The game is designed around the Captive adventure system and has cracking credentials, uniting an excellent license with a proven code. Captive players will immediate feel in control of Knightmare. The system that drives the game essentially uses the same icon and keyboard commands as Captive, of course with improvements and tweaks where necessary. The four men team can be driven either by clicking on directional icons or keyboard combinations. Clicking on anything with the left mouse button, gets or activates it, while the right is employed to initiate party actions. It is a simple system to learn, but offers enough flexibility to fill four huge dungeons with tests of precise control. Of course the four members of the team all have different skills and specialties. All have an empty backpack in which to carry the kit they find and two hand 'slots' for those all important items (say, weapons). Roaming around without a compass gets confusing. It is not difficult, especially if you map from the word go, but sudden action or changes of focus can leave you disorientated, which is something common for all these Dungeon Master-style RPG games. Every square of corridor must be checked on all sides at all times, each character must be watched to ensure that they are ready for unexpected combat. All the puzzles and riddles that inform your quest must be analyzed and solved.
One of the innovative aspects of this game, is the novel use of transport! The player whizz around in a mining cart at the beginning and then row a small boat in shark infested waters!
Knightmare plays fast and hard. As dungeon romps go, few can match it for the continuous ferocity of its assault in your party's lives. Each encounter is tailored to suit your team's status, so the game runs in a state of perpetual high tension. It is huge, it looks marvelous and it's extremely difficult, although there's a sort of wizardry fellow to help you out a fair bit.
Graphically the game is slick with fine details to create both tests and atmosphere. The Atari ST version although it sport only 16 color screens, everything is nicely detailed, both corridors and sprites, and wrapped up in a nicely animated pseudo-3D environment, with moody atmospheric tones and decent animation on the monsters. But, same as in the Amiga version, objects are painted in the same shades and are therefore often difficult to see.
The sound is also good here, offering plenty of high quality sampled SFX, but the awesome introductory music (along with the visual presentation of the game's story) found in the Amiga, is missing here. As long as you owned an Atari STE back then, the fully stereo effect is supported and plays a significant role here, as it allows you to trace monsters very simple by following the sound of their footsteps!