Amstrad Action

Ghosts 'N Goblins

Author: Bob Wade
Publisher: Elite
Machine: Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Action #12

Ghosts 'N Goblins

Ghosts 'N Goblins is yet another of Elite's very popular arcade conversions, which will probably leap to the top of the charts quicker than you can say "pots of money". It's very short on instructions, but anyone who's seen it in the arcades or played Green Beret will quickly get the idea.

You control a knight, sporting a fiery orange beard, who's trying to do what knights do best - rescue a damsel in distress. To do that you've got to overcome all manner of spooks, ghouls, goblins and things that go "AAAAAARGH" in the night. You have to get through a number of screens, moving left to right across them. When you near the right hand edge of the screen it scrolls to reveal more of the spooky scenario.

The knight is armed with a limitless supply of swords you throw horizontally to dispatch foes, but you can also take evasive action when necessary by jumping, ducking or climbing. The first problem encountered are the zombies, which rise up from gravestones and head towards you with arms outstretched. They zombies have to be hacked down with the swords so that you can leap over the gravestones.

Ghosts 'N Goblins

The background soon becomes more detailed with the knight able to climb ladders up to a plateau. On this section there are more zombies, birds that flap up and down, and plants that spit rocks at you. All of these are deadly to the touch but can be killed with swords. If you do lose a life you return to an intermediate starting point, depending on how far you've got. These points are quite a way apart and take some getting to - that's just on Level One, and there are four Levels in all!

The next starting point takes you into a different section of the game, where things get really tough. First you have to hop on a raft to cross a stretch of water, and then avoid some nasty flying ghosts while trying to jump over more pools If you've got this far you'll be starting to wonder just how long Level One is, but the toughest part is yet to come.

The last adversaries include a winged demon, flying ghosts with spears, another rock-spitting plant, and a guardian demon who leaps up and down, trying to stomp on your head. Pools of water also make life difficult, so you'll need all your skill and timing to get through. If you can make it to the end of Level One the game opens out, giving multi-directional scrolling instead of just left and right. The action also becomes more platform orientated and certainly no easier.

Ghosts 'N Goblins

Each level comes with different scenery and all are exceptionally tough. The graphics and animation are reasonable, if not outstanding, but the music is very catchy and the gameplay tremendously addictive. If you've played Green Beret, you'll be at home straight away, but it is a much more varied, complicated and tougher game. Some players may take time to really get to grips with it and even experts will find it tough to get past Level Two. Like me, you'll keep coming back to it to see if you can just crack one more section... and another... and another.

Second Opinion

This game runs on frustration. Die at the end of a section and you start your next life a long, long way back - always assuming you've got a life left, that is. The obstacles keep getting meaner, and you've got to take each one a new way. It drives me up the wall, but I can't stop playing it!

Third Opinion

Needless to say, I didn't get anywhere like as far as Bob with this one, which is one reason I'm not usually that keen on this type of game. But this is one with a sense of humour, and just the right level of difficulty to keep me coming back for more. Better than Green Beret and a lot less bloodthirsty too.

First Day Target Score

Ghosts 'N Goblins

Just get to Level Two!

Good News

P. Four very tough levels.
P. Variety of ghastly, ghostly enemies.
P. Extremely addictive gameplay.
P. Good music while you're playing.
P. Not just horizontal scrolling, multi-directional action from Level Two on.

Bad News

N. Long gaps between starting points.
N. Almost too tough in places.

Bob Wade

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