The first Knightmare computer game was written by MD Software and published by Activision in 1987 for the Amstrad, Spectrum, and Commodore 64.
A re-release for the Commodore 64 was distributed by Ricochet, a label of Mastertronic, which was formed by ex-Activision executives Andy Wood and Andy Payne.
Adapted from the brilliant new Anglia Television series, Knightmare the computer game enables you to take up the challenge to become a knight.
Combining the best elements of traditional adventuring with some hot arcade action, Activision’s Knightmare features puzzles and riddles of a nature not found before in computer games.
I place you somewhere in time, in a land where strangers are not welcome. Search Damonia Castle for objects which may help free you from the clutches of the dark castle.
Your advisors are two oracles. One is good, and often gives correct clues. The bad oracle will do everything to throw the knight into danger, and death. By studying the contents of both oracles' statements, valuable clues may be learned.
Your life force is represented by a candle at the edge of the page. It will decrease throughout the game.
The game materials included a short manual.
Try the Demo
A demo (dsk file) is available to play on an Amstrad CPC emulator.
- The only time you need food is to give some to the old man at the start of the game.
- Leave the torches on the walls. There is no use for them.
- If you want to throw rocks at enemies without running out, select "Throw rock" and press Fire but not Return.
- There are several rooms with ghosts who ask you questions. You don't need to go to these rooms – they contain trapdoors which send you to other ghosts.
- If you enter the same room multiple times, monsters will appear, and you'll have to kill them each time.
- Don't re-enter the dungeon that you escaped from.
If you need more help, we have a complete walkthrough, written by Nicholas Campbell.
Television and computer games rarely mix. It seems that the ancients who control the airwaves are totally ignorant about the millions of people who play computer games.
So when Knightmare the television programme surfaced last year the event was no less than staggering. The team behind it, including game designer Tim Child, should be congratulated.
Now Activision's game of a game show is out. The television formula has been adapted into more of a straightforward arcade adventure.
On the Knight's travel you can attain magical powers which allow you to indulge in a little Spellcasting. It’s also possible to engage your knight in a little bit of combat. But don’t expect Barbarian-style action.
Arcade adventurers everywhere should find Knightmare a thoroughly enjoyable game. I know I did.
- Graphics | 8
- Sound | 8
- Value | 8
- Playability | 9
Atari ST User: From TV to ST (1988)
The game has a rather impressive way of changing screens - an on-screen Knightmare book flips over to reveal the next page. Then I got stuck, not knowing what to do next.
There are guards all over the place, some humanoid, some spiritual, like the disembodied hand with the sabre which chases you, and the small red goblin-like demon, both of which drain your health.
Nice graphics convey a sense of atmosphere, but there is little or no sound. Sometimes frenzied arcade-style action combined with absolutely mind-bending puzzles drives you halfway up the wall.
Knightmare is a strange animal. If you want adventure mixed with a little action, then get it by all means - it certainly won't cost you a fortune.
- Graphics | 8
- Puzzlement | 9
- Playability | 7
- Value for Money | 9
- Overall | 8
Zzap! 64 (1989)
If you've been watching the excellent Knightmare series on TV and fancy yourself as a bit of an adventurer, this might just be your cup of tea.
Instead of guiding a mate through the rooms of the Knightmare world, you take control of an imprisoned knight using a combination of joystick and keypress commands.
You're stuck in a dungeon and don't fancy making chalk marks on the wall for the rest of your life, so you put away your penknife and try to find a way to escape - without getting killed by spiders, monsters and pretty horrible things on the way.
Every now and then, a creature sets a riddle: get the answer wrong and - minzaguiness, allacazam - you're dead. Nasty that. A bit of a toughie but if you're an arcade adventure fan, well worth a go.