It's not unusual to read about someone making grand plans for a PC RPG that he's writing from scratch. Sometimes you even come across a promising-looking demo that was abandoned in an early state of development. For someone to actually finish such an undertaking is a very rare occasion indeed.

The Spirit Engine is nearly the only game of this kind that I have encountered, and it's well worth a look. Created in Multimedia Fusion, it uses a rather ingenious battle engine that's not quite like anything else, and it even offers a decent amount of challenge. The game deserves particular props for throwing out so much so many of the tedious conventions of the genre. There's no need to poke around endlessly in the little dead ends of some 2D dungeon trying to find some piece of armour that's just slightly better than the one you just bought in town which you're subsequently going to stick in your inventory and carry around for the rest of the game. You either walk forward, or you walk backward. And you'd better think mighty carefully about what you want in your inventory, because you're not going to carry around everything you find in this game. Even random fetch quests are done away with! Swell graphics and a catchy soundtrack round out the package. And did I mention it's free?

So you can see why it might be big news that the game's payware sequel has been released. I can even imagine that some day I might get around to playing it.