Mixed or average reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 24
  2. Negative: 3 out of 24
Buy On
  1. 75
    One of the most accurate computer renditions of AD&D ever with an amazing manual and well-detailed in-game encyclopedia.
  2. Despite its bugs, The Temple of Elemental Evil stands as one of the most authentic PC Dungeons & Dragons experiences of the past few years.
  3. Game Informer
    From the graphics to the gameplay, in the eye of this beholder, Temple of Elemental Evil screams mediocrity. [Nov 2003, p.174]
  4. A little typical in terms of graphics and sound, but what this game does bring to the fore is depth of gameplay. It is immersive, and challenging.
  5. 90
    A rock-solid RPG that faithfully re-creates a classic adventure. It's only a few interface issues, lackluster storytelling, and a limited scope that keep it from being among the best in its genre.
  6. A good RPG brought down by the very thing it touted as a feature: complexity. Buggy gameplay and a distinct lack of plot turn this promising game into a lesson in mediocrity.
  7. 90
    The lack of multiplayer options is a shame, but TTOEE is the best D&D title in recent memory, especially since parties of different alignments (good, evil, neutral) all face unique plots. This all adds up to one monstrous nonlinear RPG packed with plenty of replay value.
  8. The music is better if your turn it off and the tinny sound effects are a bit disappointing, but at its heart there is a fun and substantial gameplay experience to be had if you have the perseverance to tough it out.
  9. A little boring. There are only two towns and two dungeons in the game, there is absolutely no story to drive things along (when I got to the end boss, I didn’t even realize who it was), and the quests are a joke.
  10. Edge Magazine
    Nasty, brutish and short - and that's once you've got past the interface problems. Temple of Elemental Evil is a huge disappointment by any measure. [Christmas 2003, p.124]
  11. PC Gamer
    One of D&D's best adventures gets an endearing, if not spellbinding, rendition. [Nov 2003, p.138]
  12. 40
    With copious patience and enough time, a path through the bugs and design flaws might lead to an enjoyable experience for some persistent players of ToEE. However, digging through garbage to find a gem is still digging through garbage.
  13. It's definitely the best translation of the traditional D&D game to the PC format. The incorporation of the D&D 3.5 Edition ruleset is great, and works a lot better that the severely lacking and awkward Ruins Of Myth Drannor, released earlier this year.
  14. Fans of the dungeon crawling genre will have a blast getting lost in the world of the Temple of Elemental Evil. Those virgin to this type of game may be overwhelmed by the wealth of options and complexity of combat.
  15. 70
    Ultimately what we have here is an excellent back-end and a beautiful graphics engine, with a combat-heavy, plot-light module and a few nasty bugs.
  16. It is simply a purity of attempt to re-create the D&D experience that they share, a purity I ultimately appreciated despite the rushed-out-the-door feel of parts of the game.
  17. Computer Games Magazine
    Which brings us to the game's greatest flaw, a smorgasbord of bugs, glitches, and blatantly missing features. [Dec 2003, p.82]
  18. The sheer complexity of the game clearly guarantees some serious RPG fun. But, the problem is that there's a great deal of gamers out there that never bothered to research the intricate 3.5 AD&D rules. The fact is that during the game, newcomers will surely find themselves tangled up in a sea of RPG details.
  19. As close as you can get without pen and paper, but for diehards only.
  20. netjak
    Incomplete, plagued by gameplay bugs and experiencing more technical difficulties than any other game since the infamous "Pool of Radiance 2."
  21. The turn-based combat is fast paced, precise, and brutal—they throw the whole freaking Monster Manual at you, and the numbers these monsters roll are crazy deep.
  22. Yet another in the seemingly endless procession of PC games released before it was properly finished, with an unacceptably huge pile of bugs, imbalances, and performance problems that needlessly and stupidly obliterate any goodwill the game itself engenders.
  23. Promises great things and delivers them patchily. Playing for any length of time is an exercise in frustration - especially since the concept is a great one.
  24. This has been quite an enjoyable trip but not one of epic proportions. More story would have gone a long, long way.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 75 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 75
  2. Negative: 7 out of 75
  1. Jun 15, 2012
    Definitely a premium RPG, and probably the most faithful translation of Dungeons&Dragons 3E rules to the computer ever.

    I wonder how anyone
    Definitely a premium RPG, and probably the most faithful translation of Dungeons&Dragons 3E rules to the computer ever.

    I wonder how anyone can compare Neverwinter Nights (a wireframe RPG :-) to this jewel that is superior in every respect, from the graphics through rules/gamplay right up to the deep and immersive story.
    Full Review »
  2. May 3, 2013
    Definitely worth a playthrough if you apply community patches (look up "circle of eight"). Imagine Baldur's Gate, except with lessDefinitely worth a playthrough if you apply community patches (look up "circle of eight"). Imagine Baldur's Gate, except with less exploration/story and a much more interesting combat system. This is one of those games where the mechanics are so rich and complicated that you genuinely end up feeling that you can be *creative* in your party development and combat tactics. Really I've never seen a party-based combat system with this much variety and potential.

    I'd say somewhat luckily, the game will completely kick your ass right off the bat. To succeed, you've got to learn about what your characters are capable of and build your party accordingly. For the patient, ultimately a very rewarding experience.

    Cons; disappointing story line, few environments to explore.

    somewhat of a con: This is not a rail shooter. This is not easy. To succeed, you have to learn the rule system and apply intelligent combat tactics and character development.

    Ultimately, I'm quite sad that this engine did not see any more application. Troika obviously spent a ton of time creating the D&D 3rd edition rules in a PC environment, then introduced a single adventure to apply it in. Why on earth did we never see more games based on this engine?
    Full Review »
  3. Jun 11, 2013
    Having bought this game at it's initial release, I was overcome by the abundant lack of play testing and bugs that made it through. It wasHaving bought this game at it's initial release, I was overcome by the abundant lack of play testing and bugs that made it through. It was borderline to being utterly broken and unplayable. Having played through it again recently with updates and mod patching, it's a far cry from what it once was.

    This isn't your traditional rpg which has major story elements. It's more of a free roaming rpg based on the classic Temple of Elemental Evil module. It is limited to 2 towns, and 2 dungeons, however, the main play is meant to take place in the temple itself. Dungeons and Dragons has always been more a system of care and planning as opposed to fast paced action. This of course, means the combat is slower paced, and more strategic. It's not to say the combat system is poor, it's just meant to be played on a more strategic approach, and it surely caters to a certain crowd.

    The soundtrack is rather well done setting the atmosphere appropriately for the varying locations. Battle themes are rather well done and I never found them to get annoyingly repetitive. Personally, I think the soundtrack is actually rather charismatic and well done and has not appeared to get much mention. Voice acting is limited, however, far from the cringe worthy voice acting some games are known to carry.

    All in all, I think this game is a little above average, with no hand holding elements whatsoever. You are left to discover things, and fend for yourself. To some, this may actually be it's "appeal". Certainly worth checking out if you are a remote fan of turn based role playing games, or the Dungeons and Dragons franchise.
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