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Chivalry

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Released: 1983

Genre: RPG

Format reviewed: Apple II

Publisher: Optimum Resource

Developer: Optimum Resource

Multi-player action. Lots of mini games which take you forwards (or backwards) in a digital board game environment. Roll the dice (or spin the wheel) to determine movement. Throw a princess in there for good measure. “Uhh.. that’d be Mario Party!” I hear you screaming voraciously, right? No, yer WRONG. Waaay back in 1983 a small company named Optimum Resource released this Apple II classic and started the trend that, had the tables been turned, would have had Nintendo frothing at the mouth and firing off all sorts of lawsuits, but no : instead of hurling wadloads of cash Optimum’s way they simply took the risk and slipped the rug right from beneath their feet and stole their idea almost precisely down to the pixel (well not quite, but it sounds good).
From getting past maze guards, to jousting, to catapulting rocks to open drawbridges, Chivalry really was a remarkable achievement, because virtually any of the 20 arcade-style games (now called mini games) could have made for a half decent full-priced game back then, and the graphics and sound were also stunning for the time, leaving me wondering how on earth they packed all that in to less than 48k.
You could play single-player but there wasn’t much point to it (try playing ‘Snakes and Ladders’ on your own for instance) but with a friend it was loads of fun and even with the myriad party-style games today, I still like to get the emulator out and fire it up once in a while, because it really is one of the very best Apple II, or 8-bit games for that matter, in my opinion ever made.