Sabre Wulf

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Sabre Wulf
Sabre wulf title.gif
Developer(s) Tim and Chris Stamper
Publisher(s) Ultimate Play the Game
Platform(s) ZX Spectrum
BBC Micro
Amstrad CPC
Commodore 64
Release date(s) July 1984(Spectrum)
October 1985 (Amstrad CPC)
Genre(s) Arcade adventure; Maze
Mode(s) Single player
Two player (Spectrum and Commodore 64 only)
Distribution Cassette
This article is about the 1984 video game. For the Game Boy Advance game, see Sabre Wulf (2004 video game). For the Killer Instinct character Sabrewulf, see List of Killer Instinct characters.

Sabre Wulf is a ZX Spectrum video game developed and released by Ultimate Play The Game in 1984. The game is the first in the Sabreman series. It was written originally by Tim and Chris Stamper, and later ported to many other computer platforms. In 2004 a new Sabre Wulf game, with completely different gameplay, was released for the Game Boy Advance.

Plot[edit]

A traveller falls into a deep chasm and must battle the creatures that live within in order to make his escape.

Gameplay[edit]

The Wulf can be seen towards the upper-left of the screen

Taking on the role of Sabreman, players must navigate an intensely colourful flip-screen jungle maze (256 screens) to recover four pieces of a lost amulet (which depicts the titular Wulf). Once all four have been collected and assembled, the Keeper guarding the maze exit can be safely passed. However, between the entrance and exit, Sabreman must fend off a constant army of tropical foes that emerge regularly from the undergrowth with his sabre. Some enemies such as scorpions, snakes and spiders are easily dispatched, but larger adversaries such as hippos, rhinos and natives can only be made to run away by fencing. Furthermore, if the player remains in one screen for too long, an invincible and lethal bushfire appears and moves around the screen, visiting all space the player can occupy, forcing the player to either move on or leave. The appearance of the bushfire effectively prevents the player from 'camping', or placing Sabreman in a corner with the fire button depressed and amassing points from dispatching the constant stream of jungle creatures that appear. Along the way, the player also encounters the Wulf's territory along the bottom of the map. Unlike other guardians, the wulf is completely unaffected by Sabreman's sword and so must be avoided.

Collectables[edit]

As well as searching for the amulet, players can collect treasure for bonus points and extra lives to prolong their jungle adventure. Also available for the player to collect are jungle orchids that periodically grow and flower in forest glades. There are several varieties of these, each in a different colour and with a different effect on the player. Some confer immunity to the jungle beasts or increase movement speed, while others cause negative effects such as paralysis or disorientation (reversed controls). Collected wisely, they can make progress through the jungle much easier.

Reception[edit]

Reception
Review scores
Publication Score
Computer and Video Games 36/40[3]
Crash 91%[1]
Sinclair User 8/10[2]
Personal Computer Games 10/10[4]
Awards
Publication Award
Popular Computing Weekly Pick of the Week[5]
Big K Pick of the Month[6]

The game was highly recommended by Sinclair Answers,[7] while Crash described both the graphics and sound as excellent.[8] Micro Adventurer said that the game made the Spectrum feel like a new machine,[9] while Sinclair Programs urged readers to "rush out and buy both games (Atic Atac) now".[10] Your Sinclair said that the gamed posed quite a challenge.[11] The game was a bestseller on the Spectrum at the time of release.[12]

The game won the awards for best maze game and best advert of the year according to the readers of Crash magazine.[13] It was also was voted the 11th best game of all time in a special issue of Your Sinclair magazine in 2004.[14]

The game was included on the 1985 compilation They Sold a Million,[15] along with Beach-Head, Daley Thompson's Decathlon and Jet Set Willy.

Appearances in other media[edit]

The tape loading sound can be heard at the start of "Carn Marth" by Aphex Twin.

Both Sabre Wulf and the Sabreman character have featured in several other RARE games since the original game as either cameo or main character:

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Jet Set Willy
UK number-one Spectrum game
September 1984
Succeeded by
Jet Set Willy