The Dink Network

Quest for Dorinthia 2: The Island Revenge

Jesus, Dorinthia, your dad is STANDING RIGHT THERE. From the COTPATD project.
August 4th, 2009
Score : 9.6 exceptional
I didn't play the original Quest for Dorinthia, but regardless, the premise is that Dorinthia is kidnapped again and Dink has to save her.

The Good:

The implementation is A+ excellent. Throughout the game (except in the last island), much attention is paid to detail, and it shows. The graphics are beautifully done, even though most of it is from the original game.

There is also a sense of humor throughout. The beginning where the player has to find $1000 on an island with nothing but pillbugs is very, and very well implemented. The player is always pushed in the right direction, even if it isn't obvious, and the story unfolds beautifully.

Once on the main island, there are a good number of secrets, most of which are very well hidden. The sub-quests that have to be completed, as well as the little plot twists, make this a very engaging adventure.

The map on the main island is very well designed, always teasing the player with tantalizing rewards that can only be found later upon discovery of a well-hidden secret area. I daresay it's even better than the original Dink, because the map is compact and there are very few "wasted" areas.

Many of the puzzles are quite well designed, and, with a few exceptions, fit well into the context of the game world. This is a sign of good quality puzzles.

The story builds up slowly but surely, and eventually culminates in an icy island where things get brutally tough. (Well, that is, if you didn't find the main secret island.)

The Bad:

Some of the secret areas are perhaps a bit too well hidden. Some pretty much needs the player to be clairvoyant to know what the author had in mind, since they are so arbitrary (such as walking through a group of trees in the middle of nowhere, which are visually indistinct from normal trees).

Some of the puzzles are also not sufficiently clued (the 4 pillars and the prisoner is an example), and the locking/unlocking goblin pillars seem a bit out of place (how exactly does pillar function as a "lock" isn't very well motivated by the game world mechanics).

The ending part of the game seems a bit unnecessarily drawn out (is there *really* a need to make the player walk for miles and miles and miles along a path that's pretty much already dictated?). It seems that the author was starting to run out of ideas at the end, but needed just a few more gimmicks to get the player to the final encounter. The ending was a bit of a let-down, though, especially considering all that has led up to this point.

Also, the secret weapon found on the secret island is wayyyy overpowered. I won't spoil what it is, but it pretty much makes the rest of the game trivial. I think it's too unbalancing; it would be better if it had some drawbacks so that the player still has a challenge, even though things are much easier than otherwise. This also means that if you *didn't* find the secret weapon, the endgame is extremely tough in comparison. To have a single secret weapon tip the balance in such an extreme way is not a good design.

Having said all that, though, this is an excellent DMOD. Its good points far outweigh its flaws, IMO, and you will not be disappointed by it. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Very highly recommended.