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Winged Warlords

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Released: 1983

Genre: Platformer

Format reviewed: ZX Spectrum

Publisher: CDS

Developer: Mike Lamb

Submitted by: Stephen Westwood

When I was on holiday and found a computer shop selling many Spectrum games for a pound I, of course, was very happy…Unfortunately my speccy was at home, so the rest of the holiday was spent dying to get home to play my new game!   That anticipation alone is enough to get the nostalgic juices flowing…

 The game was 'Winged Warlords', I'd never heard of it, but as was usual in those days, if the cover pic was nice then it often sold the game… and there was some very nice artwork on those old games.. this one had a blue pegasus and a sword on the front, so I was sold.

 I had no idea that the game was based on Joust, and had never played or even seen that arcade game, so to me this was a totally original concept… take flight on your winged horse and knock the baddies off their winged horses with your lance.  Then pick up the baddie before his stead comes to claim him back and he changes colour in anger!  Avoid the unstoppable 'bird of war' who pops up occasionally and try to get a high score before being knocked off once too many times… 

Simple?  But so much frantic fun and very, very addictive.  Your horse doesn't just turn, he has to come to a halt and you have to tap the space bar to flap the wings so mastering the controls is part of the appeal.  And I was there, I WAS a knight riding a pegasus and dominating the skies!

A joystick option, some more variation and perhaps a bit of snazy presentation would have really set it off, but as it goes, its the gameplay that really matters.  It is better than joust… there !  I said it !  It makes more sense than a flying ostrich knocking out eggs… and controls better.  But then I did play Warlords first, and for many many hours, so I may be bias.