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 often annoyingly placed just off-screen, thus will suddenly appear when you get close to zap away 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 the game allowed more lives... Having said that, the game-over screen is tremendous!

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. Beautiful is certainly the only worthy word and both my ears and eyes find no faults!

Enchanted Land desperately needs a trainer and even then the player will spend aeons trying to master its cunning! If you have the patience, then hours of enjoyment are ahead of you but the difficulty level could sink the Titanic and ultimately spoil what could have been a killer platformer. Good, but there are better 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!