God of Thunder is a top-down action/puzzle/rpg hybrid which, despite the odd combination of play styles, is a hell of a lot of fun. It was initially released as shareware in 1993 by Software Creations, but was officially released as freeware in 2002. It is a classic DOS game and probably rings a bell with anyone who was a part of the 90’s shareware scene.
The game has a top-down perspective, reminiscent of an early Zelda game. However you carry no sword. You play Thor, the god of thunder so accordingly you carry a hammer that always returns to you when thrown. The hammer acts not only as the primary weapon, but can also be used to activate switches and even collect items. While combat isn’t really the focal point of the game, there are some tough enemies and the boss battles do pose a legitimate challenge. Thor has quite a large health bar and on top that, he never dies permanently. He is a god after all. When you die, you are simply resurrected to the same edge of the screen which you entered and the screen itself also resets.
I guess most of you just figured out how the game world works. The game world is made up of screens that connect on to each other like a giant checkerboard. The screens are static; they don’t scroll as the player moves. Throughout most of the game, the each screen is treated as a puzzle, and Thor needs to solve the puzzle to get to the next screen. There are plenty of exceptions, like towns and boss battles, but the puzzle orientated game play is the backbone of this game.
There is a story amongst all the puzzles and combat though. Thankfully it’s quite entertaining. It’s not a dark brooding story where two warring factions are fighting for control of the world and you are the only one who can save mankind from it’s own destructiveness. No, it’s actually quite amusing. God of Thunder has a good sense of humour which makes the most of Thor’s dealings with the citizens of the world quite funny. The entire game itself is pretty light-hearted now that I think about it.
It has been a while since I have played this game, but I do remember wasting many a Saturday morning in front of a computer screen playing the shit out of God of Thunder. If you haven’t given it a try, or haven’t even heard of it before, I highly recommend that you give a play. And what excuse have you got not to play it? It’s freeware after all.