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An excellent title screen leads into a somewhat boring game. The graphics are quite nice, but the action is very dull -- all you have to do is go into and out of the screen, dodging the squares and chess pieces. Sound is virtually non-existent, and so are the instructions. Even at four quid it's not exactly worth the money.

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Night Walker is spoilt, initially, by the lack of instructions, which render the game impossible to play. After much playing and phoning I managed to discover the game's aim, and so discovered too, that on playing with instructions it was, well how shall I put this, er, boring, unchallenging and, totally unaddictive. Try something else.

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Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!
The Chess Game
1985 Microclassic
Programmed by Peter Hodkin
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the seventeenth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: July 21st, 1986).
 

NIGHT WALKER
Microclassic, 3.95 cass, joystick only


Night Walker is a 3D game played on a chess board. You control a girly (Penn?) character who, in repentance for some ghastly and unnamed sin, has been assigned the task of safely escorting five pawns across rite board. Being a pawn courier may sound easy, but of course it isn't, because the task has been transformed into a full-blooded spectator sport, and the blood they're after is yours. Eeek!

The display is of a huge chess board surrounded by all manner of jeering nasties, and you, poor defenceless girly character that you are, find yourself standing on the edge of the chequered arena. Then, from the shadows, a giant Knight chess piece appears. Swallowing your fearful bile as manfully as a girly character can, you make your way across the chess board holding the hand of an innocent pawn, leaving a trail of blue squares in your path. The Knight also leaps onto the board, moving around in an attempt to block your route, unhelpfully chobbling dirty great red pits in the paths you've made. As they are deep, these pits should be avoided at all costs, else you may fall in and lose one of your five pawns.

This process continues until all five pawns have been safely transported from one side of the board to the other. If you have rescued one or more pawns, you're transported to the next screen, again played on the chess board. On this screen the black squares rapidly change colour and you must try and get the pawns across without stepping on a square while it's red.

Following this comes a battle with a Bishop and on later stages your wits are pitted against a King and then a Queen, all the pieces moving in the directions specified by the game of chess.

As you travel through the various screens, the game gets progressively harder with red squares appearing more and more frequently and flashing irregularly, and as the stages increase, greater numbers of pieces appear, making the task even more difficult.

     

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What we have here is a game that looks and seems quite reasonable at first, but as progress is made, it becomes apparent that Night Walker is very lacklustre indeed. Presentation is not all that bad but the gameplay is pretty dire, with nothing much to challenge. I suppose if you like being frustrated by a poor game that fails to hit the mark then it might be fun. If you don't then I should took elsewhere.
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Presentation 60%

Great title screen, but little else.

Graphics 65%
The board and characters are quite good.

Sound 10%
Not a lot
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Hookability 65%
Interesting at first . . .

Lastability 38%
But the screens are all very similar.

Value For Money 43%
More expensive than a budget game, but by no means better.

Overall 40%
An interesting idea which hasn't quite worked.
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Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (1 Oct 2007)
Only the first of the above screenshots existed in the original review.

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