovision)

(Source: Mobygames)
Gateway to Apshai - Rating(7 RPP)
1) 1 - Character Advancement: practice/experience based advancement, stat or level increases, multiple classes or characters, customize characters
2) 3 - Combat: character stats used for combat, additional combat options, turn based
3) 2 - Items and Equipment: store to buy and sell, equipment decisions, item decisions
4) 0 - Story: main story at the forefront; world full of hints and lore; descriptions for objects, people, and places
5) 1 - Exploration: open world from the beginning, visited locations remain open
6) 0 - Quests and Puzzles: side quests not related to the main quest, puzzles and riddles to solve

Gateway to Apshai is an interesting take on the dungeon crawler. It's an action adventure that puts when to move on to the next floor into the player's hand. There's a timer ticking, so you'll have to move on eventually, but if you move too quickly, you'll find yourself over  powered quickly by powerful monsters.

This is another game that resembles rogue-likes, but it lacks character levels. It has stats for the character, but I never saw them go up at all; I can only imagine there are items to increase stats. Once again, the narrow focus of the game really puts this into a hybrid that doesn't quite get it far enough into the RPG genre for my taste. Like Tower of Doom, it's fun and has some promise to eat away the hours, but I can't bring myself to include it here.

The couple times I've played haven't seen me get past the second level. I suspect I was missing some of the controls, but I had a hard time hitting anything with the little sword. Also, the enemies seemed to be moving quicker than they should be, but it could have been a setting I needed to change.


  1. Man, I love those Epyx neon covers; I miss the days when game companies had distinctive styles for the cover art.

  2. REALLY? Two fonts on the front cover, neither of which matches the subject, some *really* bad art....Anyway, that is subjective.

    However, the problem with having a distinctive style is that you can't change the box to match the genre. The style that works for a transhumanist science fiction game probably isn't the same one that will work for a traditional fantasy game.