“There is nothing on the NES quite like this, and the high standards of its production value make even a brief exploration a real treat.”
– excerpt from the full review, which can be read here.
Much like Crystalis, Solstice was one of those NES games I bought during that brief, magical window of time during which it was possible to not only find NES cartridges at a used-games shop, but buy them without having any knowledge of them at all, nor even ever having heard of them. Those pre-Internet days were a magical wonderland, and Solstice was among the happier purchases I ever made.
This is one of those 8-bit jewels that, similar to Solar Jetman, compellingly mixes both high production value and inherent uniqueness to form a playthrough that is very satisfying, even if technically “unsuccessful.” Playing Solstice is like trying a new wine, or visiting a museum exhibit, or spending an evening by the campfire. It may be difficult to explain to your more practical-minded friends why it was so worthwhile, but you certainly did not leave disappointed, and just going through it was half the fun.
Dylan Cornelius, at his NES review site Questicle.net, said of Solstice that it “doles out pleasure and pain in equal measures, which is to say, it’s the best dungeon crawler on the NES.” Paul Potvin, over at 1MoreCastle.com, said of Solstice, “If you find yourself looking for a game to capture your interest for a few hours, and you’re in the mood to think as opposed to blindly blasting enemies, go ahead and give Solstice the Fair Shake.”
I agree with both of those assessments, and I believe they help to more fully form the complete analysis of this game that may never even be possible. Solstice is something I would recommend trying, even for non-Nintendo fans. It is put together very well, and also qualifies as a worthy challenge for those who consider themselves true retro warriors.
Read The Full Review For: An explanation of the potions, along with my humble attempts to describe with a gem this game is.
NES Gameplay Tips For Solstice: Master the item grab-and-jump maneuver. Exercise patience. Hand-draw your own map as you go; not only for the tactical advantage, but for a more immersing experience. Have fun.