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Item - El castillo de Hangyord

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Series: Multiaventura — no. 15
Alternate Title: Hangyord's Castle (literal English translation of title)
Author: Cidoncha, Carlos Saiz
Illustrator: Azpiri, Alfonso
Date: 1986
Length: 96 pages
Number of Endings: 10
User Summary: The evil wizard Hangyord has stolen a powerful magic talisman. You must travel to Hangyord's castle and defeat him in battle in order to recover it.
Guillermo's Thoughts:

This is a Dungeons and Dragons adventure with the serial numbers filed off. The usual orcs, lizardmen, wizards, etc. are present here. This time, your character is a barbarian warrior, and while the writing is only slightly better than that in The Eye of Argon, it mostly keeps the fast-paced style of most previous books in the series, making this an entertaining read.

The book involves a few simplistic mechanics, such as inventory management and adding numbers from several clues in order to turn to a specific page. These mechanics add a little complexity to the book, but I still found the experience unsatisfying. There are many paths to the final showdown, but since the final area of the book is always the same no matter which way you take, replaying the game feels very repetitive after a while. There is a very limited set of outcomes at the end of the book, meaning that after a few plays you will not get anything new from going into the wizard's lair. The journey to the castle itself, on the other hand, offers a lot of variety to the reader, but since survival depends on rather obvious choices and the possession of one or two items, it is not very involving. Overall, the book is not difficult to complete successfully (especially if you are a seasoned gamer) and any trip through it will feel very short.

Since role-playing games were only starting to become known in Spain at the time of this book's publication, it is likely that many people there remember Hangyord's Castle as one of their gateway drugs into gaming. I can certainly sympathize with the nostalgia, being mindful of my own soft spot for a flawed-but-fun book such as Dungeon of Dread. If you take this as a book intended to introduce youngsters to fantasy gaming without being too complex, it becomes easier to forgive its flaws. The book also has value as a collector's item thanks to the excellent illustrations by Alfonso Azpiri. Overall, this will not present a serious challenge to Fighting Fantasy veterans, but as a gaming experience it is on par with your average Endless Quest book. That at least ought to count for something.

More reviews by Guillermo

Special Thanks:Thanks to Guillermo Paredes for the cover images, plot summary and other details.
Users Who Own This Item: bleuge

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