Sunday, March 13, 2011

VIDEO VIEW: Dark Tower Commercial

Released in 1981, The Dark Tower was MB Games' attempt to cash-in on the popularity of games such as Dungeons & Dragons by releasing a fantasy-themed board game which, unlike pen and paper games, didn't have six dozen rule books to digest before (and during) play.

Gameplay was simple: each player moved across his or her segment of the board and then, depending which type of ''space'' they landed upon, they'd press a specific key on the base of the Dark Tower.

The Dark Tower was an electronic device constructed around a three-tier display, upon which would be shown various events and outcomes for each player. These images were mounted on three independently-moving cylindrical carousels that would rotate into place (with a whir) and then be illuminated from behind, accompanied by various sound-effects and musical leitmotifs when each player entered their move.

Mostly players encountered Brigands during their adventures (which entailed a short battle sequence based around the number of soldiers each player had versus the attacking force, with a bit of randomness thrown in for good measure) but occasionally you'd also find keys and even - if you were unlucky - encounter the all-powerful Dragon.

It was simple stuff and probably not as fun as I remember it being, but if it's good enough for Charles Foster Kane, it's good enough for me.

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