by Future Concepts: Sean Speacer, Jas C. Brooke, Rory C. Green, Mark Cooksey
Crash Issue 52, May 1988   (1988-04-28)   page(s) 17

Sir Griswold and Sir Larkin, wielders of the lance and once gentle knights of old, have been cursed by the Evil One. The effect of this unfortunate enchantment has been to magnify them both to several times their original size. Intent on revenge, they scour the countryside in search of their medieval antagonist. The buildings of several hostile barons stand in the way: their only chance of survival is to smash and ransack each castle in turn.

The knights' quest may be undertaken solo or in tandem. Play is divided into a series of levels, each of which comprises a solitary fortress. Armed with a ball and chain, the knights attempt to shin up the walls of the fortress, destroying as much of the structure as possible in the process.

The castle's inhabitants put up a valiant defence: damsels fire bullets from the windows, tiny soldiers direct cannons from the ground and flying defenders drop pellets from above. By avoiding bullets and clubbing their diminutive adversaries each knight can ensure that minimum damage is inflicted.

Encased in the masonry of each castle are a number of bonus icons which are revealed as the edifice is destroyed. Food boosts energy and gold increases score; poisons swallowed inadvertently radically reduce health.

Once sufficient damage has been incurred, the towers totally collapse. With each fortress razed to the ground, the giant knights move on to the next.

Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: the mixture of characters and buildings often proves confusing, but all add to the medieval setting of the game
Sound: beautiful harpsichordian tune and basic bash effects
Options: one or two players

'Although Ramparts is very similar to Rampage, in my opinion is a much superior game. The great medieval music and Old English Text create a marvellous atmosphere. Once you've got through numerous title tunes and slick presentation you emerge into a version of Rampage with castles instead of skyscrapers and giant knights instead of monsters. The little men that run along the bottom of the walls can get really vicious with their massive cannons and other wounding weapons; I found it almost impossible to complete Level One on my own, but once you get two players on the job the higher levels of the game become more accessible. Ramparts is great -but only if you don't already have Rampage.'

'It's very hard to choose between Activision's Rampage and GO!'s Ramparts - both are extremely competent games in their field. However, I find this game type terribly boring, uneventful and repetitive. Graphically, Ramparts fulfils all its objectives admirably. The castles are ornately drawn and all the characters intricately detailed and animated, although sometimes it's hard to distinguish them from the background, due to the monochromatic play area. All in all a credible climb 'n' crush arcade game - although not for owners of Rampage: they're far too similar.'

'Ramparts is not only reminiscent of Rampage in name: gameplay, even down to the airborne arrival of the heroes is practically identical, and the medieval scenario does very little to enhance the atmosphere of a basic and simplistic theme. Bashing structures of bricks and mortar into piles of rubble would have very little to recommend itself even if the presentation were excellent. As it stands, the graphics are undistinguished (although the collapse of the towers is quite effective) and the sound effects are unremarkable. It's often difficult getting a foothold on the buildings and a lot of time is wasted, under constant enemy bombardment, attempting to find the right place. As a full price game Ramparts puts the possibilities of the Spectrum to shame'

Presentation: 70%
Graphics: 67%
Playability: 67%
Addictive Qualities: 60%
Overall: 61%

Summary: General Rating: Rampage has already done what Ramparts wanted to do.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 30, June 1988   page(s) 67

A medieval smash 'em up eh? I was a bit dubious about this game before I even saw it. Medieval plots have never been wholly successful or convincing and I had a feeling that Ramparts would be no exception.

At first I thought someone had given me a copy of Activision's Rampage, even the logo was the same, a massive hand smashing the word Ramparts. Okay, so copying game formats isn't a new pastime, but for a label like Go! whose titles up to now have been expensively programmed original games with more than a speak of genius, this brilliant photocopy of a legitimately licensed arcade conversion is a bit of a let down.

You control two knights who have been turned into building sized monsters, who are hunting down the wizard who made them that way. Their quest is conducted in the usual way, smashing every building down which gets in the way, shimmying up each building and pulling bits off it, uncovering either bonus points or explosives, which improve or terminate your game respectively. You know the sort of thing.

To hinder your progress, there are witches on brooms in the sky, swooping and firing spells at you, siege catapults trundling along the floor lobbing boulders at you, and the occupants of the castles throwing everything but the kitchen sink at you. So that's what you're up against. It's quite a hard game, but with no real incentive to continue and no visible goals to head for, so progress is slow and getting to the end of a screen is more of a relief than a triumph.

Rampage itself wasn't a brilliant idea for an arcade conversion, as the coin-op relied on the quality of its graphics for most of the enjoyment of the game. So trying to capitalise on the success of a game which wasn't all that hot in the first place is a rum idea. Making a good, original game would have been a better idea, and a lot more fun to play.

Graphics: 5/10
Playability: 4/10
Value For Money: 3/10
Addictiveness: 4/10
Overall: 5/10

Summary: Obvious counterfeit of Rampage, with knights instead of movie monster. Disappointing.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 73, April 1988   page(s) 70

I love original ideas, and Ramparts has to have one of the most original gameplay ideas I've ever seen. You get to play a very large being who climbs up buildings, hitting them in order to knock huge holes in them, collecting food and picking up little folk and eating them... The only problem is - it's an original idea that's been done before. It's Rampage, innit? Yeah it is, though to be honest, it's not as good.

You play one of two knights, either Sir Griswold or Sir Larkin, verily two of the most enormous blokes in computerland. They weren't always giants though. In the beginning they were regular knights, but they were cursed and transformed into the huge Denis Roussofs they are now. In order to restore themselves to their former glory, they have to ravage all the castles in the land, and to ravage them, they have to climb up them and go boom-bang-a-bang (Norway - nil points) and knock them buildings down.

Guns, cannons and catapults bar your way, and are fired from windows and floor alike. You can of course just punch these to destroy them, but hits will reduce your energy. You can replenish said energy by eating the food that can be found in the windows, and believe you me there is a lot of it. In fact, so much that I got amazingly far into the game on my third go (just after you left, Dicky) and really the screens are very easy to do. Talking of screens, they're completely disgusting. The colour scheme used is so terrible you can't tell where separate towers begin and end.

In a nutshell, Ramparts is Rampage with Mediaeval knobs on, but Rampage is so much better.

Label: Go!
Author: Future Concepts
Price: £8.99
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: Kempston
Reviewer: Tony Dillon

Overall: 5/10

Summary: Graphically poor and vastly unplayable Rampage rip off. US Gold has done better.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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