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Egoboo

From the Database of Home of the Underdogs

GAME DESIGNER:Ben Bishop

GAME DEVELOPER:Freeware

GAME PUBLISHER:Freeware

Copyright 2001, Ben Bishop

According to The Word Spy, an “Egoboo” is a “Recognition and praise for a task well done, particularly a task that is performed for free; (ego + boost).” This definition suites this game perfectly: it’s a very good program, and it’s offered for downloading completely free… Exactly what your doctor recommended!

But, what exactly is Egoboo the game? It’s a classic dungeon hack game in the manner of Nethack (though it DOESN’T generate random maps… yet), but instead of these lovely ASCII letters and symbols, it uses equally lovely 3D-rendered graphics with cleverly used lightning and reflection effects. You impersonate your average dungeon dweller fellow, which can be choosen among the most well-known character classes in the RPG world: Adventurer, Wizard or Healer, and your task is… well, whatever the programmer of the module you choose to play has decided to be. For that is probably the most interesting trait of the game: it is completely customizable! More on this later.

Generally your mission will be to search the dungeon (or town, or boat, or swamp… you get the idea) for valuable items, killing any foes you encounter in the way with the help of some varied weapons, ranging from the classic sword or crossbow, to some others much more imaginative (what about a big iron ball chained to your heel, when starting out as a prisoner?). You can also ride some pets, like a giant mouse (or a horse skeleton!), and each character has its own stats (no big surprises here: STRenght, WISdom, INTelligence…) to raise with experience, including some magical abilites to boost: just what you expect for a simple but effective action RPG, with the addition of some interesting multiplayer adventuring; it can be achieved with up to three players in the same computer, or many more over LAN. Sadly, the ingame docs, provided as simple text files, don’t explain clearly how to configure your Local Network and I haven’t been able to make it work.

The bad thing is, with the downloaded game file you have very little levels to play, and you’ll finish them pretty quickly. Considering the programmer claims his work on Egoboo is finished, you’ll ask yourself ‘What do I do now?’ Build your own, of course!

Along with that file you can download a bunch of extras (offered also on the official site) that will help you if you wish to build up your own dungeons, or design some new characters, enemies, items, spells… in a word: anything you can think of. There are available for download some extra modules that will keep you interested for a while and give you a hint of the Egaboo customization capabilities: you can play in a whacky car race, or even create your own RTS game, for example. It’s not an easy task, but in the hands of a capable programmer, the results can be amazing. In fact, this feature is what makes Egaboo shine over other games of its kind, as the modules included won’t hold your attention for much time…

So, if you like this kind of Dungeon-oriented RPGs and have always wished you could make your own (and know a pair of things about game mapping and 3D-modeling!), this is a must. Or, if you just want to hack’n'slash a bit a la Legend of Zelda fashion, you can give it a try, and keep your eyes peeled for the new game modules that (I hope) will be available soon. Recommended.



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