Chaos Strikes Back

Title           Chaos Strikes Back
Game Type       RPG
Publisher       FTL
Players         1
Compatibility   OCS/AGA, not 060
HD Installable  No
Submission      Eric Haines

     This is the follow-up to Dungeon Master, the classic real-time 3D
dungeon RPG. It's not the sequel - that would be Dungeon Master II. What
is Chaos Strikes Back then? Essentially, it's a data disk for Dungeon
Master, though it runs on its own.

    The phrase "more of the same" has never applied so well. Same
graphics, same concept, same everything pretty much, but harder. Whereas
Dungeon Master started easy and got hard, Chaos starts hard and gets
harder. You can load in your party from Dungeon Master, and you'd better,
because otherwise you'll be worm-food (literally) pretty quick. I would
recommend that anyone who hasn't played Dungeon Master to stay away from
Chaos until you've finished the former.

    Now, it's not entirely just a bunch of add-on levels. There's an
animated intro and a couple of utilities on a separate disk. These allow
you to alter the appearance of your characters, and to access hints. This
is a rather clever bit: it reads your saved position and advises you based
on that, and you can select increasingly more explicit hints if the first
vague nudges in the right direction don't help. I'm  proud to say I only
needed this once, for a puzzle that involved holding an object up to a
magic eye - it turns out I tried every damn object I carried *except* the
one I needed. That's actually a good thing because you need to quit the
game to run the hint utility, so if you get stuck a lot this will probably
be rather annoying. (But then, this has the effect of encouraging you to
think for yourself so you won't have to quit the game...maybe that was the

    I have to say that, while I mostly enjoyed Chaos Strikes Back, it's
not as good as the original. It couldn't be as fresh and new, of course,
but also the level design didn't quite work for me. In Dungeon Master,
you could imagine that you were really in the dungeon of some evil wizard,
whereas the levels in Chaos seem more like, er, a bunch of levels. Levels
designed for the sole purpose of being hard, with teleporters and
direction-changers everywhere, which makes mapping very difficult indeed.
I suspect that even with the hints, most people will find it frustrating.

    But if you finished Dungeon Master and want more of a challenge, this
could be it. As long as your expectations aren't too high and you're good
at the game, it provides some decent dungeon-crawling, monster-bashing fun.

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