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A review of ULarn by Cosmic Gerbil

ULarn (Ultra Larn) is a roguelike game based on the original game Larn. The object of ULarn is to find the potion of cure dianthroritis and save your daughter’s life, as she is suffering from the disease and will die without the potion.

ULarn is a timed game, measured in ‘mobuls’. You have to find the potion and take it to your daughter before the time runs out, otherwise its game over.

There are 8 different characters to choose from and unusually for a rougelike, you can choose either races or classes, but not both. So for the races you can play as an ogre, klingon, elf or dwarf and for classes you can play as a wizard, adventurer or rogue. You can also play as Rambo, although I’m not sure what to class him under Wink

Gameplay

You start you adventure in a small village. There are two dungeons to visit:. the caverns of ULarn and the volcano. You should enter the caverns first because the monsters in the volcano are very tough and will kill a new player immediately. In the caverns, you can kill monsters to gain gold and XP. You can also find magic potions, scrolls, spellbooks and gems. Gems can be sold at the bank for money. A cool feature of ULarn is that you can deposit money in the bank; not only does this prevent monsters from stealing it but also you gain interest on your money by doing this.

There are other useful buildings in the village. You can buy weapons, armour, magic items and other useful things from the store. You can sell items at the pawn shop, visit you home to see how much time left you have to complete the game and you can increase your stats by taking courses at the college.

On the last level of the caverns you have to find the Eye of ULarn. This magic eye allows you to see demons, which otherwise are always invisible. Once you have the Eye, you can then go into the volcano and search for the potion of cure dianthroritis.

Graphics

ULarn features 32*32 tiles. These tiles are very detailed and provide good graphics for a roguelike.

Sound

N/A

Stability

ULarn stable game. It has never crashed on me.

Controls

You control your character via the keyboard. The controls are easy to learn because when the player does something a message will appear on screen suggesting the appropriate key to press. For example, if the player finds a potion you will be given the message “You have found a potion. Do you want to (q)uaff it or (i)gnore it? The letter in brackets is the one that you must press to perform the desired action.

Appropriateness

There is lots of killing in ULarn, but you don�t see any blood.

ULarn contains harmless, fantasy based magic.

ULarn does contain demons, however the player often has to kill them to advance further in thier quest.

You can buy drugs from a trader who will appear randomly in the dungeon. However the drugs usually have a bad effect on the player, such as lowering stats. So this could be seen as discouraging people from taking drugs.

ULarn teaches good family values, as the whole point of the game is to save your daughter’s life. Also ULarn shows you that education is important, because it encourages you to take courses at the college of ULarn.

Conclusion

ULarn is a fun roguelike game to play. It is rather easier and smaller than most rougelikes, however this makes it ideal as a first choice for a player wanting to get into roguelike games.
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Cosmic Gerbil (r)

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