I just finished Lands of Lore. Really, really enjoyable game, if a little combat-heavy for the most part. Going into these things is always coloured by my experience with Dungeon Master, and the vast majority don't hold up well. This one deserves a high spot for sure though. Visually it's superb throughout with nicely animated creatures and a broad range of environments. The interface is simple and fast (though I often found myself struggling with the spellcasting in the heat of battle, wasting valuable magic points on the wrong thing because I forgot to switch).
Like I said though, it is very much centered around combat and a couple of the areas were something of a pain. The respawn rate is incredible, and when you've got enemies that can kill or stun your characters in one or two hits you're facing an uphill struggle. And my word - there are few things more annoying than dropping your weapons and shields every time a monster hits you hard. Also, your champions don't seem all that handy with their weapons of choice, and you can happily hack away a couple of dozen times without landing a single hit.
Criticism also falls on the structure of the game. This may have been just me but there were a few occasions where I simply didn't know what I was supposed to be doing. Some very obscure puzzles dogged me for a long time and I'd regularly find myself backtracking through nearly the entire game looking for solutions or things I'd missed. Mostly they were right in front of my nose, which suggests it's just me being a doofus. This is never entirely out of the question.
A repeated playthrough is most definitely on the cards, especially since I picked up the CD 'talkie' version while in progress on this standard one. I think next time it will be a more specialized character rather than the all-rounder as well.
I wonder if I should give the sequel a proper go. It is full 3D so motion sickness rears its ugly head, but perhaps running it windowed in DOSbox will help. For now though I'm pondering my next quest, which will either be the first SSI 'Gold Box' game Pool of Radiance, Ultima 1, Wizardry 1 or Might and Magic 1.
Do you see a pattern there?