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Joust - May 27, '00 by Dorsola
Game:JoustCompany:Williams
Type:PlatformPlayers:1/2

Here's another of the games that's generally considered a classic: Joust. Put out by Williams in 1982, this game was pretty advanced. Here's the basic idea of the game: You are a knight. Your steed is an elegant bird capable of flying with you on its back. You're placed in an arena with floating platforms and a lava pit, and are pitted against any number of adversary knights. Each of you is armed with a lance, and as in classic jousting, your objective is to dismount your opponents while staying on top of your own steed. In a collision, the knight with the highest lance prevails.
Simple rules. I like that. Especially when those rules lead to a game that is just plain fun and addicting. The intelligence of the computer-controlled enemies scales nicely, from stone-cold stupid at the beginning to frighteningly quick and strategic later on, and the inclusion of a Dual-Play feature is rather nice - you can choose either to defeat the other player right away, or to work cooperatively with him/her to achieve a common goal - obviously, a two-player game means two players simultaneously. =)
Graphics for this game were quite nice. Unlike many of Williams' other games during this time period, Joust doesn't suffer from visual overload. This game only has cycling colors and glitzy attention getters during the attract mode, but the game itself actually looks rather nice! Not to mention the birds are beautiful - buzzards and ostriches (or whatever those things are) alike. Sound, too, was very well done considering the hardware they were running it on, though everything is pretty loud. It can be a bit of a grating nuisance after a while. Play control is quite good - your controls are a left-right joystick and a "Flap" button, which causes your bird to flap its wings. Repeated use of the button will get you up in the air, and inertia and gravity pretty much take care of the rest.
Perhaps this game's most compelling feature, however, is the fact that it's one of those games that's challenging enough to keep you coming back for more. Designed with the ultimate goal in mind of maximizing your score on a single credit, Joust will definitely eat a hole through your budget if you become addicted, like I did. And since it emulates so nicely in MAME, you can be sure you'll be able to play it at home now, too! =)
So, brave knight... if thou dost hath courage and valor, mount thy steed, and prepare to joust! (Blah.)
Graphics
9
7
Sound
Play Control
8
7
Challenge
Replay Value
8
10
Performance

Screen Shots

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2000 EmuViews