Enchanter begins the second sword-and-sorcery trilogy from Infocom, the company whose name is synonymous with high-quality text adventures. Unofficially dubbed "Zork IV," Enchanter owes a lot to its legendary predecessor, both in authorship (Zork creators Marc Blank and Dave Lebling collaborated on this effort) and in genre (the full-text fantasy uses the Interlogic prose, making the computer capable of understanding complex commands).
But Enchanter sports some interesting twists on the old puzzle-solving theme. For one thing, food, water, and rest are required for any magician's acolyte who hopes to stay alive, a concept pioneered in Infocom's Planetfall. Also, there are far fewer objects just lying there to be used. Instead, the majority of treasures are actually scrolls containing powerful spells, which must be cast appropriately.
The young Enchanter starts out with four spells in a spell tome. When a new spell is found, it must be written into the pages of the book if it's to be reused, because once the spell is cast, the scroll vanishes. To use any magic contained in the tome, the wizard must first memorize it.
The scenario is explained in a beautiful, antique-looking scroll, while game instructions are contained in a "guild directory" pamphlet. While the packaging isn't as out-and-out brilliant as some of Infocom's other releases, like Witness, it's both attractive and functional.
The game begins with a meeting of the Elders of the Circle of Enchanters. It seems the evil Warlock has slowly gained power in the eastern lands, and he must be stopped to free the subjugated population. But the Warlock is alert to powerful intruders, and the aura generated by an Elder is far too strong. Therefore, the Council has decided to send you, a mere acolyte, because your mind is so weak it presents no immediate threat.
Unarmed save for a spell tome (the beginning spells allow players to create light, speak with animals, write magic, and guard their most precious possession in a strongbox), the player must find enough food and water to survive the trip, then journey to the inside of the eastern fortress - where the Warlock and his foul servants pay homage to an evil deity.
Good luck! Just one word of warning - those aren't ketchup stains on the temple altar!