Your Sinclair1st September 1991
Published in Your Sinclair #69
This game's annoying for two reasons. Firstly it's a shameless rip-off of Ghosts 'n' Goblins, and I reckon that if you're going to do a copy of a game you at least ought to try and make it a bit better than the original (which this isn't). And secondly, every time I try to type its name it comes out as Hobgolbin. Humph.
The storyline then. The land of Altoris (which spells 'Sirotla' backwards, to save you working it out) was once peaceful, its people protected by the Golden Orb. But it's been stolen (the orb, that is), and ghosts and hobgoblins are about to take over and beat everyone up. So King Garath has sent his only son, Zanock (you), to sort things out.
There's some other stuff about swamps and journeys being fraught with danger, but I'll spare you that and dive straight into the game. Needless to say, saving the kingdom involves trekking along a scrolling landscape picking off baddies and collecting add-ons. The scrolling is of the 'walk along a bit and then wait for the next screen to scroll on' variety, the baddies are things like ghosts and the occasional stationary gun (being notoriously crap I didn't get very far, so there might be other things too), and the add-ons are power-ups and extra lives.
The graphics are nice and colourful, they move jerkily and are small and weedy. But then they'd have to be. as a large chunk of the screen is filled by a massive great Hobgolbin (see?) logo, restricting the action to the bottom two-thirds. Couldn't be helped, I suppose. I did appreciate not being sent back miles every time I died though.
The difficulty's just about right, and I sort of found myself wanting to keep playing to find out what came next, but I ended up straightening the bits of paper on my desk instead.
A distinctly tacky walk-along-shooting-things game that's okay(ish) underneath.