Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Pool of Radiance
Pool of Radiance, released in 1988, was the first of a long series of computer role playing games that shared a common engine that came to be known as the "Gold Box Engine" after the gold boxes in which most games of the series were sold. After the success of the original game, a book and a D&D module based on the Pool of Radiance plot were also published.
As the first game in the series, Pool of Radiance was to be surpassed in terms of features by later Gold Box games. Party characters could only be selected from among the classes of fighter, cleric, wizard, or thief, and the maximum class level was restricted.
Pool of Radiance won the Origins Award for Best Fantasy or Science Fiction Computer Game of 1988.
The story revolved around the mythical city of Phlan, which had been overrun by forces of evil. The city had originally held off many attacks, but the forces were marshalled by a dragon which was believed to be possessed by a powerful spirit named Tyranthraxus. The object of the party was to clear the old city of its marauding inhabitants, so the people of Phlan could rebuild and repopulate the areas.
Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor
Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor was released in 2001 from SSI. This was a new game based on the same AD&D module, but with rules updated for the 3rd edition. Sales for the game were initially low as it received lackluster reviews and was plagued with bugs, especially in the multiplayer part. The unpatched game can additionally not be safely uninstalled. The main complaint about the game was that it was boring: as the AD&D module it was based on is intended for a large player group this, in combination with the initially lacking multiplayer support, is understandable. Later patches fixed some of the stability issues, but by this time stronger competition such as Bioware's Neverwinter Nights had been released.
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