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Game #1465
Hall of Belated Fame Inductee  Broken Sword: The Shadow of The Templar   (a.k.a. Circle of Blood)  View all Top Dogs in this genreCollection: CD-ROM Adventure Underdogs
Adventure   Traditional third-person

Rating: 8.77 (1193 votes)

Broken Sword: The Shadow of The Templar box cover

Broken Sword: The Shadow of The Templar screenshot
One of the most underrated CD-ROM adventures of all time, Broken Sword is a fun cartoon-style graphic adventure game from the people who brought us Lure of the Temptress and Beneath a Steel Sky, and is a better and longer game than those predecessors.

The plot is one of the best things about the game, as echoes by The Quandary's Gordon Aplin in his wonderful review: "...you are George Stobbart, a young American visitor to Paris is seated at a pavement table outside a cafe, relaxing with his coffee, when WHAM! -- some clown blows the place up, killing the mysterious Monsieur Plantard. (Methinks the writers have been reading The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail). From that moment George's fate is sealed and he resolves to track down the culprit not knowing, at that stage, that he is about to embark on a quest that will take him from the sewers of Paris to Ireland, Spain, Syria and Scotland before the mystery is solved. Along the way he will learn about the Knights Templar and their fabled treasure and meet many characters who will help or hinder or, maybe, even try to kill him. He may even find romance, if he ever rids himself of that clown's nose.

Broken Sword is by no means a difficult game to play, but it is certainly captivating and it makes a refreshing change to return to this more traditional, 'light', adventuring fare. The puzzles are of the find-the-item-and-use-it-in-the-correct-location variety, which I always enjoy, and some of them are quite subtle. Nothing too obscure, mind you, but you do need to be alert and on the look out for clues in descriptions and conversations. Also there is a good range of traditional adventuring obstacles. Some you must overcome by yourself (ie manipulate various objects) whilst others rely more on conversation, or you may need to enlist the help of another character. I was having so much fun I didn't even mind the one or two sequences where time is of the essence and you have only a second or two to react. Interacting with the game is made very easy by use of a cursor that changes shape to represent the action you can perform whenever it passes over a 'hot spot' -- a 'mouth' for talking to other characters, a 'hand' to pick up an item or 'gears' to show that something can be used. Conversations are lively and generally to the point and really allow George's character to shine through. In fact, it is the dialogue that makes the character and it is very well scripted.

It is possible to make a mistake which has dire consequences in this game (and I would advise you do so just to see what happens) however, there are plenty of save game slots that allow for experimentation. Another feature of the game is the option to display text for all conversations and descriptions. It's pure fun and not too harrowing, so it's great for everyone, for novices as well as for experienced players who still have a soft spot for humorous cartoon-type graphic adventures.

I thoroughly appreciated [the game] from the opening sequence and found I didn't want to stop playing even when I was tired. Consequently, I finished it very quickly and it left me wanting more. Fortunately, I watched the credits through to the end and learned that there will be a sequel. Yes, please!" -- yes, indeed!

Sold-Out Software has acquired rights from Virgin to distribute this great adventure-- at a budget price! They ship overseas as well, so order your copy today :)

Reviewed by: Underdogs
Designer: Charles Cecil
Developer: Revolution
Publisher: Virgin Interactive
Year: 1996
Software Copyright: Virgin Interactive
Theme: Grand Adventure, Cartoon, Myth & Legend
None that we know of
System Requirements: Windows XP
Where to get it:   from Sold Out Software!
Related Links: Quandary review
If you like this game, try: Broken Sword II: The Smoking Mirror, Timegate: Knight's Chase, 3 Skulls of Toltecs

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