Issue 37 (February 1987) Page 16
ROBIN: Gauntlet, the official conversion, arrived in CRASH Towers just in time for the February 1987 issue - where it was immediately Smashed and hailed as 'a much better game than any of its clones'. It follows the arcade original quite faithfully, with a few alterations due to the limitations of the Spectrum.
The original is a one-to-four-player game where each player plays simultaneously. The abilities of the characters vary - for instance, some are better at combat than others. The aim is to rush about the spacious mazes hacking at anything that moves and eating anything that doesn't. You have to find a key to get into some parts of the maze.
There are six groups of nasties out to stop you. At the top of the tree comes Death himself, who can only be killed if you have a magic potion; the other baddies can be killed in hand-to-hand combat, or shot.
You have only one life, which is represented by a health score. This goes down when you're wounded by the enemy and goes up when food and drink are collected. Scattered about each maze are objects which give limited help, such as increased fire power and invisibility.
To progress to the next level you have to find an exit - and if you're particularly proficient, you can buy The Deeper Dungeons, a 512-screen add-on to Gauntlet.
The biggest letdown in the Spectrum conversion of Gauntlet is the graphics, which are small and simple. And, unlike the arcade original, the Spectrum Gauntlet allows only two players. Still, the conversion retains all the playability and addictive qualities that made the original such a smash hit. The multiload system gets a bit annoying at times - but it's a small price to pay.
RICKY: Because Gauntlet is the official conversion, it includes all the best features, and it's no disappointment after the arcade game. However, I could only enjoy Gauntlet as a two-player game - on my own I found it didn't generate the same enthusiasm.
US Gold's Gauntlet: run it again, and again...