Version tested: Retro
After narrowly escaping the sandy confines of 'The Pyramid', Fantasy Software's "Ziggy", sets off on yet another one of his travels - this time, to the imposing fortress of 'Doomsday Castle'.
Cocooned in his trusty spacecraft, the game begins with our hero making his way into the first chamber, and your initial thought is "What the heck is going on?!". The sparsely populated playfields found in Ziggy's previous outing have now been replaced with strange life forms perched on lifts, a giant sleeping bird, multiple exits, and hordes of nasties continually dropping into the room from the hatches above. This is one game where it's vital you read the instruction booklet before commencing play!
Doomsday Castle spans a massive 25 halls, each interconnected by a total of 49 passages, and it's your job to navigate through this labyrinth, collect six ancient stones en route, and then escape. The six stones can be found in the same rooms every time you play, and as a room can't be revisited during a game it's going to require a combination of map-making and repeated play if you're ever going to have a chance of completing your mission
Back in 1983, software companies flooded the market with shoddy clones of popular arcade titles, and thankfully, Fantasty Software decided to produce something that was not only different to the mass of drivel swamping the Spectrum scene at the time, but also wonderfully polished, and full of neat little touches. Zap a lift occupying beast, and his previously happy face will take on a temporary saddened look. Wake up the napping bird, and as he gracefully flaps off his perch he sends out a powerful laser blast, sporting a simple, but very effective looking blur effect, indicating just how fast this impending ray of doom is travelling.
Almost a quarter of a century on, it now looks rather basic, but don't let that put you off. Here's a game that still has buckets of charm, and whilst it's unlikely to end up in your top ten list, it'd be a real shame to pass it by.
7 / 10