CRL's latest release comes from the author of highly successful wargames such as Arnhem, Vulcan and Desert Rats.
The player takes the part of a Cyberknight robot (either computer or custom-designed) in a mission to seek out and destroy ten computer controlled opponents. In two player mode, two Cyberknights battle against one another in a fight to the death. Although other robots are present, they form a significantly weaker challenge.
The flick-screen battle arena consists of a series of futuristic tunnels connected by gravity-neutralising lift shafts which allow temporary freedom of vertical movement. In two player mode the screen is split to display the position of both Cyberknights simultaneously.
Computer controlled opponents prowl the corridors waiting to fire lasers and missiles at hostile intruders. These can be destroyed only by careful shooting, and each Cyberknight is equipped with an arsenal of different weapons (selected via the keyboard) including mines, grenade throwers and laserfire.
Injury inflicted on the player is indicated by a number of colour-coded bar graphs which show damage to the head, body and, if your robot is charged by a power pack or batteries, current energy level.
Bonus points are scored by collecting the money icons scattered around the environment and defeating particularly strong opponents. The financial reward following the successful destruction of target robots can be used to increase the power of the cyberknight or even the number robots controlled in the next game.
The package comes complete with a complex design program which allows you to create, name, arm, load and save your own robot designs.
'Cyberknights comes complete with an incredibly fat book of complex instructions, but it looks like all the effort that should have gone into the program has been wasted on producing a totally unhelpful set of convoluted rules. The game itself is no more than a fairly standard shoot 'em up pretending to the depths of a complex strategy game. Computer opponents can't be blasted head-on, they have to be hit from certain angles. The only elements this adds to the game are boredom (at best) and extreme frustration (at worst); blasting at extremely resilient opponents has very little to recommend it. Feeble gameplay can't be redeemed by the simplistic (if colourful) graphics or the insignificant sound effects. Even with a designer programme Cyberknights doesn't have much to offer.'
'The instructions for Cyberknights are a joke. Just to prove where the programmer's real interests lie the booklet contains more pages explaining the use of the superfluous design program than the actual game itself - whereas surely a player would spend more time playing the game than using R T Smith's beautiful design program. The game itself is very simple and unaddictive, requiring very little thought. The constant sliding about (or standing still) and blasting hell out of another dopey robot is hardly compelling. The basic concept could create little more than the programmer has produced. Such a tedious and tiresome game certainly isn't worth £7.95.'
'How can CRL charge £7.95 for this? The game on its own isn't worthy of a budget price tag. The graphics are amateurish and colourless, and the only detail that has been put into the game is on the Cyberknights logo - and that looks overdone. There's no tune to be found in the game - just a sound effect or two when you fire. So, it must be the design program on the other side of the tape which boosts up the price; but once you load it you realise that this is also a waste of time! Don't waste your money on Cyberknights, you'll just be very disappointed.'