Dark Mage

Graphics: 4
Sound: 1
Control: 3
Depth: 4
Overall: 3

Dark Mage

By: Greg Troutman
Released: 1997

And now for something completely different! Text based Interactive Fiction on the Atari 2600! While (obviously) not as elaborate as an Infocom effort—such as Zork—Dark Mage succeeds on its own terms. The text is minimal and, rather than typing, actions are chosen via a menu using the joystick.

In the story, you are a jester banished from your kingdom. You must find and return the king's black rose. You find and use items, talk to characters, and generally get stuck and start again. Once you've beaten it, replay value is low since you'll probably have the solution memorized.

Even so, Dark Mage comes recommended. Both for its uniqueness as an Atari game and the fact that it is one of the better aftermarket homebrew games.

- Ben Langberg