The Sentinel, Atari ST

I keep banging on about Geoff Crammond‘s The Sentinel and will probably continue to do so until I’ve written about every version available. 🙂

Converted in 1986 by Firebird, the Atari ST version of The Sentinel is just as good as the Amiga version – or any of the other conversions that were made from the BBC Micro original. Meaning: no bad versions of the game exist. Not that I’m aware of anyway.

The Sentinel is actually quite simple to play, when you figure out what to do, and the aim is simple: to gain height on the landscape, until you’re able to see the ground The Sentinel is standing on. Once you can do that you can absorb him, rather than the other way around.

A tense and gripping game with 10,000 different, procedurally-generated levels, The Sentinel really is the thinking-man’s video game classic. It will definitely not appeal to lazy people who can’t be bothered to learn how to play a game unless it’s spoon-fed to them with a tutorial. And it will positively delight those who twig it.

Don’t be a Sentinel virgin. Join the club: know how to play it… Go and absorb The Sentinel. At least once. Then you can say your life is complete.

More: The Sentinel on Wikipedia

Knight Move, Famicom Disk System

Designed by the same guy who created Tetris (Alexey Pajitnov), Knight Move is a weird kind of puzzle game, with a bouncing chess piece knight who can only move in that funny ‘L’ shape that a knight moves in a real game of chess.

The knight must collect hearts by landing on top of them on the same square on the board.

The catch in Knight Move is that the bouncing knight never stops, and in fact speeds up as the game moves along. Another catch is that portions of the floor start to disappear as you bounce on them, and the holes must be avoided otherwise it’s game over. Thankfully you can reset the holes in the floor by collecting a certain number of hearts. That said: the more holes that are open, the more points you are awarded for collecting hearts. So risky play is rewarded, even encouraged.

Although the appeal of Knight Move is relatively limited there is no doubting that it is a clever and absorbing game. The simultaneous two-player game is particularly good.

Knight Move was first published for the Famicom Disk System by Nintendo in 1990.


The Sentinel, Amiga

Geoff Crammond‘s The Sentinel is a strange chess-like game where you have to sneak up on an overseeing Sentinel, who is perched high on a platform, overlooking the play area.

To move you must be able to see the top of the space on the checkerboard landscape that you want to move to. And to be able to see the higher areas of ground you must absorb trees and move boulders, which you can then stack and stand on to raise yourself higher.

The ever-present risk is that you must avoid the gaze of the rotating Sentinel itself (possible by hiding behind the landscape), and its deputies (there are other sentries dotted around on some levels).

The Sentinel was a critical success when it was first released in 1986, and is seen as a classic now.

Definitely one to check out if you like games that require some thought.

More: The Sentinel on Wikipedia