Saturday, 26 July 2014

GROW: Flight of the Amazon Queen (Amiga)

Released:    1995
Developer:  Interactive Binary Illusions
Publisher:   Renegade
Creators:    Steven Stamatiadis, John Passfield
Additional Programming: Tony Ball
Platform:      Amiga
Genre:          Point and Click Adventure
Players:       1 player

The Amiga faithful were a hearty crowd, full of patience and hope.  They waited for years for a port of Wing Commander and even played the slow as molasses, 16 color pixel fest that finally arrived.  They suffered through inferior arcade ports and fighting games reduced to one button. 
The titular plane.
The one area they never had to compromise on were Adventure games though.  The two button mouse that was standard on the system made games like Leisure Suit Larry, Loom, Monkey Island and Zak McKracken a pleasure to play.  The graphics were pretty much static and the engrossing stories, conveyed via text, didn't care about flashy new sound cards or massive storage space.

Sadly though, by 1995, even this bastion of Amiga gaming would be stormed and brought asunder by the PC's expanding open architecture.  Soon Sierra and Lucasarts would be eyeing game designs that required speech and massive amounts of animation, impossible to play without CD-Roms and hard drives.  The 14 disk swap extravaganza that was Indy 4 told the tale.

I wonder if they put the ark up on its side....
But one bright shiny beacon was yet to lift the hearts of Amiga users, and it would come from a couple of guys from down under: Flight of the Amazon Queen

Flight of the Amazon Queen is a point and click adventure, clearly modelled on the designs of Lucasarts.  Just like SCUMM games, Flight has no deaths and keeps the player always moving from one puzzle to the next.  The art style is also heavily influenced by Lucas games using many of the same poses and angles.  The game almost feels like a missing Lucasarts game, with maybe just a bit less polish.


Sadly there is no chainsaw.
It's the late 40's and you play Joe King (Joe-King... joking?  Get it?... damn I love puns) pilot for hire, who is contracted to fly the world famous actress Faye Russel to a shoot in the Amazon jungle in your plane the Amazon Queen.  A lightening storm brings the plane down and from there on out a mad cap story about dinosaurification rays, lederhosen, comic books, cross dressing, jet packs, amazon princesses and unspeakable rashes ensues.

Zoologists do not get short changed in this game.
The game is very tongue-in-cheek and parodies both pulp style storytelling as well as pop culture (Abbot and Costello make guest appearances, and there are references to everything from He-Man to Godzilla).  The humor is really quite good, with some groan inducing puns thrown in, but in such a way that you know that they were purposely made
bad.  The humor is also quite whimsical, with characters that make no logical sense appearing, only to be made aware of this in almost fourth wall breaking fashion.

The puzzles are mostly logical and can be figured out without having to do a massive amount of pixel hunting.  Occasionally there can be a bit too much back tracking and the map layout could have been made a bit more helpful at times to avoid unnecessary screen loads, but it's definitely manageable.

The Amiga's ageing ECS graphics get some serious loving in this game.  The sprites are colorful, the animations are fluid and because it was developed for the Amiga load times from disk were taken into account, keeping them at a minimum (granted, nowadays they are still a bit unbearable... but this was 1995). 

Everything was crisp and clean, easily identifiable and the color palette used to great effect.  A beautiful game.

Now look at that bit of perspective drawing! No polygons required.
While the game isn't quite as good as Monkey Island or Indy 3, it can clearly hold its own in the point and click arena and was a much better game to play than most of Sierra's efforts (especially since you didn't have to worry about dying every time you tried something).  The humor is good natured and the plot keeps you going.  The last big scene before the ending actually had me laughing out loud. 
If you want to enjoy this game today, the trusty old Amiga version is of course still a load of laughs, but there is also a CD-Rom version that includes full spoken audio which can be downloaded for FREE from or from the SCUMMVM website.  There's no reason not to be enjoying the heck out of this classic.

Review by Trantor


Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Vote for Game of the Month August 2014

This month's topic is strategy games! 

Since the guys usually have to choose games that don't eat up too much time for the regular show, and Alex seems to have gotten a taste for the genre after Dune, I thought it might be fun to through another game into the mix (and yes, I have one I'm REALLY rooting for).  :)

Civilization (SNES): This console port of the hugely successful turn based game by Sid Meier has the same feel as the PC/Amiga/ST original.  In this game you control a fledging group of prehistoric settlers as you build a first city, develop technologies, fight off invaders (or become the invaders), engage in diplomacy and become a great civilization. Graphics have been "console-ified" a bit but it is otherwise a faithful port by strategy game giant Koei.  It even supports the SNES mouse!

M.U.L.E. (NES): Originally a turn based strategy game on the Atari 8 bit computers and C64, MULE has you trading through outer space.  A fun and involving game that you probably want to read the manual for before giving a go. (totally worth it though)

Pirates Gold! (Genesis): Another Sid Meier classic brought to the living room.  This classic, originally released on the C64, has you as a young man sold into servitude, only to oust the captain of the ship you have been assigned to, and turn it into a pirate ship in the caribean.  Historical settings, diplomacy, treasure hunting, real time naval battles (with wind and reloading adjustments), resource management, economic simulation and the ticking away of time, making the decision of when to retire the actual end of the game.  This is the first true sandbox game and the Gold update simplifies many of the menu systems, so there is less boring looking text and more graphical splendor.

Populous (SNES): Peter Molyneaux's original real time god game.  You are an olympian god, your energy comes from your followers, so not only are you busy making the world habitable for them (flattening mountains, and eliminating hazards) but also busy raining fiery death and disease on the followers of your rivals.  The SNES version includes the scenary disk add ons released for the home computer versions.  (I would have chosen Populous II but that was only released in Japan apparently).

Syndicate (Jaguar): Peter Molyneaux's cyber punk squad based action-strategy game gets an almost perfect port on the Jaguar.  As the head of an evil corporation in a dark future, you abduct citizens, enhance their physiology with custom hardware, and then send them out as drones to attack rival facilities, abduct key personnel, etc.  The lack of a mouse is made up for by using the complete complement of 17 keys on the Jaguar controller, so some serious learning curve action is needed, but the effort pays for itself with a deep and atmospheric game experience.

So head on over to the Retro Game Squad forums and cast your votes now!

Monday, 21 July 2014

ReMEMBer #3: July 1984, Computer and Video Games

ReMEMBeR : Retro Magazine Examination, Musings, Belittling & Ranting

Review by Trantor

Magazine:  Computer and Video Games
Cover Date:
July 1984
Country of Origin:

Today's ReMeMBER takes us all the way back to July 1984's issue of Computer and Video Games.

Computer and Video Games, a UK publication, was one of the first game related magazines to hit the market.  From 1981 to 2004, CVG covered arcade, console and computers games every month, until the magazine became a digital only endeavour, living on through its website 

So what was new and exciting back in 1984?  

Two of the hottest media properties of the time, the TV show Dallas and the movie The Evil Dead have been picked up for computer game adaptations.  Dallas is to be released by Datasoft and unlike many text adventures of the time, this one will be "heavily biased towards graphics and the manufacturers claim that anyone can play Dallas successfully, even if they have had no previous experience of Adventures."  One of the company reps even says he's optimistic that the game will encourage more women to get involved in computers.

Evil Dead, from Palace Software gets labelled as the "controversial" film by director "Sam Raimer" (It's Sam Raimi).  While history has shown that the game was not very gory (instead relying on graphics that are almost icon like), at the time the Bright Bill (a UK censorship bill targeting movies on video cassette, which went into effect in 1985 under the name Video Recordings Act 1984 was not yet law, and due to the connection between the game and movie, CVG wonders whether or not Evil Dead the game would open up the doorway to allowing the law to censor games as well (even though these are not included specifically in the law), and what effect that may have on software producer's attempts to get legislative support in the fight against piracy.

Some pretty heady stuff there for a gaming mag.

Ultimate Play the Game (the company that would later become Rare) announces a new range of software, and leading the pack is Sabre Wulf!  They promise that the game would be "a gigantic leap forward in games" Not sure that was completely true, but it was a lot of fun and gave us one of the best characters in Killer Instinct years later.  ;)

A curious entry talks about the game Matty Goes Mining.  This is a sequel to Manic Miner by Bug Byte, who apparently still own the rights to Manic Miner, but the game's creator Matthew Smith had left the company to make the unofficial sequel Jet Set Willy over at Software Projects.  Matty the Miner would sadly never see the light of day.

Software piracy is a major concern in this era and Buzzard Bait releases a new dongle protection system for the Dragon 32, with versions for both the Spectrum and C64 also being announced as coming soon.  For those who simply loved having to deal with dongles years later for Robocop 3, isn't it nice to see that bad ideas can hang around a LONG time?

And finally the classic game Bruce Lee gets announced for the C64.  The plot is described in some pretty wonky terms, and the accompanying sketch is a bit dorky, but given how awesome the final game was, who cares, right?

There are a LOT of reviews in this mag, so let's just look at some of the highlights.

The game of the month is the BBC Micro release of Frak.  This game about a yo-yo swinging caveman is praised for it's amazing graphics and animation, which set a new standard for the BBC Micro and the reviewer hopes will "provide the kick in the backside that the BBC games producers desperately need to wake them up to the fact that their products haven't progressed in the last two years".  

Pretty harsh words.  Now the big criticism of the game is that "occasionally the caveman doesn't jump when you want him to and he invariably falls off the ledge."  Well, I guess graphics winning out over gameplay isn't a new thing.


Two classic C64 flight simulators get reviewed: Flight
Path 737 and Solo Flight.  Both are fun games with the instruction manual for Flight Path getting a particularly negative mention and Solo Flight being praised for  the variety of action and the extensive manual and other materials (typical for the Microprose games of the time).  It's also published in the UK by U.S. Gold, back when they really were a game importer and not the murderer of ports.  

The first ever licensed sports game is also reviewed in this issue, Electronic Arts' One on One.  The innovative game introduces different statistical values for each of the two characters, fatigue and bonus values for "hot streaks".  The game is praised for being the only game, with the possible exception of International Soccer, to manage to capture the feel of the sport it is trying to simulate.

The major criticism of the title is its retail price of 30£, an exorbitant amount (the pound was about 1.30 times higher than the dollar at the time).  compared to other game software that was retailing for under 10£.  The same criticism gets levied against the C64 port of Zaxxon several pages later with 9 out of 10 ratings for Graphics and Playability but a question mark in the place of value given that there is no price available and a high retail cost is expected (

The Summer Olympics of that year are not going unnoticed either with a whole page of Olympic game reviews being added to the mix, with then UK heptathlon star Judy Livermore giving her take on a selection of existing games.  Sadly Summer Games isn't in the mix yet.  Also, not sure how much she really contributed to this, but it's a fun idea.

Her total diss of CRL's Computer Olympics is entertaining, though.

The arcade game section highlights the introduction of Bomb Jack, one of the classics of the age, but gives no screenshots or any real info other than a brief description and a piece of publicity artwork.

The video game section of this issue has some of the best games ever released on the Atari 2600 and Colecovision!  It's clear that the writers know that consoles are going the way of the dodo at this point, and that for European gamers the age of the computer has dawned, but the introduction of Activision, the world's first third party cart publisher is giving the market a clear boost in quality.
Reviews of H.E.R.O., River Raid, Pitfall, Centipede and Crystal Castles make this a bit of a maelstrom of quality in what was a swamp of mediocre titles at the time.  The one blemish in this review list is Return of the Jedi Death Star Battle which is seen as passable but not up there with the likes of Pitfall, Ms Pacman and Centipede.  


In addition to a nice multipage round up of adventure games (most notably the Infocom classic Starcross for Atari 8-bit computers), there is an article explaining what a M.U.D. is and how you can access it through newly founded online services (granted, you'll have to log on between midnight and 6 a.m. as the game is running on a university mainframe and the free accounts would otherwise bog the servers down too much for actual student work).  The article is a fascinating read and foreshadows the addictiveness of MMOs two decades later.

There are also a good 20 pages of type yourself programs in the back of the magazine, filling it out.  

Oddly there seems to be a small section of puzzles and activities designed for 3-5 year olds, featuring very cute little bears in suits, that I simply do not understand.

I mean... dang it's weird....


The modern age of bumped map, high resolution 3D graphics has made gaming advertisements a bit boring.  Take a nice screen capture and add a logo and you are home free.

The day and age of graphics being more or less monochrome sprites attempting to represent game characters forced publishers to get creative with their artwork and advertising.  

Cutting edge developers of the time like Jeff Minter with Llamasoft and Ultimate Play The Game with Sabre Wulf, just let the cover art and logos do all the talking for them (and let's face it, can you blame them?)  

Other companies like Activision try to give a feel for what the game is representing, as seen in the amazing one page ad for H.E.R.O.

Other companies are promoting various games from their catalogues, especially as ports are released to new systems.  U.S. Gold is promoting the American heritage of their import product while Ocean is still not in their licensed games phase yet, with classics like High Noon and Hunchback showing up in their ads.

Beyond is promoting amongst others Lords of Midnight, the seminal classic by Mike Singleton.

Finally, there are multiple ads throughout the magazine for peripherals, and one category that was especially interesting to me as a yank was the Sinclair Spectrum add-ons, which were necessary for the system to support multiple joysticks, printer hook ups, etc.  Theses came in a variety of configurations, and really did show how vibrant the market was and how many companies were involved.

In Conclusion:

The summer of 1984 is clearly showing signs of the video game crash that is brewing, but in Europe at least, a flood of new computer software, while not all of the highest quality, is beginning to dominate the market and some true classics are beginning to emerge.  The plethora of systems on the market seems to have its days numbered, with quality software for Spectrum and Commodore 64 beginning to make life hard for the BBC Micro, Atari 8-bit and Dragon 32 lines.

You can find the complete issue here.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

GROW: Pit Stop II (C64)

 Review by Trantor

Released:    1984
Developer:  Epyx
Publisher:   Epyx
Designer:    Stephen Landrum
Additional Programming and Graphics:   
                     Dennis Caswell 
Platform:      C64 
Genre:          Racing
Players:       1 or 2 players

Before there was Super Mario Kart... for almost a decade, one game was synonymous with split screen, fast paced, tactical two player racing: Pit Stop II:

The sequel to the successful but not hugely innovative Pit Stop from 1983, Pit Stop II revolutionised the genre of racing games by being the first split screen  racing game for home computers.  The ultra fast formula 1 racing action is further enhanced by the addition of the titular pit stops, which are real time action sequences where the players directly control the pit crew as they change tires and refuel their vehicles, and un-licensed real world formula 1 racing tracks (no one was thinking about that being a necessity back in the day).  :)


 The game is a fairly straightforward racer, with the standard one button joystick controls the left and right movement of the vehicle and the fire button plays no part during the race (you press up to accelerate and back to break, diagonals allow for simultaneous steering).  Your tires can (and will) take damage during the race through collisions with the course side barriers and other racers.  This damage is represented by the changing color of the sheen on each tire.  Once they hit red you know you are just one contact away from a blowout and a premature end to your championship dreams.

To remedy damage, you can pull into the pit stops located close to the starting point of each track.  You just need to pull in to them and then the pit stop phase of the game begins.  You now control a cursor in the shape of a steering wheel and by clicking on one of the two crew members (tire guy and gas guy) you take direct control of them.  The gas guy can be set to auto-pilot, so once he starts filling the tank you can leave him to it and start working on the tires. 

Make sure you don't overflow the tank though, since it will reset to 0 and cost you precious seconds to refuel.  

The tire exchange consists of kneeling next to the tire to change, walk it over to the spare tire pile, it will be exchanged for a fresh one and return to the empty spoke and kneel again.  This can be time consuming, making the decision to leave a semi-solid tire on the vehicle for another lap or two in order to gain a few precious moments a key tactical decision.  

To say nothing of the risk one runs bypassing the pit stops altogether during the race to gain time, but then perhaps running out of fuel or blowing a flat just shy of the finish line.


The graphics are simple but effective.  No matter where in the world you are racing the same distant hills are shown and the other vehicles are, other than for a color swap, identical to the player's.  Even the pit crews are the same.  

That being said, the track runs at an amazing frame rate with super smooth scrolling and everything is easily recognisable and nothing distracts from the action.


While there is no in game music, it isn't missed.  The engine roars are nicely done and the split screen and parallax effect of drivers whizzing by provides all the atmosphere the game needs.


A special mention must go out to the AI in this game.  While a two player game is always fun, the computer controlled cars on the track and even the computer opponent in single player, react amazingly human and can be quite aggressive.

In an interview, the designer Stephen Landrum revealed that this was in large part due to a little "disadvantage" he built into their abilities.  The computer controlled drivers have a shorter available draw distance than the player, thus forcing them to react a split second later than the player, compensating for the computers faster reflexes, and making the race fairer.


While it's now been 30 years since the game's release, it is still one of the best head to head racers out there.  Fast, fun and easy to delve into.  It has been re-released on the Wii Virtual Console and will hopefully continue to be played for generations to come.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

GROW - Soulstar - Sega/Mega CD

Review by Clint Thornton (aka ThoRn)

Released:    1994
Developer:  Core Design
Publisher:    Victor Interactive Software (JP & NA)
                    Core Design (EU)
Designer:     Guy Miller
Platform:      Sega / Mega CD
Genre:          Shoot 'em up
Players:       1 and 2 player co-op
Type:            CD-ROM

Mode 7 on the SNES was revolutionary for the time.  It gave us a feeling of perspective, depth and an all round introduction in to a world of 3D.  It was one of the big features that gave Nintendo the edge over Sega's Genesis.  But when the Sega CD came along and you hooked that single speed CD drive monster to the struggling Genesis, it became a rotating and scaling powerhouse.  

You want proof, let's play some 'Soul Star'........

"The Myrkoids - killers of worlds - descend upon unsuspecting star systems, sucking them dry and draining every planet of its internal energies. They leave nothing in their savage wake but empty husks drifting lifelessly in space.  Following the destruction of his home system, Bryk Hammelt, the last of a noble race of warriors known as the Cryo-commandos, sets out in his great starship, the Treaghon, to hunt down the merciless Myrkoids.  For eons he has followed, and they have always eluded him. Until now. Now he'll face this ancient enemy in a battle for the soul of a star ..." (Extracts from in-game intro)

The best way to describe Soulstar is Star Fox in sprites.  Throughout the game you pilot 3 different vehicles; Your Strike Craft, a Turbo Copter that is used for land & water and a Mech (known as a Strike Walker).  The game makes use of both 'on rail' shooter game play (when piloting the Strike Craft) as well as having full 360 degree rotational movement (Turbo Copter & Strike Walker levels).  The game does a great job of giving each level it's own unique feel with each environment having it's own specific color palette and soundtrack.  Being a typically straight forward shooter, it can sometimes feel a little repetitive.  But Core design did as much as they could to eliminate this problem by giving you multiple vehicles to use, stunning backgrounds to feast your eyes on and immersing you in to an entirely different environment each level so each proceeding stage didn't feel like the last.

Before each level starts you will given a set of instructions by the main frame computer on how to go about and complete your objective.  I found this to be extremely useful as the brief is very clear and concise and really helps you develop an in-depth understanding of what is required for each stage.  It might not seem like much these days, but back in 1994 if you had a game on a console with CD quality speech instead of text explaining the objectives, you would have been blown away.

There is also 2 player co-op play which enables player 1 to pilot the ship and gives player 2 complete control of the weapons system.

Soulstar truly stands out in the visuals department with amazing colors and a field of depth I am still yet to find in any other sprite based game.  Although the Sega CD did push the color palette out to 64 colors on screen that still falls severely short of its SNES rival, but you wouldn't know it when looking at all the bright and vibrant colors during the missions.  The scaling in this game is unbelievable; from the asteroids flying straight at you about to shatter your TV screen to the massive landmarks you first see as a small distant object that scale almost seamlessly until you are facing a giant cavern opening (you'll know what I'm talking about when you get there!).

The Sega CD is known for producing some great CD quality audio and this game is no exception.  With 18 epic orchestral soundtracks you will be in for a treat.  This soundtrack is something you could very easy put on your MP3 player and listen to on the go.  The sound effects have also been well looked after, everything from the hydraulic sound of your mech walking, to the explosion of your enemies.

The controls are fairly responsive but at first might feel a little 'floaty' and 'slippery'.  It might take a few levels to really understand how to maneuver your craft but when you do get the hang of it, you will be dodging asteroids, enemies and incoming fire like a true Space combat pilot.

The best way to sum up this game up is 'GO AND PLAY IT!"  It's a must for all Sega/Mega CD enthusiasts and truly shows off the power of  the console.  If you are a fan of Sega's 'Super Scaler' technology used in the 80's (and early 90's) for games such as 'Space Harrier', 'Thunder Blade' & 'AB Cop' you will feel right at home when playing 'Soulstar'.  

As for obtaining this game for your collection and playing enjoyment, It's not hard to find and won't break the bank so go and get 'SOULSTAR'...NOW!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Game of the Month July 2014: Actraiser

This months winner for the 'Game of the Month' vote is Actraiser for the mighty Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

Released:  1990 (JP), 1991 (US) & 1992 (EU)
Developer:  Quintet
Publisher:  Enix (Square Enix)

Actraiser is an action/platform and God city building simulation game.  Although it wasn't a launch title for the SNES it was released only 1 month after the consoles launch and was seen as a very ambitious game for the time.

The game essentially alternates between side-scrolling action/platformer levels and God mode simulation building levels.

The side-scrolling components are your typical run, jump & slash mechanics, making your way through many different environments (Forests, Castles, Ice Caves & Dungeons to name a few) whilst the simulation modes contain a simple yet constructive game play style that does not overwhelm the player nor seem tedious.

At the end of each side-scrolling stage you will confront a boss before continuing on to the simulation mode, although during the sim mode you will still be giving the task of keeping demons away from your town.

It's difficult to try an explain the game in its entirety whilst keeping this write up brief, but it's definately a unique game that has a lot to offer the player.

Unless you are happy with a Japanese copy of the game, it can be a little expensive to purchase but good news is that it is available on the Wii virtual console.

As always, if you are considering playing along with us, please visit the forums at and join in on the discussion

Did you know this about Actraiser?
- It was one of the few games that was released on the Nintendo Super System
- The score was composed by Yuzo Koshiro (Streets of Rage series)
- It is the150th best game on a Nintendo system (source: Nintendo Power top 200 games list)
- Approximately 620,000 copies were sold world-wide

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Visual Guide to Amiga Games: Lemmings

This week the Visual Guide to Amiga Games takes a look at an absolute classic Amiga game from DMA Design: Lemmings. Hint: To fully appreciate these images, click the cogwheel in the upper right corner and choose "View Full Resolution".

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Game Review of the Week: Defender of the Crown

Defender of the Crown
Released: 1986
Developer: Master Designer Software
Publisher: Cinemaware
Type: Strategy
Director: Kellyn Beeck
Developer: Robert J. Mical
Producers: Robert & Phyllis Jacob, John Cutter
Graphics: James Sachs, Steve Quinn, Richard LaBarre, Sol Masid, John Cutter, Rob Landeros, Doug Smith, Bob Swiger
Music: Jim Cuomo, Bill Williams

Defender of the Crown has you in the role of a Saxon knight just returned with the king from the Holy Land. While the knight is returning home the king is assassinated and, seeing as there is no heir to the throne, the country is thrown into civil war. As a good Saxon you must defend the country from the Normans and win the crown - actually, Robin Hood himself tells you to do so :-)

This was the very first game release by renowned developer Cinemaware. As the name of the company says, they tried to bring the quality of writing and vivid imagery of the cinema to games - and that's in a time where most games looked extremely crude. Cinemaware's hallmark are games with beautiful, hand drawn graphics, well told stories, and, more often than not, gameplay comprised of a number of mini-games of more or less successful character. Many of these games were loved for their graphics, and perhaps not so much for their gameplay, but the pure bliss of looking at those beautiful moving pictures made it all worthwhile back in the day.

Defender of the crown is no exception to that rule. As you can see in the pictures included here, the graphics were top notch, and they created an atmosphere in the game that made you want to play on. Bob Jacob, who founded Cinemaware in 1985 together with his wife Phyllis Jacob, was the man behind the original idea for Defender of the Crown, and he has this to say about how the idea came about: "I loved Risk the board game when I was a kid, I liked conquering territories, and I thought what we should do with a game is: Let's replace the dice rolling in Risk with your success or failure at various action sequences in the game." (source: Matt Chat 41, YouTube).

The game is a mix of strategic warfare and some minigames. The strategic part takes place on a map of England, where you build and direct your armies, conquer territories, and attack enemy castles. This is where the connection to Risk is most apparent. The minigames are the extremely hard jousting event at tournaments, showing your prowess in swordsmanship by raiding enemy castles or freeing damsels in distress, and knocking down castle walls using your catapults. All of these small events push your success in the game one way or the other, depending on how you fare. In my opinion, this is a hard game to finish, so you'd do well to find

Due to financial problems, the release of the original Amiga version was somewhat rushed, which meant that some features were stripped from the release and others not as finely tuned as desired. This is remedied in some ports of the game, e.g., for the C64. R.J. Mical, an engineer who worked on the design and development of the Amiga, took over development of Defender of the Crown late in the process, and apparently had to rewrite much of the code which led to the whole thing being fairly rushed in the end.

Verdict: Defender of the Crown is an absolute classic, and remains a favourite for many Amiga owners. Personally, I remember being awed by the graphics and sound, and thus spending countless hours trying to learn how to play the damned thing, just because the overall feeling of the game was so great. I recently picked up Defender of the Crown and started playing it on my Amiga 1200, and I must admit that I came away a bit disappointed, simply because I have come to expect more gameplay-wise from the games I play. That being said, I still do love this game, and I will give it another chance soon - I just need to figure out how to do that #!%$ jousting!