Commodore User1st September 1986
Published in Commodore User #36
If anyone's looked at the C16 and Plus/4 software Chart recently, they will have noticed that Mastertronic dominate the top nine places. Well, here's a company that might rock the boat a little. This company also makes 'cheapo' games and comes in the form of Americana Software, a division of US Gold.
Robo Knight then, is Americana Software's first release on the C16/Plus 4 and, at under £3, provides lasting entertainment. The game is an arcade adventure (always popular!) and the setting is an old medieval castle, which boasts thirty-two rooms for you to negotiate.
You play the role of 'Robo', the brave knight, whose task it is to collect the Magical Shields which are found in certain rooms of the castle. Once you have collected all your shields, you make your way to the exit which surprise, surprise, is unlocked. You are now awarded the Sword of Power. But wait for it - the exit is relocked and it's back to the beginning until you reach the Sword of Power once more (the second time is to gain points).
To help brave old Robo with his ordeal, he is given three lives (not many, I know, but they weren't very generous in those days). And he certainly does need them as there are doors in the floor and the walls. And just to complicate matters further, the doors in the floor are to go down to a room and the doors in the walls to go up. But that's not the end, we also have ladders which can only be used to connect platforms.
To hinder completion of the game most rooms have at least one drill, stepping stone and well, or a combination of all three. The drills move up and down quite quickly, so timing has to be just right if you are to pass under them. When crossing the stepping stones, don't put a foot out of place or you will fall down the well. If that's not bad enough, you are also under a time limit.
Graphics have been well defined and attention to detail is very good. When entering the dungeons, there are barred windows and iron rings in the wall, and on practically every screen, burning torches are placed on the wall. It is all very authentic.
The only criticism I have (and it is very slight) is the sound and movement. Sound is kept to the minimum bleep for collecting a shield, and a sort of crash noise when Robo dies. Unfortunately, Robo's movement is a bit too fast. This can be frustrating when only slight movement of the joystick is needed. Generally speaking, these are only minor faults in a really addictive game that gives you hours of soul-destroying entertainment.
Let's hope that Americana Software convert more titles and keep supporting the C16/Plus 4.