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Ghosts ‘n Goblins

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Released: 1986

Publisher: Elite

Developer: Ray Tredoux

Submitted by: Clarance Frank

It’s 1985, and a fun (if not a little hard) arcade platformer called Ghosts ‘n Goblins makes its debut. I loved the way that the little knight chap (Sir Arthur) flew about in his undies after a strike from those zombie things. It was one of the first arcade games that I had seen with a humorous cartoony style to it, and that was a good thing.

Fast forward a year and Ghosts ‘n Goblins makes the transition from arcade to home systems, including the C16. One nice review by Commodore User later, and I was off to WH Smiths on the Saturday morning to shell out eight quid’s worth of not-very-hard-earned pocket money. Following Monday, mother was sent back to Smiths with the ‘game’ to request a refund – let me explain…

Firstly, no music – and the sound effects are minimalistic to say the least. This I could deal with, but the next thing that hits you is the dullness and drabness of it all. For a system like the C16, with a very nice colour palette available, this was slightly surprising, but OK, colour doesn’t maketh the man (or summit like that).

So Ghosts ‘n Goblins looks bad and sounds bad, so let’s get going! –  Sir Arthur shifts at quite a (juddering) speed, but the character definition is shocking. Also, and maybe more importantly, the bit where Arthur looses his armour and is left prancing in his pants has been left out on the C16, instantly losing the original game’s charm and humour.

The shoddy work doesn’t end there though – there are further horrors to be encountered on our quest, like the lance fire not looking right and the lack of any power-ups. Then there’s the awful black blocks placed around the sprites that not only look horrendous, but interfere seriously with playability – collision detection, not here mate. And if all this doesn’t put you off, the thing has a frustratingly bad multi-load system, oh and only two levels, but not to worry, as the whole thing is such a mess that it’s almost impossible to play through the first one. Happy days…