Reply To: First impressions
Thanks for… enduring the game with us! I actually played it as a child, so my impression is a bit more favourable.
At the time it was released, I loved N3D. It’s perhaps the most memorable game of my childhood, in fact. Being quite young, I found it genuinely terrifying in parts, especially the later garden-based levels.
@DavidN I suspect you’re playing one of the earlier versions, with just sprites. Some later versions (still shareware) have 3D models for *some* of the enemies (most noticeably the frankenstein and mummy), which makes things… more bearable. I recommend digging this out if you can!
As for being difficult, I think I always used to play on Be Gentle (easiest). So naturally now I’m playing it on Let’s Party (hardest), and boy is it hard! That said, it has forced me to learn a bit more about how the game works. As @Pix said, the distance from an enemy has a huge impact on how much damage they can deal you (perhaps this is only true on harder difficulties, as I never noticed it before?). The difference between the weapons also becomes very apparent—for example on Let’s Party a white witch will kill you in one stroke, and the plasma pistol is close to useless against them. Hence you really start to appreciate the wand. I know from past experience that similar things happen with other weapons/enemies.
I never realised that right shift enabled you to run! What a terrible place to put that key… And how useful that would have been on level 2…
I think @Pix is right about the puzzles mostly being finding panels. (Did you notice that the centre of the eyeball lights up when you’re next to a panel, by the way?) There are a couple of other puzzles, like finding the key for safes, but I have to agree that describing it as having puzzles is a bit of a stretch.
Overall I think the game was still pretty good in its time, but it has not aged well. Some tweaking of the controls and basic gameplay elements would have helped, along with better puzzles for unlocking all the secret bits. I’ll always be fond of it though, and it hasn’t lost its charm for me.
EDIT: having played a bit more I’ve been reminded that there are one or two extra, sokoban-style puzzles later in the game. Still, probably not enough to make this a puzzle game ^^.