Memory Required: 48K
Retail Price: £5.90
Language: Machine code
Author: Christian Urquhart
Ocean have done rather well at taking British arcade machine games and translating them (officially) to the smaller screen. Cavelon is another 'official' version for the Spectrum and Commodore 64. The Spectrum version has been done by Chris Urquhart (Transversion and Hunchback) and sports an excellent title screen designed by D. Thorpe. Basically it is a large maze game, one screen high and several in width, scrolling as your man moves across.
Medieval themes are uncommon on the computer. Here you play the part of a gallant knight out to rescue Guinivere who has been imprisoned on the top floor of a tower. There are six levels to ascend and the only way to get from floor to floor is to collect all the pieces of the door which have been dotted around the maze. Knights and archers will try to stop you. They march around randomly all over the place. Your only defence is the sword Excalibur which renders you immune for a short time, and arrows. Where possible, Excaliburs should be saved up for later levels where they are really needed!
At the start you see your knight ride up to the castle, squeal to a halt and dismount from his steed and enter the castle. Between each level there is a screen showing your knight mounting the tower stairs to the next level. The playing screen is a square with a status panel to its right showing score, hi-score, bonus points (achieved by collecting objects other than door pieces on the way), a red graphic of the door itself which fills in white with each piece collected, your lives, and Excaliburs available to you.
Control keys: S/X up/down, N/M left/right, A fire arrow, SYM SHIFT for Excalibur zap button
Joystick: Kempston, ZX 2 Protek, AGF
Keyboard play: good positions and very responsive
Use of colour: good
Graphics: good, smooth and well animated
Sound: effects with continuous medieval theme tune
Skill levels: each screen progressively harder
Screens: 6 playing screens, 2 inter-game screens
Originality: very good
Cavelon is a difficult game to form an opinion on. I feel that it is one that you will either like or dislike (with no indifference). I enjoyed it and thought it was very good. The graphics are good, as is the sound (only a handful of Spectrum games have a tune running throughout, as this one does). On the whole, very good, but not quite in the Spectrum super league.
This must be one of the new generation of maze type games - it's a very simple idea but with plenty of playing appeal, content and action. The game is so simple an idea it just leads to compulsive playing. The whole structure of the game is most enjoyable. The graphics are quite colourful, they move quickly and smoothly. Sound is continuous with no on/off switch - this could drive you crazy. A game and well worth buying even if it's only to see what's on the top floor!
I saw Cavelon first on the C64, by about a few days, and was impressed. So it was a pleasure to see it on the Spectrum, and an even bigger pleasure to find that this is one game which actually looks better on the Spectrum as well as playing better. The Spectrum version is a much tougher game and so more addictive. Although you are armed with arrows, I like the way archers when hit turn to knights and only a second arrow hit will get rid of them. A good looking game and an addictive one.
Inside the forbidding castle the contest has begun, and to reach the end of your quest you must successfully complete six levels of play, each time collecting all the fragments of a door which will provide your entrance to the next.
Alex: The graphics aren't all that entertaining, in fact they're downright boring after a while; a bit more thought in the design could have made all the difference. However, execution is very good, with the figures keeping their shape while moving. The idea is based on the arcade game of the same name, and to some extent has been transferred successfully on to the Spectrum. What really lets it down are those monotonous graphics. MISS
Alan G: The playing speed could do with being a bit faster, but the graphics are very well drawn and quite detailed. They're made even better still by the excellent use of colour; they don't dazzle too much, and overall it's a very pleasant screen display. The only thing wrong is the speed at which you fire.
Alan H: This is a direct copy of an arcade game, but there's nothing like it on the Spectrum and it's also a good replica. Technically, it can't be faulted; the graphics are clear and flicker free, the colour is bright and interesting, and there's a tune playing constantly. The speed's sometimes a bit fast which makes it difficult to play, but a joystick would improve matters considerably.
Use of Computer: 78%
Getting Started: 87%
Addictive Qualities: 88%
Value for Money: 88%
Your part in Cavelon is that of a gallant knight who has to rescue Guinivere from the evil wizard at the top of a tower. You start on the lower floors and by collecting the bits of the door you can gradually make your way up the tower. All the parts of the door are scattered around a scrolling maze along with other items such as shields. Every now and then the sword Excalibur appears in the maze, collection of this means you can become immune from the knights and their arrows that hinder your way. The final level features the wizard himself who fires bolts of lightning at you, completion of this level activates a tune and then you are transported back to the beginning again.
When Cavelon came out it was a very good game but now looking back I don't think it would warrant more than a couple of goes before becoming boring. The graphics are good but the scrolling is awful, it affects the sound and looks terrible. Playability is reasonable but addictive qualities are practically nonexistent. especially when you consider all you have to do to get to higher levels is type JSWILLY and type the number of the level you want to get to.
Cavelon was a very simple idea made into a tough game. Its graphics were quite good at the time but compared to today's standards they're only fair (nice animation though). The game is a simple maze game with fairly low playing appeal. I didn't think much of Cavelon eight months ago and I still find it just as boring as it ever was.
(Rob) Most of the ratings are okay except perhaps Addictive qualities and Playability which I would lower by about 30% each.
(Ben) I would put all the ratings down by about 5 %.
IN DAYS OF OLD...
BEFORE common churls such as French peasants and Spectrum owners are allowed to become knights, they have to win their spurs. In olden days the process involved all kinds of unpleasant rituals and ordeals but technology has changed all that. Today all you have to do is beat Cavelon, a new release from Ocean Software.
Cavelon is a near replica of the arcade game produced by Ocean under licence, in common with many of that company's products. The object is to guide an apprentice knight through a series of mazes to rescue a fair damsel from the clutches of an evil wizard. There are five mazes to traverse and a final shoot-out with the evil wizard who has a supply of fireballs for the express purpose of incinerating cocky young would-be knights.
Cavelon is not a sophisticated game relying on a proven arcade success and general playability rather than originality of concept or majestic programming, but it is certainly fun.
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair, Protek
MACHINE: Spectrum 48K, Commodore 64
Not exactly hip but certainly hot! After a couple of notable duffers (Eskimo Eddie, Pogo) Ocean return to form with Cavelon - a quite superb maze game.
Christian Urquhart, author of the best selling Kong and Hunchback for the Spectrum has excelled himself here with this infuriating but compulsive medieval quest.
As a portly knight you must gird your loins and waddle bravely through the portals of the dread castle Blah in order to rescue the incarcerated princess Guinevere. There are six levels to traverse all of which boast considerable peril. (She had better be worth it.) To move between the floors you need to collect the portions of door which have been scattered about the maze. These portions are guarded by a host of trigger-happy archers who'll do their level best to deflate your ardour. Only the mystical aura of the legendary Excalibur can protect you and even then only in bursts.
Upon completing each level a little graphic routine depicts your triumph. Although there's a comprehensive joystick option I opted for the more definite feel of the keyboard. Well, if you're gonna spend days on a game you might as well be comfortable, eh?
When will we see the end of the maze game? Surely, by now, every conceivable way of moving around a maze, avoiding some things, and collecting others has been tried. The graphics change, the game remains the same.
Cavelon sees a knight wandering around a six-level castle, avoiding other knights who shoot to kill and collecting fragments of the doors through which escape can be made to other levels. In case of emergency, grasping the sword Excalibur will kill all knights on screen for a limited period of time but, of course, this option is not available all the time.
Cavelon is well produced, difficult and challenging. However, buried in your software collection you probably already have several games very like it.
Produced by Ocean Software Ltd, Ralli Building, Stanley Street, Manchester; cost £5.90.
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