Druid 2: Enlightenment logo

Firebird
Price: £19.99

Enlightenment, on the Firebird Gold range, is the sequel to last year's pretty successful Gauntlet-clone Druid, which has never appeared on the Amiga.
What it really amounts to is more of the same with a fair amount of shooting the undead hordes with electronic bolts, a need for careful exploration of the terrain, control over your 'elementals' who will hep you on your quest, and a real heft whack of spell-casting. Mostly, these game elements occur simultaneously.

The plot runs as follows: you are Hasrinaxx, a druid who in the game of the same name, expelled Acamantor from the lands of Belorn. Now, 103 years later, Acamantor is back, and out for revenge. He's turned all your fellow-Belornians into undeads, and only you can seek out his domain and vanquish him forever, expulsion being too good for him this time round. And quite right too.

Your travels in search of Acamantor take you over the ten lands of Belorn, and eventually into Acamantor's five-level dungeon. There are distinct types of terrain within the lands, some screens look like English gardens, others semi-desert, others marshy. You need to take the terrain into account when conjuring your elementals.

The elementals each represent one of the four elements: earth, wind, fire and water, and can be incarnated if you have the relevant spell. They help you fight Acamantor's demons and the undead - though to a limited extent, since you can only control them by telling them to wait, follow you or go in a certain direction. Also, Phoenix the fire elemental is pretty useless in wet or marshy areas, while the Kraken (water) doesn't like the desert much.
They have another purpose, however, in that a second player can take control of the elemental, turning Enlightenment into a co-operative two player game.

Then there are no less than 28 other spells to find, take and cast at opportune moments. Your spell-book can only hold eight spells at any one time, so some juggling around may be necessary to make sure you have the ones you want.

The game is presented from a bird's eye view, and is done very well. You can actually see your character as a whole person, while retaining the perspective, rather than a circle which is meant to represent the top of his head as in so many 'top-down' games. The undead materialise from out of the ground at every turn, while the deserts and marshes have their own creepy-crawlies to be dealt with. The movement and scrolling is smooth; until you move into a different type of terrain, that is.

The graphics are excellent: clear and colourful and well-defined. The music, which comprises a 'signature tune' and background tunes, is also superb and adds enormously to the atmosphere of the game - and there's some wonderfully evocative speech on the introductory screen.

Enlightenment is a big game - which I suppose is a euphemistic way of saying I don't think I've got very far in it yet, and with all those various objectives to keep in mind (shooting bolts, finding and casting spells, controlling elementals, trying to find Acamantor's hideout) you need to keep your wits about you. A relaxed blast or pixie romp this certainly isn't.