It is a time of a great feast. Knights from all across the kingdom have gathered to test their skills against each other in various events. Some knights have entered archery and crossbow competitions. Roland the Knight decides to take part in the pikestaff combat. "It is one thing to hit a non-living target, fighting against a fellow Knight is another. Verily, I will honour my kin today." The crowd is silent, and the most skilled bards produce music that helps in further elevating the spirit of the fighters. Both Roland, wearing his purple ceremonial cloak, and Lord Cuthbert Basil Meatloaf (or CBM), in his blue cloak, appear as if through magic on the fighting "arena". In his mind, Roland makes a quick prayer and takes some pride that he is where he is today. CBM advances and... pikes clash against each other! Swoosh, Clang! The armour does not quite absorb the shock and damage of the hits, and both fighters are well aware of that. There is nothing else in Roland's mind besides this battle. He doesn't know whether he manages to hold his ground by reflexes, luck or by his skill... suddenly, Lord CBM takes a couple of steps backwards and his legs refuse to carry his weight anymore. Exhausted, Lord CBM collapses on the ground. Still, the fight is far from over. Roland puts away all thoughts of victory, and prepares for the next clash...
Knight - the very word is met with fear and awe. These are the noble, chivalrous and righteous warriors of the medieval ages. Clad in protective and mysterious armour and armed with swords, staves and other pieces of blessed weaponry, knights will protect the kingdom... or slay the occasional mythical monster. In Knight Games, however, they engage in various sporting events in the terms of chivalry and fair play.
Knight Games consists of a total of eight knightly events. Most of these are duels, where the player attempts to beat the computer (or the non-artificial intelligence known as "human") with different weapons. In all events, players may choose the time limit. This will also affect the difficulty when fighting against the computer. After a fighter has sustained a certain amount of damage, he will collapse and fall on the ground. This shows in the opponent's score and serves as a dramatic event in the fights.
The array of moves consists of various slashes, stabs, thrusts, parrying and blocks. Depending on your timing and the enemy's current move, your hit will connect properly, draining the enemy one hit point. Without a manual or a guide it takes some time to master all the appropriate moves and counter-moves to every situation. Of course, on the lower difficulty settings, the human will prevail against the computer by simply dealing a slash after a blow with some variance. Against a more skilled opponent, however, the fighting may not be that simple...
The fighting *looks* good, and partially because of that, it *feels* good, too. By the end of the day, the duel events don't differ much from each other, but they all have a good athmosphere about them. There are two virtually identical swordfighting events in Knight Games, cleverfully named as "Swordfight 1" and "Swordfight 2". It would have been great if one of these events was replaced by, say, a jousting event...
Other duel weapons (events) include chain and ball (a flail), axe, the said pikestaff and a quarterstaff. This event makes a tribute to a certain famous English hero, who would economically support the poor at the rich people's expense.
Two sharpshooter events are the crossbow and archery. The crossbow-event may become repetitive, because the player has to shoot immobile targets, which only spin around every now and then. Despite the wobbling of the "bowsight", the targets are easy to hit, as long as the player takes a minor effort to time the shot right.
Archery, on the other hand, is The Marksman's event. The player must hit wooden horses, which happily move from right to left. The targets are small and they move with considerable speed, so countering the bow's rather violent sway becomes critical. Eventually you *will* hit a target, so the event won't frustrate you, I promise you that. After trying out archery, you should be qualified to hit just about everything on any C64 game ever created...
Downloads: Music, Advert 2, Advert 3
|GRAPHICS - 8/10|
|The backgrounds are beautiful (maybe sometimes a bit too blocky to my taste), and some of them contain minor animated details. The still images of the player sprites don't do much justice the animations. The players are splendidly animated, and the fighting looks violent despite the lack of bruises. While games like Barbarian and Exploding Fist suffer from too fast or too slow, yet detailed animations, Knight Games does what is necessary to create an illusion of two armoured men bashing each other to the point of unconsciousness. Only major gripe comes from the usage of the space: only so much of the screen is dedicated to the scenery. The "Knight Games" text you will see on the edge of the screens could have been left out. Also, the animations in quarterstaff event could have been more creative. (Yes, I am asking too much.)|
|SOUND - 8/10|
|David Whittaker has created wonderful medieval-style tunes for Knight Games. The tune #7 (Swordfight 1) captures the feeling of the... era. Tune #5 (Pikestaff) goes extremely well with the pike fights, and is a rather peculiar song... The sound of blades against armour sound as good as possible, while the music plays on the background. Something along the lines of IK+'s "clang!" would have been nicer, though.|
|PLAYABILITY - 8/10|
|The knights respond splendidly to the controls - only walking forward and backward is a bit awkward, but then again it doesn't really give a tactical side to Knight Games. The duel events are easy to play and hard to totally master. The bow and crossbow sway are there to create realism (and they don't kill playability), but perhaps they could have been a bit different from each other.|
|OVERALL - 8/10|
|Like knight life, Knight Games is not only glory in combat. Surprisingly, the game may lack in the terms of variety (and maybe even playability), but the great atmosphere makes up for it.|