Druid: Daemons of the Mind

(Originally published in the national edition of Computer Currents magazine. Reprinted here with permission of the author.)

by Joe DeRouen

One part Role-playing game, one part action, and one part adventure, Druid: Daemons of the Mind is by its very definition a hybrid game. Unlike most such experiments, however, this one succeeds admirably, and manages to combine the best parts of all three worlds while avoiding the worst. Sir-Tech, creators of the award-winning Wizardry series and long one of the leaders in the RPG genre, takes some chances with this title, but succeeds on almost every level, making this a game that anyone can enjoy despite their gaming background.

Druid's story revolves around four powerful Druid brothers: Lawson, Curak, Havnar, and Astor. Each druid is devoted to a particular element (earth, wind, fire, and water) and controls his own island inside the world of Navan. One of the many powers of the druids is the ability to instantly teleport to any place once they've seen it. Fearing a compromise in security, however, the brothers never visit each other, instead preferring to meet on common ground to discuss subjects of importance to Navan. Thus, when Lawson suddenly and mysteriously disappears, they aren't able to search his island for him. Instead they send you, the long-lost grandson of a druid, on a quest across the islands to find their missing sibling. This is just the beginning of Druid, which unfolds as your character solves puzzles, speaks to a multitude of different NPC's (non-player characters), fights monsters, and gains clues as to where Lawson might be.

Druid's interface is very simple, which might turn off a few hardcore gamers. But the lack of a complicated, hard-to-understand interface isn't a bad thing in this case, and the game more than makes up for it in playability, logical puzzles, a simple spell-casting system, and intense SVGA graphics, animation, and sound. The action is all controlled with the mouse (for example, to fight a monster, you simply click on it) and combat is relatively simple. One drawback is that all of this mouse-clicking gets a little tedious and it's often hard to click on objects you want to pick up if your character is standing too close to them. Despite these flaws, the game pretty much runs smoothly, and the plot moves along at a compelling rate while still giving you plenty to think about. Druid: Daemons of the Mind would make a nice addition to your shelf of titles, providing you with more than a little fun in the process.

MS-DOS 5.0 and up. List price: $39.95. Sir-Tech, 800/447-1230.

Copyright (c) 1996, Joe DeRouen. All rights reserved.

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File last modified on September 19th, 1996