Forging At Life

Out of the blue came GeneForge 4, another excellent independent gaming product of Spiderweb Software, which kept me up late Saturday and ate up much of my Sunday. Here’s a gem worth talking about.

Spiderweb Software’s RPGs have a few things in common.

  1. They’re tile-based, played from a top-down or isometric perspective.
  2. They feature turn-based combat on a good old school RPG mechanic.
  3. They’re open-ended, allowing players to explore a large world.
  4. They’ve also an interesting story. Exile (and I believe Avernum) take place in an underground world where prisoners (including yourself) are exiled. Geneforge involves a world where the very stuff of life is magically tinkered with to create biological tools and beings. In either series, you’re a rebel who can decide who to side with over the course of the game, resulting in multiple endings.
  5. There’s both PC and Macintosh versions available (I suspect they’re developed on Macs).
  6. Finally, they’re all shareware games that let you play a good part of the beginning of the game and then register to unlock the rest.

Through an interesting story and unique RPG strategy elements, Geneforge 4 emerges as a “a role-playing game“, as opposed to “a grind that emulates a game”. The registered version has 80 zones, each telling a story that makes up a part of the big story. It’s not linear, and traveling back to old zones is the only way to overcome certain challenges.

Overall, the gaming world is a better place through the existence of Spiderweb Software. I heartily recommend downloading a trial version of one of their games.

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