STORY / GAMEPLAY
The year is 1149. King Richard has just returned from the Crusades and granted the title of Knight to 6 men who aided him on his quest. But after a while the King is murdered and the Holy Crown is lost. To save England your skills as swordsman and military leader will be severely tested. But should you succeed you'll win the Crown of England and the love of many a beautiful damsel! You take part on a strategy game as a Saxon knight in order to gain power and find the lost Crown. You can choose a character among 4 knights, each one with his powers and weaknesses. The game is based on a UK map, where you can move your armies and take over either Saxons' or Normands' territories. Read maps, plan raids, even team with Robin Hood, then plunder enemy strongholds, dueling for gold needed to build an army of mercenary vassals. You can also participate in jousting tournaments to gain (or…loose) either fame or territories! Giving a quick hint here, in jousting, just steer your own lance to the center of the opponent's shield and then press the fire button at the last moment. Still, though, this exactness depends on your character's ability in jousting...
Defender of the Crown is a great game to play, and if you haven’t done it yet, go on and do it. As long as you’ll learn what to do, you will be very glad to master this game.
GRAPHICS / SOUND
The game features great scenes when you raid and battle, with graphics that looked so amazing back in 1987. The Apple IIGS version has nice graphics supporting 16 colors on screen. In terms of quality, the differences with the Amiga version (which sports 32 colors on screen) are obvious whilst there are great differences in terms of details when compare to the PC version (running on EGA graphics mode). Each indoor or outdoor scene has its own unique graphics. Raiding takes you to an excellently detailed castle scene where a swordfight takes place. The scene starts outdoors and then inside the castle’s rooms. Also, jousting scene uses the original graphics, where you ride your horse in a first-perspective view and aiming the lance using your mouse (or keys) to the opponent riding towards you! Note that there are a few animated scenes missing on the IIGS (and ST, PC) version, found only on the Amiga (original). Nevertheless, the game is considered a state-of-the-art piece, showing what the 16bit home computers could do when they hit the markets (especially the Amiga systems).
Sound is good, with medieval tunes playing during gameplay scenes along with many sampled sound effects (sword clangs etc). There is also the nice intro music originally taken from the Amiga version.