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Evil Islands: Curse of the Lost Souls
(hx) 10:12 PM EDT - Apr,18 2001

Evil Islands is a strategy/action RPG developed by by Nival Interactive (responsible for the Rage of Mages). Is really hard to exactly describe this game genre but I could say it is similar to a cross between Diablo (with more than one character), recently released Summoner and Icewind Dale. Evil Islands includes three islands , each with unique inhabitants, culture, climate, and monsters. The first, Gipath, resembles an underdeveloped Middle Europe, only with tribes of goblins and orcs roaming the woods. The second is cold and snowy, similar to Siberia, with a feudal system akin to that of 16th century France. The third and last is an Oriental island run by a totalitarian state and full of magic and strange materials. In addition game features 80 missions (over 100 hours of gameplay), item and magic constructors for custom weapons, armor, and spells, unique system of skills enriched with dozens of additional abilities, changes in equipment, health and attributes affect the in-game character model and non-linear plot in a mysterious and hostile fantasy universe. The game starts when your character, Zak, has "woken up at the center of some ruins and lost his memory" on a mysterious isle. Sounds like the start of one incredible adventure isn't it? :) The game itself is a top-down, three-dimensional RPG (see screenshots) with a point-and-click style interface. To move, click on an area and Zak will walk there. To run, double-click. To attack, simply click on an enemy and Zak will do his stuff automatically until someone loses. Magic is handled the same way - choose a spell from from the side and target. Be careful though, running and casting magic decreases your stamina, but it refills over time. The graphics are quite impressive, and complete day and night cycles are included and actually matter; some creatures (there are over 300 monster types in the game) have powers that are dependent on the time of day. Evil Islands also features some of the weirder voice acting I've ever heard in RPG game, though arrogant Zak make some scenes quite funny(? that's question if his childish humor will funny for everyone...) But the music (you can find all mp3 files in /stream folder on your harddrive) is very good, it's electronic-symphonic ambient music enriched with ancient Scandinavian, Celtic and Irish tunes. Evil Islands is quite average RPG hybrid, better to try this playable demo (91.4MB).

snd: 3/5 - Good electronic-symphonic ambient music, weird/poor voice acting
gfx: 3/5 - 3D engine with real-time weather and day/night changes, requires really fast computer :(
playability: 3/5 - 80 missions totaling 100 hours of gameplay, Internet/LAN multiplayer support, damn difficult at times, childish storyline/atmosphere
genre: Strategy/Action RPG
release: March 2001
developer: Nival Interactive
publisher: Fishtank Interactive

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