US Gold Ltd
1987
Arcade: Maze
£7.99
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

168
Bym Welthy, Dave Hawkes
Chris Bourne

Lian a knight of the crusades is out to destroy the infidel Saracens in the medieval Holy Land. But his knightly prowess is certain to be sorely tested, for many warriors block the path to the Saracens' evil chief, whom Lian must destroy to move to the next of 40 levels.

And Lian must work his way through a maze of brick and stone passages, magic doors and one-way entrances to find and kill the chief.

Lian's longbow is some help; arrows lie around the play area, and Lian can fire in the direction in which they point.

With these arrows, Lian can detonate packs of obtructing bombs, grenades, blast his way through brickwork and destroy the white crosses which open magic doors. And if there aren't enough arrows pointing in the appropriate direction, the medieval soldier can create some more by shooting an arrow marker.

Other doors require not such heavy-handed tactics, but keys which Lian can collect.

The progress of enemy soldiers - like coloured snowflakes rolling about the maze - can be stopped. If Lian takes careful aim and shoots at a spiral wall-maker, brickwork is instantly produced to immures the oncoming Saracen squaddies.

And to give Lian some brief respite from the tension, he can reach the relative tranquility of a safety zone, where he can't be touched by enemy soldiers or deadly bouncing cannonballs. Fair's fair, though (or rather Lian's fairpwllwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwilliantysiliogogogoch), and Lian can't shoot arrows or pick up objects in the safety zones.

CRITICISM

'Another typical budget game: small, fast, jerky graphics, little gameplay. A few ideas in Saracen, such as picking up directional fire power, are great - but their brilliance is tarnished by the appalling graphics. The built-in antiboredom device is the option of starting on any level, but it doesn't take long to get bored with every screen there is.' BYM … 13%

'Saracen didn't really melt my joystick - in fact, it's dead boring, very simple with crummy graphics. There's only one real challenge - getting to the next level - and the gameplay consists of running around shooting weird-looking (hardly Saracen-like!) objects.' DAVE … 16%

COMMENTS
Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: poor
Options: start on any of 40 levels
General Rating: Hideous and uninteresting.

30%
14%
9%
11%
15%

Screenshot Text

Saracen: shooting snowflakes in the desert.