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Saturday, 10th February 2024

Dungeons, Dragons and pixels: videogames inspired by D&D

Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) is a tabletop role-playing game (RPG) that combines elements of storytelling, strategy, and chance. It was first published in 1974 by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson and has since become one of the most popular and influential role-playing games in the world. 

Dungeons & Dragons has inspired a variety of video games spanning multiple genres, from classic RPGs to action-adventure titles. These games vary in style and mechanics but share a common thread of drawing inspiration from the rich lore and rules of Dungeons & Dragons. Here are some of them:

Pool of Radiance series (1988-1991): Pool of Radiance, released by Strategic Simulations, Inc. (SSI), was the first in a series of Gold Box games. It was set in the Forgotten Realms and used the 1st Edition AD&D rules. The series included Curse of the Azure Bonds, Secret of the Silver Blades, Pools of Darkness, and others. These games were influential in establishing the template for future D&D video games.

Eye of the Beholder series (1990-1993): Developed by Westwood Associates, the Eye of the Beholder series featured real-time, first-person dungeon crawling. Players created a party of adventurers and explored dungeons in a quest to thwart evil. The series consists of three games, with the first two set in the Forgotten Realms.

Dark Sun: Shattered Lands (1993): Set in the Dark Sun campaign setting, this tactical RPG by Strategic Simulations, Inc. offered a unique post-apocalyptic world. The game focused on exploration, resource management, and turn-based combat, featuring the harsh and brutal setting of Athas.

Icewind Dale series (2000-2002): Developed by Black Isle Studios, the Icewind Dale series provided a more combat-oriented experience compared to its sister series, Baldur's Gate. Players could create a party of adventurers and explore the icy region of the Forgotten Realms. The series included Icewind Dale and Icewind Dale II.

Baldur's Gate series (1998-2014): Baldur's Gate, developed by BioWare, is perhaps the most iconic series of D&D video games. Set in the Forgotten Realms, these isometric RPGs combined rich storytelling, complex characters, and strategic combat. The series includes Baldur's Gate, Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn, and several expansions.


Find out more about Pool of Radiance