The period of British history between 1455 and 1483 is known as The War of the Roses - indeed, you may have seen the film starring Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas. And in 1974, a board game about that period of history was introduced with the title of Kingmaker. Now it is time for the bloody war battles to appear live and direct on your Amiga. This is your chance to rewrite the already muddied annals of medieval history.
Brief history lesson. The Hundred Years War with France ends in ignominy for the English king. Some of the folk in the kingdom are a tad peeved and decide that a new king would not be an altogether bad idea. Naturally, the king is a bit reticent in the departure lounge. Then a Tannoy announces that the House of York are gather together a major posse, while the House of Lancaster are fairly busy in the old 'getting some chaps together' department. And so it kicks off for a few years.
Right royal adventure
Kingmaker is a point 'n' click strategy adventure game in which the ultimate aim is to be in control of the one surviving royal piece, becoming, in the process, undisputed King (or Queen) of England. To do this, you must capture an heir and kill all his rivals before getting him crowned King in a cathedral. It is not as easy as it sounds.
All the historical personalities in the game are factual (you will have to take US Gold's word for it) and you control a faction of nobles - you can also choose how many factions you wish to face (between one and five). Other options include two difficulty levels, and the enchantingly named 'Advanced Plague' when infection can break out across towns, cities, parts and the countryside. It can even kill the royals. Cue demonic laughter. Aha ha ha ha. Aha.
There is an Autohelp facility which provides help and advice on all facets of the game, useful for those who are new to strategy games, and for those that have not got a clue what is going on.
Taking a pasting
But the path to righteous justice is not smooth. The Plague can be a pest, peasants can revolt, and vast armies can give you a pasting. Control is via mouse and keyboard, and after the initial learning process, the icons become familiar. The 150-page manual is packed with historical info and it is one of the few I have enjoyed reading from cover to cover.
Kingmaker is not purely icon clicking - there are graphic interludes and you can control the visual combat scenes using the mouse. Similar to a board game in that you move, and then your Amiga counters it, Kingmaker is an enjoyable, if bloody, romp through one of England's most turbulent periods.
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