This can't be bad! Godax is a brand new company - Kourtyard is its first proper release - Game of the Month first time out!
Anyone would think that I've been bribed. In fact, I have. Bribed by superlative gameplay, excellent graphics, editor options and a package that I guarantee will be on my 'best of 1988' list. How come?
It certainly isn't because this is programmer Mark Rogers' first game - although that is often a reason for watching for future releases, we make no allowances here for experience.
No, more likely is the fact that here we have a multi-level (okay - four) arcade adventure of stunning size (each level is approximately 86 times screen size) and very attractive graphics - eight colours in Mode 2 for the technical amongst you.
The gameplay is simple, not that it matters - you are King Arthur seeking to restore your throne. This you can only do by completing all levels, killing enemies, collecting objects and solving puzzles. So far, so much like a whole pile of games.
The graphics offer an overhead view, familiar to players of Ravenskull, and are very nicely detailed. A lot of work has gone into their design and it shows. The game is playable immediately and is easy enough for you to progress far enough to compel you to return to deeper levels when you fail.
Did I mention the editor? There is an editor which allows you to load each level, change the graphics or difficulty and then save your version. Even if you found the original tiring (which I don't believe you would), this offers you a whole host of options. Easy to use too.
In short, this is a game that will appeal to all arcade addicts. Sure you need quick reactions here and there and mapping skills would not go amiss, but most importantly the game is very very playable.
And that's what counts for me anyway.