Review by JinnyPants
"Can be rewarding if you can be patient..."
The Temple of Elemental Evil (toee) is a RPG based on the D&D rules set. Although I personally enjoyed the game a lot, it does contain some bugs which other players may find unforgivable. This being the case I have decided to divide my review into 3 parts to describe toee's pro's and cons.
Toee has some good elements (pardon the pun) which make it a worthwhile gaming experience, at least from my point of view.
The graphics look great and it seems a lot of attention went into small details (such as bugs crawling on dungeon walls, food in kitchen areas etc. ) and some some nice shadow and water as well as other environment effects. Time in toee is divided into day and night which effects where encounters will take place.
Toee is played entirely from an overhead perspective similar to Diablo. The in game music too is pleasant enough and the sound effects and speech sound great and authentic.
The game has an interesting plot and the final ending will depend on which actions you took while playing. In addition to the main quest there are numerous side adventures to keep you busy and build your player characters (PCs) experience. Your PCs also can be customised to your liking building better skill and feat sets as you advance in level. You also get the ability to craft your own magic items.
The thing I liked best about toee is the fact that combat is turned based which means battles play more like a game of chess and even very difficult encounters can be won with a little finesse.
There are a few in game bad points as well, one of them being the PC's occasionally terrible path finding abilities. Sometimes instead of walking 10 feet forward to go through an open door or attack a monster the PC will take a bizarre circular route which will trigger either encounters or attacks of opportunity. Also at times only half of your party will actually move to the designated location while the other half just stands there staring into space.
The game interface is point and click with a radial menu giving you additional options. The problem here is that it's quite easy to click on the wrong icon which can lead to disaster.
As I mentioned earlier the game uses the D&D rules set some elements of which don't translate so well onto the computer. Magic users have to rest to regain their spell casting abilities and there are only 3 places in the whole game where you can do this safely.
Low level characters have all the appearance of being in an constant state of intoxication due to the fact that they miss their targets more often than not with either melee or missile weapons. My first level fighters once managed to miss a single zombie 15 times in a row before one of them finally hit it. Hardly the stuff of high heroics.
The ceiling for level advancement is only level 10 which you can reach a fair way before the end of the game.
Apart from these few minor problems the game has some serious ones. In most cases toee requires a patch to run correctly. Without the patch you can't loot your enemies bodies and some quests are impossible to complete.
Another serious problem deals with Non player characters NPCs. If you have NPC's in your party they will automatically take a portion of items whenever you open a chest (usually the best ones). Once these items are in their inventory, the NPC will not release them. This can lead to a situation where you have a NPC who carries so much stuff they can't move but refuse to let go of their treasure and refuse to leave your party!
To wrap it up toee is a game I enjoyed and found addictive but sometimes frustrating. I'm guessing the game had a rushed release because of the flaws and also because of several strangely empty areas in game.
I was playing a foreign language version of toee and couldn't find a compatible patch for it but even so I was still able to get the best possible ending. It just meant running back and forth a little more.
Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 11/21/06
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