Game Review

Solomon's Key Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Darren Calvert

I've got the key, I've got the secret!

Solomon’s Key started life as a little known arcade game, but the NES version is probably more well known and remains a faithful rendition of the original. Playing as a little wizard by the name of Dana, you are tasked with escaping from a series of dungeons, using a handy magic wand that can create or destroy blocks. The stage is set for a fun, yet fiendishly tricky, action puzzle game.

The aim of each level is to get the key, then make it to the exit door. This is a lot more difficult than it sounds, as the layout of the room is not designed to aid your progress. You can create and destroy blocks to the side or underneath you, or even jump and wave your magic wand. The rooms are filled with enemies to avoid — or, if you have your wits about you, you can trap them with a well-placed block. There are also potions that allow you to shoot destructive fireballs at particularly unlucky bad guys.

Things start out simple, but later levels are much more intricate; getting through them without dying will require some forward planning. You're also working to a time limit which helps to keep you on your toes. With around 50 rooms in total, going through the whole game takes a fair amount of time.

Like most NES games, the graphics and sound are now very dated, but they do their job just fine: the visuals are colourful and the music is nice and catchy. What matters most in a game such as this is how fun the gameplay is, and thankfully this is where Solomon’s Key shines. Its blend of platforming and problem solving makes it timeless.


We’d highly recommend you check this out — it's one of the better NES games that doesn’t feature a certain Italian plumber. Tecmo did release a follow-up to Solomon’s Key by the name of Fire ‘n Ice, which we prefer slightly, but until that makes its way to the Virtual Console puzzle fans could do a lot worse than to take a chance on this.

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User Comments (8)



linrek-1 said:

Of all the games I played as a little kid this is actually one I remember pretty clearly for its cool theme. Maybe a 9 / 10 because it has aged a bit Kind of hard game but with patience you will complete it and with help of infinite continues




I sort of remember this little fracker of the game. I didn't own it (I didn't own my own NES anyway) but my cousin and my neighbour did. Fracking hard game, I wonder how I'd find it as an adult gamer though.



ViLLY83 said:

Does anyone think Fire 'n Ice will finally make it on the VC? It'd be great news! The sequel to Solomon's Key was far better than the original game.



SBOY said:

I had problem with the WII VC (on the WII) on my HD TV (got a black screen after 2min of play) of I upgrade to the WII version do you think the game will work fine?



grumblegrumble said:

Played this as a kid on my NES and remember loving it The sound effects are awesome, too. Great game, ya'll go out and grab it!

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