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Citadel

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Released: 1985

Genre: Adventure

Format reviewed: BBC Micro

Publisher: Superior Software

Submitted by: Mat Corne

Citadel is an arcade adventure game spanning over 100 screens filled with items to collect, puzzles to solve and enemies to avoid. The aim of the game is rather convoluted – aliens are about to invade Earth via a teleporter in the citadel. You have collect five crystals and place them in a starport, allowing you to teleport to the alien planet and destroy the teleporter, thus stopping the invasion. If this wasn’t tricky enough, you also have to find three crowns and place them in specific locations in order to become ruler of the citadel!

Citadel perfectly mixed arcade-style platforming with more cerebral problem solving. Some of the puzzles were truly inspired. For example, the guard of one room has to be fed a roast chicken to allow you to pass, but you only have an uncooked chicken. The solution? Take the chicken to a fireplace in another room, cook it and then take it to the guard. That’s one of the easier ones by the way!

The graphics were truly excellent for the time, especially the ghoulish cloaked characters that inhabited some rooms that could be dispatched with a well-placed ‘spell’ (a projectile launched from your player’s mouth) only to re-appear when you re-entered the room. Sound was also great and included use of Superior’s speech synthesiser. Overall Citadel is a very polished game containing many hours of head-scratching gameplay.