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1986
Arcade: Platform
£7.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Unspecified custom loader

84
Tommy Nash
Chris Bourne

Mayday, mayday, mayday! Never mind that it's still only January, you have a job to do. The space ship carrying the love of your life has crash-landed and Amelia's been taken hostage by Spegbott the Terrible. (His friends all call him Botty 'cos he's such a bum!) Slipping into your space suit, you teleport to the beleaguered ship. Now the search through screen after screen is on - can you find your love before Spegbott makes Amelia of her? Prepare to make a knight of it...

Once again, Gremlin has come up with a cute little character in a cartoony setting. Leave him too long on his tod and he starts waving to you - longer still and he goes straight into a suicide spin that only when his energy runs out or you take control again.

This time, though, the programmers have plumped for the platforms and ladders format. We're back in left, right, jump, fire territory with a bit of pick up and use for good measure. Fortunately, if you're as fed up as me with games that require perfect pixel positioning, Future Knight is much more forgiving of your mistakes. If you touch one of the nasties, your energy depletes to different degrees depending on who, or rather what, you've just bumped into. And as you start with a thousand energy points and four lives, you should be able to get a fair way into the game on your first play. It's even possible to push your energy right back to the top again.

And your energy can drain faster than water down the plughole. The space ship, the SS Rustbucket, is chock full of horrors. There are ghosts and greeblies, disembodied skulls plus the brains that plopped out of them. Worst of all, though, are the different sized droids, monster machines that patrol the platforms - one touch and your energy will go through the floor. And they take some killing too. You can spend a couple of minutes with the joystick on auto-fire before they disappear in a puff up their own exhaust pipes.

So, what's the knight life like in space? Well, there's knight clubbing, of course, but you expend a lot of energy on that, so it's better to lance-a-lot, using the weapons you pick up as you go. Most of your time's spent looking for the exits on the next level and clocking up the high score. Not that original, okay, but the gameplay's good and the graphics are a lot of fun - just wait till you make it outside onto the planet surface and get a good look at the giant caterpillars!

The game's big enough to keep you going for weeks, and that's before you start making a map. You'll soon find yourself hook, line and sinkered. As they said round the table in Camelot, once a knight may not be enough...

8/10
8/10
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9/10
8/10