C&VG


Ghouls 'N Ghosts

Author: Paul Rand
Publisher: U. S. Gold
Machine: Spectrum 48K

 
Published in Computer & Video Games #97

Ghouls 'N Ghosts

Kidnappings aren't a modern day thing you know - they used to occur in medieval times too. Then the abductors were the devil and his disciples. The ransom wasn't a few million in used notes either - the kingdom's for sake in this little caper.

But when the chips are down and things are looking, to say the least, bleak, something must be done. The hostage in question is none other than the king's voluptuous daughter - so it's time to call on Camelot's answer to Rambo, Sir Arthur T Knight, RDD (Rescuer of Damsels in Distress).

Arthur must battle his way through the many lands which make up the kingdom, which is now absolutely infested with Satan's creations. Beginning in the court graveyard and travelling through forests, castles and similarly dangerous areas, Arthur must complete each section within the allotted time limit - if not, the enormous creature at the end of each level will ransack the place and kill everyone, including old Art. Beginning with a magic lance which returns to his hand every time it is thrown, our hero can pick up other weapons carelessly left behind by the enemy. These include razor-sharp frisbees, axes and firebombs, which can be a great help on some levels but a hindrance to progress on others.

Ghouls 'N Ghosts

As well as extra weaponry, treasure chests appear from nowhere, some of which contain magic armour with varying powers, including the ability to create a mirror image of its wearer (doubling firepower) and a smart bomb-type effect. Caution is recommended though, as many of the chests contain demons who hurl magic spells, turning the brave knight into an unarmed bow-tie-wearing duck for a while.

Arthur starts the quest with three lives; if he is hit by a baddie or struck by a weapon he loses his armour and must continue in his natty white boxer shorts until he finds another suit. However, if he is attacked in this semi-naked state, he loses one of his lives and must go back to the beginning of the level.

Ghouls 'N Ghosts on the Atari ST is an extremely faithful conversion of the coin-op. Most of the original's features have been retained and, although the graphics aren't pixel-perfect, they're easily recognisable. The game itself is at first frustrating, with death knocking on the door almost immediately after play has commenced. Once you start to get further and further into each level though, annoyance turns into satisfaction with each inch gained. Sound must also be given a mention, the music being some of the best I've heard on the Atari ST for a long time - it's very atmospheric!

Ghouls 'N Ghosts

Ghouls 'N Ghosts is about as good as anyone could hope for. Practically everything which made the coin-op such a delight to play is in there, right down to the pouring rain on the forest level. Getting your armour rusty has never been so much fun!

Atari ST

An accurate conversion of the hit coin-op that's tough, but very addictive. Go for it!!

Amstrad CPC

Masses of colour and loads of playability make up for the shortfalls apparent in the Amstrad version of Ghouls 'N Ghosts, most notably the push-scroll. As with the others though, it's as good a conversion as could be sensibly expected and you can't ask for more than that.

Spectrum

The graphics are a bit on the titchy side, but it's still a faithful conversion and an enjoyable game which provides plenty of challenge and excitement.

Paul Rand

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