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Drago delle Caverne, Il - Review

Review by Zuperfaust


Last edited:

This mini-adventure game was written in 1989 as a demonstrative game during a BASIC course held by Mr. Colombini.

The story begins with you and your friends in a tavern. Thanks (or due) to the wine fumes, you accept the bet that you can enter the dragon's lair and come out alive with its treasure.

Surprisingly, the dragon is very welcoming at first, but as soon as you make a little mistake it's ready to incinerate you with a single flame of its breath.

The game was refined years later, and made available online as freeware in 1997.

Parser/Vocabulary (Rating: 6/10)

The game uses a modified version of Colombini's Modulo BASE parser.

Nonetheless, it understands 31 verbs (including synonyms), 13 objects, and 17 (un)definite articles, since the syntax used is verb+article+object or verb+object.

There is an "aiuto" ("help") command, which gives a sensible advice from your companions... when it's too late to fix the situation.

Atmosphere (Rating: 6/10)

Being a mini-adventure with four rooms, the environment is not of much importance. It is nice to have a dragon spitting flames at you, though, and the rooms are named after the virtues that any adventurer must possess.

Although there are not many descriptions, the existing ones are well-written.

Your friends' comments and the dragon's behaviour are worth the reading... once. Then, please, try to outsmart both and read about your success.

Cruelty (Rating: Polite)

Oh yes, you will die, you will die often, you will die almost always until you discover the right sequence of moves. But the sentences are always different and appropriate to the type of "mistake" you do. Anyway, dying is fun, here.

Puzzles (Rating: 6/10)

There are no "standard" puzzles such as hidden objects or rooms. You have everything available and under your eyes from the beginning.

The puzzle here is a sequence of actions that must be carried out in only one way. When you find out that sequence, you solve the game.

With trial and error, you really cannot get stuck. It is just a matter of perseverance.

Overall (Rating: 6/10)

This is an introductory-level adventure game. You can solve it in one hour or less. And if, by chance, you manage to solve it on your first attempt, you will surely try to find out how to get things wrong just to enjoy the game at its fullest.

I can give you no advice but for this: take note of your friends' comments when you die, and when you will win the dragon and offer them the next round of spirits in the tavern, challenge them to do the same as you.