Rare Review: Knight Lore

Graphics are great for the time, but heights can be very difficult to judge.

For a Spectrum game, the third in the series of Sabreman games looks lovely due to its isometric graphics. Objects are lovingly chunky and there’s a real charm to how it looks. The core idea is also great: Sabreman is cursed, and each night turns into a Werewulf. If the curse isn’t fixed within 40 days, then he will permanently become a werewulf and you will lose the game. To fix the curse, you need to find items and throw them into a cauldron.

Unfortunately, those are the main good things about the game. It’s a slow, boring affair. The map isn’t as bad as the previous two games, and is a size you can learn, but walking is extremely slow and platforming is tedious. The isometric view makes it extremely difficult to judge jumps, especially when some platforms are higher than you’d expect.

You have to dodge obstacles (which again, due to the view, can be difficult to judge) and sometimes you have multiple moving objects on one screen, but they aren’t in sync with each other, so you may have to wait a while for an opportunity to appear. What doesn’t help this is that every 30 seconds, you transform, which has a long animation while everything else still moves, so you can miss opportunities due to this. Some rooms also require you to be in a certain form to bypass the obstacle.

You’ll need to find items based on what the cauldron in the centre of the map wants. It shows you them one at a time (although it works on a loop, so a guide can show you what is coming up).You will also need to find extra items in order to bypass some rooms, as you will need to drop items to use as additional platforms.

Everything just makes Knight Lore a fairly tedious experience, although nowhere near as frustrating as Underwurlde.

For completion, I cured Sabreman and completed the snapshots. The snapshots were quite difficult, but the quick replayability makes them quite fun.

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