by Ben Daglish, Chris Kerry, Colin Dooley, Greg A. Holmes, Peter M. Harrap, Shaun Hollingworth, Steve Kerry
Gremlin Graphics Software Ltd
Crash Issue 36, Jan 1987   page(s) 173

Producer: Gremlin Graphics
Retail Price: £9.95
Author: Shaun Hollingworth, Peter Greg Holmes, Chris Kerry, Pete Harrap, Steve Kerry

Demon Grand Master of Flame (no he's not a DJ) has assassinated your foster father, Naijshi and stolen the sacred scrolls of Kettsuin. Filled with anger and revenge you set out to avenge your father's death and get the scrolls back. If you fail to return those scrolls then the God Kwon will be lost forever in eternal hell.

The action is viewed from above. The game starts outside Quench Heart Keep. The Ninja must locate the keys in the grounds around the castle and gain entry. Once inside he must locate and kill the three Guardians who live within.

Of course they're not alone. From enormous spiders to horned beasties, they are all there to stop the Ninja getting any further in his mission. These creatures are really rather intelligent. They may sense the presence of the Ninja and home in accordingly. Most of the characters just sap away your life energy. However the spiders are deadly and are heralded by a strange sinister clicking noise. Large spikes rise out of the floor in the castle. These won't sap away any of your Ninja's energy, but they will slow him down greatly, as he can't move over the spikes when they're sticking out of the ground.

To begin with your Ninja has ten Shuikch which he can lob around at his adversaries. However, when these are all used up he'll have to rely on unarmed combat unless some more Shuikch can found. A quick blast on the FIRE button will make your Ninja send out a whole volley of punches and kicks which will make any marauding nasty disappear in a cloud of stars and dust. However, any confrontation with the enemy will result in some energy loss.

At the very beginning of the game a cryptic message scrolls across the screen indicating to the Ninja what he should keep his eyes open for in that level. Objects can be picked up simply by walking into them. They will then be displayed in their correct category at the bottom of the main screen. Keys are essential for unlocking doors into and inside the castle and the number of keys you're holding is displayed on the screen along with the treasure, objects and Shuriken.

The energy chart consists of two circles with dots around the edge. One of these circles is for energy and one for life force. For every complete circle of energy dots that is used up, one dot of life force is lost. If both levels are used up the game is over. However, the God Kwon can be called upon to help out if things get too sticky. By pressing the 2 key Kwon can be asked to help. He might replenish your energy completely.


Control keys: up Q; down A; left O; right P; fire/kick/punch SPACE; Pause on/off 1; Call on Kwon 2; quit the game 3&4 together
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor, Interface 2
Keyboard play: very fast and responsive
Use of colour: uninspired
Graphics: good detail, fast
Sound: oriental tunette at the beginning with some interesting and sinister spot effects throughout
Skill levels: six
Screens: 300 screens, six floors

Here we are again, another Gauntlet variant Oh dear, I shouldn't have said that. Despite everything, that's what it boils down to. However, there are a few rather nice touches that make it just about worth the asking price. Colour, is used to great effect and the scrolling is very smooth. The actual animated characters are presented to the best of the beloved Spectrum's ability with most of the action being coloured in black and yellow. With all the colour used as decoration around the outside it is a very colourful and enjoyable game. Check it out.

If you've played Druid, you've played Avenger. Having said that, Avenger is, I feel, a much better game. The graphics are very neat indeed with lovely animation of various creatures and objects especially the spiders and the spikes that come out of the ground. The game play is fast but just a matter of running round bashing the nasties and collecting objects. The controls are a bit iffy in places as positioning yourself to go through doors proves rather a pain - over positioning is more the case. On the whole a nice game but nothing special.

GREMLIN seem to have followed the current trend for Gauntlet variants and what a game they have created. Avenger is easy to get into, but it goes on to be very testing. The graphics are a little on the small side but there is an awful lot of detail in the characters and there is a lot of colour. The screen scrolls in characters but it is so fast you don't really notice. The sound is also very good, there is a lovely tune on the title screen and lots of effects during play (the 128k version has loads more sonics). I can see myself playing this until I complete it as it really is fun.

Use of Computer: 82%
Graphics: 85%
Playability: 82%
Getting Started: 78%
Addictive Qualities: 82%
Value For Money: 83%
Overall: 85%

Summary: General Rating: Another good Gauntlet clone.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Crash Issue 43, Aug 1987   page(s) 41

Issue 36 (January 1987) Page 173

RICKY: Loosely labelled Way Of The Tiger II, Avenger romped in for the Christmas Gauntlet craze. It follows the standard routine for Gauntlet games, but with an Oriental flavour. You play a ninja warrior out to avenge the death of his father (known locally as Grasshopper, because of the way he clicked his knees together).

Anyway... scroll on. And that's exactly what you're out to find - the scrolls that will save Kwon (who just happens to be a rather important god) from being lost in eternal hell. Why this ninja should want to help him is beyond us, but that's what you've got to do.

The action is set in and around the Quench Heart Castle, where three Guardians which must be annihilated to locate the scrolls. The guardians have their own minions, ranging from he-uge spiders to horned demons - all quite intelligent and all out to kill you.

You are equipped with ten star-shaped blades to lob at these foes. But when these are used up your ninja faces hand-to-hand combat, unless he can find more. (Other traditional Gauntlet goodies can be collected, too.)

Energy and life force must be watched closely; without these you suddenly become an ex-ninja (this ninja is no more... (cut the parrot sketch jokes - ED)). But if you're in difficulty you can call on Kwon for a quick top-up.

Though the maze is mainly in monochrome, the scenery has plenty of colour to liven up the display. This and the detailed and smoothly-animated characters add up to a highly attractive game. And the gameplay doesn't suffer from this indulgence in graphics - it succeeds as what it's designed to be: a fast, exciting but challenging quest.

To top it off, the sound FX and title tune are neat, making Avenger a pleasant addition to the range.

ROBIN: As a sequel to an enjoyable game, this was a disappointment. Most of the action is presented in black-and-white though the animation more than makes up for that. Gameplay is enjoyable and can be addictive for a while.

But it still boils down to another Gauntlet game with few innovations. And probably the biggest disappointment is the lack of a two-player option. Which after all is the highlight of any Gauntlet game.

Then: 85%
Now: 85%

Overall: 85%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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