Joan of Arc: Siege and The Sword

Title		Joan of Arc: Siege and The Sword
Publisher	Rainbow Arts, 1989
Game Type	Strategy
Players 	1
HD Installable	Yes
Compatibility	All Amigas
Submission	John Burns ( Profiled Reviewer

This is one of the earliest graphic strategy games for the Amiga. Similar
to Defender of the Crown style wise, in this game you are cast as King
Charles VII. Your ultimate goal being to unite France and establish your
rule using the usual formula of taxes, raising armies, capturing enemy
territories, etc. Despite the foregoing you actually start the game
commanding an Army led by Joan of Arc with your first task being to get to
Orleans and crown the King. Only when this task has been achieved can you
access these and other facets of the game such as employing spies and the

Many people raved about and still regard Defender of the Crown as a
classic. I, however, am not one of those as I regard the game as being
nice to look at but lacking any real gameplay. Therefore, knowing that
this game was similar didn't fill me with a sense of goodwill towards the
game. First impressions of the game aren't helped when one sees the
graphics which were nothing exceptional in 1989, let alone now. I haven't
grabbed any screens to check but I suspect that they only use 8, or 16 at
best, colours; no doubt a legacy from it's being ported from the PC.
However, in the interests of fair reviewing I decided to persevere with
the task at hand. Anyway, how often do you get the chance to play a
cross-dressing (the reason she was condemned to death by the church)

The game is simple enough to play using the mouse to select and move your
army. However, as you progress you will be faced with other tasks such as
defending your castles from attack and attacking towns, both of which take
some practice and are harder to master than the similar sections such as
jousting in DotC. Actual land battles are in the graphical sense rather
comical with both your forces and the enemies being depicted by a bunch of
dots which when ordered to attack move like a swarm of ants towards each
other. Once again the game won't win any prizes for presentation. This
doesn't matter though as the key to winning these battles lies with your
decisions on when to deploy each of the elements of your Army, (archers,
cavalry, infantry, cannon) rather than their representation on screen.

In summary then, this is a game which has the gameplay but is let down by
poor graphics. Of course this doesn't stop you enjoying it and having a
good time but nice graphics would have been a welcome bonus. In a perfect
world this game's gameplay would have been married to the graphics of DotC
and the resultant game would have been hailed as a classic, probably
rightly so. The question is though is this overall better or worse than
DotC. Well, since for me gameplay is more important than nice looks then
this game scores well and earns a Yes. However, I must say that the
graphics are poor and taking them in the context of those of it's
contemporaries then it gains a No and I would have to declare it a draw.
Both games being in my opinion good but flawed.

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