Title Hound of Shadow Game Type RPG Company EA/Eldritch Games Released 1989 Players 1 HD Installable No Compatibility ??? Submission Nick Scott (HP_Lovecraft@hotmail.com) Review Usually, I am an extremely picky buyer. I will read reviews, download demos, and talk to friends. This is especially important with the Amiga since the difference between a cheap port, and a hardware-basher is very large indeed. In the case of "Hound of Shadow", it is the only game I've ever bought blindly. I am a fan of Lovecraft literature, and bought the game when I saw his name on the box. As far as I know, it is the first major game based on his work. I was quite surprised when I got home, and discovered it's a text-only RPG. I was rather disappointed. I had played ZORK on a TI99/4A, but didn't expect such low technology on the Amiga. I kept it though, curious to see how it relates to the books. The game is set in the 1920s, in England. Like most RPG games, you get to create a character, except with unusual characteristics. Apart from strength, you also choose: Social, Investigative, Academic, Logical, Creative and Spiritual skills. You also choose your profession that ranges from psychic investigator, to socialite, scholar, adventurer, and a few others. Essentially, the story is your typical "Detective" story. The game starts out with a crime, and you basically try and solve it. However, since this is a "lovecraftian" style game, there is a great deal of occult influence, including secret-societies, and references to Latin spell books, and ancient, evil mysteries. The game itself is pure text-only RPG. Occasionally, a static graphic pops up, but its usually just a picture of a building, and never useful. These types of RPGs are rated 2 ways: Plot Depth, and Parser abilities. The plot itself is pretty linear. The clock is ticking, and you need to complete certain tasks by specific times, or the game ends. As a result, the game has limited depth. You can't really go off "exploring" or the time will run out. Also, the text parser is not very good. As with most text-only games, the manual only lists a few of the commands. The rest you have to find out for yourself, which is extremely frustrating. In fact, I gave up on this game many times because I could not get the parser to work. It was frustrating, because I knew what I needed to do, but could not word it correctly for the parser. Eventually, I discovered a trick. There is a file somewhere on the disk that contains every command. After I printed that out, the game became 100 times easier, and I was able to beat the game after a few tries. I've never played the game since then, so you could argue that "cheating" ruined the game for me. Maybe, maybe not, but save that method as a last resort. Ultimately, as far as text-RPG go, it is average. It does not compare to classics like Zork, or the many modern MUD-based RPGs still being run today. The only appeal would be to Lovecraft fans, and its value is as a curiosity for being the first Lovecraft-based computer game, and not the actual gameplay itself.