Approximate Release Month: March 1993
Developer: Argonaut Software
With King Arthur’s World, I find myself asking one question: How do you write about and evaluate a game that you fundamentally dislike?
I touched on this problem way back when I wrote about Lemmings, which is a very similar game to King Arthur’s World. I hate this plodding, trial-and-error kind of puzzle game that is full of waiting. My distaste for these kinds of games aren’t so much about what they do or don’t do, it’s about what they are in a very basic sense. You have to wait for your units to walk very slowly across the level and hope that you have the right mix of jobs needed to pass. Sometimes your men will get killed by sentries or castle defenses so you have to try again with another set of dudes to get the job done.
The difference in King Arthur’s World is – other than that it supports the SNES Mouse! – you have more control over the individual critters you control. When you have a barrelman walking, he won’t put down his explosives by himself. You have to control him and make him set it down manually. Archers are another early unit, and you get to decide the arc of the arrows they shoot instead of them picking off targets themselves. It is an extra layer of tedium that really isn’t appealing at all.
Here’s what it comes down to: I hate pumpkin pie. Even if you put the most high-end, artisanal pumpkin pie made by the greatest pumpkin pie chef in the world in front of me I’m going to gag. Pumpkin pie is gross. King Arthur’s World is the pumpkin pie in this analogy. I do not enjoy any aspect of this game and would totally recommend skipping it, but I also hate pumpkin pie and think you PSL people are crazy, so what do I know?
Tomorrow: Now it’s time for Spindizzy World to show us how to be a fun puzzle game (hopefully).