Developer: Master Designer Software
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
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.
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!