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Defender of the Crown

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Released: 1987

Genre: Strategy

Format reviewed: Commodore 64

Publisher: Cinemaware

Developer: Kellyn Beck

Submitted by: Matthew Aston

Being a kid in the 80’s was great, but when I look back now I think I was a bit different to other kids the same age. While my friends enjoyed football and a myriad of other sports, I was well into castles and history. See, between the ages of three and sixteen, my parents owned a static caravan in Wales. Now Wales has a lot castles, it’s said to be the ‘castle capital of the world’. We visited many of the castles of north Wales during this period and I was absolutely smitten by each and every one of them.

So it was in 1987 that I first saw a review of Defender of the Crown. Being a nine year old history buff, I really wanted this game, unfortunately when it was first released it was Disk only, bummer! A while later it was finally released on tape or should I say two double sided tapes, which I bought without a blink of course!

The idea of the game is thus, the King is dead, long live the….oh wait, no King. The country is divided between six claimants, three Saxon and three Norman. After choosing your character you are presented with a map of England and Wales, with 16 territories to conquer, six of which contains a castle where each of the vying claimants to the crown live. The main part of the game is turn based war strategy, each turn represents a month and you may raise armies and conquer land. From time to time you may host or take part in jousting tournaments for wealth or land. There is also the option to ‘Go Raiding’ in which you and a bunch of merry men attempt to steal gold from a rival castle.

Now as previously stated, I had the tape version and in retrospect it had awful multi-load with tapes being turned and swapped continually. Still, I was hooked and could play this game for hours, mostly waiting for it to load!