I used to be quite a fan of Lone Wolf, you know. Back in the days when D&D was law and the written works of Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone were taken as gospel. And then the first Lone Wolf computer game appeared, complete with a keyboard overlay for a rubber keyed Spectrum. It wasn't any good, though. What you got for your £5.99 was the same as what you got for your £1.99, except you didn't have to turn the pages.
The world has been crying out for one, (everso slight untruth) and it has appeared. A Lone Wolf game that not only successfully captures the spirit of the book, but also turns out to be quite a good game. Why else would we put it on our cover?
You are the Lone Wolf, last of the Kai Lords. The Kai Lords were a bit like Jedi Knights only they didn't carry Lightsabres and they didn't walk in mysterious ways saying things like, 'You don't need to see his identification' and 'Even though you have cut off my arm, destroyed the only family I ever knew and are now having some rather disgusting thoughts about my twin sister, I know there is good in you father'. The Kai were wiped out by the evil Zoltan (or something like that) and you have to avenge their deaths.
Your means of revenge? To climb to the top of a tower of evil and destroy the ruler of thine enemy. The journey is a long one, through a tower so evil and twisted, it's shaped like an upside town triangle. You begin at the apex, which funnily enough happens to be at the bottom, and work your way up, via ladders and lifts, only pausing when making a decision at a junction.
Adversaries come in the form of warriors who are mirror images of yourself (reasons being too long to explain here, why not read the book?) and bats. The bats are easily dispatched with just a swift twitch of your blade. The warriors are a little more stubborn. As you progress through the game, they get better and better at combat, near the end some are downright impossible. Or are they? Each has their own personality and requires a different strategy to dispose of.
Other problems caused are the traps and puzzles. Traps take the form of statues that spit fire across ladders just as you are climbing, and open electric circuits, that blaze sparks as you walk past. Puzzles are usually formed by the lifts that constantly move up and down. Sometimes a series of three, maybe more have to be navigated by some well timed jumps, which aren't easy to come by. I have to tell you. It takes a great deal of patience just to wait for the right moment.
Graphically, the game reminds me of nothing more than Psygnosis' Barbarian right down to the flip scrolling. The only real difference between the two being that the backdrops on LW are much more attractive and atmospheric. All the little touches are there, from the busty statuettes to the skulls on poles.
Sound is just a little on the basic side, but with a game this size, I can't say that surprises me. Spot FX do their purpose, though I was a little disappointed by the lack of a tune.
Yet another enjoyable arcade adventure romp through the land of make believe. Fun, and it's size almost guarantees lengthy periods of play. Now, where did I put my ton-fun?
Reviewer: Tony Dillon
Fabbo samurai arcade adventurey thingey. It's Oh Kai!