Eye of the Beholder trilogy (1990-1993)


This was my first contact with faster paced, real-time RPGs on the PC, years ago (I still remember a game magazine talking about how you needed the newest PC to get the second game to play well). A descendant of Dungeon Master, the Eye of the Beholder series offered beautiful graphics (the art looks good even today, if you like well done sprites), the AD&D-rule set and countless dungeons to explore.

I played the series out of order, first the second, then the first game and lastly the third one. This is also the order most gamers see the quality of the titles, the second being the best and the third the least of three. Personally I don’t see much difference between the three games, neither in gameplay nor storywise. All three have a big, bad monster hiding deep inside a dungeon. You go in, solve all the puzzles to advance further until you find the boss and beat him.

I still remember being quite disappointed the first time I played the second part. The story was pretty basic and not very important, there were no cities or much NPCs (nor any dialog function), no shops for buying weapons or other stuff. Not at all like the RPGs I’ve played previously. Still, once I’d adjusted to what kind of game I was playing, I began to enjoy myself. It’s just fun to explore the different dungeons, solve the puzzles, acquire loot to prep your party for harder monsters and so on.

Still, to this day I never figured out why they didn’t include automaps. Their lack makes replaying these games a pain in the ass, since graphing on paper isn’t as much fun as it once was, especially when playtime is scarce. And looking at maps from solutions takes away the exploring aspect, which is, at least for me, a big part of the fun.