You have been chosen to explore 8 levels filled with 16 maze like dungeons to find the gateway to Apshai. Along the way you will face many foes and find glorious treasures, as well as deadly traps, sturdy armor and magic spells.

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You have been chosen to explore 8 levels filled with 16 maze like dungeons to find the gateway to Apshai. Along the way you will face many foes and find glorious treasures, as well as deadly traps, sturdy armor and magic spells.

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role playing game | See All (1) »

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Adventure

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1983 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Follows The Temple of Apshai (1980) See more »

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Addicted to Apshai
29 March 2010 | by (Rijswijk, ZH, Netherlands) – See all my reviews

By Geb's beard, this reviewer never knew Gateway to Apshai was a prequel to Temple of Apshai. It's been years since I last attempted to reach the Gateway, but the many hours spend sitting at my Commedore 64 keyboard (not to mention loading the cassette) have kept the memory of this quest alive and kicking monster butt.

Sure, the main character is a little bitty stick figure, and all of his humanoid opponents look the same but have a different color (even the so called Giant is the same size as our hero). But the sheer scope of the quest (60 rooms to explore on 8 levels where you pick one out of 16 dungeons to enter) made this, one of the first scrollable joystick games such a fascinating game that everything else had to be postponed in order to Apshai some more.

At the start of the game, you, the 18 year old savior, who by the way happens to be the direct blood kin of Apshai's greatest warrior, are armed only with a worn leather armor tunic and a short dagger. But inside the many dungeons you pick up more impressive weapons (bows and arrows found separately), armor and helmets. These are well needed as your opponents found keep getting harder to beat on each successive level. Oh, and you're also equipped with a skeleton key that can open every single door in the entire maze. That'll come in handy.

Points are gathered not by defeating these monsters (which start relatively easy with swamp rats and sludge but ends with almost unbeatable wizards and the dreaded mamba snakes) but rather by picking up treasure. According to the instruction booklet, the hero carries these around in a bag. Now methinks there must be some kind of magic to this carryall, for it would hardly seem possible for one lone crusader to carry a sack full of silver and gold chests around while fighting creatures and wearing plated armor. Also, be careful when picking up things, for a lot of the treasures have been booby trapped.

There are so many dungeons to choose from that each game brings a different experience. The instruction manual proposes that the player draws a map of each maze during game play, which I did try once or twice, but could never finish for the game was to enthralling to pause. Each room only appears on screen when the hero enters it, unless you pick up a map and use it to give yourself an overview of all rooms and treasures (but not the monsters).

The villains get faster as you move down deeper into the darkness, but if your luck power holds out, the baddies might get stuck in the side of a wall or at one of the many treasures lying around, so you can finish them off at your own pace. Thanks to the occasional glitch in the game, it happened to me once or twice that all the baddies froze up and I could basically roam the dungeons undisturbed, but even then the poisoned traps got me before I reached the end.

And that's just it (MAJOR SPOILER): I only recently found out thanks to the Internet that there is no way into Apshai (I guess for that I would have to seek out the first game in the series). Once at level 8, the game play keeps repeating itself until your poor unnamed hero is beaten down by all the traps and monsters. But that didn't stop me from trying all over again at the first opportunity. Still waiting for some Hollywood big shot to remember this game and return to the ultimate quest...

10 out of 10


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