For more abstract, less violent fare, try Epyx's newest game, Mind-Roll. In Mind-Roll, you navigate a little ball across the terrain of ten bizarre planes, trying to get through each as quickly as possible.
You complete a plane by reaching the finish line or by performing certain tasks. On plane 2, for example, you must roll the ball over keys in the proper order to open doors and get to other keys. Teleports help you find other sections of the maze. Plane 3 features an electric sea that saps your strength, plane 5 is a puzzle, plane 9 has cubes that you must knock out, and so on. It's all very strange, and some of it is extremely hard, but, all in all this is an entertaining game.
Mind-Roll retails for $29.95. For information, contact Epyx at 600 Galveston Drive, Redwood City, California 94063:(415) 368-3200.
This month's fantasy role-playing entry is Demon's Winter, the latest offering from SSI (675 Almanor Avenue, Sunnyvale, California 94086; 408-737-6800). Created by the same group that gave us Shard of Spring, Demon's Winter sets you on a quest to avenge evils against your people. The game is something of a cross between Bard's Tale and Ultima, with a healthy dose of Questron thrown in. In an interesting departure from the norm, you can become a visionary or a scholar, fantasy classes rarely seen in this genre. Also, priests and shamans may call on their deities, who can be very helpful to the party. It's an interesting system and one well worth experiencing.
Even with these strengths, though, Demon's Winter is unsatisfactory. The graphics are only fair, and moving from place to place is clumsy. What this system needs is an overall gameplay system as good as some of the individual subsystems. Without that improvement. Demon's Winter is not a serious challenger to the major players in the field.
Demon's Winter retails for $49.95.