Solstice is a Nintendo
game developed by Imagesoft and released on July 20, 1990. It features the wizard
Shadax, the princess
Eleanor, and the evil wizard Morbius.
When the game begins, Morbius is abducting Eleanor, and Shadax goes to rescue her, only to be transported to Morbius' castle by the dark wizard himself. This is where the puzzle/adventure game begins. You control Shadax in a three-dimensional world via a third-preson perspective through Morbius' castle, in search of Eleanor.
The experimental venture into a 3D enviornment on the NES makes for frustrating gameplay at times. In a puzzle genre such as this one, precision movement of one's character and other puzzle objects can be imperative to further (if any) progression in the game. In this early 3D enviornment, however, the way Shadax will respond to your control is often different than what is intended.
Another downside to this game is the music track. The game takes an estimated 20 hours to complete, yet only has one song. This song, although solitary, was very fitting to the feel of the game, and I don't remember ever tiring of it.
Instead of fighting enemies, or even leading them into traps, the majority of your dealings with them is merely evasion. You can accomplish this using the only four items in the game: potions. Purple potions make you invincible to everything but spikes on one screen. (The game is measured in 'screens,' which can be understood as different rooms in Morbius' castle.) Pink potions will destroy all enemies on one screen. A yellow potion will freeze all enemies, but leave them with the ability to harm you at touch. A green potion manifests moveable blocks which aid in scaling smaller edifices and large staircases.
Despite some flaws, Solstice will remain in my mind as one of the great puzzle/adventure games of its time.