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This is a neat little game -- but only for two players. I found it very difficult to play on my own, since it is rather tricky to move the
Druid with the joystick whilst using the keyboard to control the Golem. However, Druid is still a very good game with pleasant graphics and adequate sound effects, and is well worth the asking price.

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It's pretty obvious that this is a
Gauntlet derivative but nevertheless, it's not bad at all, even if the playing area is verging on microscopic Probably most enjoyment can be achieved from a two-player game where one takes control of the odious Golem and scampers around bashing all the meanies before they have a chance to assassinate our beloved Druid. Not an essential buy, but if you can't wait for the official version then Druid may keep you occupied for the time being.

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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!
Druid
1986 Firebird
Programmed by Andrew Bailey & Dene Carter
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the eighteenth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: September 11th, 1986).
 

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DRUID
Firebird, 7.95 cass, joystick with keys


The mists of time slowly clear to reveal an awesome quest. Four skulls of immense evil have been brought to life by the Princess of Darkness -- her wrath is beginning to spread. Four floors of an eight-floor tower are where they are to be located, and you, a Druid, have been assigned the mystical task of defeating the Princess and her monstrous minions.

Your Druid finds himself abandoned in a mysterious forest -- devoid of all humane life -- with only a few spells to his credit. The destruction spell is the most powerful and useful -- this can take the form of energy balls of water, fire or electricity, but Druid has to be selective about which one he uses to defeat a particular demon.

Making contact with any of the nasty creatures instantly drains energy from his energy bar, located in the top left hand corner of the display. Fortunately, energy can be revitalised by standing on a revolving Pentacle of Life; however, on later levels don't mistake similar images for they will sap your energy.

To get to the lower vaults, you will need to gain access to the tower by locating a key. These can be found in chests, which are opened by simply walking into them, and then used to open doors by pressing the + key. All sorts of other goodies can be found within the chests, such as water, fire, electricity, invisibility spells, and Golems. Unfortunately, only one spell can be extracted from any one chest at a time.

Golems are large ape-like creatures which help you battle it out against your adversaries and can be called up at any time once you have collected a Golem spell from a chest. He is controlled via the Commodore key, and each time it is pressed it toggles between three commands: SEND, FOLLOW and WAIT. Alternatively, the Golem can be controlled by a second player via a joystick.

Another spell which ranks amongst the most powerful is the Chaos spell. This destroys all meanies in the Druid's vicinity and also bumps up his energy a fair bit. Death comes instantly if Druid falls into one of the many lakes -- fortunately, there are bridges for him to make his way safely across.

At the end of the game you are given a rating ranging from Dimwit to Light Master, and this depends upon how many chests were opened, and the number of creatures and skulls destroyed.

     

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Although this doesn't work particularly well as a one-player game, it's really great with two players. Playing the fatso Golem minder is a real laugh, and there's plenty of interaction when two players venture out together. The graphics are really good, and show that the official Gauntlet can look very much like the original when it's finished. The sound is another good feature, and the whole thing boils down to being an enjoyable and novel program which is an essential purchase for Gauntlet fans.
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Presentation 89%

Good instructions and many attractive features, such as the unusual two player option.

Graphics 82%
Clear and colourful but not that well animated.

Sound 68%
Nice title screen tune and spot FX
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Hookability 89%
Plenty to kill and explore.

Lastability 85%
Playable and challenging -- even more so with two players.

Value For Money 88%
Fans of this type of game won't gripe at the price.

Overall 88%
A great two player game and a real 'fix' for Gauntlet junkies.
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Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (19 Feb 2010)

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