Ghosts 'N Goblins
By Encore
Commodore 64/128

Published in Zzap #54

Ghosts And Goblins

Why is it that knights of old have to be so posey? When damsels are in distress any sensible person would leave the rescuing to the local fuzz. But not knights, nosiree, it's a case of 'have armour, will travel' with them.

One such knight stars in this horizontally-scrolling platforms and ladders game, a conversion of an ageing Taito coin-op (the sequel of which, Ghouls And Ghosts, is currently doing the rounds in arcades across the country).

Your girlie has recently been abducted by a troupe of travelling demons, much to your annoyance (after all, who's going to do the cooking? (c) 1989 Sexist Stereotypes Inc.) Being a hard knight and all, you can't let your friends know that you've been tricked by a bunch of poncey monsters, so the job of Totty Rescuer falls on your shoulders.

Ghosts 'N Goblins

Beginning in the local graveyard, you must find your way through the undead hordes until you reach your girl. It's not going to be easy, as the nasties went to a lot of trouble to get hold of her, and they aren't ready to give her up (after all, who's going to do the cleaning? (c) 1989 Sexist Stereotypes II).

You aren't without some degree of protection against your oppressors; as well as your metallic garb, you also start with a magic lance - no matter where you throw it, it always reappears in your hand, ready to be used again. During your quest, you can collect extra weapons, some good, others not so hot. Should you be hit by an enemy weapon you'll lose your armour and end up in your underwear. Y-Fronts aren't the most durable (or protective) of garments, however, and another hit spells your doom.

Ghosts And Goblins was universally acclaimed in its £9.99 form and has lost none of its shine, polish or addictive qualities, even after all this time. The sprites are an accurate representation of the coin-op, as are the music and sound effects. But the best part of the game is undoubtably its playability, which is tremendous. It's challenging without being frustratiing, difficult without being impossible. A software buyer's dream, no less.