Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
US GOLD ■ ARCADE ADVENTURE
Julian Boardman heads for the caverns in search of rats, ghouls and Les Ellis
You get to choose a player from four characters; Thor, a warrior; Merlin, a motor mechanic (just kidding, he's a wizard); Thyra, the requisite amazon; and Quester, a dwarf.
All have their own peculiar talent to bring to the game, usually a variation of brains or, brawn. The limited input of the Sega only allows the control of two characters at once - however, that's better than only one.
The chosen characters fight their way through dungeon after dungeon, collecting keys and potions, using their weapons to destroy all in their way.
The lucky travellers will also manage to collect huge amounts of treasure on their quest to conquer the Dungeons of Darkness, but only if their health lasts long enough to allow them to do so. Every time they get a hit from one of the huge hordes of ghosts, devils and skeletons, the large health quotient drops a few points, until eventually Dr Death makes a visit.
The action can be most frenetic at times, especially with the millions of ghosts on each level. Despite the lack of any great changes between levels, Gauntlet is mysteriously addictive. There's a compulsive lure to discover what lurks on the next level, and the one after that, and the one...
The conversion's faithful to the coin-op - it's fast, furious and immensely playable,
✘ Sprites and background colours are, like the coin-op, uninspiring.
✔ The scrolling is simply stunning; very smooth and expertly done.
✔ Da, dada, dada, da, da... Da dada, dada, da, da...
✔ Sound effects are ample, but none are sampled.
✔ Gameplay is fast, furious and very involving.
✔ Gauntlet will hold your attention longer than is naturally healthy.
£29.99 ▼ OUT 10/90
MASTER SYSTEM 64%