A MORE sedate affair than Underwurlde, Knight Lore brings us a stage closer to true arcade adventure. Ultimate has devised a technique it calls 'filmation' to depict 3D graphics in quite extraordinary style. Sabreman has been cursed and must change at night into a werewolf. In order to lift the curse, he must find the correct ingredients to counter the spell and dump them in the wizard's cauldron. The wizard lives in a labyrinth of caves and chambers full of traps and strange guardians.
Each chamber presents a specific problem. Some are easy to negotiate, others difficult. A certain amount of imaginative thought may be required, and the judicious use of objects found in the network is recommended.
But it is the graphics which truly astound. The first time you discover that you can push objects around, climb up and down, and all without flicker or any loss of speed, you will be amazed. When you move behind an object, you pass out of view. Piles of blocks may hide terrible traps - you will only find out by leaping onto them and testing them.
As an added bonus, the position in which you start changes from game to game, so there are always new problems to face and new routes to discover. Although it is relatively easy to explore the maze, it is much more difficult to work out which objects you need or discover the ingredients for the curative potion.
In order to produce such advanced effects, Ultimate has had to use only one colour for each screen. Careful shading is used to create the detail which might otherwise be done in colour. The overall effect is of a crepuscular world of claustrophobic menace. Does that chest hide an important secret? Is the span of rock to the high arch safe or will it drop me onto the poisoned spikes? How can I climb a wall three times my own height? What is the old boot for? Those questions have been asked by adventurers for years. Now the arcade wizards can taste that kind of magic for themselves.
Joystick: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair