It is the whim of nearly every reviewer I know these days to slag off any platform game that comes within 3.5 miles of them saying 'that was done two years ago, and this idea came from that game..' and so on. But sometimes you can stumble across a real gem and it doesn't matter if the idea isn't totally original - the game is just an improvement on all its inspiration.
In this latest Melbourne House rave, you play the part of a Spanish Knight hunting round a mysterious castle in search of three jewels. As usual your way is blocked by nasties, in this case they're wizards and Guards and the like, who all have this tendancy to want to kill you with their bows and arrows. Luckily, you've got a bow and arrow too, plus scattered throughout the castle you'll find treasure chests, some which hold extra weapon-type goodies, and some which hold potions. My first encounter with the potions turned me into an odd-loking creature with a big nose, which I didn't seem to do me a lot of good, so I take that to be one of the bad ones.
Although this is a platform game, and most would consider platform games to be a little long in the tooth, Conquestador succeeds where others have failed by learning from its mistakes. The graphics aren't small and fiddly like JSW, but then they're not grossly outsized like Popeye. The attributes have been dealt with so neatly that you can hardly notice any colour clash at all, and the sound is quite simply unbelievable for a Spectrum while playing a fast moving arcade game.
But the one thing that I did find enjoyable with this game was that I could get a little further each time I played it, not too much as to give the whole thing away, but just enough to make me have just one more go...
Really the only bad thing I can say about the whole program is that Melbourne House has used a very brave fast loader. It look me several attempts with a high quality computer cassette recorder to get it in. I hope it's changed slightly for the commercially available version.
And all I can say after that strange outburst of deep meaningful prose from a usually more sedate TP is that I've been beaten by Conquestador - buy it!