Knight Games, by English Software, was something of a sensation when it was first released in 1986. It is an historical fighting game, featuring knights in armour, fighting for victory in a multi-event tournament.
It features large, nicely-animated characters taking part in eight different medieval events and these can be played one or two-player. There’s Quarterstaff, Archery, two different types of swordfighting, Ball & Chain, Pike Staff, Crossbow, and Axeman.
Before each event starts there are three skill levels to choose from (novice, squire and knight). There’s atmospheric music throughout, from David Whittaker and Yekao and Spiz, but you can opt to turn this off if you so wish. It does help create a suitable atmosphere though. Knight Games is a multiload game, with each event loading separately and the final scores/victories/defeats being totted-up afterwards.
Although it does take a while to learn all the moves, and get used to the mechanics of the shooting events, Knight Games is definitely a refined and playable game. It was probably the critical hit it was, back in the mid Eighties, because people are generally mad for historical combat games featuring knights in shining armour. I’m not sure if Knight Games ever received a US release (rare for many UK games), but it’s the kind of game Americans go for – a fighting game with English historical elements. If you’re American and you know for a fact that this got a release in your country, please let me know in the comments.
One final thing: the Knight Games Wikpedia page is technically incorrect stating that it was just a budget game, and was solely published by Mastertronic. In fact, Knight Games was initially a full-priced game published by English Software themselves, and was later re-released by Masteronic‘s budget label when English Software went out of business. Someone should really update Wikipedia to add more detail about this game to properly reflect the facts. I noticed that Mobygames also make the same mistake. Facts matter, guys. Whitewashing history due to a lack of knowledge is just lame. At least Retro Gamer and Zzap!64 got it right…