Apple Computer Games
By David H. Ahl, Andrew Brill, David Lubar,
Michael Coffey and Dale Archibald
At the start of play in Bandits, you have a group of five items (fruits, vegetables, etc.) clustered at the right side of the screen. Alien bandits then come in and assemble at the left side of the screen outside the reach of your laser cannon. After they have assembled, they take off in various formations, flying and swooping about the screen, raining bombs upon your base at the bottom and making for your goods at the right.
At your disposal, you have a laser cannon which can blast the aliens into smithereens and you have shields which can protect you from their bombs.
Bandits has 28 levels of play; each level has a different group of items on the right and features a different combination of bandits that go after your goods.
You score 100 points for each supply item remaining after obliterating all of the bandits in an attacking wave. For each level you advance, you pick up an additional 100 points for each remaining supply item (maximum 500). If the bandits steal all of your supplies, the game is over.
You begin with five ships and are awarded a bonus ship for each 5000 points.
Shields are a mixed blessing. While they provide total protection against bandit fire or bombs, you only have a limited amount of shield energy. Shield energy is totally replenished with each new ship and slowly replenished during sustained play when the shields are not in use.
The variety of attack formations and aliens is staggering. Indeed, they cannot all be stored in memory at one time; thus, the disk must be kept in the drive so that each attacking formation can be loaded as play proceeds.
The game may be played from the keyboard which uses the right and left arrow keys for movement, space bar for firing, and " S " for shields. We found this the least satisfactory method of play. Far better was a paddle or joystick with the knob (or stick) for movement, button 0 for firing, and the space bar for shields. Even better, was a switch-type (Atari) joystick attached to a Sirius Joyport. Joystick movement controls the base, while the button fires your laser and a forward tilt of the joystick activates the shield. We longed for a continuous fire feature, similar to the Centipede arcade game or its Apple look-a-like, Photar.
The high score of Bandits is saved each time the disk is booted up, however, it is not permanently recorded. We wish it were along with the player initials.
Nevertheless, despite these criticisms, we found Bandits great fun. If you are looking for nonstop action, look no further; this will give you your fill.--DHA
After the almost endless list of tedious instructions for playing Castle Wolfenstein, an Allied prisoner shows up in the first room of a maze of adjoining rooms that is guarded by Nazi soldiers. The mission is to maneuver the Allied soldier past cruel Nazi guards and sadistic SS stormtroopers, recover the secret war plans, and escape the deadly confines of Castle Wolfenstein.
Armed with a gun loaded with ten bullets, the Allied captive attempts to kill Nazi guards who scream with piercing shrillness when shot. After shooting a Nazi, the prisoner can search him for such goodies as bullets, grenades, and door keys by standing over the dead body and pressing the space bar. However, the prisoner can take bullets from a dead guard only if the guard's clip contains more than the prisoner's supply. Sometimes a guard will surrender to the prisoner when an empty gun is pointed at him from point-blank range. Then the prisoner can search the guard and shoot him with his own ammunition.
Once the pesky Nazis are eliminated from the first room, the prisoner can search the supply chests that are located in most of the rooms. The contents of these chests enable the prisoner to replenish depleted supplies of bullets and grenades; he may also find Nazi uniforms and bulletproof vests. Once the prisoner is wearing the uniform and vest, he can wander from room to room unnoticed by all Nazis except the SS men.
The SS stormtroopers are particularly nasty. They are hard to destroy, and it usually takes a direct hit from a grenade to kill them. Often, a missed attempt at killing a stormtrooper spells a quick, sure end for the Allied prisoner.
Once the prisoner has a full supply of ten bullets, three grenades, and is wearing the uniform and vest, all he needs to complete his escape are the war plans. But the road to escape is long and hard, and blocked by ruthless Nazis.
The most frustrating feature is the length of time it takes to escape. This is due mainly to the time it takes to open the supply chests. Even more frustrating is waiting a long time for a chest to open only to find that it contains something completely useless like sauerkraut, bratwurst, or schnapps.
With a little luck and a lot of patience, you can escape from the castle. If you are lucky enough to escape with the war plans, you will be promoted in rank; if you escape without the plans, you may or may not be promoted. With each escape, the layout of the castle changes and escape becomes more difficult.
Castle Wolfenstein can be played with a joystick or paddle, or a keyboard. The joystick allows for the easiest maneuverability, while the keyboard is the most difficult of the three controls to direct movement.
Castle Wolfenstein may be a little slow to play, but the thrill of the escape is worth the wait. Auf Wiedersehen!--AB
The Bungeling Empire is Broderbund's favorite adversary. In Starblazer the player attacked it with a WWIII jet. The scenario has changed for Choplifter, and I'll let you select which country might best represent the Bungelers today.
The Bungelers have taken 64 hostages from the U.N. Conference on Peace and Child Rearing and crammed them into four barracks near the eastern border.
You, the leader of the Sanguinistas, have a helicopter with enough parts for three missions. It is loaded with unlimited fuel, bombs, and rockets.
From your command post (a U.S. Postal Service distribution center) just east of the boundary line, you receive word that one of the barracks has exploded and caught fire. The hostages are running free temporarily, looking for help. This may be your chance.
Lifting off in your helicopter, you hit one of the buttons--the movement button--on your joystick. This spins the chopper around to face west. Push the second button and you fire in the direction you are facing to test your guns.
Pressing the movement again and holding it, you swing all the way east. A short jab at it turns you halfway back, perpendicular to the sentry moon.
Tilt the chopper in the direction you want to go, and you flutter across the border. A Bungeling tank, green against the pink sand below, fires helplessly at you. (It might sound like odd camouflage, but in black and white, the tank is almost invisible.)
You see a hostage waving at you, and another. An enemy tank outraces them as you start to set down. Pull the joystick back, and you lift up again.
You are perpendicular to the tank so you can drop bombs while it moves back and forth firing. Ease the stick over and push the fire button as fast as you can. The bombs fall and explode with noise and flare on the surface until you hit the tank. All is quiet again for a while.
You land, level the chopper carefully, and watch the hostages come running to your craft.
The animation in this game is amazing. The helicopter lifts and tilts, the 1/4"-tall hostages wave and run, jets come in and turn to fire two rockets, fires and explosions rage . . . the American flag on the distribution center even appears to wave in the electronic breeze.
Once you have landed the first 16 hostages, you must decide how to free the remaining groups so that you can load and save them.
Dan Gorlin's program is impressive. The joystick controls are touchy enough to make a novice bounce the 'copter around like it's doing the pogo. The movements of the little hostages are correct down to their wave from the P. 0. after they have been freed.
Even the way the jets peel off and fire their miniscule missiles is well done: the aircraft get larger as they get closer and turn into their attack run. The three-dimensional effect is very good.
The player's score is based on the number of hostages safely freed. At the top of the screen are displayed the numbers which tell how many hostages have been killed, how many are aboard the airship, and how many are safely at the distribution center. There is nothing to be gained by blasting tanks, jets, or the smart bombs.
Tanks can only hit the 'copter when it is on the ground loading escapees. The jets can occasionally hit the copter on the ground, and often in the air. The smart bomb will ram in the air, or rain bombs if the craft is loading. You can also fly right into the ground, if your aren't careful.
While you try to save them, hostages will be mowed down by tank fire, rockets, or bombs. They can also be squashed by the helicopter if you aren't careful, or hit by the blade if the machine isn't firmly on the ground.
It is an unusual concept carried out well.--DA
An arcade game dealing with a certain mythical bird has found its way to the Apple in the form of Falcons. The game seems fairly easy for the first ten seconds or so. Several rows of ships move above the player, firing down at his base. This part is reminiscent of Invaders. Then a few ships break formation and swoop down. Now it seems a bit like Galaxian. The similarity vanishes as the attacking ships begin to fly in strange patterns, moving below the screen and attacking the player from below. A transformation suddenly occurs. The ship changes to a falcon and flies evasive patterns. It's worth more points now, but harder to hit. If the player clears the field, he gets another with a different formation. After this second field is cleared, the hard part begins. Small blue dots appear on the screen, weaving back and forth. They start to grow, becoming, large dots, then huge falcons. They swoop at the player, moving at high speed. If hit straight on, the falcon is destroyed. If only winged, it returns. If the player gets through this field without losing his allotment of three ships, he gets a second field of dots that grow into falcons. Survivors are given a chance to destroy the mother ship. Make that MOTHER SHIP. The thing is huge. To destroy it, the player first has to blast a hole through the bottom. Next, a hole has to be made in a revolving rim. Once there is a clear path for a shot to the inside, the ship can be destroyed. But the mother ship shoots back. And groups of small ships hover above it, swooping down on the player. If the player destroys the mother ship, the game cycles back through the five levels again.
Beside firing, the player has the option of using shields. A shield lasts for about four seconds, then can't be used again for about five seconds. Shields are great for destroying swooping falcons since the birds are killed on contact with the force field. The game can be played with keys, paddles, or a joystick. There was one rough edge noticeable when fighting the mother ship. Occasionally, one of the attackers wouldn't be entirely erased from the screen when destroyed. But this barely detracts from the appeal of the game. Falcons is tough, fun and very well done.--DL
In this game, a train chugs into a station on the center right side of the screen. A prospector (you) gets off and from there on, it is up to you to make your fortune in a wild west gold town.
Scattered throughout the countryside are bundles of TNT. You stake a claim by picking up a bundle of TNT and placing it in one of the four mines in the left side of the screen on top of an ore cart. In moving around the town and adjoining countryside, you must avoid the Indians, cavalry and bears. There is also a claim jumper who will leave you alone if you aren't carrying any TNT, but if you are carrying it and run into the claim jumper, he will steal the TNT and place it back in its original spot.
You must also watch for bonus objects (shovel, pick, hammer, and scales) which appear in the Indian village. If you pick up one of these objects and then stake a claim, you will receive an appropriate bonus between 100 and 350 points. Each claim that you stake without a bonus object is worth 400 points. There are also three mystery bonus objects which are worth various numbers of bonus points.
After successfully staking eight claims (two screens), you are entitled to a bonus round. You get 60 seconds to work four mines while avoiding the three insane claim jumpers. If you succeed, you are awarded an extra man.
The game may be played from either the keyboard or with a joystick. From the keyboard the I, J, K and M keys are used to move up, down, right and left. We found the game considerably easier to play using a switch-type joystick with self-centering. In playing the game we found the bears were the most difficult to avoid while the Indian was the easiest to avoid except when you entered the Indian village to pick up a bonus object. Since the TNT is randomly located on each play of the game, it was not possible to work out successful patterns of play as one might do in Pac-Man. Rather, the game puts a higher premium on quick response and avoidance maneuvers. Some players were initially frustrated with the game until they got the hang of this method of play.
The game makes excellent use of color, graphics and sound of the Apple and it is one that can be enjoyed by players of all ages. As mentioned above, we strongly recommend a self-centering, switch-type joystick for most enjoyable play.--DHA
Int'.l Gran Prix
International Gran Prix Racing is everything an Apple game should be, and more. Written by Richard Orban, who created Three Mile Island, it is one of the few driving games that successfully solves the paddle problem. Namely, how can a player shift, accelerate, decelerate, and steer without getting hopelessly tangled in a jumble of paddles and keys? The solution in Gran Prix is absolutely elegant. The player uses only one paddle. The paddle controls steering. If the button is held, the car accelerates. If the button is quickly released and pressed, the car will shift to the next gear, assuming high enough engine revs have been reached. Releasing the button causes the car to decelerate. During deceleration, a press and release of the button is used for downshifting. If the player desires, he can switch to automatic transmission. There is even a cruise control.
All this merely scratches the surface of an excellent game. The program is basically a road race game, similar to the arcade game 280-ZAP, where the screen displays roadposts flashing by the car. The icing on the cake comes in the form of five Gran Prix courses. At the start of the game, the player selects a course, then chooses the number of laps he wants to drive (from 1 to 10). Next, the amount of fuel is selected, followed by the skill level. There are eight levels. At the easiest, the car barely drifts; in middle levels, it skids; at the top level, the road turns to Teflon.
The dashboard display includes speedometer, tachometer, a timer for current lap and total time, and indicators showing the relation of the tires to the posts. Whenever the car moves dangerously close to the posts, a clicking warns the driver. Collisions are accompanied by a weird sound that seems to defy the limitations of the Apple speaker. The player's best lap time and total time for any course and skill level are stored and displayed by the game. All the curves have names, and these names are displayed on the screen when the car approaches.
Beyond great graphics and superb design, the game also simulates driving with nearly total realism. Whatever algorithms the author used, he did a good job. The car handles very accurately. It can accelerate through curves, go into controlled skids, and fishtale if the player oversteers. Gran Prix is a winner.--DL
Jawbreaker and Snack Attack
These are both PacMan-like games with the object of negotiating a creature (a fish in Snack Attack and a set of teeth in Jaw Breaker) around a maze eating up small dots, fruits, candies, and other goodies. The player creature is pursued by meanies which are released periodically from the center of the maze.
Both games have special colored dots located within the maze that, after being eaten, render the creatures chasing the player harmless at which time he can catch them and eat the meanies.
Upon clearing the entire board in Jaw Breaker the player is rewarded with a toothbrush that brushes the player's teeth and makes them "strong and clean" because in the next maze the predatory creatures are quicker and don't stay vulnerable for as long.
Upon clearing the maze in Snack Attack, the player is rewarded with a new kind of maze of which there are several.
Needless to say, the people who own the coin-op rights to PacMan are unhappy about this type of game and have taken legal action against some of the companies manufacturing them. However, the last time we checked both of these were still on the market and, for PacMan fans, either is recommended.--DHA
We read in the rules that "Juggler is an exciting, fast action game, in which you try to accumulate a high score by juggling various types of objects. You are given three jugglers for each game and one extra juggler may be earned by reaching 100,000 points."
On the left side of the screen is a launcher similar to a pinball plunger. It launches balls and other "tumblers" into the air where they careen off a small inclined plane and hit objects the juggler is tossing into the air or the juggler himself.
In the beginning, the juggler has large objects, pizza pans perhaps. But as the game progresses the juggler's objects get smaller and smaller and don't go as high, thus it becomes more difficult to keep the tumblers in the air.
There is a chute at the left side of the screen. If an object enters this chute it is launched out of the bottom at high velocity back up into the fray. Eventually, when tumblers are collected on a maze of shelves at the left side of the screen next to the launcher, they work their way down to the bottom where they are again launched. After the player has successfully kept all the tumblers in the air for 90 seconds the screen flashes signalling that a new level has been reached and the action continues.
Juggler can be played from either the keyboard or paddle (or joystick). From the keyboard, Juggler can be played in "auto-toss" mode. This means that the objects used to help the juggler keep the tumblers from hitting the ground are constantly tossed in the air. Alternatively, the objects may be tossed manually by pressing the paddle button or any key.
There are seven levels of play in Juggler. The number of points you obtain per hit is based on the level at which you are playing. Each hit scores at 30 times the level. Bonus points are obtained when the tumblers are forced into the maze at the right or the chute at the left. An extra 500 points are obtained when ever the juggler, himself, hits a tumbler.
All the members of our playing panel found the game absolutely delightful and unlike anything else currently on the market.--DHA
Watch out Pac-Man. Teddy, the salvage man, does everything you do and more. What's more, Teddy is cuter than you. Teddy is part of a very original maze game called Microwave by Jay Zimmerman and James Nitchals.
Teddy's mission (and yours) is to clean up spaceships while nasty bad guys try to eliminate you. By setting up microwave dishes, you can arrange for the bad guys to be demolished. Each time you finish with a spaceship, a different one appears.
While Teddy runs around spaceships, Microwave plays music, changing its tune frequently. This music can hook whole rooms full of people into fighting over who plays next.
Teddy responds to either the keyboard or the joystick. He pays better attention to the joystick, taking corners and backing up as promptly as any character we have seen.
Simple objects on the screen include wrenches, knives and calculators. Each maze is full of these until you collect them all. Other objects include power packs and pineapple bombs.
Picking up a power pack enables Teddy to deploy a microwave dish at will. Stepping on a pineapple at the wrong time makes Teddy go bye-bye.
Microwave dishes are the key to advanced play and high scores. The bad guys react to a microwave dish the same way our cat used to react to the microwave oven: They stay away because they know what is good for them.
Teddy can walk through the microwave unscathed. You must learn where and when to deploy the dishes. You possess a limited number of them and each one is good for only a limited time.
The subtleties of the game will please the most experienced game freaks. You will play several rounds, for example, before learning how the hand grenades work. You may play several more before figuring out the use of the microwave dishes.
We heartily recommend Microwave to the casual as well as the demanding gamer. The graphics, responsiveness and sound effects are all excellent.--MC
In Neptune, you are the Commander-In-Chief of the navel vessel, Neptune. Your mission is to seek and destroy enemy robot amphibians that have inhabited neutral waters.
Although you are commanding a submarine and the theme is nautical, Neptune, in reality, is another version of the arcade game, Defender.
Your submarine is traveling from left to right (actually the underwater terrain is scrolling by from right to left). As you travel along, small purple robots bounce from the top to the bottom of the screen and back again. In addition, cute little white faces with large red bow-ties bob about on the ocean floor.
Purple robots may be shot with your laser beam while the bobbing creatures must be trapped with depth charges dropped on top of them. After going through a group of these nasties, you come upon some "flying" saucer type of underwater vessels moving rapidly from right to left. These can be either avoided or shot (for 80 points each).
You then encounter a large cave (no nasty creatures). Unfortunately there is only one way through the cave and you must choose it long before you can see whether it is the right one. A little ESP, or just plain guess work is helpful here.
Following this, you enter a narrow cave containing vessels that cannot be shot. Here, you need quick reflexes and peripheral vision to see what's coming on the screen from the right both in terrain and enemy vessels as you stay toward the left center of the screen.
Get through the cave, and you can finally dock at your fuel station. Whew! Move your ship downward and to the right, and you're on way to a higher level, which is characterized by less maneuverability, changes in the underwater environment and aquatic life, and a faster pace.
The high score after each boot-up is saved, but high scores are not saved to the disk. All the members of our playing panel strongly preferred the joystick option. Incidentally, you will need a joystick with two quick fire buttons; the Apple Peripherals division (formerly the Keyboard Company) joystick just won't do for this game.
In summary, Neptune employs the spectacular graphics and excellence of execution that we've come to expect from Nasir in his years of producing games for Sirius Software. There's no question, that Neptune has all the makings of another big winner!--DHA
Good evening. I'd like to welcome you to Nightmare Gallery. We have assembled a small group of funloving guys and ghouls to recruit you.
Our playful little group's desire is to have you join us, permanently. We can't understand your reluctance, and will try to persuade you. Won't you join our party?
You, with your filthy pistol, must try to shoot us as we gambol from tombstone to mausoleum. As we dance from row to row, your fire retires us to whence we came. Strike a fleabitten werewolf; he turns into a mossy tombstone. A handsome vampire bat, however, becomes a striking mausoleum.
Luckily for us, these monuments stop your fire. Oh, you'll chip them away as you continue shooting, but others are built by the mummies and the falling ghosts the ghouls drop. The mummies walk from the top of the screen down toward you, leaving columns of monuments; the ghosts plummet, also adding monuments.
If you hit a ghost as it falls, you won't kill it, but you may gain extra shields. Bullets ripping through the mummy can destroy the monuments it replaces, although the mummy won't be harmed.
As for the rest of us, the werewolves dance from column to column. Two columns side by side give them the shortest path. Should the columns be separated by a space, they will be forced to cross that space, targets for your fire.
Vampires fly down toward you leisurely. Either species may, with a cheery shriek, embrace you and your pistol if they successfully reach the bottom of the screen. The mummy and ghost must fall on you for the happy conversion.
Oh, you can foil our recruiting efforts for a while if you wish to be a spoilsport, by using one of your shields. While it lasts, however, you can't shoot.
You'll even earn extra pistols at three different levels for decimating our ranks.
When at last we gather you into our fold, you will be able to leave a permanent record of your foolish struggle for posterity. If you tire during the fight, you may pause. But should you hesitate during the fight . . . you'll be retired.
This is splendid Halloween entertainment all year around. Concept and execution are hilarious, and the package cover featuring Robert Clardy and Ron Aldrich's names is excellent.
Oops. I see the sky beginning to lighten in the East. Our little band must leave you now. Don't relax, though. We'll be back again.--DA
We are told on the packaging that "Photar is fast. Photar is mean. And Photar is out to get you. You know the moment the black holes appear that you are in for a lot of trouble. Then comes Photar, undaunted by your ceaseless fire. Soon the rings of Saturn doggedly hound your every move, moving in then backing off, while wild stars come screaming in for the kill."
It all sounds like something out of a marvelous science fiction adventure. And, perhaps a new concept in games. However, what we really have here is a close cousin of the popular coin-op game, Centipede.
However, instead of the Centipede coming in as a continuous worm-like creature from the top of the screen and weaving back and forth, it comes in as formations of "'alien" ships.
The spider is replaced by another ship at the bottom of the screen and, occasionally a fast-moving ship careens down from the top of the screen leaving mushrooms--sorry, black holes--in its path. Incidentally, you get only one base in Photar.
Obviously, Softape is trying to make this into a distinctly different game from Centipede and they have largely succeeded while retaining all of the fun and attraction of the coin-op arcade version. The only real complaint that we have about Photar is that it is rather wearing on your firing finger even though the game has a continuous fire feature similar to the one on the coin-op Centipede games. A Trak Ball controller would be nice too, although a short-throw joystick does just as well. We found the keyboard play option absolutely impossible; a short-throw noncentering joystick is by far the best bet. Photar uses relatively little color, but the sound effects are outstanding. --DHA
Rear Guard is loosely based on the arcade game, Defender. In it, you are flying a spaceship from left to right across the screen (actually the ground and other objects are scrolling from right to left giving the illusion of flight). In the game, it's you against an armada of alien ships of different types. Five ships come at you from the right and are worth between 25 and 200 points. A freighter flies in the same direction as you (left to right) and is worth 300 points. In addition, a satellite identified by an F on its side that later changes to an S flies by. Hitting the satellite while it displays an F gives you a fuel recharge, while hitting it with an S gives you a shield recharge. The level of your fuel and shields is shown at the top of the screen along with the score and the number of LGG's remaining.
LGG's? Yep. The object of the game is to survive by preventing the groundbased LGG's (Little Green Guys) from collecting the orange energy pods that are dropped by destroyed alien fighters. These pods are vital because they can be traded in at the end of each game level for fuel, shields and/or bonus points. If you are like me, and constantly run out of fuel, you will want to trade your pods for additional fuel. The players on our panel tried different strategies, but whatever strategy you employ, the important thing is to eliminate the LGG's. This is done by swooping down close to the surface of the planet and shooting them as they speed by from left to right. The danger, of course, is swooping too low and hitting the surface of the planet, and missing out on a passing fuel or shield satellite.
Although it is theoretically possible to play the game with the keyboard or paddles, we felt that to maintain your sanity, a joystick is necessary. In summary, Rear Guard is a fast-moving, colorful game that brings Defender home to the Apple. The game saves the top ten scores and player names, a thoughtful touch that we applaud. Also thoughtful is the policy of Adventure International to furnish a backup disk at the cost of $3.99.--DHA
Sneakers is another shoot 'em up game in which the player controls a "base" which moves across the bottom of the screen from left to right under control of the paddle. The paddle button is used to fire missiles into the air. However, instead of alien raiders or space ships, Sneakers offers an assortment of seven interesting, playful creatures which fly, bounce and attack the players. The first creatures are four "Sneakers" (half circles with little legs and sneakers on their feet). They bounce around the screen and occasionally drop down to the bottom where they attempt to trample the player base, and then jump back up to the top and bounce around there.
They are followed by flights of Cyclopses which come from left to right across the screen and drop lower on each pass. After he eliminates all the Cyclopses, the player is faced with missile-launching Saucers. These are followed by Fangs (little bird-like creatures which can turn into a bevy of Fangs which drop down to the bottom of the screen).
The next "creature" is an H-wing fighter which, by unanimous consent of our player panel, is the second most difficult to eliminate. Few players were able to eliminate all the H-wing fighters with just one base. These are followed by large and small meteors, then Scrambles (descending triangles which change direction when fired upon), and finally by "Scrubs" (diagonal, fast-flying missiles that all of our players agreed were the most difficult to eliminate).
Nevertheless, Sneakers was judged as a fun game even by players who scored in the 100 or 200 range.--DHA
If you like stabbing people or small animals, this game is for you. No kidding, Swashbuckler is a game whose object is to kill people with a sword. The more you kill, the better your score.
You would be surprised what a good feeling it is to see your opponent fall into a heap on the floor. Just wait 'til you see the variety of opponents: you'll find a one-legged man, a snake, a caveman, a medieval bad guy and countless others.
Even the scenery changes as you master the key strokes that control your animated swordsman. As you gain dexterity with the controls, the bad guys will invade your space with greater frequency.
Swashbuckler animates up to three men at a time. You control the central figure. The other two will wave their arms, swords or clubs at your man.
The early opponents show few skills. They sidle up to you and hack away. The only difficulty lies in their relentlessness.
After you mutilate a few fellows, a new character emerges. He's a snake and you won't know how to kill him. You have to learn a new maneuver.
By the time you have extinguished about twenty lives, the party will liven up unmercifully. You will greet a new guest within two seconds after disposing of an older one.
While you are dueling, one or two scorpions, rats, or other animals may appear. Each species wreaks a different brand of havoc. Some cause instant death, other merely cripple.
You control your man with various letter keys. He can move left, turn around and move right. He can stand on guard, move his sword up or down, thrust it or lunge.
Swashbuckler is creatively animated with good responsiveness and gradually increasing difficulty. For those who feel lost in space, it's a good change of pace.--MC