ST Format Review
So for this review I’m running Steem with my usual 1MB STFM. This is from Automation Menu 124, which also features issue 2’s Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
Castle Warrior opens with a well-drawn loading screen making effective use of the limited ST palette, overlaid with a fairly average chip tune. The thing that stands out to me is the copyright Delphine Software. For those who don’t know, Delphine would go on to create Future Wars (their first big hit), Operation Stealth, Cruise For A Corpse, Another World and Flashback, so they have quite a pedigree, but this was their first game. In many ways it exhibits the strangeness common in French games back in those less homogenised days.
Gameplay consists of slowly walking into the screen in a faux-3d effect which renders better than I expected, in that it’s pretty similar to the Amiga version. Obviously it is flawed, but it’s still cool in a strangely uncanny-valley kind of way. That said, visuals are about the only thing this game has going for it. ST Format were wise to only give it 43% as the gameplay is excerable, with it mostly consisting of moving lanes to avoid objects coming towards you and occasional encounters with large enemies where you must time the swing of your sword to bounce the balls back to kill your opponent. The poor control response makes this quite tricky.
Overall this is more a historical curio than an interesting game, made interesting by what Delphine would go on to do rather than by anything in the game itself.
Here’s a video of Castle Warrior running on an Amiga (couldn’t find an ST video). As you can hopefully see, a very odd game.