Release Date: 1985
Publisher: Odin Computer Graphics
Genre: Maze game, Arcade adventure
Developer: Steve Wetherill, Paul Salmon, Fred Gray
Robin of the Wood was an imposing title on the Commodore 64 platform, and the developers pulled out all the stops to make it as immersive and atmospheric as possible.
The game is based on Robin Hood’s story, a legendary and heroic outlaw from English folklore that first appeared in literature around the 13th or 14th century. His skill with the bow and tendency toward philanthropy at the ruling class’s cost has ensured the story has remained relevant and a big part of popular culture to this day.
In literature, Robin Hood and the Caliph’s Gold were published in 2020 as part of the Outlaw Chronicles series by Angus Donald. His impact can be also noticed in the entertainment industry too as there are numerous films, TV shows and also a board game with the same title. Even a Robin Hood themed slot game titled Robin of Sherwood can be found on various online casino brands, such as bet365 and LeoVegas. For instance, players can try this slot game using the bet365 promo code.
The game puts the player in Robin’s shoes after the Sheriff of Nottingham has killed his father and stolen the magic silver arrow. The arrow is nothing but a trinket to the Sheriff, while to Robin and the Saxons it is the ultimate symbol of freedom and peace.
The game doesn’t start immediately after the arrow has been stolen, but rather a few years after Robin of the Wood has repeatedly frustrated the Sheriff by stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. Hoping to set a trap to capture the pesky vigilante, the Sheriff organises a competition to determine which archer can shoot the straightest, with the silver arrow as the prize. This is where our story begins.
As Robin, you need to traverse the forest, dodging soldiers and guards and encountering a diverse cast of characters, all of whom are either trying to help or thwart Robin on his journey. The forest design makes it play out as one massive maze, with exciting locations to find such as two castles, the druid’s hut, and the position of the Ent who will sell you the items and weapons you require to win the Sheriff’s competition.
Even three characters appear randomly, the King, Witch, and Bishop, that creates a unique scenario in a game made in 1985 in that every person’s playthrough is a little bit different. The game plays out as an exciting dungeon crawler, action-adventure. There aren’t any platformer elements, so players are rewarded for using their brains rather than passing skill checks.
The graphics are where this title truly shines. For a game made 36 years ago, the amount of effort put into making sure each area of the forest looks different and unique is quite staggering. The 2D graphical style meant the developers didn’t have much to work with, but through the clever use of animal sprites and attractive foliage graphics, they did a magnificent job.
The sound design, however, is not as impressive. It isn’t that bad, per se, but it is not the shining light of this title.
Because of the game’s maze-like nature, if you get lost, it can lead to long periods where nothing happens in the game, which might put some people off. However, if you persevere, you won’t regret it as this is truly one of the best titles released for the C64 in 1985.