As mentioned previously I've been a bit burned out from work lately, which means I've been spending more time playing games when I ought to be making them. My distraction of choice for the past few weeks has been the Tom Proudfoot collection of shareware/freeware games, an enjoyable but underrated set of semi-related RPGs with a very old school gameplay aesthetic. The SSI-Gold-Box-style combat is neat, but the best part is the wide range of random magical items you can find. These games can get a little long and dull sometimes (even Tower of Darkness, which is a comparatively quick one-dungeon romp), but what can I say? I'm a sucker for random loot, and these games strike an excellent balance between cool magic items being too common to be anything special and being too rare to be noticeable. If you've got some spare time to kill and want to experience some old-style RPG goodness without wressling with quite as many bugs and compatability issues* as so many of the truly old classics have, give some of these a try**.
*(Being comparatively recent games [except Nahlakh], they don't really have any problems with XP except that they don't get along with Norton Antivirus very well. Turning it off while you play works fine, so long as you remember to turn it back on when you're done).
**(Caveat player, though... the documentation is not exactly stellar, especially for the not-entirely-complete later two games. Just consider it part of the authentic old-style experience.)
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