Dear Abandonia visitors: We are a small team that runs one of the largest DOS Games websites in the world. We have only 3 members of staff, but serve 450,000 users and have outgoing costs like any other top site for example: our servers, power, rent, programs, and staff. Abandonia is something special. It is a library of old games for you to download. It is like an old gaming arcade with all the old games in their original format. Abandonia is a place where you can find great old games and have fun four hours and years. To protect our independence, we are dependent of our friends using the site. We run on donations averaging around 6 USD (5 Euro). If everyone reading this gave the price of a cup of coffee, our fundraiser would be made easier. If Abandonia is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online for another year. Please help us forget fundraising and get back to Abandonia.
Before you download this game, I should mention that this is not your average adventure. It is difficult to determine whether this game is a platform game with adventure elements, or an adventure game with platform elements. Whatever it is, it doesn't succeed in making either part much fun to play. This game would be best described as being like the Dizzy games featured under the arcade section of the site, with an attempt at Pratchettian humor.
The storyline is simple: You are a boy who gets zapped into the fantasy land of Enchantia, to serve as an ingredient in the potion of some wicked witch. Very Tolstoy, I know. You start off hanging upside down in a medieval-looking cell with no means of escape. What do you do? You cry for help, of course. A guard comes in, tells you to shut up, and walks back out, right after dropping a key just within your reach. That is where your adventure in the world of Enchantia begins. You will travel from the bottom of the ocean to caverns, to the edge of the world, and to an ice palace, and you will meet all kinds of strange monsters - that is, if you make it through the ridiculous puzzles!
First off: you can't die. This kind of makes the platform part a useless way of adding silly death-animations. Those animations are quite funny, probably the funniest part of the entire game, since there is no dialogue. What’s that? Yes, you read correctly, there's no dialogue in this adventure game. All conversations are made using text balloons (think The Sims, only without their silly language). How does this blasphemous contraption work, you're asking me? Well, I’ll give you an example. While you are at the bottom of the ocean, wearing a fishbowl so you can breathe, you are in need of a new supply of air for your fishbowl. Luckily for you, a fish nearby has set up a store which gives an oxygen tank to any silly human who happens to fall out of the sky. In return, you must give this enterprising fish one worm.
This entire conversation is summed up in one speech bubble portraying an oxygen tank icon = a worm icon. After this, the fish floats away, leaving the scene empty again. After that you're stuck with jumping over a clam or poking a shark with a cattle prod at just the right time.
This is all very silly and has a small amount of humour in it, but any laughs that could have been created by these situations are ruined by the abysmal control system. First off, you have to be facing the object you wish to interact with; if you are not, the computer will act as if the object is not there. Often you won't even notice you can interact with an object (for example a wall), so you'll end up walking around a room pressing the 'look' button. When you do figure out which two objects go together, you’ll have a hard time explaining to the computer exactly what you want to do. It's all icon-based, but there isn't just a general 'use' button: pressing the 'use' button brings up an entire list of new buttons ranging from 'combine' to 'throw'.
Just when you thought the logical hazards of text adventures had been done away with by the 'new' icon-based interfaces, Curse of Enchantia pops up and taunts your brain into trying all sorts of combinations, just so that the computer understands you want to throw the coin into the well. This becomes even more frustrating when you find out that your commands didn't work because you weren't facing the object you wished to interact with at exactly the right angle. So the puzzles, which are already totally illogical, become even more difficult due to these poor - dare I say abysmal - controls.
"But," you ask, "is there nothing good about this game?" Enchantia is not a bad game, I'll admit. It could have been an excellent game, mixing adventure and arcade elements in a witty universe. The graphics are nice and colourful, and the animations are worth a chuckle. However, all this becomes extremely tedious to play due to terrible controls and an annoying, repetitive soundtrack.
I encourage you to give this game a try; perhaps you will find the controls easier than I did, in which case you’ll probably have a fun time playing it.