”Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Based on D&D's Forgotten Realms setting, Eye of the Beholder for Game Boy Advance can keep you busy for hours, days, weeks, and in my case, months. Using a first-person perspective, you command a party of adventurers through a massive multi-leveled labyrinth. Your hearty crew has hundreds of traps to uncover, puzzles to solve, secret passages to find, and monsters to defeat.
As with all spelunking adventures, the constant treasure trove of new items, armor, and weapons, will keep you constantly upgrading your equipment and swapping items between members of your party. Inventory control is simple and easy to navigate, which is important since you do so much of it. Equipping, un-equipping, and swapping items from one party member to another is also a breeze.
A handy feature is the ability to change the order in which your group walks or stands in combat; like putting the spell casters in the back and the fighters up front, for instance. Combatants are numerous and they will catch you unaware, so be ready for unexpected battles around corners, down corridors, in ambush locations, and wide-open caverns.
The realistic Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition rules and game mechanics outweigh the limited graphic appeal. The mazes of the dungeon are navigated in first person perspective. The turn-based strategic battles are waged from an isometric overhead view. Strategy will play a huge part in each battle, from start to end. Just like the classic D&D PC games of old, you move your characters one at a time, firing ranged weapons, spells, using potions, scrolls, and magic items – or moving in close for a melee.
Be ready for a long and very difficult adventure. Secret passages are numerous and sometimes impossible to find without luck. Instead of logic or reason, finding these hidden passages often requires the trial-and-error approach. Walk into solid walls and eventually you'll walk straight through one - as if it were an illusion. This gets rather tedious and frustrating.
All in all, this game conforms to the traditional role-playing adventure style, and the classic D&D ruleset. For the die-hard strategist, and D&D enthusiast, this game will make a hearty addition to your gaming repertoire. If you're looking for a quick and simple RPG however, move on, because this baby takes a long time, and a patient person to master.
I must slide this selection into the buy cheap or used category. Rental won’t work – because it takes too long to play and complete this game. Buy it in a bargin bin, used, or trade for it online. This way you have plenty of time to enjoy the depth and strategy.
Key moment of the game: Big nasty spiders sneaking up behind me, catching my spell casters out of position. My first lightening bolt went “wild” and nearly killed my entire party.
Final Score: 77 out of 100