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The Gate is the third side scroller produced by Vgstorm. Where their first game, Adventure at C: was set in the colourful, 8 bit world of a computer's harddrive, and their second game, Psycho strike<, was a violent suburban crime fest. The gate takes a leap back in time to the middle ages.
In a time when grim castles lowered over small peasant villages, and ghosts, demons and the things that haunt the night were far closer than they are today, a young man called Patric sets out to find a cure for his mother's illness. Unfortunately for Patric, the first thing he does is lose his way in a storm, and wind up in the dungeon of a castle which is decidedly grimmer than most. Indeed this is Hades castle, the home of goblins, ghosts, zombies and of course the god of the dead himself, a place where synister plans are afoot and only Patric stands in their way.
The game's basic formula will be familiar to anyone who has played an audio side scroller before. Run from left to right fighting various nasties with weapons such as a bow, knife and sword, jumping over pits and picking up items. There are several things however that make The Gate a rather unique experience.
The mechanics of The Gate are rather more sensative and well balanced than those found in previous titles. Weapons such as the bow and sword have both a minimum maximum range, and each enemy has slightly different attack patterns, from the gremlins who will run in fast for a quick hit, to the slow moving zombies who lurch along in typical zombie fashion, but infect you with zombie rot should they get the chance, this means you'll take a deal of practice to get through alive, not just a quick finger on the spacebar.
Rather than a long learn game sounds menu or a detailed manual, the game features short tutorials before each level on new enemies might be appearing and how to deal with them, meaning you never know what is around the next corner.
As well as it's smaller enemies, the gate has a selection of bosses to challenge you, indeed the first, the deadly ghost known as The Grey lady has quite a reputation in audiogames circles as being a tough opponent.
With high quality music and sounds, full audio cutscenes telling a chilling story, gameplay that surprisingly difficult and tactical, the gate is certainly an experience not to be missed. The game is entirely self voicing so no screen reader is necessary, though note that it will only work on Windows 7 and above, not on Windows Xp.
The demo version of the game will let you play the first four levels which include many of the game's enemies and obstacles and a couple of bosses, on several difficulty levels from easy to nightmare. The full game costs 29 usd, that is roughly 24 euroes or 23 Uk Pounds, includes 10 intense levels, many more bosses, thirty enemies and several unlockables should you make it through alive.
Since the Grey lady is such a scurge of new players, Thakur Ishen has constructed This guide on how to send her back where she came from.
To find out more about Vgstorm, check out Their page on the audiogames archive
Updates: entry 18 Feb 17 and description 18 Feb 17