#013 – AD&D: Pool of Radiance

With Pool of Radiance, our Dungeons & Dragons marathon comes to a lurching, horrific end.
The warrior’s real nemesis is that leering skull.
“I’m as admitted as you are, buddy.”



DEVELOPER: Marionette


RELEASE DATE: April 1992

Pool of Radiance begins similarly to Hillsfar. Make a character, choose a class, race, etc. You’re then ushered into the city of Phlan by a tour guide. The city itself resembles a poorly-made Wolfenstein 3D level where everything looks the same. The guide is trying to tell me where the city council is, where the three temples are, where the “back streets” are, yet every stinking door looks like the one that preceded it. It doesn’t help that Pool of Radiance‘s color palette range of stark gray and poop brown, painting everything that dull flavor that Nintendo D&D games are known for. Once my tour guide left me, I wandered around for awhile trying to figure out where to go before I just completely stopped. If a game is going to make itself incredibly difficult to even accomplish one’s first task, it’s not worth it. Can you imagine what the fools who made a FAQ for this over at GameFAQS had to go through? It would take a lot of mind manipulation to make yourself believe this game was even worth playing, let alone writing (or reading) a long, tedious FAQ about it.
At any rate, I’m just so happy to have made it through this tired, played out, new-jack horse crap. If you obviously, blatantly can not push the boundaries of the NES anymore than you already have, why release the stinking game? D&D die-hards had already played it on the computer. The majority of the NES crowd doesn’t give a +5 mace for these types of games. To the one person that was bracing themselves for Pool of Radiance on the Nintendo, bought it, then had their heart ripped out of their chest, my condolences. For the rest of us, it was merely a green loogie in an already full spittoon… or something.


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6 replies on “#013 – AD&D: Pool of Radiance”

Maybe i had a lot of patients as an eleven year old child because i figured out that if you change to map mode the navigation of this game became much easier and actually made this game fun for me then…i havent played it in a while but i enjoyed this game as a kid (map mode turned the screen into an interactive 2d map that let you move around).

Wow, why waste the time writing this pathetic excuse for a review? You are obviously dull minded and couldn&#039t even figure out that you can use the overhead map to navigate rather than the 3D view.

This actually happens to be a great RPG that offers a lot of exploration and fun on the NES. That is, if the person playing it is intelligent enough to you know, accomplish something. You should stick to something more your speed like Pac-Man.

Not sure why I&#039m even replying to this, but ah well.

I&#039ll admit, the review was written in haste. When I first began the quest, my goal wasn&#039t really to explore a game, per say, as it was just to play it, react to it, then quickly write the review. My initial gut reactions to games were not always kind – as you yourself can see with Pool of Radiance. Eventually I realized this was a foolish way to review games and began more in-depth explorations. Eventually, I plan to re-write the review, along with a handful of other games I hastily judged.

That being said, your comment is childish and out of line. If you can&#039t properly express a critique without sounding like a pompous blowhard, you&#039re not welcome to comment on my site.

I’m not sure why I’m responding to this either since it happened four years ago….but, I love RPGs, retro gaming and D&D…and this game is trash. Also I dig your site even when I don’t share your opinion on a game.

Yep, thanks for the review. I don’t think you judged this game harshly at all. I gave it several hours and it was frustrating as hell. I think it’s better to stick the the PC versions. Life is just too short to figure out this game lol, seriously, it’s torture.

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