I’ve played to completion, including post game, more than 20 Kemco RPGs. Where does Covenant rank? If there are about 40 Kemco English games, Solitude ranks around 45. Yes, unpublished games, vapor ware, or not playing anything is better than wasting your time on Covenant.
PROS: you will miss nothing if you don’t complete the game
you can break your completist compulsion without guilt
no post game other than replay carrying over stats (never before has this been considered a “pro”)
CONS: heading the list: very slow animations, movement, battles
The slow animations are compounded by an “exploding” screen at the end of every battle before you see the results. During a battle, if an enemy monster uses a multi-hit attack, there is a significant pause while the cpu figures out what to do.
The story concerns the hero, Fort, as he gets caught between warring nation states and must test his pacifist beliefs against the impossible demands of war and betrayal. He can summon 3 monsters to fight as his companions, so you play with a party of 4. Because they are monsters, there isn’t much (in fact none) dialog among the group. The only dialog is between a friendly devil, Wicca, who refers to Fort as her master, is smarter than Fort, but helps him on his journey.
Along with a lack of interesting dialog, what else is missing? There are no “effects” on weapons you can burnish, and no skill points to allocate. You do get minimal choice on equipment, as each character is allowed a single accessory.
I hear somebody saying, “But you can create new companions and swap out the old ones to build just the right party. And you can, if you have enough gold, change base classes to advanced classes.” True, but you probably will not use these features. If you change a class, you fall back to level one in your new class. Newly created companions start at level one.
The primary advantage to changing class is to learn more skills, but you don’t need skills in this game. My party consisted of 2 attackers, who always used normal attacks, one pill dispenser, and one healer. The healer is the only one who used skills. It is such a long haul to raise your party to sufficient level, you will likely not wish to revert to level 1. This means that your initial choice of monster companions is, for all practical purposes, your only choice, and is made without knowledge of what makes a superior party.
So you don’t have much to do except inch through dungeon after dungeon. Most dungeons require lots of backtracking: find the button to open the doors, oops, sorry, find two buttons to open the doors, advance to the next floor, and …find more doors and buttons. You don’t need to grind, as you will naturally fight several battles and slowly increase your level. And oh yes, although you can teleport out of a dungeon to a previously visited town, you can’t teleport to the dungeon entrance. This limitation is a pain when a dungeon is far away from a town and even has mini-dungeons you will need to pass through again if you need to return.
There are only 3 types of monsters in each dungeon (except for an occasional mini-boss), so once you have decided on your tactic, get ready for a lot of repetition. Auto battle, although possible, may not be effective at higher levels when you need to do some healing.
There are useful items in the IAP not available in the game. Even if you get the useful ones, you probably will find the game so dreadfully slow and boring you will not finish it, so why throw money into such an awful game?
Now that Atari’s ET has been excavated from its desert landfill, we can put Covenant of Solitude into the empty pit and bury it forever.