Chariots Of Wrath
War is always a pain in the neck and can certainly get in the way of your love life. Well, whilst away fighting for King and Country, an evil Baron has kidnapped the beautiful Princess Arthena so jump into your chariot and rescue her. Actually, this really means playing lots of different arcade style games which surely this can't be a bad day at the local war zone, right?
Released back in 1989 by Impressions, Chariots Of Wrath isn't just one particular game but instead is a half dozen bundle of retro gaming joy. If there was ever a mixed goody bag of various games thrown together, this is it. Each range in style, from a version of Breakout to a pretty impressive shoot 'em up and must be played in order before you can advance onto the next, becoming progressively harder.
Initially, I didn't care for the "operation wolf" clone because its far too easy and boring. But later on, I admit to liking this as it became harder and more challenging. The breakout game is pretty darn awesome and comes with a number of power-ups to increase the excitement. I found it rather enjoyable but I'm sure the Arkanoid fan boys won't be quaking in their boots! The platformer looks nice but the controls feel wooden and it's played against a frustratingly unforgiving time limit. This is definitely the weakest game within Chariots Of Wrath archive and I really hate harsh time limits... Asteroids also makes an appearance and plays very well with some nifty new touches that I really liked. Finally, I did enjoyed the vertically scrolling shoot 'em up which is both loud and exciting. Sadly, it suffers from a little slowdown and its mechanics fail somewhat but it is still great fun.
The audio and visuals are very good and rarely disappoint. I really loved the "Boom Boom!" sound effects in the vertical shooter and the other games also have nice effects. The graphics are pretty cool throughout each game, with smooth scrolling and lots of colours so overall my ears and eyes had little to complain about. However, in terms of playability, Chariots Of Wrath has an almost homebrew quality and feels like a strange collection of unfinished games. With a little spit and polish, we could have had a unique release because the potential is certainly there. If you have an hour to spare then give it a go, you might get a nice surprise? Overall, it's a jack of all trades that offers some fun (for a short while) but sadly never successfully becomes the master of any.