Released the same year as the game that preceded it (1991), Eye of the Beholder II: The Legend of Darkmoon is another excellent first-person, party-based, TSR AD&D-licensed Role-Playing Game with atmospheric, level-grinding gameplay.
The interface, inventories, items – not to mention the basic gameplay – are all very similar to the first game, but are obviously different in this sequel, because it’s a brand new game. There are more cut scenes, which is no bad thing because they are beautifully-drawn and help drive the story along; more NPCs; more monsters; more puzzles – more of everything, really.
Eye of the Beholder II is also much more complex, and much more difficult, than the previous game. Even relatively early levels require some grinding to beat. Take, for example, the underground dungeon, level 2. There’s a key you need inside a dead-end room that constantly re-spawns angry skeletons. Running away to rest and rebuild your spells is a required tactic, but if you back off too much you’ll struggle to reach the key. Completing the task requires prudent use of saves (thankfully there are five save slots in this sequel), and also careful timing – not to mention a little bravery. Time it wrong and you’ll end up surrounded by skeletons, hacking away at you. It took me a few hours just to beat this one room. And not long after that it gets even harder, when you go down into the cursed levels and resting becomes impossible (at least until you’ve escape the cursed sections). Playing this game is enough to give you nightmares…
In spite of the difficulty, Eye of the Beholder II is a brilliant game; a great challenge, and a totally absorbing adventure. From me it comes highly recommended.
Note: you need a Thief in your party to progress through certain parts of the game, which is a pain if you reach those parts and don’t have one!
See also: Eye of the Beholder III.