Saracen (Americana) Review | Amstrad Action - Everygamegoing

Amstrad Action


Saracen
By Datasoft
Amstrad CPC464

 
Published in Amstrad Action #28

Saracen

Holy Crusades were the sort of thing that Richard the Lionheart really enjoyed. Going around the Holy Land hacking up the Saracens was a popular medieval pastime and now you can join in the fun.

Armed with a bow, you set off to kill the Saracen Chiefs who live in mazes. There are many hazards littered about the mazes and these include soldiers, bombs and cannon balls. Stone walls, wooden walls magic doors, locked doors and one way doors block off passages through the maze. Stone walls are indestructible, wooden walls can be shot, magic doors and locked doors can be opened and one way doors make backtracking impossible.

Keys are used in the keyholder to open locked doors. Two other features cue wall-makers and safety-zones. Wall-makers create pieces of wooden wall and safety-zones are places where you cannot be killed.

The most important object is the grenade (a holy hand-grenade, perhaps Batman?) which is used to blow up the Saracen Chief. Once he is dead, you progress to the next level. There are 40 levels to go through and you can start on any level.

Throughout the game, a tune plays which tends to depress you rather than add to any atmosphere. Spot effects are adequate. Graphics are like those found in games from the early days of the Amstrad, small and ill-defined.

The game plays in a similar way to Boulderdash, although it does not compare very well. A bit more thought to how the game looks would have been nice but at a budget price, it may well keep you occupied for a while.

Second Opinion

My sympathies go out to one reader, who had already contacted us having bought this game on the strength of the screenshots on the packaging. Beware - they are not of the Amstrad version, or anything remotely like it for that matter.

I don't really like making allowances for budget games; they ought to be out there competing with everything else. In those terms, it's a pretty poor game. Tho graphics and animation are appalling and the gameplay is little better. There is much better budget software than this around, and software that doesn't try to mislead you with the cassette inlay.

First Day Target Score

Level 10.

Green Screen View

Relatively clear action.

Verdict

Graphics 26%
N. Small characters which are poorly defined...
N. ...and they move jerkily.

Sonics 32%
N. A rotten tune.

Grab Factor 32%
P. Early levels are easy to complete.
N. A bit confusing at first.

Staying Power 40%
P. Forty increasingly difficult levels.
N. Some intriguing problems on higher levels.

Overall 40%
Not one of the better budget games.

CJB