The Legend of Kyrandia

1992 Westwood Studios
Designed by Brent W. Sperry, Michael Legg
Reviewed 1996 June 1

Rating -1 Linearity narrow
Reasonability reasonable Connectivity moderate
Difficulty pedestrian Relevance moderate
Interface 3rd paned simple Real-time minor

An evil jester with great magical power has escaped from his magic "prison" and is ravaging the kingdom. You are the orphan grandson of a magician and must somehow stop him.

Kyrandia is not very original in either story or play, but it is well done. It has a pleasant look and music, and funny dialogue. The interface is simple and clear.

There are a number of challenges that (I think) must be solved by trial and error. None are onerous. At one point, you must mix potions to create new potions. One of the created potions is poisonous: I saw no way to discover this except through resurrection.

The game play is fairly linear, but there are several objects that have multiple uses, and there are a few red herrings. The challenges fit well into the story, although that's trivial since most are about magic. There is a large, tedious maze, and I don't think you can successfully map it without a bit of luck (i.e., without dying).

Kyrandia is too derivative and simple to have much appeal for a veteran adventurer, but it is an excellent introduction to the genre. There is a steady stream of well defined challenges, easy enough to avoid frustration yet hard enough to entertain. It's visually pretty and has a cute plot.

Beware! Here are some spoiler-ridden notes on the game. They're only recommended for people who have played the game and want to see some of my rationale for my evaluations.

Solution by me.

Related reviews:

  • The Hand of Fate
  • Malcolm's Revenge
    David Tanguay's Game Reviews
    Here's a description of all the gobbledygook in these reviews. It's also a bit of an essay on the nature of adventure games.