In Dink Smallwood you play a protagonist in a game with few moral prohibitions. Funny as hell, full of zest and energy, it appeals to the darker facets of one’s humour. While in many cases you are offered with several options what to do in a situation so you can skirt some of the more graphic humour – oh boy would you be missing out if you did so!
Dink is a RPG game with many elements of adventure gaming. You follow a detailed plot through the world, with many small and not-so-small secrets to be uncovered (especially by burning trees!). The big qualities this game has that makes it so well-known, classic and appreciated by fans are a great (and slightly twisted) sense of humour, great engine capable of easily creating a multitude of remakes and mods (which it does, fans have been busy!) and an ever-classic, ever-present RPG advancement-and-reward system (getting a +1 to magic never felt so good before).
If any part of that appeals to you, or even quite likely if it doesn’t, Dink is a game for you.
As you start out, a power-hungry pig-farmer jealous of the local wannabe-hero, you start from absolute scratch. You learn magic and, after a series of minor obstacles, head off into the world to explore. In the end, you of all people, end up saving it. The main storyline is amusing and cleverly segmented. Although the world appears in many ways seamless, the storyline is segmented by which areas you can access.
A supported fan-made add-on to the game, the sequel to the original, comes with the official download. It has an interesting storyline once you get past the original boat voyage, but is still in most ways inferior to the main storyline. Even so, if you become a fan, it’s worth a go.
Dink’s engine is capable of many things, as clearly demonstrated by the vast amount of fan-made material you can find online. The engine, predominantly, is in my opinion why the game is still as classic as ever (although the zany humour helped put it on the radar). In small ways it is different from what you know. Spellcasting is not limited, and the cool-down timer (going faster the better you are at magic) is a great way of fixing the problem. Using simple sprites and a good engine, the game’s made it possible for amateurs to enact their ideas within the Smallwood world, and any fan of modding could do far worse than playing around with this game.
The engine’s simple, and works well for its purpose. Job very, very well done.
5 out of 5 carrots.
Sound & Music:
While nothing spectacular, music is existent in the game and makes itself noticeable. It’s nothing grand, but it’s by no means low standard. Sound effects do their job just as well as music, making you enjoy the pyromaniac Dink’s fireballs summon within you with greater zeal.
4 out of 5 carrots.
Graphics in Dink are really good. They aren’t extremely beautiful, but the sprites work well, the environment works well, and the spells you cast most definitely work well! ;)
There are some hitches in what parts of the screen are blocked, and the sprites aren’t perfect, but they work well even so. For a great graphical atmosphere, the game deserves pluses. We can’t all be 3d – but we should all be able to be quality. Dink is quality.
4 out of 5 carrots.
Simply said, great. Gameplay is what the other elements of a game stand or fall with and Dink’s is Excellent with a capital E. It can at times be slightly difficult, since dying can be easy, and saving isn’t always as easy as dying is. The humour is, as previously mentioned, rather rough at times – at many times in fact. This isn’t really a detriment for most people, as I think most fans of RPGs like Dink are fairly open to things like that anyway. If it is a detriment, try finding a cleaner modification for the game, it shouldn’t be too hard.
Best of all, the gameplay is fun and has great replayability value. Well, technically it may not be replayability, since I am mostly speaking of the vast sea of user made games for Dink you can help yourself to – but potato, potato, in the end it’s the same result. Downloading this game will bring you a lot of fun, for a long time.
If you should happen to find the game too easy, let me point out the modifications for you as well, as some of them can be quite tricky.
5 out of 5 carrots.
In conclusion, Dink Smallwood is a classic game of the freeware industry. For as long as I remember I’ve liked this game. Many years ago it was one of the first free games I tried, and it left its mark. Dink Smallwood may be crude, rude and overall lewd, but it is by no means small in memory or action. Give it a try, most of you won’t regret it.
Review by: Albareth