ďOne hundred and three years after Acamantorís expulsion from Belorn, he has returnedÖĒ.
Enlightenment is the sequel of the well-known Druid; in the first episode Acamantor, the Dark Mage, sent four Demon Princes to lead his army of horrible creatures (ghosts, wraiths and the like) in order to rule the land of Belorn. The druidic sect sent one of their members, named Hasrinax, to banish the Demon Princes; after his success the astral links between their world and Belorn were sealed forever. In the following years Hasrinax experimented new spells and was thus expelled from the sect; so he retired himself in the village of Ishmar. One day, returning to the village he discovered that the inhabitants were turned into zombiesÖ Acamantor was back! This time Hasrinax swore to defeat not only the demonic servants, but also the Dark Mage, forever.
You control Hasrinax, moving all around the land of Belorn and fighting hordes of evil creatures using spells found in many different places. The scrolling is quite fluid and the action constant: in fact whenever you kill an enemy another one arise to replace it. A lot of question marks appear on the ground, representing spells: walking above one of them will reveal you what enchantment it is, so you may choose to take it for later use (it is stored in your spell book, which may content up to eight spells). You may also conjure the powerful Elementals of Air, Fire, Water and Earth to get some help in completing your mission (each of them has different abilities: Golem, the Elemental of Earth, is the slowest but strongest of all, while Kraken, the Elemental of Water, suffers a lot in dry zones like the desert and the land of fire, and so on).
Belorn is divided in ten zones, from desert to snowland, each filled with different enemies and spells. This zones are connected each other, but not in a linear way: for instance from the starting location (the village of Ishmar) you may go west to the desert, north to the woodlands, south in the dark caves or east to the swamplands. You may (and in effect will need) to go back and forth from the same places in order to defeat the Demon Princes and collect the right spells that will grant you access to Acamantorís tower (other five levels of play leading to the final conflict with the mightiest opponent: the Dark Mage himself).
Your weapons, apart from spells (that are abundant but still limited: donít waste them!) are electrical bolts you shoot from fingers: each enemy requires a different number of them before resting forever (often one, but in some cases youíll need ten or so). You have an endless number of these, but more quickly you shoot, the faster your fire rate runs down (and if it reaches zero you must wait to regenerate it). Enemies hurt you only by touching, but be sure that keeping away all of them in time isnít so easy.
The screen is split in two: the game window, where action is showed, and under it various windows representing your spell book, score, messages, etc. Look at them carefully to get a lot of useful information during play. On the left thereís a brown shifting bar representing your health: every time an enemy touches you it shortens (and if you donít kill quickly the enemy youíll hear a noise like a rodent, while the bar continue to be reduced), and the same happens if you walk through fire or water; if it runs out you die and the game is over (better luck next time!).
Youíll need both joystick and keyboard to play: joy moves druid, keyboard selects-casts spells and controls Elementals actions; if you have a second player he/she may control the Elementals you summon instead (this is the only game Iíve ever known in which there is a player subordinate to the other).
Differences with Druid
If you have played Druid youíll notice a lot of similarities, but also a few differences: levels are not put one after the other, but linked each other as in a map, giving you greater exploration possibilities (you may try to play each time in a different way by planning differently your movements through Belorn). You have only one kind of weapon instead of three as in Druid, but also over thirty spells instead of four! Limited shoots have been replaced by the idea faster fire-lesser rate, that however doesnít represent a problem except in the more critical fights (time to use a couple of spells!). You find spells on the ground (no more chests) and will be informed what they are before taking them (so you may let a spell where it is, planning a later return); besides you may take one without giving up any other of them (no more chooses as per chests in the first episode), but remember: no more than eight contemporary.
Downloads: Music, Speech, Advert
|GRAPHICS - 9/10|
|Well-detailed, wide variety of monsters and landscapes, good use of colours and excellent scrolling.|
|SOUND - 8/10|
|During game youíll hear only simple (but proper) sound effects, while during the title screen thereís an interesting music (to be sincere: I consider much better the one of first Druid, but Iíve heard this in the intro of a lot of cracked games and the like).|
|PLAYABILITY - 9/10|
|Immense possibilities: where to go, what spells to take now and what later, how to face enemies, etc. It is not particularly difficult to win the game once youíve learned what to do, itís learning it the interesting partÖ And after you win you may try to do it again with a different (perhaps better) strategy. Be sure: youíll never play the same game twice.|
|OVERALL - 9/10|
|Wonderful. Try it and you wonít be disappointed. If you have enjoyed the first episode this is your game.|