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Swords and Sorcery

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Released: 1985

Genre: Adventure

Format reviewed: ZX Spectrum

Publisher: PSS

Developer: Mike Simpson

Submitted by: Geoff Neil

I like this game. It took a lot of my time back in the 80s. It is a brave attempt to create an interactive adventure similar to a MUD. There are numerous different monsters, treasures, weapons and other items. All viewed through a small 3D first person view in the top left had corner of the screen. The rest of the upper portion of the screen is normally a map but can display you status as ‘magic numbers’. The game doesn’t tell you what they mean I think the manual did, or they quickly appeared in tips sections of magazines. Along the bottom is an information panel and below that the command bar.
The command entry is unique; basically you string commands together using a menu hierarchy. It got some criticism in the Crash review. While it can be cumbersome it doesn’t make the game unplayable.
The game play is OK. You start training in multiple disciplines that shape your character. You can become proficient as a thief, warrior or magician. While this sounds good some of the training is pretty useless. Learning to jump serves no purpose I’ve ever discovered. In fact the only way I’ve ever found to progress in this game is to ramp up your magic ability.
For every three enemies defeated you up the stat on the last skill used; combat or magic and get additional hit points. I have tried to become a warrior in a few games but eventually you find an enemy you can’t kill and it is game over. At least with magic you can wait for your magic to recharge and go in fireballs a blasting.
Playing it on an emulator now it helps that you can speed the game up a little. Waiting for your magic to recharge can be particularly time consuming. Although it means your character will get hungry faster though.
I recommend this game to anyone that liked Bard’s Tail or other similar RPGs. It isn’t the greatest RPG but can be enjoyable.