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Lords of Midnight is a turn-based tactical adventure/strategy game set in the fantasy land of Midnight. Your task is to guide Luxor the Moonprince in his quest to unite the Lords of the Free against the armies of Doomdark. The War of the Solstice has begun, and Doomdark is about to unleash his armies on the land.
Doomdark’s power is based around the powerful Ice Crown, and if this can be destroyed Doomdark will be no more (sound familiar). In this non-military task you will control Morkin, Luxor’s son. Morkin is the only one who can carry the Ice Crown, assuming he can find it. There are a number of ways to destroy the crown and these can be discovered in the game.
Each turn in the game represents one day of the War of the Solstice. Each character begins at dawn and has a day’s worth of travel to use. Once each character has moved, you can go to night, when the armies of Doomdark will march. Character moved quicker over open grounds and more slowly through forest and mountain.
You begin the game with four characters under your control, and each of these can be used to recruit more characters. In Luxor’s case you need to focus on the Lords of Midnight to have a chance against Doomdark’s armies. For Morkin, he wants to recruit characters who can help him destroy the Ice Crown. Not every character can recruit every other character, so there are times when you need the right character in the right place. In general any Lord can recruit any other Lord, and any Fey (the elves, and you start with one) can recruit any other Fey. Lords and Fey generally can’t recruit one another.
In all there are 32 characters in the game that you can recruit. For your first few games you won’t know where these are, but as you get the hang of the map you start to plan your campaigns around the best recruiting strategies. The landscape contains magical towers and any character can enter a tower to receive guidance. This will generally give you the location of a random Lord you haven’t’ recruited yet, but Morkin may also find out how to destroy the Ice Crown.
As you move your characters through the land, and begin to see the banners of Doomdark’s armies on the horizon, the tension ratchets up a few levels. The armies of Doomdark greatly outnumber yours even with every character recruited. Often Doomdark’s armies will reach a Lord’s domain before you. Do you help them, or move on to lands yet untouched by war?
The Lords of Midnight computer game was originally released on 8-bit computers in 1984. The decision to effectively re-use those graphics for this release is an interesting one that caters mainly to the nostalgia crowd. For those who are under 40, I’m not sure an wonder if the simple graphics will prove more of a barrier. The game was a revolution in its day, and this updated release for iOS, Android and PC is welcome. The game provides hours of play as you explore the land of Midnight and learn the best strategies for fighting back against Doomdark, or failing that the best place to hide out.
I recommend this game highly. The sequel, Doomdark’s Revenge ranks as my favorite computer game, ahead of Wasteland. With both of these games currently being remade, I’m in nostalgia wonderland right now.
However the point should be made that this game is not just for the nostalgic, it offers a different, engrossing gameplay compared to the majority of apps or sub $10 PC games, and is worth the price for that alone.