The Micro User1st October 1986
Published in The Micro User 4.08
Joust is set in the days when knights in shining armour fought their battles sitting astride huge green buzzards and pink storks, and is an officiallylicenced version of Atari's minor arcade hit of the same name.
The opening screen consists of one large land mass at the bottom of the screen with bridges to its left and right. The bridges are there to prevent you from falling into the lava below. In the sky are several smaller platforms which hover motionless, and the player can stand on these.
The game can be played by one or two players. In the two player option inexperienced players can combine against the computer's bad guys, but more experienced players can compete against each other as well as the micro.
Your controls consist of left, right and flap, the key to the game lying in the mastery of the rock-steady hover. Sitting astride your blue ostrich you appear on any of several energiser pads, and until you press a key you remain invulnerable. Then battle commences.
The first wave consists of four bad knights known as Bounders. To defeat a knight in combat you must collide with him, and the winner of the clash will be the one whose lance is the highest at the moment of collision.
As you progress the numbers and types of enemy knights will increase, and you may also be buzzed by a pterodactyl. The scenery changes too - the floating islands decrease in number and the bridge vanishes.
Once the bridge has gone you must steer clear of the lava or the lava troll will grab your mount and drag you both to a terrible death.
Two player games have always been thin on the ground, and Joust is great fun either with a friend or against the computer. With such variety built into it, this is a game which you will come back to time and time again.