God of Thunder for DOS

God of Thunder

God of Thunder

God of Thunder was designed by Ron Davis and released by Software Creations (which became Impulse games at one point) in 1993. It is a top down adventure/action/puzzle game in which you play Thor, the god of thunder. Your father Odin has asked you to free the realm of midgard from Loki and his allies. They had captured the land during the last Odinsleep. You are given the magic hammer Mjolnir to liberate the lands for Odin.

The story

The story

It is an interesting combination of genres as at times it is like an adventure, action and puzzle game. The adventure aspect comes from collection items and talking to many NPCs for information and items. They don’t officially send you out on quests, but they will sometimes ask for assistance or just complain about something you can fix. It’s a good idea to talk to everyone as sometimes what they tell you now will be helpful later.

Introductory puzzle

Introductory puzzle

The action segments consist of you dodging enemies and their projectiles whilst throwing your hammer at them to destroy them. This can be quite tricky when there are many enemies on the screen. Everything moves quite quickly (even on a slow machine) and the projectiles are usually quite accurate so you have your work cut out for you. Fortunately magic items you pick up during your adventure may help with these sections.

Spiders can shoot?

Spiders can shoot?

Puzzle elements in the game include pushing blocks around to block shots from some creatures that you cannot kill. There are also some switch puzzles, which you can use your hammer to activate remotely if needed. I haven’t run into anything too difficult yet, but I’ve not had enough time to play through the whole game yet.

Bad apple

Bad apple

One of the first things I noticed when starting up the game was the high quality of the graphics and animation in game. VGA is the only type supported as you would expect, and the game seems to run well even on the equivalent of a slow 386 machine. I can understand the choice as translating graphics this detailed to a lesser mode like EGA or CGA can be very difficult.

Magic apple

Magic apple

The music is of a similarly high quality. The tunes are quite catchy and enhance the mood of the game. There is different music depending on where and what is happening on screen. The game has digitised sound effects for all the usual events such as being hurt, etc. The sound quality was quite good, and I felt the sound effects fit the game quite well.

Entering the village

Entering the village

Because I’ve not had tonnes of time to play it prior to today, I’ve not had enough time to finish the first episode even after many hours of play. I’ve enjoyed everything so far, so I don’t mind investing the time I have. There is humour sprinkled about that has kept me amused during the time spent in the village. I even ran into a rock troll that demanded a shrub before he would let me past! (Ni!) I found the trickier puzzles and combat sections forgiving as there are unlimited lives, and upon death you simply restart the screen with the resources and score you had when you entered.

Shrubs are valuable?

Shrubs are valuable?

God of Thunder isn’t a well known game, possibly because it wasn’t funded as well as it could have been (according to Adam Pederson’s website anyway). I’ve enjoyed playing and I think it’s probably one of the better crafted DOS games from the era. It is unique in its presentation and gameplay and is certainly worth a look especially as it has been freeware for quite some time.

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