Amstrad Action1st May 1987
Published in Amstrad Action #20
Escape From Singe's Castle
After surviving Dragon's Lair, you'd think Dirk the Daring would be happy to settle down and live happily ever after in a palace in the country. Oh no. This brainless twit goes back to the dragon's castle in search of treasure. This means another eight stages of perilous adventure.
It all starts in the river caves, where you have to negotiate a series of screens containing boulders or whirlpools. The boulder screens will have two or three possible passages through the rocks. One will flash and you have to go through it. This needs quick reactions and concentration because your first move is the one the game takes - you can't correct an error. Pick wrongly and your coracle crashes on the rocks.
The whirlpools come in groups of three and have to be steered around. In all, there are eight boulder stages and six whirlpool stages. Failure on any of them not only results in a spectacular crash, but going back to the start as well.
Survive that little lot and you're plunged into an even worse situation. A boulder chasing you down a gulley while smaller boulders criss-cross it and holes go by underneath. You've got to run and jump to avoid the lot, otherwise it's curtains and you get squashed under the boulder.
There are six other stages including one where you have to get the gold you're after. Finally there's a confrontation with the mud monsters who try to block your final escape.
This sequel is much more playable and enjoyable than the original. It's got plenty of originality but unfortunately quite a bit of frustration too! The graphics are excellent, with some great animation and effects. I would recommend this above Dragon's Lair. But even then, be prepared for a lot of infuriating games.
Better than Dragon's Lair: at least from the point of view of surviving. You tend to live longer, but still start at the beginning if you die. The same bold, colourful graphics have been used. Again there is lots to discover if you can reach it. If you must get one of the laser-disc copies, then make it Singe's Castle.
Green Screen View
Certain screens are difficult to see.
First Day Target Score
Get to the boulder in the gulley.
P. Well-drawn scenes.
P. Excellent animation.
P. Good tunes and effects.
Grab Factor 72%
P. Easier to get into than Dragon's Lair.
N. One careless slip still sends you back to the start.
Staying Power 80%
P. Eight more testing stages.
P. Much more playable and higher skill element.
P. Get this instead of the original.
N. Still guaranteed to drive you up the wall!