By Domark
Spectrum 48K/128K

Published in Computer & Video Games #52


Combat games keep on coming. So far we've had warriors, karate killers and championship boxers. But never Gladiators. Until now.

Domark's latest release dumps you in the bloodstained arena much loved by the Roman rulers.

Life as a slave is fine if you've no ambition and nowhere much to go, but if you're young and eager to get on in life you have to try to win your freedom any way you can.


That's why you find yourself in the arena.

Your training starts with you watching the best fighters of the day in the ring. You even have the chance to wager a few copper coins on the outcome of each match.

The next stage is for you to have a chance to practise the 25 possible blows and thrusts on a stationary target. You can learn to cut and thrust with no danger to yourself. Finally, there are the combat trials with a real opponent.

If you work hard, practise long hours and use both your strength and intellect you can become the Emperor's champion, a feat qualified by very few. The real incentive is freedom.

When you have seen the range of movement that is possible, it is your turn to practise. Select the two player option and practise each movement in turn against a stationary opponent.

One of the skillful arts of the gladiator was his choice of weapons for a particular fight. You are allowed to choose three weapons from the armoury of 45, one for each and one for the belt.

You can try to match the weapons to the moves which you can make or to combat those of your opponent - unfortunately, you won't see his weapons until the fight starts.

The hard weapons are selected first, using either joystick or keys, the directions move to the next weapon while the fire button selects. You can choose to use a shield instead of a second weapon.

The dagger is placed in your belt and only comes into play if you have thrown or lost one of your original hand weapons.

Joysticks are recommended. The controls are pretty complex - they have to be as there are so many moves you can make while fighting. It'll take you some time to work out all the combinations, so be prepared to practise. The time you spend here will make your enjoyment of the game all the greater.

This combat game gets the thumbs up from C&VG!

Meanwhile, to those who are about to die, we salute you.