Sunday, May 28, 2017

Spellfire The Sorcerer


Spellfire is a scrolling platformer set in a time long ago. A time of myth and legend when silly knights frantically patrolled the woodlands, gorillas enjoyed throwing rocks, and magicians were the cool guys. Our beef is with an evil emperor who is holding captive (wait for it) Fifi The Fairy in his castle tower and our valiant quest is to rescue her.

He begins his journey in the forest which leads to the castle where she is imprisoned and this is a great start that nicely introduces you to the gameplay mechanics. Our hero can walk, leap, climb trees, shoot fire-bolts and even mash up magic spells using a rather large cauldron. Your health status is displayed at the top of the screen and will decrease if you happen to touch the enemies or a dangerous object. Gold coins can be collected (after a kill) and these are then used as currency in a cauldron, which offers magical power-ups, extra ammo, or a health boost.

  

The only chance you have to rescue Fifi is by collecting all ten magic eyes which will allow you to fight off a guardian boss. The first is a wasp-like critter who isn't exactly intelligent and therefore makes for an easy kill. This grants us access to the castle via the dungeons which are creepy but the guardian is a bit of a bonehead. This castle takes us deeper into our quest but continuing with the same theme, with lots more tricks and traps to fool you.

Spellfire has some truly stunning visuals and I love the medieval environments with their nice touches: the colourful sky, erupting volcanos, and those awesome skeletons being raised from the dead. The sprites have such good attention to detail and complemented by smooth scrolling that never lags to keep up with the pace of the gameplay. Audio is almost as impressive and can set to chipmusic or sound effects. Whatever you decide, you'll love it.

  

I'm grateful this isn't a lazy Amiga port and one which plays every bit as good as it looks. Code Masters released what I can only describe as a hidden gem that's easy to pick up and play and is a great platformer. Go and grab yourself a copy right now: hard disk installable game is available from 8BitChip with floppies found via Stonish.

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