“Dragons Lair! A fantasy adventure starring a valiant knight!”
For the time, back in 1983, this offering from the little known Starcom was state of the art. Using a laser disc to keep the whole thing running at perfect pace, the graphical content was presented in a stunning cartoon format.
Our brave hero, Dirk, enters the ominous castle to begin his quest to rescue the captured princess by the evil dragon that lurks within.
Traversing labyrinths, rooms and courtyards along the way, it soon becomes
apparent that this is no simple task.
As the scenes play out in each scenario, the onus is on navigating the very difficult control method through traps and hazards by paying special attention to the background and opportune moments to hit move or attack in the direction of the immediate goal, be it an open door or a lumbering beast.
This can indeed be tricky to start with but soon becomes negotiable with practice and offers a thrilling experience.
Different to other offerings from the time also was the sound. Just like the stunning visuals the sound could only be compared to a film from the legend that is Disney, again adding to the sublime presentation of the game.
Swinging on vines over burning chasms and leaping across crumbling bridges, the action is always intense and furious and soon the lair opens up to new halls and new denizens of darkness, spanning across vast waterways and magical elevators, leading to even more choices offering fortune and glory or pain and doom so be sure to keep a keen eye and hone those reflexes as the whole experience defines the very word ‘challenge’!
Review by Rob Joy.