Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
Two-Mega cartridge: £24.95
IN an ancient land far away, the evil Golvellius came forth and stole the fair princess Rena. Never one to ignore a pnncess's cry for help, Kelesis, the brave warrior, sets off for the dark valley to rescue her and defeat Golvellius.
Opening with some hectic arcade action, you control Kelesis as he runs through a cavern leaping across gaps and shooting creatures in an effort to reach the valley.
Once there, you find the valley to be made up many regions, each of which requires puzzle solving to enable progress to the next. The inhabitants are unfriendly: bats, worms, scorpions and other creepy crawlies drain your energy on contact.
On the surface there isn't a lot to be seen or do, bar hack at creatures with a sword and pick up the reward for doing so. To get anywhere, you uncover potholes in each screen, down which lie characters with whom you may communicate.
Some of these friendly underground folk have equipment and extra abilities for sale, others offer advice which isn't always helpful. By piecing together clues given, you gain access to a vertically scrolling cave. At the end of which you get a chance to tackle the great guardian. If you kill him, the gateway to the next region opens.
The source of all your troubles, Golvellius, lies to the north, several regions away. Only by collecting seven magic crystals can you open the final gateway and confront the vile creature.
First impressions are of a fairly mediocre game. Fortunately Golvellius places equal emphasis on hack-'n'-slay and puzzles - a successful combination.
Each region is varied and features indigenous creatures. The differing scenarios and gradual increase in difficulty of puzzles helps retain interest. The inclusion of a password system aids long term appeal and the fractured English dialect spoken by the game's characters is entertaining - if for the wrong reasons.
Never mind the old ideas, formulae and presentation used by the game, bear Golvellius in mind if you want some brain teasing with your arcade action.