DON'T GO ALONE / Accolade / PC
 
 
Don't Go Alone is basically Eye of the Beholder painted over with a horror coating. Unfortunately, it's an extremely thin and ineffective coating, leaving you with what is really just a boring plod of a generic late-80s WRPG.

You're in charge of a team of four, exploring some haunted mansion for some reason. As to how it got monster-infested and why we're even in here, who knows. Game offers up nothing in the way of explanation, any story must have been in the manual. Your team of four must contain one of each of these professions: Leader, Chemist, Psychic and Adventurer. For each of the professions there are four characters available; nobody has any personality or backstory so you're basically just going with the face you prefer. Each one has stats, but there's usually one or two choices that are so clearly better than the others that you're all but guaranteed to use them.
 


The game action is "dungeon crawl" style, seen from first-person perspective, and in which you clunk around clumsily one step at a time. The engine is still too primitive for roaming monsters, instead they randomly appear on certain tiles in JRPG style. Apparently only the guy in the lead is actually able to fight, as the menu gets locked off in battles and I couldn't find a hotkey to switch characters while fighting. This left me wondering what the hell the point of the rest of the party was except to haul around the carcasses of the fallen.

Combat tends to be tedious, with a lot of whiffing and "scratch damage" inflicted by your characters to draw things out, and the early monsters like to jerk around using fear debuffs on characters that aren't even fighting just to waste time. The only added layer of complexity here is a chemistry system sort of borrowed from/inspired by the Elvira RPGs. You find ingredients about the mansion and combine them to make formulas that basically act as spells - buffs, ability to see invisible items and traps, etc.

I did appreciate the auto-map system that is constantly visible as you play, that was a nice piece of design for the time. Aside from that, though, pretty much everything else is wrong. The semi-unique horror-RPG twist is squandered by the fact that there's little actual horror at all, with no music and nothing but PC internal speaker bleeps for sound, and repetitive enemies that often look more goofy than intimidating. Minus that, it's just a boring, plodding, sort of aimless game with a largely empty and uninteresting world. If you want to see the "RPG in a haunted mansion" concept done well check out Sweet Home for NES instead.
 
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