Sinclair User5th January 1989
Published in Sinclair User #85
Hasn't the world had enough Gladiator type games yet? Maybe I wouldn't cry so despairingly had any of them been any good, but the sad fact remains, they've all been more less crud. Colosseum is no exception to the rule.
Colosseum isn't very good. That said, it's fairly original, so a pat on the back for KIXX.
You are a chariot driver, back in the good old days of the Romans, and along with four computer controlled riders have to try and win the race. To win you have to do two things. Firstly, stay alive. Secondly, make sure that no-one else does.
As you race around the long oval shaped track, you discover exactly what kind of things can kill you. Most important and the loveliest of the lot are the obstructions in the road which range from regular harmful bushes to bits of wall that someone has casually left lying around.
The other riders are armed, as you are, with axes and maces. What they have to do is deplete your energy by hitting you as many times as possible before you do the same to them. The loser is treated to a bit of a graphical thrill when their horses charge away from the chariot and the rider is left flying through the air before ploughing painfully and brain smashingly into the ground.
Controls are basic, usual, boring regular old controls. Up and down moves your chariot up and down in relation to the side view scrolling racetrack. Left and right brake and accelerate the chariot respectively. Fire activates weapon. Why doesn't somebody come up with a new and exciting control method. I'm bored with all these samey joystick controls. Come on BBC, buck your ideas up. (Terwonee, are you alright? - AS)
The graphics are alright. The scrolling works quite well, but there are a lot of items in the game that are just completely unrecognisable. As for when you get into a battle with an opposing chariot. Life suddenly becomes one huge mess of pixels.
It doesn't play very well. That's probably as honestly as I can put it without being offensive. The controls are fairly slow to respond, but that's no real problem. This is. At a guess, the racetrack has got five lanes. The obstructions appear in one of the five lanes with no overlaps. Steering around objects is difficult because there are no lane markers and it's a bit of a job to tell manually exactly where you are in relation to the rest of the universe.
It's just not very good. Colosseum is a brilliant idea. It's original, and were it carried through properly, it could be an excellent game. As it is in it's present form, it's not. At least it's budget.
Nice idea but badly executed.