Ishar 3: The Seven Gates of Infinity

It does not matter whether you are a paragon of saintly goodness or the personification of demonically malignant evil. If you crave security, you need some form of insurance policy. Especially if you happen to be in the business of malicious wizardry and have set your twisted mind on getting the fair of people of the mightiest kingdom in Ishar under your ghastly thrall. Shandar, the malevolent sorcerer anti-hero of the piece, was defeated and banished but he took out an insurance policy in the shape of a third party planetary fire and conjunction clause. Yes, as soon as two of the moons, the sun and the planet Ishar align, Shandar can cash in his policy and transfer his spirit to the body of a Black Dragon with a name that sounds like Weetabix. Of course, this horrible scenario can be thwarted if you turn up at the right place and time – time travel features heavily throughout the game. Seven different eras and key plot points await visitation.

The engine driving the game is the same as the previous two Ishars – lots of mouse clicks and traipsing around to gain money, arms, armour, spells, character interaction, combat and stuff.

Gripes aside, Ishar 3 is still recommended. Especially if you are a fan of either of the previous incarnations. The same criticism applies to the actual mechanics of the gameplay – most of your time is spent traipsing around looking for fights to gain money before you can access the meat of the game in the form of puzzle solving and evil monster beating. But, if that is the sort of thing you like, then Ishar 3 delivers brilliantly. Final verdict: A miasmic mish mash of apocryphal Tolkiesm, cut and paste plagiarism, hack and slash institutionalism and engagingly evil endeavours.


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