It is absolutely no surprise that Solomon’s Key is on our list. It’s easily one of the most entertaining and tricky puzzle games on the NES. The only real surprise is how low it is!
Solomon’s Key was created by Tecmo and released in the U.S. in the summer of 1987 and the second we popped it into our console we knew we had something fun and altogether more mysterious than anything we’d ever played before. Cryptic doesn’t begin to describe Solomon’s Key, but the best part of this mysterious action puzzler was that you could avoid all of the cryptic stuff and just have fun working your way through the levels. I feel that’s what made this game so spectacular. It was a game that offered something for everyone. There’s platforming, puzzle solving, hidden messages all over the place, and a crazy wizard named Dana. Heck, when you died you’d receive a GDV score on the Game Over screen. Unless you read the through rules description of the algorithm used to determine this score, and let’s face it no one did, you were as lost as we were trying to figure out what that number meant!
We played and beat Solomon’s Key within a year of buying it. In later years when we’d periodically pull out the NES to play some retro games it would be one of the first we turned on. However, it was the introduction of the Wii and its virtual console that allowed us to really sink our teeth into the game. It was at this time, 30 years later, that we started to discover all of the hidden minutiae throughout Solomon’s Key and began to understand just how deep it really was. It was like we discovered this masterpiece all over again.
Check out our video of Solomon’s Key at the top of this article. We’ve invited our dad to play the game for this video as this was one of his very favorite games. The commentary is quite fun and there’s a bit of a fun “twist” at the end. Enjoy and…
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