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Pools of Darkness

Available Platform: Amiga

Pools of Darkness is an RPG game published and developed by Strategic Simulations Inc.

GenreRole Playing

82/100 based on 9 Editorial reviews. Add your vote

PublisherStrategic Simulations Inc
DeveloperStrategic Simulations Inc
OS supportedWin7 64 bit, Win8 64bit, Windows 10
Updated29 May 2020

Game Review

Pools of Darkness is an RPG game published and developed by Strategic Simulations Inc. The title was released in 1991 for DOS, 1992 on Amiga and Mac, and in 1993 for NEC PC-9801.

Pools of Darkness is the third and last installment of the Pool of Radiance series started in 1988, probably the most famous saga of the SSI "Gold Box" collection, that includes also Buck Rogers and the Krynn series.

The game uses the Dungeons & Dragons Campaign Setting of Forgotten Realms. The history is initially set in the city of Phian. While the current council is on a diplomatic mission with the protagonists, an evil god called Bane takes over the land of Faerun. Furious at the success of the main characters in the previous entries, Bane rips the cities from the ground and covers them with a mantle of darkness and several storms. The player's goal is to finish off both the tyrant and his lieutenants, to bring peace and light back to the city.

The gameplay is similar to the previous deliveries. In the beginning, you must form a team of six players. Although there is already a pre-designed team, the user can assemble and aesthetically customize it. At the beginning of the adventure, the crew will have to go through several dimensions taking down the lieutenants of Bane to fight against him in the end.

Pools of Darkness has greater difficulty, presenting the most challenging enemies of the entire saga. Also, characters can reach level 40, and the game features the broadest range of equipment and customization of any other entry in the Gold Box titles.

In terms of graphics, the title has better quality than its predecessors. The PC version supported 256 colors, while the Amiga was limited to 32. In both cases surpassing by far the quality of the previous titles (but don't expect the quality of Eye of The Beholder just to mention one). In any case, the game takes full advantage of the colors, using them with enormous intensity and saturation. All characters and environments are drawn by hand. This effect only increases in an atmosphere surrounded by darkness, so the greys and blacks contrast and give more intensity to the colorful figures. Although this provides a sacrifice of quality, the graphics feel unique and accentuate the personality of the characters. For example, a boss in fluorescent red becomes imposing and transmits a violent aura that intimidates the player.

The reception of the game was good. Both players and critics agreed that Pools of Darkness was the best title of the saga and the perfect conclusion. After all this, there is only one question left to answer: are you up for the challenge?

Review by: Gustavo
Published: 29 May 2020 2:35 pm

You can purchase the game on GOG or Steam following the link below:

Get the full game on GOG

Forgotten Realms: The Archives - Collection Two

Including code wheels + Adventurers Journals + reference cards

Price: $9.99

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