Violence seems to be a way of life at software houses these days. None more so than Melbourne House, who've already had a smash hit (geddit?) with Exploding Fist and have another biggy up their sleeves in the shape of Rock 'N Wrestle. If whacking a succession of living creatures to death is your idea of a relaxing evening, Fighting Warrior could be just the program you need.
The structure of the game is rather similar to Ariolasoft's Karateka, except that this time it's set in ancient Egypt. The idea is to battle through a sequence of scrolling screens in a bid to rescue a beautiful princess. Barring your way are various strange, violent creatures - the Egyptian equivalents to a werewolf, a dragon, a panther, an armoured knight, and so on.
You have to despatch these in a series of one-to-one combats. At your disposal is a blunt sword which you can use in three different ways - a jab, an upper swing and a lower swing. The only other movement options (all joystick-controlled) are duckling, jumping and walking left or right - much less variety than in Fist.
The progress of a fight is revealed by two energy gauges at the bottom of the screen for you and your opponent. Every registered hit causes these to fall, and reaching zero means death for your opponent, or in your case the loss of one of five lives.
Should you survive a fight, a magic vase appears for you to swing at. If you can hit it, you may be transported to a change of background and more advanced stage of the game, barren desert locations eventually giving way to the inside of a temple. It's up to you to learn which vases are worth swinging at.
Even though combat games are all the rage at present, this one has several limitations. For a start, although the various characters look suitably sinister, especially when they start whacking each other over the head, the graphics are blocky and lack the smoothness of the animation in Fist. The backgrounds aren't particularly special either.
More importantly, I found the combat itself because uninteresting very quickly. There aren't enough choices to allow you to develop detailed tactics. Although the different creatures don't all behave the same, most fights, especially against the "panther" and the winged creature, are a matter of simple brainless bloodletting, with the winner normally being the side which starts the fight with more energy.
If you're still thirsty for blood, maybe you should wait for Rock 'N Wrestle which, unlike this, is from the programmers of Fist.