Sunday, July 24, 2016

Enchanted Land

I've always considered Enchanted Lands an Atari ST showcase. If ever there was a software house willing and able to push past the boundaries previously set by other poor programmers, it was Thalion. Developed in 1990 by the legendary Carebears, this certainly shown the world just what our favourite 16-Bit computer is capable of.

We are Kurgan the magician, who dresses like a weird and odd-looking Santa! He must retrieve the lost magic from the lands of Damiran and will need to battle all kinds of cutesy creatures through five lovely levels in order to restore things back to how they were. However, this is one of the hardest platformers I have ever played and, for many, it's where the game ultimately fails. We all love a challenge but this is ridiculous - the mechanics are so unforgiving.

Just wait until you meet those jumping critters or the spiders, which are often annoyingly placed just off-screen, thus will suddenly appear when you get close and zap away your precious energy. Level one is hard but perfectly introduces you to the game’s wicked ways. I struggled to complete it before seeing the technical delights of the second stage, which are tremendous. Sadly, this is also hampered by unfair mechanics and therefore needs to be played over and over, if only we had more lives... Having said that, the game-over screen is beautiful.

Visually, this game is a Christmas cracker!! Hundreds of beautiful colours, gorgeous sprites and scrolling at an eye-popping 50fps is such a joy to experience. Musically, it is breathtaking and all sound effects also do their job perfectly. There is only one word for the audio and visuals - beautiful - and my ears and eyes can find no faults!

Enchanted Land desperately needs a trainer and even then you will spend aeons trying to master its cunning ways. I personally think its difficulty level could sink the Titanic and this overkill ultimately spoils what could have been an outstanding platformer. Technically, it's a masterpiece but there are better games to play on the Atari ST.


 - As always, trust 8BitChip to have a version for hard drives.
 - Those stuck on floppies might wanna check out Old Games Finder.
 - It's cheating time :
          -> On the title screen, type in, "TCB RULES FOREVER" and the screen flashes to show its worked.
          -> Now you can press keys 1 - 5 to pick a different level.
          -> Also, pressing F2 - F10 for lots of different effects. Enjoy!