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Talisman: Challenging the Sands of Time

Game information

Developer: Polarware
Publisher: Polarware
More details:Official game website, MobyGames
Related games: Liberated (former commercial), Text parser, Comprehend

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Game description

Talisman: Challenging the Sands of Time is a graphical adventure game with static screens and a text interpreter -- essentially illustrated interactive fiction. Taking cues from the Arabian Nights tales and set in anachronistic mediaeval Persia still ruled by King Darius, it puts the player in the shoes of an unnamed prisoner whose life is spared on the condition that he saves the realm from a malevolent genie. Equipped only with a bag of gold and a brawny vizier for a companion, the hero sets off to explore this half-fairy tale world that does not seem to take itself too seriously.

Talisman is played by typing text commands, which are rather plentiful and context-dependent, but the most useful of course would be "look/examine" and "go" followed by a cardinal direction. The game is pretty much open world as the player can go almost anywhere, but care must be taken to obtain proper provisions as thirst and hunger will certainly lead to a premature game over before any real hazards or enemies will. The CGA visuals are fairly well drawn, and convey the sense of place and scenery quite well. While gameplay might seem to lack many conveniences that are considered standard in modern gaming, Talisman is nonetheless quite playable and can provide a useful distraction.

The game was originally sold commercially, but after Polarware was bought by Merit Software, the developers reacquired the rights and released it as freeware along with their other titles using the same interpreter called Comprehend.

Description by MrFlibble

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