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Below The Root

From the Database of Home of the Underdogs

GAME DESIGNER:Zilpha Snyder & Dale Disharoon

GAME DEVELOPER:Telarium

GAME PUBLISHER:Windham Classics

Copyright 1984, Telarium

I discovered this game on a Commodore 64 site about 13 years after its release, but I sure am glad I did! Below the Root is an epic fantasy adventure with some RPG flavor that is truly one of its kind. As one of three possible characters, you must save the “treehouse” world from certain destruction.

From Matthew Murray’s thoughtful review of the game: “As another interesting game from Windham Classics, Below the Root is far more original than Alice in Wonderland, since the story is devised completely from scratch, with few real ties to the series of books on which it is based. You can choose one of five characters, each of whom has different skills and levels of magical powers, which make the game easier or more difficult. Each of the games is otherwise the same, however. For originality, Windham Classics deserves high marks, though the execution is far poorer. There is little direction in this game, and the series of books it is based on, unlike the other games from Windham Classics, are hardly famous reading material. The endgame is also very difficult, and requires too much time and exploration to be the exciting ending it should be. A good game, but designed primarily for the young and patient who are willing to replay the game the numerous times that may be required.”

My impression of the game is a bit more impressive than Matt’s, since I believe that the vast and unique gameworld that requires intensive exploration is one of the game’s strongest points. But it does require a lot of patience to solved, so be warned. With unique atmosphere and NPCs, non-linear path, and a truly *vast* gameworld, this is really one of the games dying for a facelift. Two thumbs up!



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