Dragon's Lair
By Encore
Spectrum 48K/128K/+2

Published in Crash #76

Dragon's Lair

This was a stunning arcade machine with high quality graphics and sound, but it sadly lacked in playability. Each scene was played by just moving the joystick in one direction at the right moment. If the timing wasn't correct, Dirk, the hero, came to a very sticky end. I spent all my pocket money just trying to get off the first screen, and didn't succeed!

The Spectrum conversion retains many of the arcade machine's bad things, and not many of the few good ones. Graphics, of course not up to the quality of the original, aren't too bad: large smoothly animated sprites and good splashes of colour everywhere plus detailed scenery. Being a 48K only game is the biggest problem. This means sound consists of nothing but the odd beep, and the multi-load takes longer than the actual playing.

Some of Dirk's tasks seem almost impossible. It took me ages to successfully complete the first stage where he stands on a disk and is blown about by the wind. Moving in the opposite direction of the wind keeps him on the disk, otherwise he falls off and plummets to his doom!

Dragon's Lair is a game for people with plenty of patience. You need to persevere with to get any playability out of it. The graphics may be well detailed and colourful - it's surviving long enough to see them that causes the problems!

Nick Roberts

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