The Sentinel, BBC Micro

Another timeless classic video game that originated on the BBC Micro in 1986.

Geoff Crammond‘s The Sentinel is a strategic game of ‘hide and seek’ – played-out on a chequerboard-like surface over which a being called The Sentinel watches.

The Sentinel stands there, on the highest point of the map, looking out for you. If he sees you he will begin to drain your energy (indicated by a humming sound and interference on your scanner). Luckily, The Sentinel rotates slowly at a set rate, and he only looks ahead, so you can avoid his gaze by moving when he is looking elsewhere. You just have to stay out of his line of sight.

You move by absorbing objects, such as trees or boulders, and using that energy to teleport to another square on the map. The only proviso is: you must be able to see the surface you are teleporting onto. And to be able to do that you often have to stack boulders on top of each other and stand on them.

Your ultimate aim is to sneak up on The Sentinel and absorb him, which is only possible if you can see the ground he is standing on.

It’s amazing how good this game is – how a simple idea can be programmed into something so playable and weird. And it has 10,000 different levels. The mind boggles.

Geoff Crammond is one of the best game designers of all time.

More: The Sentinel on Wikipedia

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