Amstrad Computer User

Knight Games
By Mastertronic Plus
Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Computer User #60

Two guys beat the hell out of each other at the medieval equivalent of the Millwall Supporters' Club.

Knight Games

Two guys beat the hell out of each other at the medieval equivalent of the Millwall Supporters' Club.

A hard day's knight, a knight to remember, a knightmare on Elm Street... ah, the gags are endless. All have been used to some degree in the past to describe Knight Games, which is now being released by Virgin-Mastertronic as a budget title.

Originally a big hit on other formats, the CPC version boasts similarly impressive graphics, but falls down woefully in the gameplay department. This is the time when men were real men, women were real women, and two guys beat the hell out of each other at the medieval equivalent of the Millwall Supporters' Club. The events are sword fighting, quarterstaff, archery, ball & chain, swordfight 2, pikestaff, crossbow, and axeman. The game is multi-load, which means that once the menu is loaded, there are eight lots of loading necessary to get through the rest of the games. Very tedious.

Knight Games

All the events follow the same pattern: you fight against an opponent while a candle slowly melts. Very slowly if you ask me! There is no real sense of great danger, as in Barbarian for instance, because you have ten energy points per life, and umpteen lives.

The moves are not explained, apart from indications as to whether they are offensive or defensive, and as they are all slow and involve a lot of posturing, it is hard to see which is the better. Well, that is not quite true for the first two events; they play exactly the same - just hold down the fire button and move to the right, and you will always beat your opponent.

The archery event involves loosing arrows at a horse, using your wobbling crosshair. They hit the horse's behind if you have timed it correctly. Fine, if the event did not drag on for half an hour, but that is what it feels like. A perfectly good idea is ruined by the implementation.

Knight Games

The same applies to the crossbow, which involves shooting at spinning targets, but again, ad nauseam.

The other combat events are all the same as each other; there are just changes of scenery, and slight changes of tactics. When finally the axeman cometh in the final game, you will either be breathing a sigh of relief, or will have fallen asleep. One of the few saving graces is that two players can indulge in chivalrous thuggery together.

The second player can frantically thump the keypad but it is horribly awkward to play with.

Of the lot I suppose the pikestaff and ball and chain are slightly better events than the rest, but it is all much of a muchness. The graphics are good in virtually all of the games, and there are some good little medieval tunes scattered about, but unrelenting boredom ruins it all. This was a knightmare from which was glad to wake up.

Mark Luckham

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