The Seven Gates Of Jambala (Grandslam) Review | ST Format - Everygamegoing

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The Seven Gates Of Jambala
By Grandslam
Atari ST

Published in ST Format #7

The Seven Gates Of Jambala

The one thing that Davion wants the mostest in the whole wide world is his stripes as a Fully Fledged Wizard. For the past few years he's been the keen student of the Old Master. But just occasionally the path to wizardry doesn't run as smoothly as it might. The Old Master has had to reprimand him a number of times for misuing spells or causing problems with some of his own!

But this time the young student has really blown it and wasted his last chance. During the casting of the biggest spell the Old Master has even incanted, Davion activated a lever which ruined the effects. As a punishment the Old Master has sent him into the realm of Jambala - a strange world of ghostly cities and mysterious underground caverns. Few people attempt to enter the realm of Jambala, and fewer still escape.

There is only one hope for the apprentice and that is to find the seven pieces of the missing magic wand and use them on the exit gate in the seventh city.

The Seven Gates Of Jambala

The Seven Gates Of Jambala takes up the tale as Davion enters the first city. Guide him into the correct passage via the appropriate doorway on the street. Once inside, negotiate the tricky scenery while fending off all manner of nasty subterranean creatures on your search for pieces of the missing magic wand.

Throughout the passages there are doors and behind them various beings lurk intent on relieving you of your money. Some offer weapons, while others proffer information - not all of it useful.

To get to the next city Davion must destroy a creature at the end of one of the passages with his current magic weapon, which can range from a showwer of magic dust, through lightning bolt to fireballs.

The Seven Gates Of Jambala

Once the seventh guardian is dead Davion must assemble the pieces of the wand in the correct order to open the last gate and return home.


Despite a relatively large playing screen, the scrolling in Seven Gates Of Jambala is commendably smooth, proving that good results can be achieved with sufficient effort.

The same care has been taken throughout the game to create a slickly presented platform game, from the acrobatic credit screen to the jolly end sequence. The sprites, using colour to good effect, are small but perfectly formed and are animated every bit as smoothly as the atmospheric backgrounds.

The Seven Gates Of Jambala

The sound gets off to a cracking start with a superb haunting tune to back the Thalion loading screen, and continues in a similar Jean Michel Jarre vein during the game. The accompanying spot effects aren't quite as impressive as their musical counterparts, but they fit well enough and don't clutter the proceedings.

The message to programmers is clear: so there are no custom chips - work around what you've got instead of using it as an excuse!


In spite of its similarities to Ghouls 'N Ghosts, Thalion have managed to inject Jambala with more of a "magical" twist, rather than the ghastly spectre feel of Capcom's gem. As enjoyable as it is bouncing across the scenery casting spells and killing creatures, if you want to finish the game you have to pay close attention to the monsters behind the doors. Heeding the advice they give is essential, rather than merrily zooming along to the end of the level and blasting the monster to bits. This stretches the old cerebral cells more than similar games and extends Jambala's lasting appeal.

The Seven Gates Of Jambala

Even if you romp straight to the last level after a few goes, you still have to keep playing to get the clues you need to finish the game.

There are plenty of additional extras hidden within the game such as treasure rooms, secret passages and invisible scenery to tax even veteran arcade adventurers, but it's still not too difficult for newcomers to join in the fun.

If you enjoy games such as Wonderboy and Mario Bros, then you'll probably get an enormous amount of fun from Jambala, but even if you're not familiar with these games, it's still worth investigating.

Maff Evans

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