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Palace Software
Arcade: Solo beat-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Jonathan Davies
Chris Bourne

Now we're talking. Although there isn't a single kimono or droopy moustache in sight, and swords rather than hands are used for carving people up, Barbarian is easily the most agonisingly painful game ever released. There's bloody literally everywhere, with continuous slaughter the order of the day.

Some of the most memorable moves in beat-'em-up history are featured in Barbarian. Not to be missed is the now-legendary spin-round-and-chop-his-head-off manoeuvre, but the head-butt shouldn't be overlooked, and nor should the sly poke-in-the-eye.

There are plenty of gimmicks too. Like the little bloke who comes on after each game to remove corpses and severed body parts. And the little shrug your warrior gives you when you ignore him for too long.

Yes, Barbarian is one of my faves. All it lacks is that essential oriental atmosphere. You could always go for a take-away afterwards of course.