Format reviewed: Commodore 16/Plus4
Publisher: Creative Sparks
Developer: M.C. Sexton
Submitted by: Barry Lendrum
I will try keep the introduction brief. Many years ago, Andros was banished from the court of King Salimos, destined never to return until he finds some treasure and rescue a beautiful (?) princess called Diana, who was kidnapped by a wicked Necromancer and his minions and taken to the Tower of Evil. Andros has one powerful aid given to him by his friend the court wizard. The power to hurl fireballs through his fingertips.
His journey starts in the tower. His objective is to collect all the treasures, find the keys to the gates which will enable him to teleport to the next level. A drink from a goblet will grant him invincibility or double his strength for a short while.
On the final level (there are 7 levels in total), after he's collected all the treasure, Andros must then deposit them all into the chest, and then finally rescue the imprisoned princess. There are many minions who will try and stop you. They vary in type from level to level. Some don't fire back and are easy to pick off. Others may fire horizontal, while others fire vertical. There are over 60 rooms to explore.
There are two versions I will be looking at. The original 1985 Commodore 16 release, and a later 1989 crack for the Plus/4. Both games look and play exactly the same, except that the Plus/4 version has music playing instead of sound effects. The original C16 version is incompatible with the Plus/4 but was later fixed for a budget release.
After loading, you're shown the title screen over the first room. You can select one or two players to begin. Each level is a maze of caverns you need to explore and pick up everything you find.
Movement of Andros who looks suspiciously like a walking egg is very fast and fluid, just the kind of stamina you need when you're suddenly surrounded by evil minions. Why he has his hands stuck permanently on the side of his hips though looks a bit suspect. As this is a multi-screen maze-type adventure you leave the present room through one of the sides of the screen.
The graphics are fairly bland but there's enough crisp colourful detail to appreciate them and know what's happening.
Holding down fire whilst moving the stick will make him fire whilst glued to his spot. Fortunately you can also fire diagonal.
The game itself is quite easy. You start off with 5 lives and that's plenty enough. It didn't take me too long to explore every room, find all the treasures, keys & potions, locate the treasure chest and rescue the princess who comes immediately running up to you once you've achieved all you need to. By the looks of her though the evil Necromancer had put an ugly spell on her too. The game then loops over and you get the opportunity to try again for hi-score.
The Commodore 16 version has very basic sound effects, I quite like the plodding sound when you move. It's blandly functional at best but this is an early simple maze-adventure game after all. The Plus/4 1989 cracked version on the other hand has no sound effects, but it does have a very nice jolly piece of music which loops throughout.
The game itself is simple and easy to beat sure, the graphics and sound effects are bland yet functional. The Plus/4 music is great however and the game itself is quite good fun for a while. There isn't much more to add except to give it a go yourselves.