How do you port a successful book series that is based in the rich world of a pen and paper game to computer? Simple. You don’t. That is what Black Isle Studios did with Icewind Dale when they ported it to PC’s in 2000 for Interplay. The game is based in another century from the books which frees up the developers to run wild with a new story.
While some may scoff at taking a new direction like this, I have to side with the fans that want to see more new stuff. I mean, if you release a game that follows another medium as closely as possible, what is the point of playing the game?
When released, Icewind Dale received generally good press. Some even compared it to Diablo II, another title that was released this day (covered here). For role playing game fans, there is no more recognizable franchise than Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. This game did not disappoint with its use of the 2nd Edition rule set.
Being compared to Diablo II is not a bad thing. Both titles feature real time combat, upgradable characters but Icewind Dale one ups Blizzard on a few things. First, you are in control of a party of adventurers in Interplay’s offering. There is the rich Advanced Dungeons and Dragons world to draw upon and the world may feel more complete at times.
Icewind Dale hit PC’s today but would take another two years, or so, to reach Macintosh gamers via MacPlay. Recently Overhaul Games released an enhanced edition of Icewind Dale for mobile platforms (Android and iOS) and various computer platforms via Steam. A new generation of gamers was able to enjoy this AD&D title, some on the go.
So, have you taken up the challenge of Icewind Dale?