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CDS Microsystems
Mike Lamb
Arcade: Action
ZX Spectrum 16K

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Chris Bourne

Based on the arcade original 'Joust', Winged Warlords is one of three versions for the Spectrum of a game which achieved an almost cult status, and yet has been rarely copied here. The basic object of the game is to joust with your opponents and dismount them from their flying steeds. This is done quite simply by being higher up the screen than they are when you meet in combat.

The first version for the Spectrum was Joust, renamed Ostron by Softek. Winged Warlords does not follow quite the same pattern, which makes it good value even if you already own Ostron. The screen sports six platforms arranged in twos one above the other on the left, centre and right of the screen, offset so they actually make up four separate levels. Your enemy are blue men mounted on blue flying horses, and they bound about the wrap-around screen at a fair pace. There are three of them (although by wrapping around it seems at times like there are more).

You are mounted on a white flying charger. If you dismount a warrior, his horse will flap off and the dismounted man sinks to the ground, or a convenient ledge and awaits the return of his steed. When the beast returns it will be red and make the knight a red warrior - these tend to be more accurate in their attack patterns. The way to avoid this is to kill off a dismounted knight as soon as possible. The other serious problem is the red Evil Bird of War, which appears at random and is invulnerable to your lance.


'This is a fairly typical Jousting game with good graphics and sound. Your horse seems to have a certain amount of inertia, I.e. he will slow down and stop before going in a reverse direction. This can make manoevring rather difficult at times, but it all adds to the fun. The game is a good 'Joust'. I recommend it.

'This is a game with quite simple elements so a screen picture of it can be misleading because it doesn't show off the graphics and the type of movement, which is the game's charm. Actually, I think the graphics are marvellous, fast, detailed and well animated. The horses tuck up their legs in flight, but as they approach a ledge they put their feet down ready to /and, and their wings flap very convincingly. The real skill is in anticipating movement since your steed can't just turn when you want it to - it has to 'brake' first. When you dismount a knight, or are dismounted yourself, the freed horse just flap off the side of the screen and vanish. You are then 'reborn' somewhere else until all your lives have gone. A difficult game to master and fun to play. Pity there weren't more skill levels in it to make it absolutely top notch'.

'It's a simple game Idea, but very playable and quite addictive because of the speed at which it has to be played. I would have thought there could have been more developments than there are to give skilled players something else to do. But the graphics are marvellous.'

Control keys: Simple, Z/X = left/right, SPACE = flap wings
Joystick: none
Keyboard play: responsive, but with built in inertia
Use of colour fairly simple
Graphics: very good
Sound: good
Skill levels: 1
Lives: 4
Features: 1 or 2 players
Loading time: 45 seconds
General Rating: Good to very good and medium addictive.


Screenshot Text

Flying squad in jousting competition.