Version tested Retro
Despite the vagueness of its title, Hall of Things is perhaps best thought of as a Tolkeinian arcade graphical adventure maze game. Actually, Hall of Things is probably a better, more accurate and concise description of what this popular title was all about.
Being the first of its kind (certainly on the Speccy and most probably across the 8-bit home computing range), magazines and even the publisher struggled to pigeonhole Hall of Things. A quick photograph of the screen during play suggested a graphical adventure game, but control of the main character was distinctly arcade in operation - no slow and sanitary text based action here. And yet labelling Hall of Things with the arcade tag belied the strategic and considered approach to success that a similar hack 'n' slash-a-thon would never attempt. Even now, the only way to really categorise Hall of Things is by way of comparison to other games (might I suggest a hybrid of Gauntlet, Space Invaders and The Hobbit?).
Anyway, ascending the eight levels of the Hall was no small task, and many an impatient shooter fan would undoubtedly have fingered that reset button far too quickly. Even the instructions brazenly admitted that patience and practice was a prerequisite; the twitch gamer need not apply. Assaulting the impenetrable tower and the dungeon beneath it using only a sword and a little bit of sorcery to find the key to the drawbridge and hoof it to freedom was a task for dedicated players, and those who persevered and eventually learned to ride the Hall of Things found rubies in the saddlebags.
Unfortunately, even in 1983 it took a beating due to the total lack of sound, yet the dungeon, might and magic scenario was remarkable prophetic for many similar games that were to follow. Even now I struggle to think of a game that represented this kind of superb dungeon-running gameplay before 1983...
7 / 10