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SCORES EXPLAINED:

5.0 Perfect
4.5 Excellent
4.0 Very Good
3.5 Good
3.0 Fair
2.5 Weak
2.0 Poor
1.5 Bad
1.0 Terrible
0.5 Atrocious
0.0 Your Mom


Funkmaster V Reviews


7800 Rank: 9th Best Homebrew

Genre: Platformer/ Adventure

Awards: None
I Hate When You Buy a New House and the Previous Owners Put Lava Floor Over Beautiful Hardwood Pros: Breezy Gamepay/ Fun, Simple, Challenging
Cons: Sparse Audio/ Only One Mode With No Difficulty Options
This Knight Comes Equipped With an Impressive 19th Century Deep Sea Diving Aparatus


Overview: The best Atari games tend to follow a simple Atari mantra: "Easy to play, difficult to master." Games like Tempest, Centipede, Pong, and Yar's Revenge
famously fit this bill, but these games are normally one screen affairs. Making an adventure game from this mold is tricky... and rarely has it been done extremely well... since... well... Adventure... funny enough for the Atari VCS back in the disco days. So here I am, a day after Atari Age Day 2022, looking at a new game that understood the assignment. It has a title that is an enemy of brevity: "Knight Guy in a low res world- Castle Days" by South American hobby programmer Vlad Zuniga. I am happy to report that this game is extremely simple... almost uncannily simple... yet satisfying with its thoughtful level design, Nintendo like charm, and fluid, breezy gameplay. Knight Guy is the eponymous hero of a delightful adventure that should have been in your collection yesterday.

Graphics: Graphically speaking, Vlad cleverly used the best color for Atari games, black, to be the background hue for most of the castle rooms in Knight Guy. There's wall textures sometimes for sexiness, but the overall darkness helps the details in the foregrounds pop in electric blue. You start the game off by selecting a pet: either an adorable dog or an adorable cat (and that's saying something- I dont like cats). And guess who kidnapped this animal? That's right... a damn dragon. What the hell is up with these Bowser and Misery Dragon type a-holes anyway? Go rob a bank! Leave these animals and people alone. Anyways, the graphics are simple, but detailed. Crisp and Clear. And cartoon-y! Knight Guy is a pretty cute guy/gal him/herself, and if the timing was right, he/she/it/they could have given Bentley Bear a run for the Atari mascot mantle.

Sound: If there is a weak spot in the game, it could be in the audio department. Totally devoid of music, the simple sound effects do a decent job of filling the sonic void, though. TIA sound is used here instead of Pokey chips, so while most sounds are basic, they are used well, except for maybe the silly jumping "whoop". In some rooms, the sounds almost are disorientating... which is effective if Vlad wanted me to jump to my death by accident- which i did a few times. One puzzle room felt like it gave me vertigo though my stereo speakers.

Gameplay: Knight Guy plays like Adventure, Pitfall and Castlevania had a big, fat, simple baby. Oh.... and Dragon's Lair watched the conception from the next room and nobody saw (You knew Dragon's Lair was pervey, right? Princess Daphne was a freak) Even the swordplay in KGIALRWCD plays like Adventure- just ram the damn blade at stuff like a car with no brakes- no button press needed! SIMPLE! Knight Guy moves through the castle, sticking his head into each room, trying to access the obstacle/ trap/ enemies of each chamber on his way to level 99. Most obstacles involve jumping over or onto something, but there is plenty of dodging, climbing, floating, key finding and stabbing action, too. There's a few puzzle elements in the game as well, but guess what? Yes! They are simple! Finding keys and turning off switches requires backtracking, but since the obstacles play in reverse, the game does not become monotonous like Metroid sometimes feels like... although going through a tricky room that you've already cleared is a tiny bit soul crushing. This is a real chill game to relax with and breeze through, but that's not to say its an easy game. It is not. Tricky platform jumping exists here, but its never cheap like Scrapyard Dog's jumping requirements. Things are fair. The mini boss battles are easy to understand (aka simple) and nothing presented is too confusing to figure out. Levels do get more difficult as we go through and traverse into an underwater section of the castle and beyond. Dying resets Knight Guy to the beginning of the screen, and doesn't send KG to some far off checkpoint (sweet). Secret rooms exist, and a climatic battle against the dragon itself must be won if we are to escape the castle and win the day. Like Metroid, we must escape the castle within the time limit after we defeat the dragon or we will die of a broken heart... or an invisible miasma... or a curse, maybe... I dunno. The point is, it is Splitsville baby, So burn rubber, We gotta get in and get out in an hour, or your money back.

Originality: Vlad made this game for the 2600 and its a blast too... but this game is vastly superior and includes more obstacles and traps. Plus, its a good looking game with Nintendo Entertainment System like beauty... but no flicker, so bully for us. Scoring on originality, its hard to put a finger on why this game feels so fresh. It's sort of like Metroid, Adventure, Super Mario Brothers, Dragon's Lair, Pitfall, all in one... but somehow not very much like any of those things at the same time. It feels fresh, fo' sho'.


Value: Value will vary with each individual owner. There's only one difficulty, one castle layout, and no two player mode. However, you can select your pet at the beginning of the game, so theoretically, you can run through saving a cat and then a dog to see what that looks like. Also, there is a time limit, the game's only way of ranking survivors, so the challenge of besting times exists. There are secret rooms, boss battles, and new surprises around every Gothic corner. Personally, I feel like this is a game that I'll play often. There is that Atari "one more time" vibe with Knight Guy BIG TIME. As you play the game, you get better... and that means you trek deeper into the castle and will see more surprises almost every time you play.

Overall: There are shooters and maze games galore these days on the Atari 7800, along with dozens of arcade and computer remakes. A pure, original platform adventure game like this is fairly rare. There's not a lot of puzzles to figure out, which is fine by me, because I'm dumb. This is pure run n gun without the gun, baby... a 2D Dragon's Lair, without the STDs... if you will. It's fun, it's simple and it kicks ass. It's cute too... but also macabre. Check out the previous adventurer's bones underneath the dripping acid trap in an early room... DARK. There's even more good news: Vlad is not done, hun. There is a one player Knight Guy video board game/ RPG hybrid, that is 1000 times cooler than it sounds, in the works. Also, he's conjuring up a Ninja-ish Guy platformer that's very similar to Knight Guy. And futhermore, there's a SHMUP about Roaches, too. Weird... but cool. So... there's lots of good 7800 stuff coming from Vlad in the future. Knight Guy (THE OG) may not be the best game for the Atari 7800, but it is in the discussion, and I'm sure somebody somewhere thinks it is. Maybe the dog or the cat does. OK, enough typing. I'm gonna go play it again.... I keep dying in the same stupid spot....



Additional Info: I would like to take this time to thank AtariAge and Trebor's Stuff for allowing the use of their screenshots for this review and cheat page.


Cheat page? Yes! I found a secret! Click on our Knight Secret's Page Here for help defeating the Evil Dragon.


You can purchase this game at www.AtariAge.com