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Review: Imprisoned Again (DM PC/CSBwin)

Reviewer: 
PicturesInTheDark
Custom dungeon reviewed: 
Imprisoned Again
Gameplay: 
9
Gameplay comments: 

Well-planned and complex dungeon design guaranteeing (lots of) fun and (a lot more) sweat for days or even weeks.

Originality: 
8
Originality comments: 

As I’ve seen by trying out some of your dungeons just for a few levels, you already tried the "4 ways approach" in smaller dimensions before, but within "Imprisoned..." it’s cultivated. Lack in riddles and some surprises in the design is all from my point of view that makes it short of perfection.

Difficulty: 
7
Difficulty comments: 

I know you rated it 9 yourself and I would even go higher here, for this is the version with the "matrix" still intact and I admit I checked out the pressure pads before surviving this - still with some of reloads. Personally, a little less would be better for I still think that it should be possible -at least theoretically- to master a dungeon with the first try if you have some luck and are careful - which I found impossible here. That’s why the rating is 7 instead of 9. Should I get around to play v1.3 one day this might change.

Puzzles: 
5
Puzzles comments: 

Your major chance to improve your already high dungeon-designing skills I think. Not bad at all, solid, pleasant, light riddles with the main idea on traps and monster-creation/avoidance. What I think would enhance it is a different style of puzzles at some point - some real brain teasers or problems that do not launch fireballs at you or release yet another creature. Still, nothing to critizise from what you built, it all worked and was fun - but the better a dungeon, the higher the expectations.

Size: 
9
Size comments: 

The only reason you don’t get the highest rating here is that I was slightly annoyed when it ended (despite my initial fury with the ("matrix") and the fact that I’d have hoped for some intertwined end in the style of the towers before.

Replayability: 
8
Replayability comments: 

I’ll very likely play this one again, possibly in the latest version (be that 1.3 or an even newer release freed of clones) and I’m looking forward to it. Shame that riddles and tricks do not "rotate" or "change" so I’ll know some already at least.

Craft: 
9
Craft comments: 

Yeah, well. I don’t think I have to deviate from all the real experts that have played this dungeon before, I’ll just salute you for this magnificent effort.

Game Ending: 
6
Game Ending comments: 

Except for the puzzles the only thing that could really be improved. The more dungeons I play, the more thankful I am for a different approach at the end, be it a riddle, a simple text message when finishing a tasks or something... anything... new. Chaos is still the master of disaster and a pleasure to fuse, but I get tired of demons and shooters around him more and more. Maybe for the next dungeon you might consider a surprise at the end...

Atmosphere: 
10
Atmosphere comments: 

No doubt about it. I started and was hooked, strained my eyes, hammered at the keys, cursed and only got up for more tea/coffee/cigarettes/the toilet. Even canceling appointments. And at some points (for example "The art of war - surprise") you made me jump. Exceptionally well done.

Overall: 
8
Best part: 

"Battlefield", "run and run", top of the towers, "The art of war".

Worst part: 

Matrix, finding the emerald key.

Review: 

Comments: I’ll structure the way I went through the dungeon, starting overall, then dividing into the ways and commence at the final part.

Death knights right after the start: Did you ever try and take them on yourself? I tend to reincarnate my party, but even with resurrected characters, I see no real possibility here – pretty soon your stamina will fall and you’ll get killed pretty quickly, even if running around.

The basic setup of level 11: A novelty (bathroom/kitchen) and the screamer training area (kitchen) a good choice before entering any of the towers. Certainly a place I liked to come back to after each tower...

Assassin way: Nice start with the rock pile spiral and "the range", which took some tries, since I used reincarnated characters. "Run and run" – I did not like you very much for this... but it was very demanding to solve and I finally did. Shame you nearly can’t beat it with your first try, just too heavy. Flying eye/scorpion/pressure pad room good, but the emerald key in one of the pits is bad - no hint at all on that one (V1.2!).

Archbishop way: After finishing the assassin the start was nearly a walk in the park, but the "corridor of evil" made up for that. I enjoyed the very small level 6 with the incredibly strong screamers a lot - no tricks, just one fight and they keep screaming... ;o) Nearly missed the tourquoise key from the vexirk, but after the emerald one I was more alert. The long and winding scorpion/flying eye section was a good test for quick movements.

Court mage way: Good start with the teleporters, I thought it was nice that the follow-up was more annoying than letal, for the party was too trained for rives and gigglers already, but they kept bugging me, so I had fun. "Cast your influence" was a nice theme on the known subject, the vexirk area above pretty challenging. On the scorpion area on level 4 I was just following the script and getting by well.

Warlord way: Glad I took this one at the end. Battlefield: great idea with the teleporter in the middle and the Ant-men triggering even more of their kind. The second part after the first hall was too hard to do with the first try – after readjusting my tactics I’d survive with some luck, though. Overall, a fascinating level. Couatl/skeleton section was a good variation after the tough fights before and still very demanding. Arena: I was very careful after reading the text and the levels before, so I never stepped on the pressure plate with the bones. Would have been unfair to make it invisible, though since you cannot escape, so even if it was easier than expected I liked to be able to kill them in their cells by being careful before. "Art of war" – one of the nastiest surprises sprung on me ever since scorpions still startle me – but I had been warned. Especially the end part with the executiner is very tough – but you can manage. Not if this is your first tower, though.

Level 3: Too hard in version V1.2, I’ve said enough already on the matrix, so you know my opinion. Even without that, zytaxes, golems and spiders are very hard indeed to survive coming up again and again.

Level 2: I liked the Warlord way best this time – open fight with (even that many) Oitus was fun. Assassin was probably the hardest, Archbishop for "resting" and Court mage had me dancing with zytaxes which I don’t like, so tricky, too. Shame that the spiders are easy prey - at least one or two could have closed the pits of the others after dying. Not that I’m complaining... ;o) Generally, I liked the idea with the "guardians" of each tower a lot.

Step inside/take a ride (level 12/13) : A hot dance at the start, the dragons provided fun. "Show me..." was a good if not too hard riddle except for "power". I had to search a little on level 12 avaoiding Chaos and some of the other buggers to find my way and finally simply guessed at taking the pit. Should have saved before... but one dragon was no problem at this stage. After some more that I created when going out (was getting a bit boring I have to admit) finally the last battle. Ironically, I saved the game at this point in June and only discovered yesterday I had not finished it, so I did. Was not easy, but with the trusted aid of the firestaff I think I’m not such a bad Chaos-buster after many dungeons, so it did not take too long.

Your technique of making the party create their own doom elsewhere by triggering numerous pads has a nice irony, even though you sometimes overdo it a bit. A lot of traps and ideas were unique or at least well modified; atmosphere and tension trusted companions during this dungeon. It was certainly among the very best I’ve played so far.


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