We at Your Sinclair realised some time ago that the majority of French programmers are one chip short of a large fries, so it comes as no surprise to find that Knight Force is completely weird. Here's the plot...
A princess has been captured (ho hum) by the sorcerer Red Sabbath. He's hoping that Fair Storm (you) will go after her so that he can steal the keys to the Gates of Time and Space from you. Luckily, however, there just happens to be a series of magic amulets lying around Time and Space that will enable you to destroy him.
To collect all the amulets you need to visit four time zones - Pre-history, New York Today, the Future and the Mystical. In each one you have to beat up a lot of people/things and kill a magic bird. According to the instructions, you can tackle the zones in any order by choosing one of four dolmens (prehistoric monuments - I looked it up) from the title screen. The appropriate level should then multiload in. Unfortunately though, whichever key I pressed I always got chucked into the same zone (Future). Rather boring and, as far as I can see, a major bug.
Once you've scratched your head a bit and decided to carry on regardless, you'll find that Fair Storm is a kind of knight, with a sword and everything. Ah-ha, you think, a beat-'em-up! Yes, but a very limited one. You can jump, duck, move left and right and do about five different things with your sword (all of them pretty much the same). Waiting to be beaten up are cavemen, a vicious-sounding woman, a robot and a load of skeletons. So I'm told, anyway. All I could have a crack at was the robot, and come peculiar-looking birds that fly around him. It was terrible. I lasted 30 seconds at the most, waving my sword around to very little effect. And if you do manage to kill the robot another one appears. Oh yeah, and if you accidentally press 'Space' you get sent back to the beginning.
I don't know quite what to think really. Let's assume, for the sake of the review, that I'm doing something wrong at the start and it is possible to get to all four zones (but I don't think it is). And let's also say for the sake of argument that I'm rubbish at playing games (there could be some truth in that) and that anyone else would be able to actually get somewhere.
The graphics, then, are pretty good (although the sprites tend to get engulfed by the background a bit) but the sound's crap. Even if the playability had been worked out properly, and everything functioned as it should, I can't really imagine anyone going wild about Knight Force. There's just not enough there, and what is there has all been done before.
The whole thing's completely bonkers.
A bland beat-'em-up with potentially serious technical problems.
Here's Fair Storm, sword in hand, doing his thing. Lurking somewhere in the scenery is a giant robot that squirts horrible stuff at him.
Detailed (but monochrome) backdrops are one of the main strengths of Knight Force - they look good, but sadly our hero gets a little lost in them.
This is the demons bit where you're meant to be able to pick a level and then play it. If only life were so simple.