Throne of Fire

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Throne of Fire
Throne of Fire cover.jpg
Amstrad CPC cover art
Developer(s) Consult Computer Systems
Publisher(s) Melbourne House
Designer(s) Mike Singleton
Programmer(s) Jim Bagley
Platform(s) Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum
ReleaseApril 1987
Genre(s) Action, strategy
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Throne of Fire is an action strategy video game. It was designed by Mike Singleton, developed by Consult Computer Systems, and published by Melbourne House. The game was released for the Amstrad CPC and ZX Spectrum in 1987. Throne of Fire is set in the Burning Citadel, located around the rim of a volcano.

The action game is a video game genre that emphasizes physical challenges, including hand–eye coordination and reaction-time. The genre includes a large variety of sub-genres, such as fighting games, beat 'em ups, shooter games and platform games. Some multiplayer online battle arena and real-time strategy games are also considered action games.

A strategy video game is a video game that focuses on skillful thinking and planning to achieve victory. It emphasizes strategic, tactical, and sometimes logistical challenges. Many games also offer economic challenges and exploration. They are generally categorized into four sub-types, depending on whether the game is turn-based or real-time, and whether the game focuses on strategy or tactics.

Mike Singleton British video game designer

Mike Singleton was a British video game designer who wrote various well-regarded titles for the ZX Spectrum during the 1980s. His titles include The Lords of Midnight, Doomdark's Revenge, Dark Sceptre, War in Middle Earth and Midwinter. Before developing video games, Singleton was an English teacher in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, England.

Contents

The game focuses on three princes in the Burning Citadel where they and their men-at-arms fight to the death to gain the Throne of Fire after their father's death. Throne of Fire received mixed to positive reviews from industry critics, with some reviewers speaking positive of the graphics while other criticized the lack of difficulty in the single player mode, instead recommending playing with two players.

Gameplay

Gameplay of Throne of Fire, split-screened with the first player as Karag and the second as Cordrin. The second player is seen in combat against the King's Guard. Throne of Fire gameplay.png
Gameplay of Throne of Fire, split-screened with the first player as Karag and the second as Cordrin. The second player is seen in combat against the King's Guard.

Throne of Fire is an action strategy game. Set in the Burning Citadel, located around the rim of a volcano, the player assumes the role of one of the three princes of the recently deceased King Atherik: Alorn the Lion Prince, Cordrin the Sun Prince, and Karag the Wolf Prince. [1] [2] As one of the princes, the player can play against two computer players or a second player and a computer player, who play the role of the other two princes. Each prince and their men-at-arms must fight the other princes and their army to the death. The player must also fight against the King's Guard, the protectors of the Throne of Fire. Weapons with their own strengths and weaknesses can be found around the castle, along with magical objects that can increase or decrease a character's strength. [1] [3]

Each army group are distinguished by color, with Prince Alorn and his men as red, Cordrin as yellow, Karag as purple, and the King's Guard as green. The castle has one hundred rooms to enter through. If any characters enters a room, their group color will light up the room. Each of the princes starts with nine men-at-arms. Reinforcements will join the side of whoever last visit Gate Rooms. If no one entered a Gate Room before the man-at-arms appears, they will join the King's Guard. [2] [4]

Once the player enters the Throne Room with their prince, they become the king and takes control of the King's Guard. The other players lose the ability to control their men-at-arms, with their men staying in their rooms to defend themselves. If the new king dies, the King's Guard will return to being neutral and the other princes regain their men. [2] [3] [4]

Development

Throne of Fire was designed by Mike Singleton, known for designing other fantasy games such as Lords of Midnight , Doomdark's Revenge , and Dark Sceptre . [5] It was developed under Consult Computer Systems, who worked on the programming, graphics, and music and was published by Melbourne House. This was the first game Singleton made in association with Melbourne House. [1] [6] Jim Bagley was given the position of programmer for the game, the first game he ever worked on. [7] The game was released in April 1987 on the Amstrad CPC and ZX Spectrum. [8] A Commodore 64 port was also planned, [3] but was never released.

<i>Doomdarks Revenge</i>

Doomdark's Revenge is a role-playing and strategy video game developed by Mike Singleton and published by Beyond Software for the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 and Amstrad CPC in 1985. It is a sequel to Singleton's 1984 seminal The Lords of Midnight and has similar game mechanics but adds more detail and complexity with the number of characters and locations increased.

<i>Dark Sceptre</i> 1987 video game

Dark Sceptre is a strategy adventure video game by Mike Singleton's design team Maelstrom Games, for Beyond Software. It was published by Firebird Software for the ZX Spectrum in 1987 and for the Amstrad CPC in 1988.

Amstrad CPC series of home computers produced by Amstrad

The Amstrad CPC is a series of 8-bit home computers produced by Amstrad between 1984 and 1990. It was designed to compete in the mid-1980s home computer market dominated by the Commodore 64 and the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, where it successfully established itself primarily in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and the German-speaking parts of Europe.

Reception

Reception
Review scores
PublicationScore
CVG 7/10 [2]
Crash 75% [9]
Sinclair User Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [4]
Your Sinclair 8/10 [10]
Computer Gamer 54% [11]

Throne of Fire received mixed to positive reviews from video game critics, mostly for the ZX Spectrum version. Tim Metcalfe from Computer and Video Games said that Throne of Fire wouldn't be for everyone but recommended it to fans of strategy games who would find it to be an "absorbing challenge." [2] Tony from Your Sinclair praised its gameplay and its animation, describing it as "superb". [10] ZX Computing Monthly also spoke positively of the game's graphics, though he also stated that it lacked the challenge when compared to Mike Singleton's The Lords of Midnight series. [12] The Amstrad version of Throne of Fire was given a positive review by the German publication Aktueller Software Markt . [13]

Ben Stone, Paul Sumner, and Ricky Eddy from Crash were more critical on the gameplay, as they considered the game to be too easy to play in single player, with all three recommending the two player mode. Stone added that the lack of difficulty spoiled the gameplay. Eddy also criticized the game for lacking the compulsion and depth Mike Singleton's other games had. [9] Judy Daniel from Sinclair User called the gameplay "dodgy" and thought it was not one of Singleton's best games. [4] A reviewer for Computer Gamer was more negative towards the game. While saying that the game had interesting ideas in it, they did not think that the ideas worked together. Computer Gamer also called the action on screen confusing and considered the game to be "tedious" overall. [11]

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References

  1. 1 2 3 Singleton, Mike (1986). Throne of Fire Instruction Manual. Consult Computer Systems.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Metcalfe, Tim (June 1987). "Reviews - Throne of Fire". Computer and Video Games . No. 68. p. 28.
  3. 1 2 3 "Street Seen". Computer and Video Games . No. 65. June 1987. p. 101.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Daniel, Judy (May 1987). "Throne of Fire". Sinclair User . No. 62. p. 23.
  5. Yin-Poole, Wesley (16 October 2012). "Lords of Midnight creator Mike Singleton dies". Eurogamer . Gamer Network. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
  6. "Previews". Crash . No. 38. March 1987. p. 122.
  7. Retro Gamer Team (28 April 2014). "Jim Bagley". Retro Gamer . Future plc . Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  8. "Hot Seat". Sinclair User . No. 59. Dennis Publishing. March 1987. pp. 104–105.
  9. 1 2 Stone, Ben; Sumner, Paul; Eddy, Ricky (May 1987). "Throne of Fire". Crash . No. 40. pp. 112–113.
  10. 1 2 Tony (June 1987). "Screen Shots". Your Sinclair . No. 18. Dennis Publishing. p. 44.
  11. 1 2 "Scoreline". Computer Gamer . No. 27. Argus Specialist Publications. June 1987. p. 28.
  12. "Throne of Fire". ZX Computing Monthly. No. 40. June 1987. p. 41.
  13. philipp (June–July 1987). "Der Kampf ums Erbe". Aktueller Software Markt (in German). No. 7. p. 10.