(English Software, 1986)
Billed as “a glorious feast of medieval combat”, this game consists of eight combat events, in which you try to defeat your armoured opponent with various types of weapon, and two shooting events, in which you fire either arrows or crossbow bolts at moving targets. However, this is a disappointing game overall. While the graphics, animation and music are all of a high standard, and the shooting events are quite enjoyable, the combat events are not. Your opponent can be defeated easily by using one move repeatedly, and it takes ages, and literally hundreds of blows, to defeat him – even when you select the ‘short’ time limit. As a result, the game soon becomes boring and there’s no incentive to want to play it again.
(Juliet Software, 1987)
Reviewed by John Beckett
In this strange little Spanish game, you take the role of a podgy little man with a permanent grin, and must explore a spooky old castle, gathering the tools needed to free your friend – a ghost – who has been trussed up in a cage (why doesn’t he just float through the bars?) Of course, like virtually all Spanish games, the difficulty is cranked sky-high. The castle is a maze of epic proportions, with all the rooms very similar in appearance, and although enemies are fairly few and far between, and you can collect talismans to destroy them, you’ll soon run out and have to resort to jumping over them – an action requiring supreme precision. And on top of all that, the graphics and sound are very bad as well.
(Ultimate Play the Game, 1985)
Reviewed by Chris Lennard
Infected by the jungle wolf from his adventures in Sabre Wulf, Sabreman makes his way to castle Knightlore in order to find the great wizard Melkhior to cure him of the curse of the werewolf. However, the mage does not grant an audience easily and has surrounded himself with numerous guardians for protection, and a labyrinth of traps and tests all around to prevent all but the most persistent of unwanted guests from reaching him. Your goal is to find the potion within the timespan of 40 days and nights or you will remain a werewolf forever. Superb puzzle game with your character’s midnight-changing shenanigans being particularly amusing!
See also: Sabre Wulf.
Reviewed by Robert Small
Level 9 were a prolific developer of text adventures, and thankfully their output was pretty consistent when it came to quality. Knight Orc features the developer’s usual mix of humour, unexpected plot developments and fine, colourful graphics. It’s a big game with loads of characters to interact with and a very clever plot twist. It’s also cool to be an orc for a change! If you’ve played any of the other games by Level 9 then you shouldn’t be disappointed. The size of the adventure might be a bit much for newcomers, though.
Reviewed by John Beckett
Michael Knight and his amazing talking car KITT have received news of a nationwide terrorist plot to bring about the destruction of America, so they must save the day. Based on the hit 1980s TV show, the game has several quests to choose from, such as foiling the assassination of the President or locating the terrorists’ hidden bomb supply, and two different styles of gameplay; a basic driving game where you can control either the handling of the car or the shooting down of enemy helicopters (the computer controls the other), and an overhead-viewed stealth-type game for when you are inside buildings. Despite a nice feeling of being involved in the missions, the game is let down by its appalling graphics, basic sound, its long tedious driving sections, and the fact that it’s far too easy.
After rescuing Gimbal in Spellbound, Magic Knight is now a stowaway on board the USS Pisces starship in the 25th century, and has to find some way of getting home. The first thing he’ll need to do is to authorise himself and to take the ship to the nearest starbase – then he can transport the ship all around the star system and visit lots of planets. This is the third of four games featuring Magic Knight and I think it is the best of the lot, although you’ll get sick of the music before long. It’s not all that difficult, but there are a lot of interesting characters to meet. This is my favourite game in the Magic Knight series.
The TV series this game was based on was brilliant – a young adventurer has to go through three levels of a dungeon, solving puzzles and avoiding traps along the way, aided by three of his friends. The aim of this game is slightly similar and retains some features of the TV series; you have to defeat the dragon lurking somewhere in the dungeons, and must enlist the help of the oracles and Treguard the dungeon master. The graphics are fairly basic but aren’t bad, but there are very few sound effects and even these aren’t good. It’s not a bad game, actually, although the hardest part is getting out of the first two rooms!
(Kabuto Factory, 2013)
Reviewed by Missas
Knights and Demons is based on the well-known 1990s board game Lights Out. It is smartly written in BASIC. The game features a grid of tiles and the aim is to switch all the tiles on the board to the same type (either knights or demons). The graphics are drawn in Mode 0 but the colour selection may be sore on some players’ eyes. They are also blocky and there is no background. Nevertheless, they do their job and the tiles are interestingly drawn. The intro screen is also good. There is an atmospheric tune which plays during the game. The gameplay is interesting and depends on whether you like this style of game or not. Personally speaking, I found it interesting and gave it a number of tries. Overall, and taking into consideration that it is a BASIC game, it is worthy of your interest.
Here is a game (sometimes spelt as Kobyashi Naru) which is so confusing that it’s not true. A gamesmaster has set you a mission where you must solve three puzzles based on knowledge, wisdom and understanding. You can only attempt one puzzle at a time and can’t try another until you’ve completed it. The interface is like that of a text adventure game except that commands are entered by selecting icons. Unfortunately, once you start playing it, you’ll find that it is extremely slow and also that the game makes absolutely no sense at all – and who wants to play an adventure that is totally illogical?
The fabled Dragon Amulet has been broken into many pieces that have been scattered through time. The ancient magician Ulrich has recruited you, Kokotoni Wilf, to travel through time and recover all the fragments of the amulet. Each level takes place in a different time zone, starting in 1,000,000 BC. For some reason, although this game was originally released in 1984, the Amstrad CPC version didn’t appear until 1989. The graphics are mediocre and the sound is limited to a couple of effects. Avoiding enemies is very difficult as you have to fly through some very narrow gaps, and you’ll often find yourself getting stuck in the scenery in the process. It’s frustrating to play and completing even the first level is an achievement.