After you start Cadaver, you're presented with a nice scroll on which the story unfolds, accompanied by a decent enough background tune. You prep yourself for an immersive and in-depth adventure puzzle game in which you battle with dozens of evil creatures as Karadoc, the dwarf. Then, you start the game. The music stops, Karadoc appears next to a leaky boat and irritating bleeps come from the speakers... Never mind, let's get one with the gameplay. The thing with that is, Cadaver was designed as a game to be played with a joystick/pad. There is keyboard support but the default keys are pretty awkward. Furthermore, ever action has to be followed by a click on the fire button (which turned out to be the 'End' key on my keyboard).
This makes the game very, very frustrating to play, especially since the puzzles you're presented with involve a lot of jumping and killing monsters. The controls do not allow for any fast reflexes or smooth jumping action, so you're constantly grumbling away as you try to jump on that frigging barrel for the seventh time in a row. Of course, had I a joystick, this might not be a problem... Using a playing guide (see the extras) I was able to finish a bit of the game, but after many hours blundering and cursing I had to admit this wasn't going to work.
The lack of music was another weakness. It's a shame really, because the graphics are actually pretty nice. The gloomy dungeon atmosphere is captured well in the limited VGA palette. Judging by the screenshots alone I'd say this was a 3 at the very least, but as gameplay is pretty important, Cadaver gets a mere 2 from me. I am pretty curious if a gamepad might be the answer to this problem so if you find out...
1. There's a setup.com, but it's messed up in DOSBox and WinXP, so you can try to run it, but it's hard to see what's happening.
2. Use runme.bat to start the game, not cad.exe, or you'll miss the intro.
Part of the Quest and Glory compilation
Reviewed by: Reup
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