by Jas C. Brooke, Mark Cooksey, Rory C. Green, Sean Speacer
Crash Issue 52, May 1988   page(s) 17

Producer: Go!
Retail Price: £8.99 cassette, £12.99 disk
Author: Future Concepts

Sir Griswold and Sir Larkin, wielders of the lance and once gentle knights of old, have been cursed by the Evil One. The effect of this unfortunate enchantment has been to magnify them both to several times their original size. Intent on revenge, they scour the countryside in search of their medieval antagonist. The buildings of several hostile barons stand in the way: their only chance of survival is to smash and ransack each castle in turn.

The knights' quest may be undertaken solo or in tandem. Play is divided into a series of levels, each of which comprises a solitary fortress. Armed with a ball and chain, the knights attempt to shin up the walls of the fortress, destroying as much of the structure as possible in the process.

The castle's inhabitants put up a valiant defence: damsels fire bullets from the windows, tiny soldiers direct cannons from the ground and flying defenders drop pellets from above. By avoiding bullets and clubbing their diminutive adversaries each knight can ensure that minimum damage is inflicted.

Encased in the masonry of each castle are a number of bonus icons which are revealed as the edifice is destroyed. Food boosts energy and gold increases score; poisons swallowed inadvertently radically reduce health.

Once sufficient damage has been incurred, the towers totally collapse. With each fortress razed to the ground, the giant knights move on to the next.


Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: the mixture of characters and buildings often proves confusing, but all add to the medieval setting of the game
Sound: beautiful harpsichordian tune and basic bash effects
Options: one or two players

Although Ramparts is very similar to Rampage, in my opinion is a much superior game. The great medieval music and Old English Text create a marvellous atmosphere. Once you've got through numerous title tunes and slick presentation you emerge into a version of Rampage with castles instead of skyscrapers and giant knights instead of monsters. The little men that run along the bottom of the walls can get really vicious with their massive cannons and other wounding weapons; I found it almost impossible to complete Level One on my own, but once you get two players on the job the higher levels of the game become more accessible. Ramparts is great - but only if you don't already have Rampage.

It's very hard to choose between Activision's Rampage and GO!'s Ramparts - both are extremely competent games in their field. However, I find this game type terribly boring, uneventful and repetitive. Graphically, Ramparts fulfils all its objectives admirably. The castles are ornately drawn and all the characters intricately detailed and animated, although sometimes it's hard to distinguish them from the background, due to the monochromatic play area. All in all a credible climb 'n' crush arcade game - although not for owners of Rampage: they're far too similar.

Ramparts is not only reminiscent of Rampage in name: gameplay, even down to the airborne arrival of the heroes is practically identical, and the medieval scenario does very little to enhance the atmosphere of a basic and simplistic theme. Bashing structures of bricks and mortar into piles of rubble would have very little to recommend itself even if the presentation were excellent. As it stands, the graphics are undistinguished (although the collapse of the towers is quite effective) and the sound effects are unremarkable. It's often difficult getting a foothold on the buildings and a lot of time is wasted, under constant enemy bombardment, attempting to find the right place. As a full price game Ramparts puts the possibilities of the Spectrum to shame.

Presentation: 70%
Graphics: 67%
Playability: 67%
Addictive Qualities: 60%
Overall: 61%

Summary: General Rating: Rampage has already done what Ramparts wanted to do.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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