Knight Games
By English
Commodore 64/128

Published in Zzap #17

Knight Games

Back in medieval times there was plenty to keep your average armour-clad fellow amused: dragon bashing, wining, dining, wenching, crusading and of course partaking in the odd joust or two. Of knightly sport there was aplenty: bashing your partner with swords, lumps of metal or bits of wood - and on the more placid side, firing bolts and arrows at moving targets. The latest release from English Software attempts to capture ye olde noble spirit of man-to-man combat, and offers eight different events to challenge your fighting prowess.

Before the games can get underway, a main menu has to be loaded. Once in memory, any of the eight events can be (singly) loaded. When an event loads, a menu is displayed which allows you to alter the length of play or switch off the in-game music. All events have a one or two player option, and in the fighting events a computer controlled knight makes up for the lack of a human opponent. After making your selection, the game can begin.

With all the fighting events victory is achieved by hammering the strength out of your opponent. Displayed to the left of the main playing screen are two sets of ten roses - white ones for player one and yellow for player two. A successful hit with a weapon results in one of your opponent's roses disappearing, and if ten are removed then another ten appear. If these ten are duly disposed of, then your opponent falls to the ground and one of his ten shields is removed. To win the event you have to remove all ten shields, and doing so reaps a 'knight knockout bonus'.

Knight Games

A time limit takes the form of a candle which slowly drips, sway through the duration of the match, and this is displayed just above the roses. The score is shown underneath the main playing area at the bottom of the screen. A high score table keeps track of the top score for both players in each event and any score logged into the table remains there for the duration of the games (unless it is bettered).

Swordfight I

This event takes place on the castle battlements with a splendid English countryside scene in the distance. The players appear on opposite sides of the screen, and then clank their way toward each other so that the fighting can commence. Eight fighting movements are made available to each knight and these are accessed by pushing the joystick in any one of the eight directions. Pushing diagonally gives a defensive movement and any other of the four points gives an offensive thrust or swipe.


Remember the classic first meeting between Robin Hood and Little John when they both tried to cross a log bridge, and neither would give way to the other? The result was a quarterstaff fight in which Robin was toppled off his precarious perch into the water below. This event is very reminiscent of that fight and is set in a similar environment, with you battling another fellow over a perilous log bridge. Eight movements, four attacking and four defensive, are made available as you battle for supremacy.


Knight Games

This is the first event to test your aiming skills rather than the strength of your bashing arm. Set in the fields outside the castle, the object is to hit as many moving targets as you can before you run out of either arrows or time. Away in the distance are two trees and between them trundle a series of wooden horses on wheels. Pulling back on the joystick strings an arrow and a cursor is bought into view with which you aim. The cursor wobbles alarmingly, and it takes a fair bit of skill to get it into position and press the fire button before it wobbles off target again.

Ball And Chain

Back to the fighting again, as you battle beneath the portcullis. Once again there are eight separate movements, including some vicious swipes, and overhead thumps are often made to your armour-clad persona. Plenty of variety in movement and plenty of scope for attack.

Swordfight II

This is very similar to the other event, although the fight takes place outside the castle with the battlements poking above the trees. A new set of armour has been given to each knight, but their movements are as the previous bout.

Pike Staff

Knight Games

Forget the peasants, let's have a pikestaff fight over their newly ploughed fields. Out into the country trot you and your piking partner. Four defensive and four attacking movements are made available to each knight as they tromp, stab and spike each other.


This is another event to test your hand/eye co-ordination, and it has you shooting three spinning targets. Pulling back on the joystick loads the bolt, and a split second later the aiming cursor appears. Guide this wobbling entity over a stationary target and shoot the bolt by pressing the fire button before it spins again, or the cursor moves off target. Time is of the essence here, so don't spend too long aiming your bolts.


The last event is set post-feast, with glass strewn tables forming an arena. The knights face one another, a mean axe in one gauntlet and a shield grasped in the other. The standard four attacking and four defensive movements are available to each knight.


Knight Games

This certainly makes a pleasant change from oriental orientated beat em ups. All six fighting events are very similar in their execution, but each is as good as Exploding Fist in its own right. The archery and crossbow events are an added bonus. Graphically Knight Games is very competent - the animation of the large characters is excellent, and the backdrops are quite nice. David Whittaker's medieval music is also very good, and adds spice to a tasty game. Knight Games isn't quite as playable as International Karate, but it's definitely one of the best fightin' and fumpin' games to appear on the C64 yet.


Knight Games has just got to be the best smash em up ever. The clanking of swords is very effective, especially when combined with the paradoxical futuristic medieval music.

The ball and chain is my particular favourite - the animation of the swinging ball and chain is magnificent. The three skill levels make the game extremely playable for both delicate types and hardened smash em up players. Overall the best combat game ever released, and I wouldn't hesitate in recommending it to anyone.


Knight Games

This is fun - a nice variant on the beat em up theme with six bashing games and two other games thrown in for good measure. The multiload system is surprisingly fast and very easy to use, which makes a nice change from the usual 'wait half an hour' jobs. Although the events have eight moves as standard, each has its own sets of thrusts, parries etc, and once mastered they all have great potential for a really good fight. The defending and attacking moves all work well and it's easy to become very involved with the game when you're fighting. The graphics are great, with brilliantly animated sprites and some nice mediaeval backdrops. The eight tunes are all pretty good, and the sound effects are nicely atmospheric, with clanks and clinks as you bash your opponent's armour. I enjoyed playing this and strongly recommend you to have a look at it.


Presentation 95%
Speedy multiload system and plenty of in-game options.

Graphics 95%
Plenty of varied backdrops and beautifully drawn and animated sprites.

Knight Games

Sound 93%
Eight excellent medieval style tunes and very good, but few, spot FX.

Hookability 94%
From when the swords first meet you'll want to continue parrying and thrusting.

Lastability 91%
Lots of scope with the fighting events, especially with two human players.

Value For Money 89%
Eight great events for only £1.12 each!

Overall 90%
Plenty of variety, clanking and bashing - don't miss it!