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 W hat to do with 128K - Part 2. Last time we looked at how to create a 128 game with some sticky tape to tag on a few extra screens and of course a toilet roll tube to create some three channel music. This time a slightly more ambitious project - writing a 128 game from scratch!

And it's been left to Mastertronic to give us the first truly original title for the expanded Spectrum. Knight Tyme is the third part of the Magic Knight series - and let's not call it a trilogy in the hope that there's more to come!

It may be Spellbound-like in mechanics but the plot is very different. Magic Knight has finally freed Gimbal, the Wizard, but in doing so has been catapulted through time. He beams down on the bridge of the USS Pisces. Sensing something fishy he consults Klink, one of the ship's two robots.

It transpires that the Paradox Police don't take too kindly to day trippers - let alone tourists from across thousands of years - and thirty days into the future they're waiting for our hero. His only hope is to locate the legendary Tyme Guardians to obtain a Tyme Machine (with some parsley and sage for the stuffing). So begins an epic struggle of one man against a hostile universe (epic music, etc).

This calls for a quick trip round the neighbouring planets, but before he can do that Magic Knight has to stir the crew into action and without proper authority that isn't easy. In fact, apart from the automatons, everybody ignores him. A few clues to gain friends and influence people are contained in the captions, but even then you'll need all your wits to use the objects scattered around the Pisces before you can persuade its pilot to take off.

Once in space those 128 kilobytes come into their own - the only previous manifestation of the new machine has been the very pleasant, though ultimately repetitive tune (don't worry - it's switchable!).

Choose your planet from the menu and choose your journey speed, remembering that though it's a race against the Tyme Guardians, speed eats fuel, then watch from the bridge as space scrolls by.

When you reach your destination you can communicate with the landing party. They may want to talk about trading matters and seem very friendly - but be careful about accepting repairs from strangers. After all, you wouldn't take your car into any old garage, would you?

Knight Tyme is packed with clever puzzles, aeons of space to explore and, what's more, it's all finished with a double coat of wit. If it appears on the 48K Speccy it's sure to lose much of the detail and perhaps some of the scale. So accept nothing less than the full blown version. It'll keep you playing all (k)night!

Graphics    GRAPHICS


Playability    PLAYABILITY


Addictiveness    ADDICTIVENESS



Overall Score    OVERALL SCORE

 Overall Stars

Reviewed by

Rachael Smith




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