Title		Cadaver
Game Type	RPG
Publisher  	Imageworks/Renegade
Players		1
Compatibility	A500/A1200 (Patch available)
HD Installable	Yes (With Patch)
Submission	Chris Burns

      Who likes money? Whatever, I bet you don't like it as much as
Karadoc the Dwarf.  The villagers living in the shadow of the uninhabited
(by humans) Castle Wulf offer him a bumper reward, plus all the treasure
he can pick up inside, if he will enter the castle and rid them of the
evil mage, Dianos.  Only problem is, Dianos is at the end of five levels
of monster killing, traps, spell casting and puzzle solving.  Still, think
of the money!!! You take charge of Karadoc and off you go to the castle.
The object of course is to solve the puzzles on each level to open the
door to the next level, thus eventually reaching Dianos and, er, killing

   The levels (which correspond to the floors of the castle; you start off
in the caves under it and finally meet Dianos on the battlements) are
pretty big and are filled with rooms and chests to explore and monsters to
kill.  The puzzles, in the main, are fairly straightforward as long as you
remember the golden rule: Search everything! Barrels, chests, pillows,
armour on the wall - everything! It's usually fairly easy to work out
what to do with whatever you manage to pick up - although Cadaver is one
of those games that will let you pick just about anything up, regardless
of whether or not it can be used to progress. However, scattered
throughout, there are a few puzzles that are not very intuitive. On level
5, for example, you have to put a gem into a gemlock but you can only do
this if you let the gemlock run down your energy to practically nothing!
You'd probably not think of doing that! There are levers in one room
which do something a few rooms away and there are levers which need to be
toggled a few times..  I guess the thing to do is to experiment, but it
would be nice if some of these puzzles were a little more logical.

   The game is isometric which makes for some awkward moments negotiating
obstacles like pits, spikes, flailers and, of course, monsters.  Likewise,
trying to kill monsters with stones and shurikens can be a bit hit and
miss (literally), although you do get Massacre Spells and the like which
are pretty effective! Control is by joystick but there is heavy use of the
keyboard to access your backpack, map, different weapons etc.  It all
seems a bit much at first but when you get used to it it's fine.

   The graphics are a little different from the usual Bitmap standard -
i.e. they're not metallic! They are the usual Bitmap quality, however,
the animation on Karadoc (by the Bitmap's own admission) could be a lot
smoother. The sound and effects are maybe a bit weak - limited to
footsteps, doors opening etc. and the odd dramatic blast - but in this
sort of game you don't need an "Assault on Precinct 13" type soundtrack!

   In conclusion, this game will keep you occupied for weeks, if not
months. It's a good attempt at an "RPG without the trainspotting element"
as the Bitmaps' put it. My main criticisms of it are that there are a few
very illogical puzzles. Also, the fact that the game will let you do
practically anything to most objects makes for more head-scratching moments
than games that 'force' you to only interact with objects in a certain
way.  That said, it's one of my favourite games ever, on any platform and
if you haven't had a look, you really should!

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