Added to the lair: 2/20/18

Genre: Point-And-Click Adventure / 1st person

Developer: Legend Entertainment

Year: 1993

Platform: DOS

Emulator: DOSBox 0.74

Wikipedia: Companions of Xanth

Companions of Xanth

A deadly game of magic

I'm a big fan of Legend Entertainment's adventure games. Death Gate is definitely one of my all time favorites. Two other similar games that shared the same engine are Companions of Xanth and Shannara. Neither of these are quite as good as Death Gate, but they're still fairly entertaining.

 

Xanth is based on Piers Anthony's Xanth novels, so if you're at all familiar with Anthony's writing style and humor, you'll be right at home with Companions of Xanth - it contains the same liberal use of puns and goofy shenanigans. If you're not familiar with Anthony's work, an in-game book called the "Com-Pendium of Xanth" can help bring you up to speed; though this isn't necessarily required in order to enjoy the game on its own.

 

Xanth is fairly short but it's a fun time if you just sit back and have fun with the goofy characters and writing. The only major complaint I have is that they pulled a real tease in the introductory segment of the game - you're given the option to choose one of the eponymous companions to go with you on your adventure, but truthfully it's just the illusion of choice because selecting any but one specific character will result in your death in the first room. I'm not sure if this was always the plan or if it was done for budget reasons, but it's kindof disappointing that they feed you this illusion that you get to make a seemingly important choice when it turns out you really don't. Other than that though, it's actually a fun, campy little romp.