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Inner Worlds (DOS)

Inner Worlds MS-DOS
Genre: Action
Perspective: Side view
Setting: Fantasy
Narrative: Horror
Published by: Sleepless Software Inc.
Developed by: Sleepless Software Inc.
Released: 1996
Platform: DOS

As you know, the topic of werewolves in computer games is not nearly as popular as the topic of their closest rivals - vampires. If hundreds of games are devoted to the various adventures of the latter, if not more, then games about werewolves can be counted on one hand. Now in front of you is one of these "pearls".

The game takes place in Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages, it is difficult to define anything more precisely. You have to play as a girl named Nikita, who was bitten by a werewolf as a child and now turns into a huge wolf with some anthropomorphic features, but during the transformation completely retains the mind and memory of her personality (in fact, such a transformation is the last stage of lycanthropy, so neither what sanity of mind is out of the question, but let's leave it on the conscience of the authors). Despite the devilish nature of her strength, the girl decided to use her abilities for the benefit of people and became a kind of "superheroine" (by the way, her ability to turn into a wolf does not depend on the full moon either - the level of compliance of the game with realities is negligible, but what can you do).

The plot of the game is based on the arrival of the heroine of a terrible monster named Gralob in her native village, who captured the inhabitants of the Drofanayrb castle (the names and names in the game are very ...), her task is to free them. However, this is only the beginning, because later it turns out that Gralob is not the most important and terrible villain, but the main one is the owner of the castle, to kill whom you will have to go to the mouth of the volcano ...

The gameplay could formally be called simple, if not for the numerous "buts". Yes, this is a side-scrolling platformer with a focus on eliminating enemies. However, there are a lot of interesting moments - and by no means only the fact that here, in general, there are not so few various riddles, traps and simply difficult moments to pass. Nikita can run, jump, climb walls, crouch and crawl, as well as at any time (but only with the proper amount of a certain energy) turn into a she-wolf, which has all the same abilities, but in a slightly different "angle".

Since the body of a she-wolf is smaller and narrower than a human, then, for example, it is possible to crawl into a narrow passage only in this state. A wolf can jump higher, can use her claws to climb a small sheer wall, but, for example, cannot climb stairs or a rope, whereas Nikita, as a girl, can; performing acrobatic stunts (you will have to do this too) is also available only in girl mode. In the she-wolf mode, the heroine has a stronger (although somewhat controversial) attack and a special bonus in the form of "madness", when she can tear enemies with her claws and teeth especially violently, but significantly less health.

The structure of the game is very complex - both in terms of levels, and especially bonuses. There are three episodes in the game (castle, trip to the volcano, volcano), each consists of nine large levels, at the end of every third level there is a boss. It's even more difficult with bonuses. The heroine has three characteristics: health (hit-points), mana (magic, which also found a place in the game) and impact power (different for the human and wolf states and for each weapon separately). There are both bonuses just for replenishing health and magical energy (they look like crystals), and rare things that allow you to increase some of these values ​​forever.

There are many weapons at the levels - swords, bows, hammers, you can use any, carry all types with you and change them right during the battle (of course, Nikita can use weapons only in a human state). What is most interesting is that a weapon can be "enchanted" with the help of special scrolls, then it will be charged with some kind of spell (for example, a hammer that shoots lightning). By the way, there are a lot of spells in the game, and you can fight with enemies not only with weapons, but also with magic (but its supply must be replenished). Finally, there are also special bonuses that temporarily grant some kind of special ability (for example, a super-jump or a safe fall [yes, in the game, when falling from a height, life is taken away]), mana is also required to transform into a she-wolf and back, there is a special a bonus that replenishes exactly the cost of this action.

Separately, it is necessary to mention the enemies - you still have to look for such a bestiary! Monsters were created with great love and imagination, and if at first you have to fight only with giant spiders and bats, then soon they will add horse-sized centipedes, monsters that look like Aliens, and completely creepy huge green creatures with long arms that can attack them from a long distance (these are simply useless to describe - you have to see something like that yourself).

Graphically, the game looks great, albeit somewhat unusual: all the characters are two-dimensional, while the backgrounds are almost three-dimensional, but everything is drawn surprisingly clearly, beautifully and atmospheric, the gloom and dampness of the dungeons of the old castle, filled with terrible monsters, is felt very clearly. Of the shortcomings, it can be noted only that the moment that the game cannot be passed without frequent transformations into a she-wolf and back (that is, there is not enough mana to transform - that's all), or without the use of bonuses (for example, there may be such a ledge, which without a strengthening potion neither the girl nor the she-wolf can jump).

However, this will not affect the final verdict in any way - this game receives a more than deserved top score and an urgent recommendation to play for absolutely all connoisseurs of bright and unusual platformers.