Amstrad Computer User1st October 1989
Published in Amstrad Computer User #59
Take on the world armed only with a sword.
Take on the world, armed only with a sword and with only one life. A simple task it is not. Yet it is your duty as Prince of the Kingdom to rid your people of a terrible enchantment inflicted on you by the extremely evil Witch Queen.
Darkness has descended on the land - and the computer screen - since the nasty old witch has summoned a thunderstorm destined to last for 100 years. Torrential rain, howling winds, floods and lightning will wreak death and destruction across the land, ruining crops and destroying villages: well, that is how the script goes.
There was no sign of bad weather during the games I played, so perhaps I was mistakenly reading the BBC weather forecast instead.
This game can best be summed up as an adventure-style combat game. The Prince of Darkness spends his time in one-to-one combat; kill one of the enemy and the next screen can be reached. The fight is conducted using four attacking moves, three sword swipes and a kick.
Killing any one guard is easy since the Prince is the stronger man. Each body blow received decreases our hero's strength; one strike too many and the game is over.
During a fight the sound effects are all-important; a satisfying crunch depicts that a body blow has been made; a metallic ring suggests the opponent has mastered his swordcraft and blocked a move. Mastering defence is important if the journey is to be made all the way to the castle.
There are more hazards with which to be concerned. Making contact with a flying rock or a fireball damages your remaining energy severely.
Before entry to the castle, as well as killing plenty of guards, the Prince has to find a torch and a key. The torch is found at the bottom of the caves; the key you will have to find yourself.
One major failing is that the programmers have used the same sprite for the prince and the guards. Not only does it detract from the atmosphere of the scenery but the fast action fights become difficult for the spectator to follow. You may find your friends offering support and advice to the enemy.
With this type of game the action can be spoiled by the atmosphere of the scenery but the fast action fights become difficult for the spectator to follow, You may find your friends offering support and advice to the enemy.
With this type of game the action can be spoiled by the difficulty of mastering the movements of the character.
I am pleased to say that in this case that is not a problem; moving and fighting with the Prince is soon mastered even if you are not a joystick wizard.
Having said that, his movements are not limited. He can walk backwards and forwards, jump, kick, and even perform somersaults.
All this and all the sword movements are controlled with the joystick. The concepts behind the game are not new: you have probably seen them all before, yet I enjoyed it and fully recommend it.