Developed by BioWare and published by Electronic Arts in 2009, Dragon Age: Origins is a hardcore, third-person Role-Playing Game in the style of Knights of the Old Republic (also developed by BioWare), Vampire: the Masquerade – Redemption, and Neverwinter Nights.
Wow… Now this is something special… An enhanced version of Cinemaware‘s classic Defender of the Crown, with cool new sequences and graphics not seen in the original!
Defender of the Crown II was created by James D. Sachs in 1993 and is seemingly a bit of an ‘auteur piece’, since Sachs programmed it, made the graphics, and did the music himself. And – it has to be said – he did a brilliant job. Defender of the Crown II is arguably the best iteration of the original game and was clearly a labour of love for him.
The Commodore 64 conversion of Defender of the Crown is a celebrated retro gaming classic. Apart from loading times, there’s little to fault about it.
Cavelon is an early colour arcade game from Jetsoft and was first released in 1983.
It is a highly frustrating and difficult maze game where you are a knight and must find pieces of a door to make your way up to the next level of the castle. The pieces are hidden in a simple maze and are guarded by enemy troops.
You can shoot, surprisingly, although the firing system is a bit tricky. The bullet will only stay on screen until you press the first button again. So you can effectively accidentally cancel a bullet (by shooting another one), just before it hits its target. So you have to be careful.
Enemies abide by the same rule, which evens things out, but it’s still very difficult getting the timing right. To cap it all: there’s a timer, although it’s not entirely clear to me exactly how it works. You have a kind of ‘smart bomb’ weapon (The Magic Sword) that you can use a small number of times per level, and temporarily clears the screen of all chasing bad guys. You can also pick up more magic swords as they appear.
Cavelon is one of those old, ropey arcade games that hardly anyone cares about. Show it some love and play it, if you can find a copy.
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!
Also on The King of Grabs: Cinemaware Week