Pool of Radiance is the NES port of the first Dungeons and Dragons computer game. The game takes place in the Forgotten Realms world, in the city of Phlan and the surrounding area.
The game begins with the player creating a party of 6 characters. The player can choose each character's race, sex, class, and stats. The party is then dropped off in New Phlan. Phlan has been overtaken by a huge band of humanoids and other creatures. A small settlement of humans is trying to build a new city from the ruins of old Phlan, and are hiring willing adventurers to reclaim the land. The party must discover the source of the invaders and defeat their leader to purge the city of the creatures. The game features over 20 locations for the party to visit.
The game plays like a typical first person perspective dungeon crawler until the player enters combat. The player accesses menus to allow characters to use objects; trade items with other characters; parley with enemies; buy, sell, and pool the characters' money; cast spells, and learn new magic skills.
Combat plays like a top down strategy RPG allowing the player to move his characters one by one and attack nearby monsters until it is the monsters turn to move and attack. Different combat options are available to characters based on class. For example, fighters can wield melee or ranged weapons; magic-users can cast spells; thieves have the option to "back-stab" an opponent by strategically positioning themselves. As fighters progress in level, they can attack more than once in a round. Fighters also gain the ability to "sweep" enemies, effectively attacking each nearby low-level creature in the same turn. Magic-users are allowed to memorize and cast a set number of spells each day. Once cast, a spell must be memorized again before reuse.
Pool of Radiance spawned 4 PC sequels also set in the Forgotten Realms world, only Hilsfar
was made available for the NES as well.