Amstrad Action1st September 1988
Published in Amstrad Action #36
The inhabitants of the local mysterious castle have been up to some naughty stuff. All your friends have been captured and chained up. What else is there for it then (sigh!), but to go rescue them?
The screen is a four way scrolling maze with icon panels down either side and score and energy at the top. When you run out of energy you die. One or two players take part.
The castle's many different levels get more difficult the deeper you go. On each, there are cells, inside which are either friends or enemies. Enemies attack and knock down your energy. Sometimes an enemy drops something that can be collected when they die. Other objects increase your shot speed, make you move faster, add to your defence and increase your attack power. Friends follow you around when you release them, but desert you at the end of a level (with friends like this...).
You get a great tune on the title screen but none in the game. Sound effects are nothing special, and the animation is not much better.
Gauntlet? Well yes, but the similarities are only in the style of game. Gauntlet has more grab and the urge to play again is nigh on irresistible. With this you get that deadly 'seen it all' before feeling.
This is decidedly average, It has some nice things going for it - movement is quite smooth and sensitive, and for a while it's fun blasting the bad guys with their flame-throwing and general bad habits.
But what it lacks is a very high oh-go-on-just-one-more-go rating, without which no game stands much chance of occupying you for more than a few days.
First Day Target Score
Green Screen View
P. Smooth four-way scrolling.
N. Poor use of colour and weak animation.
P. Great title tune.
Grab Factor 54%
P. Two player action gives it a little extra.
N. Instructions confuse at first.
Staying Power 46%
P. Over 100 levels to complete.
N. But they're all much of a muchness.
Overall 49% Yet another Gauntlet clone.