Review by Ofisil

"The Legend Of... Dink!"

Dink Smallwood is a Freeware Action\RPG developed by Robinson Technologies. This must be one of the first, if not the first freeware game I've ever played. After a very long time I replayed it and realized that it was quite an entertaining and well designed game, despite it's flaws and despite the fact that it was just a freeware title. It's a humorous Zelda-like game that I recommend to everyone despite the low score I've given to it. Bt let's get into detail…

Story: 5/10
Presentation: 6.8/10

You take the role of Dink Smallwood, a measly pig farmer who dreams of adventuring & fair maidens. After a dramatic scene in your village, you set out for adventure. From there on its wizards, damsels in despair, monsters and so on. Yeah, the plot is pretty unoriginal, BUT what the game lacks in actual story it makes up for with its great humor. The world of Dink Smallwood looks like any other medieval RPG world, but it's filled with witty and very funny dialogue, wacky scenes and all kinds of weird stuff. So, if you want a break from the usual RPG and want something a bit more lighthearted & comedic DS is for you.

Gameplay: 6.8/10
Replay Value: 7.5/10

There isn't anything revolutionary about Dink Smallwood. It's a simple but decent Zelda clone, with its fair share of fighting & adventuring. You'll talk with people, find treasures, do some questing and get stronger in order to save the world. True to its roots the game is uber easy to pick up and play. Directional buttons move your character, Ctrl hits, Shift uses magic and with space you use items\talk with people. Killing enemies gathers EXP that can be used in 3 stats, (strength, defense, magic), and money that can be spent in shops for weapons and potions. What makes the game a bit different is the wacky humor involved and the occasional chance of choosing what to say in conversations. Now the flaws: Fighting in Dink Smallwood is quite a chore. You start the game with nothing but your hands but even after buying a super strong sword fighting with enemies is so slow and cumbersome that it gets really annoying because it's sometimes impossible to avoid damage. Not that the game is hard, it just makes things more annoying and forces you to spent the first half of the game using nothing but magic spells. In the end the biggest flaw of the game is its length and luck of variety. Only a few weapons & spells, only a couple of towns to explore and only a couple of monsters to fight. What saves the day is the fact that you can download D-Mods, which offer custom quests, even more weapons & spells, new graphics, new stats and so on.

Graphics: 7.5/10
Design: 6.8/10
Sound: 7/10
Music: 5.6/10

Pretty simplistic and hellishly tile-based but for its time and its low budget, (and no price tag), it's quite good. Its main “problem” is the fact that everything is unoriginal. Grass & dirt, trees & rocks and many stereotypical props expected from a medieval themed game. All in all not game you play for its looks… Now, the sound effects are pretty basic but do their job just fine, although they lack variety. I have mixed feelings for the music though. Yes it's MIDI, but I don't have a problem with that. We have some nicely composed and atmospheric themes, but we also have some repetitive and annoying ones full of annoying violins and so on. Sometimes the music fits like a glove with the comedic side of the game and sometimes it's simply out of place. All in all good but could be better.

[+]:
-Quite funny
-Decent freeware Zelda Clone
-D-Mods raise the replay value of the game

[-]:
-Boring fighting
-A bit too small
-Some very annoying music themes

Also Play:
Brain Lord (SNES)
Pilgrim's Quest (D-Mod)
Stone Of Balance (D-Mod)
Sudeki (PC, Xbox)
The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past (SNES)
The Legend Of Zelda: The Ocarina Of Time (N64)

Overall: 6.6/10

Yeah, sure the game isn't The Ocarina Of Time, but if you are looking for a free Action\RPG with lot's of humor and decent amount of adventuring, Dink Smallwood is one of the best out there and the inclusion of D-Mods raise the fun a bit higher than you would expect.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 01/23/12

Game Release: Dink Smallwood (US, 12/31/97)


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