Monday, 7 March 2011

Crazy Nick's Software Picks: Robin Hood's Games of Skill and Chance (MS-DOS) - Guest Post

Another guest post by mecha-neko!


I know that Sierra made a Robin Hood themed adventure game in 1991 (Conquests of the Longbow: The Legend of Robin Hood), though I don't know how it relates to this game pack.

The title music is very well produced and very appropriate MIDI music. I'm suprised they wasted it on a game collection like this. Maybe it was left over from making one of the proper Sierra adventures, or it's simply the same title music from Conquests of the Longbow re-used.

Looks like we have a choice of three Games to play: Archery, Nine Men's Morris and Sticks. Let's take each of these Games in turn.

ARCHERY:

Alright! We are Robin Hood, and we are about to arch this place up.

Look at that tree. Just look at it. Who could ask for a nicer tree? I suppose some of the leaves could be animated, perhaps, or there could be a bit more range in the colours... nevertheless, this is the best tree I've seen so far in all my Super Adventures in Gaming. Tree out of ten.

THUNK. One click and my arrow is released. Looks like I hit the lower right of that wreath. Not bad.

Let's have another go and try and hit the bullseye.

Except I can't seem to do anything now. I can't ready another arrow no matter what keys or mouse buttons I press.

Right mouse allows me to cycle through the available adventure game verbs: Fire, Look, Go.

I've got nothing left to fire, nothing I need to look at, and nowhere to go.

I'd really like to have another shot, even if it's just me clicking on the wreath and instantly winning.

Is this really the end of the game? Did I win?

I'm going to assume that I won and move onto the next Game of Skill and Chance.

NINE MEN'S MORRIS:

I've played Nine Men's Morris before. It's pretty straightforward. Let's see how Robin Hood plays it.

We're in a tavern full of cats. Yay, cats! These cats are animated, too. Every so often they make a random synthesized 'meow' noise using the MIDI brass samples.

The game begins.

I was expecting it to zoom in on the board to fill the screen. This distant, slightly rotated overview view is giving me a headache. The board is taking up less than a quarter of the screen!

The game continues.

I can click on the objects in the scene to look at them if I get bored. The random cat meows are becoming more distorted; it sounds like my opponent is passing wind over and over again. Everything's starting to spin a bit.

What?! I wouldn't dream of mugging the poor bugger. Being stuck in here playing Nine Men's Morris with me is surely bad enough. What's he likely to have that I could want, anyway?

My robot intelligence wins the day, of course. My opponent, a true gentleman, congratulates me on my victory.

Looks like we're done here. Let's move.

What the devil? I beat him, then he insults me as I try to leave the table. That's just not on.

STICKS:

After playing Nine Men's Morris, I expect this to be a 'pick up sticks' table top game.

I was way off. Looks like we're having a friendly staff duel.

In the absence of any proper instruction, I have at the robed man by clicking on him repeatedly. Thwack!

Steady on, now! That's a bit harsh. I thought these were supposed to be friendly 'Games of Skill and Chance', and now it turns out I've straight-up killed this hooded gent. The Merry Men leave the corpse in the middle of the path and head onwards towards adventure. How cold.

Or did I? I just realised I don't know which character I was playing as. I just clicked on the hooded bloke until he fell down. Maybe I was playing as him, and I just got the bad ending for not defending as well as I should.

It's asking me if I want to restart, so I'll take that as a sign that I messed up. Let's restart and click on Robin Hood this time.

Smack! Smack! Smack!

Robin Hood is dead! Death to all outlaws.

This Game of Skill and Chance has once again taken a deadly turn. Looks like we're going to fight our way through the rest of the Merry Men. Have at you!

Oh, no, wait, it's faded to black and brought me back to the menu.

That didn't really explain anything either! All I can say with certainty is that whoever I click on repeatedly dies.

I restarted 'Sticks' again and let it run without clicking on anybody. Turns out the monk is the bad guy, and I killed him the first time so... I win!

How about that.

And that's Crazy Nick's Software Picks: Robin Hood's Games of Skill and Chance in its entirety. Tuppence says that they simply nicked the minigames wholesale from the complete Robin Hood adventure game. You'd have to be a fool to play this game.

Next game!

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