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Blade Software Ltd
1990
Tactical Combat
£9.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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51
Garth Sumpter
Chris Bourne

Blade/Mythos take the traditional route to table-top style Role Playing in this battle of magic.

The world of Role Playing Games is not a medium that lends itself easily to the silicon box, but the formulae for the transition are now more developed to the market. The latest wave of games like Dungeon Master and Castle Master, have taken the plan view RPG and turned it on its 3D head. So is Mythos' Lords Of Chaos a retrograde step or are the disadvantages of memory hungry Freescape and 3D graphics easily overlooked by the more traditional gamer?

Lords Of Chaos puts up to 4 players in wizards' robes, primed with spell lists and mana levels with which to do battle against other players or, if alone, the computer's wizard Torquemada who, unlike his Spanish inquisition namesake, is not out to kill thousands of innocent people but you.

Although similar in style to Laser Squad, this time around the team of Nick and Julian Gollop have created a world of strategic sorcery in which its holistic approach gives a real feel of waging war with a warlock.

Players can begin with an "off the peg" character with various spells and abilities but if they find him a loose fit for their style of gameplay they can tailor a wizard to their own specifications.

Each wizard begins with a list of abilities - Mana being the most important as this translates directly into magic spells. Action points are used up with each movement or task undertaken with stamina, constitution, combat and defence points depleting on each turn that they are called into use. A graphical display of each of these current levels are shown for each wizard which reduce during play. Each wizard and the characters that he summons to help him, are selected by joystick and then manipulated according to the current menu. At the beginning of each game it's a good idea to conjure up some companions - something that flies, something earth bound and something that's most certainly dead. Each of them can at least do battle with the enemies that fly, drag knuckles or is long since dead and impervious to material weapons.

Your wizard controls each of his characters, to the point of even hitching a ride on mountable monsters. These are very useful because it means he can conserve movement points which are used up in spell casting and potion making which can only be done by collecting the needed ingredients and putting them in the same space occupied by the cauldron. Add to this mixture one wizard and use the potion spell.

Potions are integral to the game as is the interplay between the wizard and the creatures under his control and careful use of spells is needed to progress through a game to the exit portal which will take the wizard back home where he will be awarded experience points which can then be used to increase the number of spells known to the total of 45 and to increase the effectiveness level of each spell. Also, experience points can be spent increasing characters abilities and wizards can be saved during the game allowing their use by players in later games.

Reviewer: Garth Sumpter

RELEASE BOX
Atari ST, £24.95dk, September
Amiga, £24.95dk, September
Spectrum, £9.95cs, September
C64/128, £9.95cs, £12.95dk, September
Amstrad, £9.95cs, £14.95dk, September
No other versions planned.

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 3/5
1 hour: 4/5
1 day: 5/5
1 week: 4/5
1 month: 3/5
1 year: 2/5

As with many plan view RPG games, the whole format has really been superseded by the latest batch of graphical Dungeon type games that has increased the appeal of the genre to include the arcade player. However, where Lords of Chaos really scores over them is in the depth of gameplay that is available and the level of board game strategy that is involved. Playing against your friends or even just alone, the three included scenarios will be complemented by extension modules which will add two new scenarios for £4 - £6. So. If Lords of Chaos appeals to you, then be sure that you could spend quite some time playing it.

7/10
5/10
9/10
7/10
850/1000

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SPECTRUM VERSION

Laser Squad was a popular release and so it seems natural to use the same formula this time with Lords of Chaos and try to improve upon it. This Mythos have done with clear, recognisable graphics and a comprehensive manual. Sound is lacking but this would only be a problem with an arcade game. Control is by joystick or keys and is initially confusing making it a tricky game to get straight into but absorbing once you gone to the trouble.

LATE STARTER!

Just as we were about to go to press with this issue we were informed by Blade Software that they now plan not to release Lords of Chaos until September. So unfortunately this review is a bit previous to the occasion. Our apologies for that - but do keep your eyes peeled for this one come the Autumn.

Screenshot Text

Mythos have gone for a traditional grid based two-dimensional approach for their latest Role-Playing extravaganza.

All the usual table top game stats are involved, but the computer takes care of the boring number-crunching.

The map shows the whole battle area in miniature.

Your familiars are called forth and the battle with Torquemada begins.