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The Magic Candle is a good, classic RPG that will please purists of the genre. The best thing about the game is its originality: the game includes several features that were (at the time the game was released at least) novel, that created a new spin on the computer RPG. These include the fact that the object of the game isn't to defeat a final evil boss like in most RPGs, instead you need to collect the necessary items and learn the necessary chants to preserve the eponymous Magic Candle. Another novel feature is that although you start the game on your own, you can recruit pre-generated characters of varying classes and races in the game's two castles, up to a party of six.
The Magic Candle is a well-written game with an intelligent storyline. The plot revolves around the player journeying across the kingdom of Deruvnia to try and find the means to preserve the Magic Candle, which is melting. If the Candle should melt, it will release the evil demon Dreax on the world. The game is played in a 2D style that resembles the early Ultima games. Character interaction with NPCs is quite good and is on a par with Ultima 5; you type in keywords, and if the NPC recognises the keyword they respond with information. The EGA graphics are functional rather than anything special, but do the job adequately. Sound is as you might expect from a 1989 PC RPG being very limited. The most important thing, the gameplay, is excellent and the game is quite addictive once you get into it. It isn't the easiest game to get into at the start, but perseverance certainly pays off and is well rewarded.
I enjoyed playing this game, although I think it's one for RPG purists only really. You need to give yourself an hour or so to get to grips with it and to get into the storyline of the game. The game also has quite a few keyboard commands to get used to. If you do persevere with it, you'll be rewarded with a decent RPG that has a good storyline and as much depth as the Ultima series.
Thumbs up! I give it 3.5 out of 5.
Haunted me since childhood
Posted on: 2013-01-16 by jcadiram
I played this game when it first came out, and spent many a childhood hour struggling through a world teeming with monsters, merchants and obstacles to overcome. I never finished the game and, to be honest, found it extremely difficult but even at the time it was still a game that I found immensely enjoyable. Now, all these years later, I've got the game again and am trying to prevent the Magic Candle melting. The game is as difficult as I remember it (I am a purely casual gamer, so don't let that dissuade you from giving the game a go) and in fact even slightly more so now that I am used to games which don't require as much thought and interaction simply to play the game (ie: knowing what commands to type, having to take notes, needing to consult the map, and definitely needing to read the manual!). But this game has been THE game that has haunted me since childhood and the one that I have always wanted to come back. Yes, the graphics are very basic, yes the game has a steep learning curve, yes the game requires a lot of note taking and recording, but isn't that all part of the charm and enjoyment of this game? Yes, it is!