Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Chariots Of Wrath

War is always a pain in the neck and can certainly get in the way of your love life and, whilst away fighting for King and Country, an evil Baron has kidnapped the beautiful Princess Arthena. So jump into your chariot and rescue her. Actually, this really means playing lots of different arcade style games which surely this can't be a bad day at the local war zone, right?

Released back in 1989 by Impressions, Chariots Of Wrath isn't just one particular game but instead is a half dozen bundle of retro gaming joy. If there was ever a mixed goody bag of various games thrown together, this is it. Each range in style, from a Breakout clone to a pretty nice shoot 'em up and each must be played in order before you can advance to the next. Of course, the games become progressively harder the further you go.

Initially, I didn't care for the "operation wolf" clone because it's far too easy and a little boring but later on, I admit to liking this as it became a lot harder and thus challenging. The breakout game is pretty darn awesome and comes with a number of power-ups to increase the excitement. I found it rather enjoyable but I'm sure the Arkanoid fanboys won't be quaking in their boots! The platformer looks nice but the controls feel wooden and it's played against a frustratingly unforgiving time limit. This is definitely the weakest game within Chariots Of Wrath archive and I really hate harsh time limits... Asteroids also shows an appearance and actually plays very well with some nifty new touches that I really liked. Finally, I did enjoy the vertically scrolling shoot 'em up which is both loud and exciting. Sadly, it suffers from amateur mechanics and a little slowdown but it is still great fun, I loved it this part!

I really loved the "Boom Boom!" sound effects in the vertical shooter and the other games also have nice effects. The graphics are pretty cool throughout each of the games with smooth scrolling and lots of colours, so overall my ears and eyes had little to complain about. However, in terms of playability, Chariots Of Wrath has an almost homebrew quality and feels like a strange collection of unfinished efforts. With a little (aka more) spit and polish, we could have had a unique release because the potential was certainly there with this jack of all trades.

LINKS

 - The best version is usually by 8BitChip and this game is no different!
 - For those which require a floppy disk version look no further than Old Games Finder.
 - AtariMania features this quirky little number within their ST database website.