Number of minutes I initially played "Wizard's Squares," a casino game I found in a few towns, before deciding it was a stupid version of roulette and moving on: 8.
Number of minutes I continued to play the game before a nagging voice in my head made me say, "Wait a second..." and return to the casino: 12.
Average return on investment if betting on one of the four "corner" squares in the game (see spreadsheet above): 112.5%.
Amount of gold I had after about 15 minutes of playing: 25,446.
Number of treasure chests in Castle Redstone: 25+.
Number of chests you have to open before the guards start attacking you: 1.
Likelihood, given previous games in this series, that I will somehow end up having to kill all of these guards for vague reasons: 100%.
Number of character deaths I suffered before discovering that the way to heal myself is to buy hit points at unmarked stores in a handful of towns: 6.
Given that you can store money in a bank, that you get an extra 200 gold with each resurrection, that there doesn't seem to be any chance of permanent death, and the only downside to death is that you have to re-purchase your weapons and armor, how much death sucks on a scale of 1 to 10: 2.
Percentage of the time I screamed, "No! Really! You don't have to do that!" when viewing this screen: 100.
Levels I gained for finding the Hall of Visions in Castle Redstone: 1.
Levels that you can gain in the game based on experience fighting monsters: 0.
Average amount of gold gained from killing a monster: 25.
Number of monsters I would have to kill to equal roughly 5 minutes of playing Wizard's Squares: 320.
Reasons, therefore, to fight monsters: 1.
Reasons to fight monsters other than "they're standing in my way": 0.
Given that more "advanced" weapons and armor, like hammers and ring mail, started showing up in towns after I attained an extra level, likelihood that the type of weapons and armor you can buy is tied to your level: 100%.
How $(&#@ing stupid this is on a scale of 1 to 10: 10.
Number of dungeons I have discovered after visiting every town and temple on the continent: 1.
Likelihood that the Wand of Power is in this dungeon: 100%.
Number of magic missile and fireball spells I am allowed to buy and carry at one time: 99.
Average damage I do against creatures in the dungeon with my hatchet, and average percentage of the time that I hit said creatures: 13/50.
Average damage creatures in the dungeon do against me, and percentage of the time that said creatures hit me: 33/100.
Maximum number of hit points I am allowed to have: 400.
Average damage I do against creatures in the dungeon with my fireball spell, and average percentage of the time that I hit said creatures: 80/100.
Realistic tactical options I therefore have while exploring the dungeon: 1.
Having reached the end of this posting, satisfaction level with this particular gimmick, on a scale of 0 to 5: 0.
Given that I'm at a beachfront hotel in California, likelihood that I'm going to re-do this posting: 0.
Given that I'm here until Friday, number of other postings you are likely to see before then: 0.
Apologies that I offer for this: 1000.