Spartacus - The Sword Slayer
Copyright/Publisher: Players Software, Created By: Ian Potts,
Release Year: 1988, Genre: Fighting Sports, Number Of Players: 1 or 2
Spartacus, the great Roman hero, was enslaved as a child and his parents killed.
He was trained for combat in the arena, with sword, shield and spear, always
waiting for the day he could have his revenge on the Roman empire.
Now he has been called to the arena to defeat the champion gladiators and lead
an escape by the slaves. You have three fighting moves with which to attack your
opponents: both player's health are shown as shields above the main display and
are deteriorated when wounds are inflicted.
When all health is lost, the character dies; as he has only a single life, the
game ends if this happens to Spartacus. Gladiators, an eagle and a rain of arrows
all try to stop his attempt to free the slaves.
Well, as far as an attempt at a Roman Barbarain is concerned, Sword Slayer
falls pretty much on its gace, but as a semi-humorous budget hack'em up,
Stout warriors flail their sword arms with only three moves at hand, hits
comically signified by splurges of blood - but a stab in the face from the first
gladiator's trident is one of the goriest sights I've ever seen on a Commodore.
Humour begins with the white noise audience applause, which sounds like the
tide coming in, and contin˙es with awful sound and animation on the eagle, who
is more of a joke than a ferocious enemy.
The absolute classic part of this game is Oblivius the Gladiator! He's
called Oblivius because he ignores your attacks completely - a fact that had me
in fits of laughter. Well, almost...
Sword Slayer doesn't add up to much, but what it lacks in technical expertise
it makes up for in humour. The deformed sprites wobble about in a nicely drawn
arena, whacking each other with no apparent affect apart from the odd spurt of
The individual levels are nicely connected (except for the multiload) by an
ongoing storyline, which in itself caused a guffaw or three. If you already
have enough decent beat 'em ups and don't mind spending a couple of quid for
a laugh, take a look at Sword Slayer, it'll make you smile if nothing else.