Super Robin Hood

by David Whittaker, James Wilson, Mark Baldock, Nigel Fletcher, The Oliver Twins
Code Masters Ltd
Crash Issue 41, Jun 1987   page(s) 24,25

Producer: Code Masters
Retail Price: £1.99
Author: Mark Baldock

Maid Marion has been kidnapped by the Sheriff of Nottingham and imprisoned in the East Tower of his castle. If Robin Hood is ever to canoodle with his true love again, he must survive the many dangers that her rescue entails.

Robin enters the castle and finds himself running left, running right, leaping, climbing up and down, ducking to avoid spiders, monstrous devices and the guards' crossbow bolts, through a series of rooms and halls connected by ladders and extending platforms. Pant, pant! Bumping into nasties, or falling from ladders, loses our woodland hero valuable health points, and if health is gone Robin fires an arrow Heavenward and dies. But picking up the Sheriff's multivitamin tablets, strewn about the castle, revitalises him, as well as adding to his score. More points are to be had for each guard eliminated with his bow and arrow.

Picking up keys enables him to activate the lifts, accessing higher levels, where more red hearts are to be collected. When all the hearts are taken from the castle rooms, Robin may move on to the East Tower, where he releases the distressed damsel and takes her home for tea.


Control keys: definable
Joystick: Kempston, Interface 2, Cursor
Use of colour: reasonably varied, avoids serious clashes
Graphics: screens not over busy, large characters and simple animation
Sound: good tune
Skill levels: one

It's a sad but regular occurrence that a game arrives with excellent presentation and pretty graphics... but a rather tired game idea - Super Robin Hood is one such. However, at the regular Code Masters price this combination shouldn't disappoint many people. Learning to complete the screens successfully adds to the lasting interest, as does the variety of graphics and music. Quite enjoyable, if you're not too demanding and don't expect too much.

Yet another superbly presented Code Master game. The title tune is a great David Whittaker piece, and the options are many and varied. The graphics contain a good range of colour - although to prevent colour clashes the collision detection seems to be of character size - and the screens are smartly attired with some large objects. Super Robin Hood is basically another arcade/adventure budget game with some good features.

Here we have yet another platform game which falls into the deepening void of trashable Spectrum games. I can't honestly see anyone having fun with this for more than a couple of days as the gameplay is so boring. There's a nice tune on the title screen, but other than this the presentation leaves a lot to be desired - as does the graphical content. There are plenty of better games around for the same price - choose one of them and you'll probably have more fun.

Presentation: 65%
Graphics: 66%
Playability: 53%
Addictive Qualities: 45%
Value for Money: 63%
Overall: 52%

Summary: General Rating: Some mixed feelings, but reasonably entertaining for a short while, no long lasting appeal and certainly nothing new.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 19, Jul 1987   page(s) 70

Code Masters

This new Code Masters budget game will have you all of a-quiver with excitement! From the opening blood stirring music to the blood red sunset that Super Robin soulfully surveys at the end, bloody war is the name of the game and carnage is what you'll end up with if you play it right.

As the mega-muscled Robin, your task in this joystick and keyboard compatible platform caper is to rescue Maid Marian from the clutches of the wicked Sheriff, who has her all tied up in Notts. Robbo goes solo in his quest, with no help from his good buddies, Little John, Friar Tuck and Will Scarlet. But who needs help when you can duck, jump and scale ladders with such boundless agility! Mind you, you'll need all the Errol Flynnery you can find to get round the medieval monsters - rancid rats, spooky spiders and other assorted 'orribles - that the Sheriff sends against you.

Your health factor starts at 99, but constant contact with the creepies wears it down and when you hit the big 0 you become an ex-Robin. And don't jump prematurely from ladders and platforms, or it'll be cock-up, not Cock Robin. There are assorted tablets round the castle that'll perk up your health, and if you're nifty with the old bow and arrer you can stick the Sheriff's guards with more quills than a porcupine - a great way to get lots of lovely bonus points.

Keys and red hearts are also lying round the castle (some people are so careless!) which'll boost your bonus too. They're usually in the most inaccessible crooks and nannies, though, so keep your eyes peeled. The keys will let you operate the lifts to the various sections of the castle until you reach your goal - the East Tower, where the love of your life is pining for you.

Super Robin Hood isn't the most sophisticated platform you'll fall over, but its clear graphics and easy scrolling action give it instant appeal. And 'cos it has no time limit you can be a little more constructive in your game play than usual. It's sound, but no real fury.

Graphics: 6/10
Playability: 7/10
Value For Money: 7/10
Addictiveness: 6/10
Overall: 6/10

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 66, Sep 1987   page(s) 36

Label: Codemasters
Author: Mark Baldock
Price: £1.99
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Tony Dillon

Aaahhgg! It's games like this that remind me of what my old granny used to say. "Fred," she'd say (she could never remember my name). "Fred, there's nothing like a good arcade game."

She was right. Super Robin Hood is nothing like a good arcade game. It has all the elements but doesn't quite seem to fit together.

You are cast as Robin Hood, rescuing Marion. No surprises there. And for some strange, possibly warped, reason he has to collect squishy bits of human innards.

Technically it's all well up to Codemasters standard (whatever that means). Terrific graphics, good sound FX, smooth animation and well- planned screen layout. What a shame the game's so useless.

Overall: 4/10

Summary: It's so boorrring! I had to strap myself to my rubber keyboard just to keep playing.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Computer Issue 7, Jul 1987   page(s) 69

Publisher: Code Masters

If budget games didn't exist then you'd have to invent them to take account of games like this that are fun but dated. Not worth a full-price release but definitely worth a place in the collection. Code Masters are putting out some great games as well as some real turkeys, but if you load up Robin Hood you certainly won't hear the sound of gobble-gobble, but some pretty nifty music from David Whittaker - though they even give you the option to turn it off, if you want.

Options is something this game's strong on. and that always makes you hopeful, especially after the impressive loading screen. As well as music on/off, you can have sound effects on/off, a choice of three joysticks (Kempston, Protek or Sinclair) and a chance to choose your own keyboard preference. It's the kind of game that plays just as well from the keyboard as it needs only simple up/down/left/right/fire keys.

The cassette cover certainly lays it on thick in describing the game: "Control Super Robin Hood in this brilliant arcade game. Blast the onslaughting enemy fighters in your heroic attempt to rescue the lovely Maid Marian." Now hang on, lads, it's good but not quite that good!

The game's a kind of Manic Miner without the manic silliness, but it does have a 'Fire' option that you'll need as you move among the ladders and platforms of the inter-linked screens. There's a touch of Brian the Bold about the game. If anyone remembers that funny little number, and Sorcery provides bits of the plot with doors dotted about the place and ways of increasing your decreasing health, in this case a scattering of tablets.

The graphics are not the greatest, but are well above average and the hero runs, jumps, ducks and fires in a quite convincing manner. If you press the 'Up' key when on a ladder then you climb, otherwise you jump, and with 'Down' you either descend or duck according to circumstances. The ducking is necessary because some of the screens have villains who are fortunately stationary but will wing arrows your way till the cows come home unless you can duck/stand/fire several times in quick succession and see them off - and you have to get close enough in for the kill or your own arrows don't reach the target.

To try and make it to the highscore table you can gather the inevitable goodies, including a few red hearts (how romantic), while the keys that you find will set lifts in motion to help you get about each screen - and the screens are linked in arcade-adventure fashion.

With spiders leaping up and down, lifts that transport you, mobile platforms that shrink and expand, a bit of leaping around the map-work to do, Robin Hood is really a game that's about two years out-of-date - but then I often load up two-year-old games favourites and I could easily see myself loading this little one up again.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

ZX Computing Issue 38, Jun 1987   page(s) 61


If the computer press is anything to go by, budget software is taking over the world. Nobody is buying full-priced games apparently (unless they're conversions of coin-op titles), and certainly Mastertronic, if they're not taking over the world, are taking over Melbourne House.

There are a number of software houses competing for the budget market but for the most part it's a three way fight these days. Mastertronic were the first in the field, closely followed by Firebird's Silver range, and these two have been slogging it out enthusiastically for a while now. Recently though, Code Masters, the label founded by a couple of ex-Mastertronic programmers, has made quite an impact with games such as BMX Simulator and Terra Incognita.

This month we've received some new releases from all three of these companies, giving us a good chance to compare a Super Robin Hood variety of products and take a look at the state of the (budget) art.


It's been a good month for Code Masters, with five of their games arriving for review, and, apart from the unfortunate Brainache (reviewed elsewhere this issue, along with Transmuter) they're all faring quite well. Transmuter is a good version of the old Scramble format, and Ghost Hunters ("featuring voice synthesis") is one of the better platform games to come our way recently. Set in a haunted house, the game sets you the task of rescuing someone who has been trapped within the house. There are all sorts of ghoulish sprites out to do away with you, but fortunately you're armed with a ghost busting rifle which evens the odds somewhat. There's nothing at all original about platform games, but this one seems to have been thought out quite well. You use your rifle by moving a hairpin sight around the screen, but while you're doing this your character is immobilised and this adds an extra little edge to the game since you have to be quick when it comes the choice of whether to use the rifle or just run away.

Super Robin Hood is along similar lines, except that it's Robin Hood helping out Maid Marian in a medieval setting.

Star Runner is from programmer Christian Urquhart (who's just released a full price game on Hewson's label). It's a simple game involving guiding a running figure along a route dotted with fire pits, stumbling blocks, robot guards and the like. The graphics are quite nice, but the game does seem to be a bit too simple to offer a lasting challenge.

Generally speaking, Code Masters' games seem to be a little less formularised than those of Firebird or Mastertronic who at times seem to be a bit over fond of the dated maze game format. This seems to be paying off for the newer Code Masters and they've done well to establish themselves so quickly whilst other budget labels (even from such big names as Elite and U.S. Gold) have failed to make a dent in the apparent Mastertronic/Firebird monopoly. If I had to pick a couple of games from this month's budget releases I'd go for Transmuters and Ghost Hunters. That puts Code Masters ahead this month, with Mastertronic in second place and Firebird in third.

Still, a month is a long time in budget software so perhaps next month things will change (perhaps with the release of Thrust 3 from Firebird...).

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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