The Treasure of the Winter Isle

I was shipwrecked, with no weapon on an island full of sentiment slime monsters, and couldn’t even find where my trusty hound’s gotten to. But enough about my weekend, we’re here to talk about The Treasure of the Winter Isle, a short but a fun throwback to RPG’s of old that had a greater focus on adventure and exploration rather than straight up grinding for 5 pristine boar heads with a 0.03% drop rate.

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The framing device is one typical of most RPGs. If you’ve ever spent time getting drunk with dwarves in a dimly lit alehouse, you’ve heard this story before: a sleeping maiden. An isolated island. Awaken the Maiden – claim the treasure.

It’s as simple as baby’s first RPG, and what adventurer would question the credulity of that? Certainly not you, at any extent, who immediately sets off on the presumably soul crushingly lonely experience of a lengthy overseas voyage in hopes for vague rewards and slight possibility female companionship. Dating was hard in the dark ages.

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Winter Isle isn’t a sprawling epic with a 100 sidequests you’ll never finish by any means, nor is it about complex subsystems that require diving into a strangely academic GameFAQs entry to figure out.

Winter Isle combat is simple; a gentlemen’s boxing of RPG world, if you will, where you and your enemy abstain from magic or special abilities and politely take turns punching each other in the abdomen until one drops dead. Surviving these duels with one of the many wandering enemies will either reward you with a tree branch that somehow heals you (used instantly) or some coins, rather than XP.

Development and stat raising is instead done by poking around the landscape, for health and attack boosts or items that let you progress further into the island. Your trusty hound – once you find him – will be instrumental in helping you dig up some of this treasure by literally “using” him from the inventory screen to locate spots worth investigating.

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For the most part, it’s a simple affair – explore the island, which opens up over time, talk to weird random NPCs (Christmas rabbit anyone?), until you get to the final area.

While not strictly a complaint, typical for these short games, Winter Isle is over a bit too quickly, which is a shame – it wouldn’t hurt from a more fleshed out world with more to explore and do, and more of the quirky characters to interact with. Aside from that, it was a bit buggy when transitioning screens – getting stuck on the “Loading…” screen indefinitely. So it’s crucial to save often.

As it stands, The Treasure of the Winter Isle is nonetheless a decent coffee break (or two) RPG/adventure. Plus, it totally uses that ye olde Gold Box Games font.

The Treasure of the Winter Isle | Download

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About J.C

I grew up in the dark dingy arcades of the 1980s, blasting heads with Robocop 2, but grew up in an era that spanned the introduction of the x86 home computer, through to the 16-bit revolution, into the polygon age and beyond. I write about food, travel and of course, New Retro Games. I started newretrogames.wordpress.com and contribute to www.thecitylane.com. I am also a freelance business researcher, writer, and editor having published academic and corporate articles on innovation and intellectual property.

Posted on July 4, 2016, in RPG and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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