Solstice review - Nintendo Entertainment System

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Shadax, the hero of the game, searches through the fortress of Kastlerock for the Staff of Demnos which has been pinched by the nasty wizard Morbius, who's also satisfying his evil lusts with the captured Princess Eleanor.

Solstice is a form of game very popular on home computers, but a relative stranger to consoles. It's an isometric 3D puzzle game where the central character moves from room to room, solving puzzles and avoiding monsters as he goes. Shadax jumps from platform to platform, shifts items around to climb on them and has access to spells and potions that have a variety of effects. Keys are likewise vital to get past those awkward locked doors.

With over 250 rooms, Solstice is no "finished in an afternoon" game. Expect to be trapped in the fortress for weeks to come!

What the Mean Machines staff thought


" I've always been a big fan of isometric 3D games, and am pleased to see this style of game on a console. Solstice is very much in the classic Knightlore mould, and transporting items from one location to another and avoiding traps and baddies is what it's all about. Swift reflexes are required in many situations, and you've also got to get your old grey matter into gear if you are to solve all the puzzles - some of them are very devious! With over 250 screens, great graphics and some of the best music and sound effects I've heard in a Nintendo game, this is a must for arcade adventure fiends looking for a long-lasting challenge! "

" With Solstice, I found that I had fun for a while, but I soon found that the excitement fades. After all, shifting blocks to stand on or to prevent the attacks of a nasty becomes boring. Another thing: the blurb claims this is a "non-violent" game, which is true in the sense that Shadax can't kill anybody, but as every monster in the game brings instant death on contact, it's hardly violence-free. Still, that aside, this is a challenging game with great graphics and moody, atmospheric sound which puzzle fans should find interesting. "


Overall Score85%

Kenneth Jørgensen - 01 Feb 2009, 20:20 GMT

Oh my god, how can this game get such a high rating? I've really tried to get into this, but I somehow can't. There's absolutely nothing in this game that explains what to do. You have to figure everything out for yourselv, and nothing is obvious. I had to find a walkthrough on the internet to be able to really play this game.... And then you know that the game is bullshit... I'll admit that both sound and graphics are quite good, but with gameplay like this, that's not enough. Avoid this game like the plague!!

James - 22 Oct 2010, 16:01 GMT

I loved this game as a child, and still give it a burn from time to time now. I never completed it as a kid, but that didn't stop me enjoying it.

The room-by-room 3-D design made it feel bigger than it was and though you could get lost quite easily, it was actually quite enjoyable wandering off exploring new rooms and puzzles. Great music and sound helped make it one of my most cherished child-hood games!

hermitC - 30 Mar 2011, 15:03 GMT

The game of my youth! It's really hardcore and demands much time to complete. You have to visit the same rooms over and over to find all wand pieces and finally beat Morbius. It's definitely not for casual gamers. You have to try, check out every corner, think lateral and guess where to jump.

I'm proud of having completed Solstice during many afternoons without any help. Fond memories.

Mean Machines Issue 9 - June 1991
Role Playing Nintendo Entertainment System
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