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More of an AD&D simulator than the first one.
Without a doubt, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Treasure of Tarmin was an ambitious effort. In their first offering in the series of AD&D carts, Mattel produced an action-oriented adventure. Tarmin is more akin to an AD&D 'simulation'.
Your goal is to recover the 'Treasure of Tarmin,' which is guarded by a fearsome minotaur. Along the way, you encounter various beasties that attack your body or your mind. Fortunately, you can also recover powerful weapons, armor, and magical items that will aid you in your quest.
Tarmin is much closer to a traditional RPG than the first AD&D cartridge was. Combat is turn-based, though if you don't take your action within a certain time, the monster will again attack. You can maintain an inventory of items as well, which offers you interesting strategies in combat. Rather than the simple three-hits-and-you-die system in the prior game, you actually have 'hit points' and 'mana points'. Your limits in these stat pools grow as you 'gain experience.' (Tip: You can scam the system by letting yourself get injured more, then healing up.)
Some of the best improvements compared with the first game are that you can arm yourself with quite a few different weapons—both ranged and mêlée. The ranged weapons are limited-use items, and some are dual-mode weapons. For example, you can throw spears and daggers as ranged weapons or use them in-close. Similarly, there are several categories of magic items: staffs, scrolls, and books. Any item can eventually 'wear out' as well.
The game forgoes the outdoor aspects of the original, thrusting you immediately into the dungeon crawl. You begin at the first level of the dungeon, and delve deeper, until you reach the minotaur. A continuous corridor surrounds each level of the dungeon, and each of the four sides has two entry points into the labyrinth. These entrances are always in the same place, but the layout of each level can be different. There are regular, secret, and magically sealed doors throughout the mazes. You may actually need to enter combat to 'destroy' some of the doors. Moving between levels in the dungeon is done by climbing the ladders you will find. One feature sorely lacking is a map, such as the one in Tower of Doom.
Graphically judging the game is a challenge. On the one hand, there is no animation to speak of, and the monsters you encounter are all single-color, rather blocky beasts. However, you must bear in mind that the game presents a first-person perspective, in which the corridors stretch before you, and monsters must be rendered from various distances. This was undoubtedly quite a challenge to accomplish.
There is no sound to speak of, but the game world is immersive (for its time) and, with the various levels of challenge, the number of possible 'different' monsters to encounter is quite impressive. There are a total of 256 levels in the dungeon–climbing down the last level wraps you back to the top.
If you are a D&D enthusiast—or especially if you were back then—then you will likely enjoy this game. Although it is not and action game, it is a good example of an early RPG—albeit one with a scant story to go with it. I spent many hours playing this game, mainly to try to recover as many of the cool magic items as possible. Getting the über magical books is a much more challenging quest than recovering the treasure!
A total of two Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Treasure of Tarmin box variants have been documented.
A total of two Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Treasure of Tarmin manual variants have been documented.
A total of two Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Treasure of Tarmin overlay variants have been documented.
A total of two Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Treasure of Tarmin label variants have been documented.
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Page last updated 20-Nov-2017 00:21:13 EST