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Heroes of Might and Magic III (for Linux) Review by Sylvie

Heroes Of Might and Magic III by New World Computing and ported to Linux by Loki software is a very addictive game. As an avid fan of traditional role players, and an enthusiast of strategy games, I was immediately drawn into the action. The basic story line, is that the good guys are away at war for a long time, and when they get home, their land is overrun by bad guys. It is set in a mystical feudalistic period with castles, wyverns, fighting skeleton warriors, and that kind of thing.

An attractive element of this game is that you can play as the evil lords of the underworld, or as the defenders of justice above ground. There are eight different kinds of towns that you can acquire and fortify, each will produce different kinds of fighters/fighting creatures that you can hire and take around with you as you quest for glory-- you know, holy grails, treasure chests, artifacts, and more towns to conquer. There are tons of scenarios to try, and there are many different options so the game has oodles of playability. The moment I started playing, I was enchanted by all of the little freebies that littered the area around my assigned castle: gem pools, wisdom trees that give out new magic spells, gold piles. I sent out hired heroes to forage for things, and was having so much fun going around questing, I hardly noticed when the enemy bad guy came bounding around the corner with the most massive, heinous army I had ever seen and totally wiped out the "well fortified" stronghold I had left behind, thus pretty much ending my game.

Not cool.

I found it to be a tad frustrating.

But undaunted, I started up a different scenario, on the easy level, and decided to really be on guard this that time. I refused to be seduced by the items that were unnecessary to my survival, and really applied all of my resources toward fortification of my stronghold, and magic spells for combat. I intended to play for an hour or two until my bedtime, around 10:00, because I had to work the next day. At about 1:00 am the next morning, I fought a harrowing battle against a massive group of wraiths, who were guarding a warping portal type thing. I had made the assumption that since there were so many baddies on guard, and that they were such a perilous foe, that the booty on the other side of the gate would be well worth it. Alas, the portal led me to be trapped into fighting a horde of master genies which, as you can probably guess, totally toasted me. They most likely still would have had I been at full force in the first place.

What I am basically saying about this game, is that it is very fun, but it is wrought with cheap shots and unfair situations. Thank goodness for the ability to cheat, although I hate to do that normally. I mean, I am no novice to this kind of game. I typically have a knack for swashbuckling myself out of sticky situations. But in my opinion, sometimes in Heroes III, cheating is necessary to maintain equity against the computerized foes. I mean, damn it, how do they get all that stuff so fast!!?? You can cheat (during battles) by hitting the tab key, and then you type:

nwctrojanrabbit

(nwc stands for New World Computing, I assume)


The computer will call you a cheater, and I always feel like one when I have to resort to it. I admire folks with the stamina to resist.

Something to note though, is that the cheat mode doesn't work in multiplayer games. You use the tab key to talk to the other players, so the cheats are disabled. My husband and I were playing against each other the other day via our ethernet connection. By the end of the sixth turn (called "days" in game speak. So within the first "week.") computerized barbarians had totally wiped him out, and I was in exile with two pitifully small forces and no hope of survival. We turned it off and watched a video instead.

What I'm basically saying, is that Heroes III has the allure to hold one's interest for many hours. But be warned, save often. This game will appeal to you if you enjoy strategy role players, and if you are either A) very lucky, B) someone who doesn't mind cheating, and/or C) a nut who loves to get your butt whacked by forces you can't possibly conquer.

Screenshots:

Title Screen

Start of a typical game

From the inside of a town

Underground

In over my head

Copyright (c)2000 Sam Hart hart@geekcomix.com

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