I made a start on Tangled Tales last night and managed to get a fair way until the program crashed. For some reason I hadn’t bothered saving my game either so I’m going to have to start again! I’ll hold off on the screenshots and the like until I play through it again and just write a bit about the game in general here.
In Tangled Tales you play a wizards apprentice and must perform a series of tasks to presumably qualify as a wizard at the end of the game. After the 160 page monster in KOL, the manuals here are a far more managable 10 pages or so each, one of which gives a bit of backstory and the other the gameplay mechanics. The game uses a mouse driven icon interface again which seems to have become a standard judging by the last few Origin games. Its not perfect but combining mouse and keyboard its pretty quick and easy to do anything you want.
The game comes of 4 floppies, one is a boot disk and the others contain 3 standalone adventures which you play through in sequence. Each adventure is a decent size if the first one is anything to go by but not so large as to be overwhelming.
It was aimed at being an introductory RPG. There are some RPG elements in there but they are very basic, and I’d say it plays as much like an adventure game. There are a lot of people to talk to, items to pick up and use in various locations or give to people to solve puzzles. You can have a party but you only control your own actions and these are limited to attack, run or cast a spell. After KOL something nice and simple is a pleasant change and above all the game so far is fun.
The interface is a bit unusual. The game has a small window in the top right with the usual world map tile view. This is nowhere near as impressive graphically as KOL and is more along the lines of 2400AD. On the top left is another fairly small window representing what you can see. This is usually a still graphic, although in dungeons it does attempt to represent what you see in the manner of the Ultima dungeons. All these graphics are nicely drawn again. The largest part of the screen taking up most of the bottom half is the interface itself. This contains all the icons, text and the like.
Combat is a bit different from all the other Origin RPG’s. You get a picture of what you are fighting, but just choose attack or cast spell from the icons list and get text messages when you or a party member hit/are hit. You have to equip armour and weapons which affect how you fight but its a very simple system.
Before it crashed I think I was pretty near to finishing the first quest after 2-3 hours play although I don’t know for sure until I actually finish it. The reason I’d not saved is that every time you die you just get resurrected with no penalty so there didn’t seem to be any point. In fact dying also revives your whole party so its better to die and walk back than having to pay to resurrect your party. I’m enjoying the game anyway, its the perfect light relief after KOL and playing through the first bit again won’t be any great hardship.