Computer Gamer

By Domark
Spectrum 48K/128K

Published in Computer Gamer #10


Life as a slave isn't particularly great. What with working appalling hours for no pay - hardly the life of the young executive.

Getting out of slavery is even tougher as the only way is to enter the gladiator business which has a habit of quickly turning slaves into dead slaves.

You are a slave in ancient Rome and you've just decided to become a gladiator. Your ambition is to win enough fights to become the Emperor's champion.


The game's instructions suggests that you begin your training by watching two gladiators cut each other into little pieces. Then your supposed to tackle a stationary opponent in order to practise the 25 possible moves!

Unfortunately, Gamer reviewers don't like to take the back seat for long and soon I was being killed by a variety of opponents and weapons.

Choosing your weapons is as important as the fight itself so you should take some time to decide which three of the 45 possible shields, nets, spears, swords, daggers and tridents that you'll do battle with.

I found waving around two tridents a useful start to the games the early opponents seemed quite keen to leap onto them giving me the thumbs up sign from the Emperor. This success came to an abrupt halt when I met an opponent carrying a spear as well. Still it gave me a chance to see some of the backgrounds that you fight on.

My favourite is undoubtedly the gladiators pit which is surrounded by an enthusiastic crowd that yell out helpful comments such as "Kill", "Maim" and the occasional "Boooo!"

Once the bout is over and at least one gladiator lies in a crumpled heap, the Emperor gives his decision. Thumbs up and you live to face another opponent, thumbs down and your game is over.

It will take quite a few games to learn all of the 25 possible moves that are performed by pushing the joystick in one of eight directions with the fire button pressed once or twice.

Unfortunately most Spectrum joystick interfaces only have room for joystick so the players will have to fight for it before the game begins.

Gladiator is a natural progression from the kung-fu variety of games and although I enjoyed the variety offered by the choice of weapons perhaps there were just too many moves to learn.

If you've conquered karate and you're ready to enter another arena then Gladiator will meet your challenge.