Copyright/Publisher: English Software, Original Concept: Philip Morris,
Programmed By: Jon Williams, Graphics By: Colin Brown, Music By: David Whittaker,
Release Year: 1986, Genre: Multi Events, Number Of Players: 1 or 2
Back in mediaeval times there was plenty to keep your average armour-clad fellow amused: dragon
bashing, wining, dining, wenching, crusading and of course partaking in the odd just or two.
Of knighlt sport there was aplenty: bashing your partner with swords, lumps of metal or bits
of wood - and on the more placid side, firing bolts and arrows at moving targets. The latest
release from English Software attempts to capture ye olde noble spirit of man-to-man combat,
and offers eight different events to challenge your fighting prowess.
Before the game can get underway a main menu has to be loaded. Once in memory, any of the
eight eventys can be (singly) loaded. When an event loads, a menu is displayed which allows you
to alter the length of play or switch off the in-game music. All events have a one or two player
option, and in the fighting events a computer controlled knight makes up for the lack of a human
opponent. After making your selection the game can begin.
With all the fighting events victory is achieved by hammering the strength out of your opponent.
Displayed to the left of the main playing screen are two sets of ten roses - white ones for
player one and yellow for player two. A successful hit with a weapon results in one of your opponent's
roses disappearing, and if then are removed then another ten appear. If these ten are duly disposed
of then your opponent falls to the ground and one of his ten shields is removed. To win the
event you have to remove all ten shields, and doing so reaps a 'knight knockout bonus'.
A time limit takes the form of a candle which slowly drips away through the duration of the
match, and this is displayed just above the roses. The score is shown underneath the main
playing area at the bottom of the screen. A highscore table keeps track of the top score for
both players in each event, and any score logged into the table remains there for the duration
of the games (unless it is bettered).
Remember the classic first meeting between Robin Hood and Little John when they both tried
to cross a log bridge, and neither would give way to the other? The result was a quarterstaff fight in
which Robin was toppled off his precarious perch into the water below. This event is very
reminiscent of the fight, and is set in a similarenvironment with you battling another
fellow over a perilous log bridge. Eight movements, four attacking and four defensive, are
made available as you battle for supremacy.
This is the first event to test your aiming skills rather than the strength of your bashing arm.
Set in the fields outside the castle, the object is to hit as many moving targets as you can
before you run out of etiher arrows or time. Away in the distance are two trees and between
them trudnle a series of wooden horses on wheels. Pulling back on the joystrick strings
an arrow and a cursor is bought into view with which you aim. The cursor wobbles alarmingly, and
it takes a fiar bit of skill to get it into position and press the fire button before it wobbles
off target again.
The last event is set post-feast, with glass srewn tables forming an arena. The knights face one another,
a mean axe in one gauntlet and a shield graspeed in the other. The standard four attacking and four defensive
movements are available to each knight.
This event takes place on the castle battlements with a splendid English countryside scene in the distance.
The players appear on opposite sides of the screen, and then clank their way toweard each other so that the
fighting can commence.
Eight fighting movements are made available to each knight and these are accessed by pushing the joystick
in any of the eight directions. Pushing diagonally gives a defensive movement and any other of the four points
gives an offensive thrust or swipe.
This is very similar to the other event, although the fight takes place outside the castle with the
battlements poking above the trees. A new set of armour has been given to each knight, but their movements
are as the previous bout.
BALL & CHAIN||
Back to the fighting again, as you battle beneath the portcullis. Once again there are eight separate movements,
including some vicious swipes, and overhead thumps are often made to your armour clad personna. Plenty of variety
in movement and plenty of scope for attack.
Forget the peasants, lets have a pike staff fight over their newly ploughed fields. Out
into the country trot you and your piking partner. Four defensive and four attacking
movements are made available to each knight as they thump, stab and spike each other.
This is another event to test your hand/eye co-ordination, and it has you shooting three
spinning targets. Pulling back on the joystick loads the bolt, and a split second later an
aiming cursor appears. Guide this wobbling entity over a stationary target and shoot the
bolt by pressing the fire button before it spins again, or the cursor moves off target. Time
is of the essence here, so don't spend too long aiming your bolts.
This is fun - a nice variant on the beat em up theme with six bashing games and two other games
thrown in for good measure. The multiload system is surprisingly fast and very easy to use which
makes a nice change from the usual 'wait half an hour' jobs.
Although the events have eight moves as standard, each has its own sets of thrusts, parries etc,
and once mastered they all have great potential for a really good fight. Ther defending and
attacking moves all work well, and it's easy to become very involved with the game when you're
fighting. The graphics are great with brilliantly animated sprites and some nice mediaeval
backdrops. The eight tunes are all pretty good, and the sound effects are nicely atmospheric with
clanks and clinks as you bash your opponent's armour. I enjoyed playing this and strongly recommend
you to have a look at it.
Knight Games has just got to be the best smash em up ever. The clanking of swords is very effective,
especially when combined with the paradoxical futuristic mediaeval music.
The ball and chain is my particular favourite - the animation of the swinging ball and chain
is magnificent. The three skill levels make the game extremely playable for both delicate types
and hardened smash em up players. Overall the best combat game ever released, and I wouldn't
hesitate in recommending it to anyone.
This certainly makes a pleasant change from oriental orientated beat em ups. All six fighting
events are very similar in their execution, but each is as good as Exploding Fist in its own
right. The archery and crossbow events are an added bonus.
Graphically Knight Games is very competent - the animation of the large characters is excellent
and the backdrops are quite nice. David Whittaker's mediaeval music is also very good, and adds
spice to a tasty game. Knight Games isn't quite as playable as International Karate, but it's
definitely one of the best fightin' and fumpin' games to appear on the 64 yet.