Is there something lurking at the bottom of your garden? There is? Coo! Oh, it's a snail. Well, think on - it could be a demonic horde of hobgoblins (with a myriad of disgusting habits). And here's Nick Roberts to sort them out as he deals out a few pointy sticks at the spooky sprites!
Altoris was a peaceful land, full of loving people who wouldn't hurt a fly, never mind go into battle against hordes of hobgoblins and ghosts. Surrounded on all sides by thick woods and smelly swamps where these nasties lived, the people were under constant attack. What kept them safe was the Golden Orb, a magical bedside lamp-like object that warded off all evil, but now - quelle surprise - its been stolen!
Your father and king of the land of Altoris, King Garath, has summoned you to go after the Golden Orb and restore peace. You'll need to arm yourself heavily for the journey as every step you take brings more danger.
You start off with nothing but a small dagger to defend yourself with, collecting the glowing treasures and daggers that enemies leave behind will increase this to axes, arrows and fireballs. You're blessed with three lives and collecting three glowing skulls will give an extra one to play with.
To take the Golden Orb back from the hobgoblins you have to travel through different types of terrain, shooting all the time in case of a surprise attack. Starting in the woods you have to negotiate stepping stones over a treacherous river and fight your way through a castle to the centre, where the Orb is being held by those evil little monsters. Ooooooooww!
WHAT NICE SCENERY!
The land of Altoris has some impressive graphics. The block colour method has been used giving a black outline to all the characters but doing away with any hint of colour clash that would otherwise be seen.
I particularly like the way the scenery scrolls by with a mountainscape stationary in the background. It gives a real feeling of depth. What you've basically got with Hobbers (as we affectionately call it) is a cheap and cheerful Ghosts 'N' Goblins look-alike game that could've been in Stars in Their Eyes. It's a bit difficult to start with but hardened slash and bash fans will love every minute of it and that's a fact.
At first glance Hobgoblin is okay, but on closer inspection it looks like a game from a few years ago. The sprites are small blobby creations that, while they're at least colourful, carry a black square around them. Gameplay is perilously close to zero. I'm afraid - I only just about stayed awake long enough to play four games in a row and it wasn't until I'd consumed a large cup of coffee that I was able to attempt a fifth. All the game consists of (as far as I can see) is running along shooting a few enemy soldiers, running along a bit further and shooting someone else... (repeat until you fall asleep). Hobbers didn't attract my attention for very long at all.
Reviewer: Jonathan Davies
This game's annoying for two reasons. Firstly it's a shameless rip-off of Ghosts 'n' Goblins, and I reckon that if you're going to do a copy of a game you at least ought to try and make it a bit better than the original (which this isn't). And secondly, every time I try to type its name it comes out as Hobgolbin. Humph.
The storyline then. The land of Altoris (which spells 'Sirotla' backwards, to save you working it out) was once peaceful, its people protected by the Golden Orb. But it's been stolen (the orb, that is), and ghosts and hobgoblins are about to take over and beat everyone up. So King Garath has sent his only son, Zanock (you), to sort things out.
There's some other stuff about swamps and journeys being fraught with danger, but I'll spare you that and dive straight into the game. Needless to say, saving the kingdom involves trekking along a scrolling landscape picking off baddies and collecting add-ons. The scrolling is of the 'walk along a bit and then wait for the next screen to scroll on' variety, the baddies are things like ghosts and the occasional stationary gun (being notoriously crap I didn't get very far, so there might be other things too), and the add-ons are power-ups and extra lives.
The graphics are nice and colourful, they move jerkily and are small and weedy. But then they'd have to be. as a large chunk of the screen is filled by a massive great Hobgolbin (see?) logo, restricting the action to the bottom two-thirds. Couldn't be helped, I suppose. I did appreciate not being sent back miles every time I died though.
The difficulty's just about right, and I sort of found myself wanting to keep playing to find out what came next, but I ended up straightening the bits of paper on my desk instead.
Price: £2.99 Tape, N/A Disk
Reviewer: Steve Keen
At first glance Hobgoblin is an impressive and appealing sight. The game's title is sprawled across the top of the screen in great style and every spare millimetre has been crammed with colour, incorporating some great scenery.
On the gameplay front Hoogoblin is very reminiscent of Ghost's n' Goblins. Taking the role of King Garath's only son Zanock, you have to travel the length and breadth of a land that has been overrun with ghouls, in search of the stolen Golden Orb which has brought darkness upon the country.
Well it's alright for old Garathy, sending out wayward members of his family to regain his kingdom while he curls up on his throne with a cup of Ovaltine! What's even more of a cheek is that he's only given his son an old penknife with which to vanquish the undead. Who needs family? Bigger and badder weapons can be found however, but they really have to be fought hard for. The speed in which your foe sprint towards you would put Ben Johnson to shame so the best course of action is to blast 'em as soon as you move onto a screen.
Scrolling is smooth as you'd want and graphics are lush as mansion houses. Colour has been used to great effect and gives the impression that there's more detail than there actually is. Yet the assorted ghosts, skeletons, flying fish(!?!) and bowmen are just too tough, even though extra lives are available and without a cheat most players will really get pigged off very fast indeed. Not the best gameplay I've ever seen, but definitely one of the prettiest.
Price: £3.99 Tape
Reviewer: Garth Sumpter
When I picked up the box for this little beauty, I was overcome by a strange feeling. What was it? Well it was all milky and chocolatey and I felt that it wouldn't ruin my appetite.
I was right too. Hobgoblin is an old game. A very old game but brought up to date by Atlantis so that you can use the good old Sinclair joystick ports to Dlug into (and a good job too, I can tell you).
It's your job to recover the Golden Orb of Altoris. Why? Well, someone's just noticed that it's missing and they'll have to buy a new ornament if they can't cover the patch on the sideboard where there's no dust.
Throughout sixty screens, you must jump and shoot your way past the denizen's of Hell that serve purely to bar your way (a bit like some Arsenal supporters I know!)
To help you there are several bits to collect that will help you in your quest: flaming arrows increase your range whilst glowing daggers and treasures increase your power.
A bouncy, colourful game that whilst simple, will take patience and skill before you'll be able to complete it.
I've never seen this before (See, I told you so - Ed) and it's pretty good with colourful graphics, speedy movement and straightforward gameplay.
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