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Arcade: Adventure
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K

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Luke C
Chris Bourne

This is a funny sort of game - and you don realise just how addictive it can be until you've been playing it for at least two hours!

Okay, it must be admitted... there are certain cynical gamesters who might point a finger at the format of the game and mention a couple of Ultimate titles, but Robin o' The Wood is certainly in a category of its own. For instance, the first time I played the game, it was over 40 minutes before I realised I hadn't yet been killed and tossed back to the beginning. Not that the game's easy...

You get to play the part of Robin, hurtling around the castles, woods and open land searching for keys, flowers, and all sorts of other medieval knick-knacks. The Norman's trudge around the scenery relentlessly firing off crossbows at you, but they're fairly easy to dodge and they don't do that much harm anyway. The real menaces are the red rats - they kill... and quickly too! If you catch sight of one of them rushing towards you, there's no point in trying to kill it with your spear - it's just a waste of time.

Your life energy is measured by a white strip beneath the playing area. As you suffer crossbow bolts and encounters with rats, it gradually turns mauve and then blue... which means you're dead. Of course, find the white-bearded sage and you not only gain a new life but all your ills are cured. Watch Out though for the green goddess that appears out of nowhere, steals some of your treasure and naffs off.

Graphics are good and movement around the screen is both fast and smooth. And, although the screens are all fairly similar - which is how the programmer has managed to cram so many into the game - there are familiar landmarks every now and then to get your bearings from.

It doesn't really bear much similarity to the Robin Hood stories we all know and love - but that doesn't matter a bit. A great game - buy it!