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PSS
1987
Strategy: War
£12.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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54
Andy Smith
Chris Bourne

PSSst - wanna play a wargame?

Tough times are ahead in the once-peaceful lands of Galanor. That old rogue the Shadowlord is, even as you read this, marching forth from his citadel with a hideous army that is hell-bent on capturing the citadel of Yarthros. and thereby ruling the land.

Unless of course you can stop him. This solo fantasy wargame puts the player in charge of the three remaining race types that inhabit the lands of Galanor. At the start of the game only a small number of characters know of the Shadowlord's invasion, and the player controls these few characters and attempts to rouse the rest of the forces within the land.

Recruiting armies to your noble and worthy cause is not difficult - a unit merely has to land on the fortress or citadel where an army is located, and the army is allied to your cause.

No fantasy wargame would be complete without the addition of a little magic to spice it up, and Sorcerer Lord has its fair share, which can have the player winning or losing a vital battle. The strength of magic that the player is able to summon (though when it's used is decided by the computer) is determined by the number of Rune Rings (physical terrain features looking like Stonehenge) that the player controls. At the start of the game the player has control of all eight Rune Rings, but as the play progresses, the Shadowlord is swift to take possession of them.

Apart from the tactical map, which can be scrolled in any direction, a strategic map can be called up at the touch of a button. This map shows the whole of the lands of Galanor, together with terrain features and the approximate positions of the units. Terrain plays an important part in the game, as each unit has a set number of movement points at the start of each turn, and the various types of terrain affect the various units to different extents.

Sorcerer Lord is certainly no pushover. A player will lose either if the citadel at Yarthros is captured, or if the Shadowlord captures any fortress and holds it for twelve consecutive turns. An absorbing and atmospheric game that will keep you playing for a long time to come.

Reviewer: Andy Smith

RELEASE BOX
Spec, £12.95cs, Out Now
Amstrad, £12.95cs, £17.95dk, Out Now
C64/128, £12.95cs, £17.95dk, Imminent

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 78/100
1 hour: 60/100
1 day: 80/100
1 week: 88/100
1 month: 70/100
1 year: 30/100

The Spectrum version has more initial appeal. It takes a while to get absorbed in the game, but once you are you'll be playing for a long time.

8/10
N/A%
8/10
8/10
844/1000

Banner Text

SPECTRUM VERSION

The screen display is colourful and well designed, though the information screen does not remain visible for long enough to absorb all the statistics at one go. The screen is divided into squares, not hexagons, but this doesn't affect the overall playability of the game. For those that enjoy PSS's arcade sequences, well I'm afraid you don't get one this time.

AMSTRAD VERSION

The most striking thing about the Amstrad version is the hexagonal display of the playing area. The colours, though, are garish and dull, and the unit symbols are not as detailed as with the Spectrum version. just as difficult and just as absorbing on the Amstrad as it is on the Spectrum.

Graphics: 7/10

Audio: 3/10

IQ Factor: 8/10

Fun Factor: 8/10

Ace Rating: 838/1000

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 70/100

1 hour: 60/100

1 day: 80/100

1 week: 85/100

1 month: 60/100

1 year: 30/100

Screenshot Text

Spectrum: well into the game and most of your forces are committed to the struggle.

Amstrad: hexagons replace squares. You've got few forces to manage at the start of the game.