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, it's brilliant!

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 blood.

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.


The multiload isn't too bad, and the ongoing storyline is a nice touch.
Portly sprites and reasonably well drawn backdrops.
Grating tune but humorously bad sound effects.
Laughs and urge to free the slaves gives high interest.
Unfortunelately easy to complete, so the humour is short-lived.
A below average sword game with some laughs.