VG2 1

Gateway to Apshai (1983)

I enjoyed doing the vintage videogame posts last year, so I am back with some more this week. First up, Gateway to Apshai (1983). I believe this is the last of the original DunjonQuest games (not counting the Temple of Apshai Trilogy remake) from Epyx. It is a sort of remix of the formula that aims to keep up with the new advances in console technology — this is on a floppy, but it was also available on a cartridge for home consoles. That means it is a more streamlined experience, since the game was going to played using a joystick of some sort (can you call the weird telephone that was the ColecoVision controller a joystick?). So the RPG elements are streamlined quite a bit to focus on the action and the game plays fast.

Like, almost ridiculously so. There are eight levels. There are something like 7000 rooms in the game. But you’re timed, so if you last on any given level for five or so minutes, you automatically progress to the next level, until you get to level 8, which is endless. Its fine! But it lacks a lot of the stodgy charm of the previous games. I particularly miss the room descriptions. There isn’t a lot in this booklet.

I love the cover though. A lot of Epyx games use this Tron-esque neon styling for the cover art — probably most iconically in their edition of Rogue. More neon wireframe videogame art please.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *