Monday, August 9, 2010

Knight 'n' Grail (C64, 2009)

OK, technically this isn't a retro game, rather a new game for a retro system. Now, I don't mean to be hard on people who keep on making new games for systems like the C64 (their efforts are much appreciated) but seeing as this is not a business anymore and purely a hobby, most of these new games are pretty basic, and wouldn't even qualify for budget titles back in the day. Nevertheless, every now and then a game comes along, which is up there with the best of them. We've had It's Magic 2, Newcomer, Zoomania, and now we have Knight 'n' Grail.

I don't think there's any need going over the specifics of the plot. Knight 'n' Grail is an arcade-adventure (an exploration shooter if you like), whereas you play the part of a knight getting along some quest in a castle. You find new swords, new armours, and new power-ups as you progress, each with different abilities. These items can be either accessed by pressing the space bar, which brings up the inventory system (along with a map), or by using the F1 and F3 keys.

The settings of the game might remind you of something along the lines of Ghosts 'n Goblins, though the actual gameplay and atmosphere resembles more of something like the caverns in Shadow Of The Beast. Also, the way you use your firepower (each sword has a different direction of shooting) reminds of Creatures (which also used the same method).

But enough with the past. What sets Knight 'n' Grail apart is it's mesmerizing atmosphere. If you isolate any of the game's elements, they don't seem so special by themselves. The graphics are very good, but not extraordinary. The music is lovely and adds a lot to the haunting atmosphere, but it's a bit simple. The gameplay is fun, but nothing we haven't seen before. But here's what happens, somehow, when these elements get combined, they form a magnificent game, with an unrivaled magical atmosphere, whose only fault I can think of is that it's a bit short and easy. Check it out.


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