STORY / GAMEPLAY
As Stryker, mighty warlock and master of spells, you have to enter into the Crypt, collect the sixteen pieces of the parchment of truth and defeat the evil Trogan. Trogan is hiding in his Crypt and has risen and commanded an army of evil forces, such as skeletons, disembodied skulls, and other unearthly creatures! There're five levels to get through, each getting progressively more complex, to reach Trogan himself, so your quest is not an easy one, as hordes of Trogan's deadly followers will attack, coping at the same time with deadly traps. Your basic weapons are your fists and a kind-of sword for stabbing the enemies, but you will find a lot of spells, power ups or weapons along the way to collect. At the end of each level there is a furious end-of-level guardian awaiting too, but fortunately extra lives are also available to gain after destroying the mutant guards.
The game is a little too similar to Switchblade in terms of gameplay and level design and the fact that the developers made Stryker In The Crypts Of Trogan is the same team that worked on the CPC version of Switchblade! The game was released on cassette and is one of the few non-cartridge games that utilize the CPC+ features. In addition this game has both a 64K and 128K mode, and on a 128K memory additional data is loaded before the game starts.
GRAPHICS / SOUND
The graphics detail and color usage are certainly pretty impressive on the Amstrad CPC, and it is obvious that a great deal of care and attention has been taken over on this part. Although the game runs in Mode 1 (that uses by default up to 4 colors on screen) the new graphics routines utilizing raster effects, that enhance the actual number of colors used in the game's window. With this technique the pure CPC version runs in 320x200 pixels area with 16 colors on screen, which enhance the quality of the visuals impressively, without jeopardizing much the quality of sprites' animation and scrolling! This is amazing here, as most of the CPC games, running in Mode 1, use rasters only to add extra colors in the player's status panel (health bars, score, lives etc). Sound effects are well matched to the game's atmosphere (although much too repetitive), same as with the music. Unfortunately you may choose either sound effects or music during gameplay, while there is nicely composed main-menu theme followed by a stunningly animated silhouette of a magician.