Spectrum 2.0

Review of 'Dragon's Lair'

Rating:3 User: The Dean of Games

1986 Software Projects (UK)
by Paul Hodgson, Andy Walker, Michael Davies & Nicole Baikaloff

As a child I loved this game, even tough I barely passed the first level. This was due to the big animated sprites and the originality of level 1. Every now and then I came back to this game, and always regret it. It's unplayable.
The original Cinematronics laserdisc game was revolutionary and became a phenomenon full credited. But, as would be expected, porting this faithfully into an 8-bit computer was far from a challenge, it was simply impossible. So abridged versions and without the original control mechanics of the laserdisc started appearing.
The problem with the Spectrum port, wasn't just due to the limitations of the machine, but mainly because of weird choices by the authors.
Some levels are reminiscent of Game & Watch devices and even the one's who could work are unplayable, I mean, they play as bad as the Jack and The Beanstalk trilogy of games from 1984. You have to guess most of the times where to land your foot and not where logic says it should go! It's pathetic.
I want to believe Cinematronics demanded the game should resemble more the original version with it's fancy graphics and animation than worry with the gameplay itself, and so they are partially guilty, but again some levels could and should be playable, instead of "pretty" unplayable rubbish.