Down into dark depths

The land of Mordor has pulled through the War of the Races and is now a thriving place with bustling cities and thousands of new settlers. The largest city is Marlith, built upon the ruins of Rohin, known to historians as Dejenol.

Legend says Dejenol - The City of Mines - was built by the Dwarven folk. As they dug deeper, a lower floor gave way and foul creatures poured forth into the world. After much ado, the entrance to the mines was magically sealed and peace again reigned.

But now, 1,000 years later, the entrance has been found again. Curious to discover its secrets, the elders decide to send warriors to explore. The pot of gold is the destruction of the Prince of Darkness and everlasting life.

To start the game, you create a new character from a choice of races and guilds. RPG players will know that this means hours of perusing the pros and cons of each race and guild and then coming up with a name.

There are nine races to choose from - human, elf, giant, gnome, dwarf, ogre, morloch, osiri and troll. You will be given six extra points to beef up whichever weakness you think your character might have.

You start with 1,500 pieces of gold in your pocket and are allowed to stop by the weapons shop to arm yourself before descending into the dungeons.

Once in the dungeon, you explore unknown terrain and meet strange opponents, who attack from behind closed doors. Besides these deadly monsters, there are also booby traps, including pits and pools of water which can kill you immediately.

There are teleporters to help you get around and an automap to make sure you do not get lost. It is easy to be killed, but death is not final in Mordor unless you are poor. Every time you die, you lose days and weeks sometimes before someone finds you and hauls you off to the morgue.

With the right amount of money you can resurrect yourself or another character to continue your quest. In the dungeon you will come across magic chests and boxes that provide more money or items you can sell.

Playing the game is basically too much trouble for far too little return. After the rigmarole of creating a character, you are itching for a good fight, as in Doom or Crusaders of the Lost Savant, and it is disappointing to find the view only a 5 cm x 5 cm square.

Enemies appear as still pictures in the window. The only moving visuals are the corridors! Once the game starts, there are also about seven or eight windows which pop open simultaneously. You need to look at all of them but it proves impossible on a 36 cm monitor. With graphics these days proceeding to mind-boggling levels, it is incomprehensible to think anyone would be satisfied with Mordor.

MEGAHINT: Don't bother. There must be better things to do with your time.

Mordor: The Depths of Dejenol For PC CD-ROMs