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Deathtrap Dungeon
Score: 75%
ESRB: Mature
Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Developer: Eidos Interactive
Media: CD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action/ Adventure

Graphics & Sound:
Red Lotus is no Lara, let’s face it. The models for Deathtrap Dungeon could have been made much better, but the skeletal dynamics have some features where attention to detail is evident. Just watch her walk a bit, and you may enjoy the subtleties of her motion.

It seems that all of the sounds used in this game were from a stock collection. The imps, in fact, sound like Beavis (or is that Butthead?), and they also apparently ripped off the howling dogs from Resident Evil. Besides these notable copies(?), the remaining sounds are uninspired, if not misplaced. The soundtrack, however is pretty decent.

DD has its problems. This is not a game for everyone. If you look at this game expecting to find a Tomb Raider clone, you will be sorely disappointed. Most people will find its controls to be awkward and difficult to get used to. At times, the camera angles are anything but intuitive, and unfortunately there is no option for controlling the perspective. However, for those who enjoy games with a Medieval theme, and like a certain amount of “Duke”-style humor, but prefer a Tomb Raider-esque (sorry, Core) third person viewpoint, you MAY enjoy Deathtrap Dungeon. I STRONGLY recommend renting this game prior to purchase, however.

If you can get past the awkward control setup, some of the challenges Deathtrap Dungeon presents are interesting and entertaining. There is a certain amount of wit, and the enemies are varied in their abilities. Even the easiest foes (which require only one good hit) may prove an unexpected challenge when they gang up on you. The puzzles found in this game are, at least, not a test of how many times you can make laps to solve redundant puzzles... you know, “find the key that opens the door that protects the key that opens...” etc., ad nausea.

Game Mechanics:
The control setup on this game is just plain awkward. It almost seems more like a real-time RPG control setup than an action game control. The major problem with the character interaction, however, is “lag time.” Unfortunately, this tends to separate the player from the action, leaving you screaming “Run, RUN!” or “Hit him, dammit!” As if THAT might actually help character response. In truth, the controls respond as if you were telling the character what to do, instead of playing the part of the character.

Typically, if you need to attack a foe, the best course of action is to simply hold down the (one) Attack button while facing the opponent, and wait for the outcome. To run? Just hold down the Run button. If no direction is indicated, forward is assumed. This is a strange quirk that takes a lot of getting used to, since the Run button used with most games only has an effect if the character is already moving in some fashion.

Inventory is handled in a very RPG-style, as well... with several different areas, grouped by type, i.e., hand weapons, distance weapons, spells, potions, etc. This means that when you want to switch from your normal sword to a venom sword, for instance, you have to stop the action, and wade through the different tiers of your inventory to select the correct item. This is only marginally acceptable in strategy heavy RPGs, where “real-time” action is not expected, and has NO place in a ACTION game.

The manner in which JUMPS are handled, however, is a nice feature. As your character runs, a power meter increases... the style as well as the distance of your jumps is based on the “run-up” distance you have managed to achieve before your jump.

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

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