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Mastertronic Ltd
Derek Brewster
1987
Arcade: Adventure
£1.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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117
Ben Stone, Richard Eddy, Mike Dunn
Chris Bourne


Friar Tuck races back to the camp, only to discover that Robin and his men are already under attack, and fighting for their very lives. Who knows who can survive the battle? And Tuck is now the only one free to combat the evil forces abroad in the forest. He is sure to need all of his skills and bravery to save the simple woodland folk from their unenviable fate.

You have control of the good Friar as he moves along the forest pathways, encountering bizarre servants of the Sagallan Priests - each capable of destroying his portly person. Foul tempered ogres are ready to trample on his body, or brain him with frozen chickens; skeletal servants brandish deadly clubs and swords; and werewolves roam with unhealthy appetites.

To avoid such opponents, Tuck is able to move to the left and right, up and down, but he must be fast. If he is hit by a weapon hurled, or fired by his enemies, he dies and loses one of his three lives.

Things become very much easier for our religious Rambo if he throws away his spiritual scruples and instead resorts to killing everyone in sight. Points are awarded for each opponent disposed of, with the score shown at the top right of the screen.

Friar Tuck is initially armed only with a sword, but as he kills his opponents he can collect and utilise their fallen weapons. When our pious warrior picks up one weapon he must drop the one he carries, and several attempts might be needed to kill an enemy, depending upon the weapon used.

Tuck is not only able to take weapons from his fallen toes, but also any objects they may carry, which can help him progress more easily through the forest. The objects and weapons carried are displayed at the top of the screen.

When the fighting Friar eventually encounters the Priests of Sagalla. he must hope that his prayers are answered, otherwise his days upon this planet can be counted on the hand of a one fingered man.

CRITICISM

'I am disappointed with this - at first glance it seems appealing and instantly playable, but within a couple of goes I'd discovered a really glaring bug - you get stuck in parts of the playing area (trees and stuff!) so you have to re-load. 'Not to worry' I thought at first, but I soon realised that it's impossible to carry on playing regardless. The graphics are very good, the characters are nicely animated and the backgrounds are Firelordesque in the way in which they are coloured and detailed. The sound is a bit limp though, there are a few beeps during play but that's about all you're going to hear here. I can't recommend this because it just doesn't seem finished.' BEN

'Oh, what a novelty!! An exploration game on the Spectrum. Again. As usual there's plenty to explore, if the other characters can be avoided - as they are inclined to deal out death as freely as jelly tots. As with any game of this type it will keep the avid arcade adventurer mapping to his hearts content as the locations are pretty varied. However, on the whole if didn't inspire or excite me, especially as my path was constantly blocked by daffodils, daisies and other weedy plants.' RICHARD

'Curse of Sherwood would be a really neat game, except for the tiny little bugs involved. It seems that whenever you start to do well the game realises this and makes sure you can't get out of your present screen without dying - what an ingenious programming technique! Makes playing a bit awkward though. This is basically a good game, with colourful (and sometimes even attractive) graphics and smooth playability. And selling at f1.99, it's well worth thinking about... even if it is marred by one or two problems.' MIKE

COMMENTS
Control keys: A/D left, S/F right, Y to P up, H to ENTER down, B to BREAK fire, Q quit
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor, Interface II
Use of colour: colourful forest scenery
Graphics: clear and distinguishable
Sound: poor and occasional spot effects
Skill levels: one
Screens: large mappable maze
General Rating: A barely average arcade adventure.

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