The Amiga version of Cinemaware‘s classic Defender of the Crown is both beautiful to look at, and great fun to play. Actually, pretty much every version of Defender of the Crown I’ve played has been great, but the Amiga version is probably the most well-remembered. It was also the very first version of Defender of the Crown too – all the other versions followed later.
Defender of the Crown is very much like the timeless classic boardgame Risk, but with ‘knight-based’ mini games interspersed throughout to keep things interesting. You start off as a land-owning Saxon Lord, with one county to your name, and must expand your land ownership through combat, or knight’s tournaments. Taking over land is done via an expeditionary force, which must be assembled beforehand. Pillaging castles or rescuing maidens is done differently, with you simply piling in as an individual (with a few helpful allies) and hacking away with your sword. If you lose the sword fights you either get locked-up and have to pay for freedom, or you’re killed.
Tournaments are a little less fatal, but just as physically demanding. Getting a jousting pole to the shield, or face, or anywhere else for that matter, will not only lose you the bout, but also lose you some land. Or win you some – depending on how well you do.
Defender of the Crown is a timeless classic and plays just as well now as it did over thirty years ago when it was first released (1986), so is well worth tracking down if you fancy playing a simple-but-effective turn-based historical combat/strategy game with lovely graphics and no magic spells!
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