Heimdall (video game)
Amiga cover art for Heimdall
|Developer(s)||The 8th Day|
Virgin Games, Ltd.
|Platform(s)||Acorn Archimedes, MS-DOS, Amiga, Atari ST, Sega Mega-CD|
Heimdall is an action role-playing game developed by a team called The 8th Day and published by Core Design for MS-DOS, Amiga and Atari ST in 1991. A version of the Heimdall was also released for the Sega Mega-CD in early 1994. The game spawned a sequel, Heimdall 2.
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The game is set in the world of Vikings and Norse mythology. Loki steals Odin's sword, Freyr's spear and Thor's hammer, rendering them powerless. They decide to create an infant, the title character (named after the god of the same name), who must bring back the three legendary weapons.
At the beginning of the game, the now adult Heimdall undergoes three arcade-style trials: axe-tossing (cutting a maid's braids), boar hunting and fighting. How well he does influences which crew members he can pick for the actual game. The characters belong to the 'classes' of Warrior, Wizard, Shipwright, Navigator, Druid, Blacksmith and Berserker.
The game sees Heimdall and his crew (total of 6 characters) travelling around an archipelago of islands in three different maps: Utgard, Midgard and Asgard. On each island, only three characters can walk, while the rest remain on the ship. They travel engaging monsters in combat, interacting with the locals, solving puzzles and avoiding traps, a blend of styles somewhat similar to that found in the Legend of Zelda games. The cartoon-style action is viewed in the isometric perspective.
Computer Gaming World stated that only those new to role-playing games would enjoy Heimdall, while given the existence of more sophisticated games, "Experienced players will find a search for their car-keys somewhat more rewarding than this exercise". Reviewer Gary Whitta gave the Amiga version a score of 895 (out of a possible 1000), praising its mix of gameplay styles, cartoon-like graphics and longevity.
Reviewing the Sega CD version, GamePro commented that the graphics are mediocre during exploration and puzzle-solving but better in the combat view, and that the music is "unobtrusive" but substandard for a CD game. Like Computer Gaming World, they deemed it an RPG for beginners rather than experienced fans of the genre.