The Dink Network

Isle of Croth (The)

At the bottom of a well. From the COTPATD project.
August 4th, 2009
Score : 7.0 good
Dink is sent to the Isle of Croth to find out why they have not been sending gold to the King, and why previous envoys have failed to return. Upon arriving at the isle, Dink finds the townsfolk all dead, and the dead ... alive.

The Good:

This DMOD is a fun romp. There are many interesting things to do and to discover. The implementation is relatively solid, with no glaring bugs. Discovering the underground city is quite fun, in more ways than one.

The use of a limited range-of-sight in the underground caves is also very well done, and greatly helps to enhance the atmosphere of discovery.

The Bad:

The game isn't very well balanced. The beginning is extremely tough, but once you get to the underground city, the balance completely tips the other way. The potion shop, the ladies, and the casino (next to a savebot, no less, which is a bad idea since that is equivalent to free cash), pretty much makes an endless supply of stats. Once you get to this point, the game is pretty much trivial. The end boss is also orders of magnitude tougher than any other enemy, rather than a gradual buildup as you progress through the game.

It is possible, if you know exactly what to do, to get to the underground city with $5000 cash within 10 minutes or so of playing time. Once there, a visit to the right person (ahem) gets you an incredible stat boost of +10 to every attribute, which makes it very easy to earn another $5000, which gets you another stat boost, and ... you get the idea. The game is pretty much trivial from that point on. With a little patience, you can boost Dink's stats to ridiculous levels. (For example, on one play through, I managed to get 300+ in all 3 stats. I could kill dragons with a single punch from the fists, and the final boss's spells cost ZERO damage---only his touch attack still cause damage. I could pretty much have a picnic party in a room with 6 dragons, and take a nice nap before waking up to kill them with a poke from my finger.)

The game is also adult-rated, which limits its audience.

Overall, the game is fun as a romp, and Dink gets to take it out on the monsters once he gets the perks from the underground city. In terms of balance, though, it's not very well designed. Even without using the casino/savebot, it's possible to get your stats up to ridiculous levels very quickly. It seems that sex is the answer to everything in this game, which is rather pathetic if you think about it. I guess that is what makes many players love this DMOD, but objectively speaking, it isn't very well-balanced in terms of difficulty between the start and the end. In a nutshell, it's a fun, short romp, but the game balance leaves much to be desired.