King's Bounty

Title		King's Bounty
Game Type	RPG
Company		New World Computing
Players		1
Compatibility	All (1200 has some problems)
Submission	Adrian Simpson Profiled Reviewer

It's understandable that few will have heard of King's Bounty. It was a
fairly minor release on the Amiga in 1991 from New World Computing.
However, if you have ever played the Spectrum classic Chaos, then you will
be familiar with the combat section of the game.

The game is a top-down RPG, in which you have a certain number of days to
piece together a map and find an artifact, which will save the kingdom.
The plot is pretty standard stuff and the game includes all the monsters
and creatures that usually inhabit these worlds. However, don't let this
put you off, as the game is far from a heavyweight RPG.

The main character starts the game outside the king's castle, and can then
head off to explore the world. The land is made up of large tiles, which
can make it difficult to see where you are in the big picture. Luckily,
you can view maps of the different continents. To get from one continent
to another, you need to buy a boat, and to do this you need to earn money
by finding treasure and fighting battles. Your army also needs to be built
up with cash, as you start off quite vulnerable. The lairs of creatures
also need to be located and then you can hire the occupants to join your
army. With this army, the main character can fight wandering armies and
take on castles of known criminals, which will mean more money and a piece
of the map.

When two armies clash, King's Bounty moves into the combat mode. A zoomed
in battlefield grid is displayed, with the components of each army on
either side of the screen. As mentioned before, this is like the Spectrum
game Chaos, which in turn was similar to chess. Each army takes a turn to
move and then attack the enemy. Different creatures have different
strengths and weaknesses - some can also fly and the archers can fire
arrows, which help to dull the onslaught against your side.

King's Bounty is not a difficult game to get into and play. It's suitable
for those with little experience of RPGs, or those that have tried some
RPGs and found them too menacing, but it is also great fun for those that
have played them. Don't expect a deep epic and you will have a great time.
An interesting point is that King's Bounty has lived on, in the form of
the Heroes of Might And Magic series on the PC, also by New World
Computing. King's Bounty is the forefather of these games, but the idea
has been taken a lot further with its offspring.

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