CASTLES are nice things usually. Well I like them anyway. Giant monument to a proud history of sieges, imprisonment, death and horrible slaughter. Well, apart from the one in Tandragee that is. It's a crisp factory - makes the best crisps in the galaxy though.
The thing about castles is, according to Domark at least, they are inhabited by nasty spirits and kidnapped relatives. A selection screen at the start allows you to chose to be either a bloke or blokess, the other one being instantly transported to captivity by pigeon post.
The action is "filmed" in complete super-
The system seems to be running a little faster in this incarnation. There are also a few nice animation effects - a big step up from the jerky couple of frames seen previous efforts, though the "spirits" can be tricky to get a bead on.
The screen is split into a viewing area and a nice atmospheric border which doubles as a control panel. Almost all the functions you are likely to need can be found here, the rest are on the pop-up menu activated by clicking the title bar.
Simply clicking the mouse on the relevant arrows will move and turn your character, though I still found it's a lot easier to use the keyboard. It's nice to have the option though.
An annoying thing about the save game option is that although it works wonderfully well you must remember the name you saved the game under - there is no way of getting a directory. A bit of a shame if you have nearly finished but have a memory as bad as, er... mine.
On the puzzle front it is even more demanding than the previous works. There is a particularly cunning bit with a very large object, which has more than just the obvious use as it turns out.
There are a series of objectives, freeing your companion, killing the spirits, collecting treasure, for which other puzzles must be overcome like finding all the keys and pentagrams.
Overall this gives a more open feel to the game, leaning more towards the role-
The sound effects are really quite good too, though the teeth did grate at the doors opening.
There are a series of nice touches, especially in the dungeon where you can play with an iron maiden or just get "tired and emotional" on the house red. Graphical detail is quite exceptional in places for a game of this type.
If you like previous Freescape games you're going to love this. If you didn't like previous Incentive stuff, you may find that you like this. If you don't like games at all, you'll probably find you like it anyway.