STORY / GAMEPLAY
The evil sorcerer Drax has taken Princess Mariana as hostage, but has agreed to let her go free if a warrior can defeat his guardians. And that's where your barbarian comes in. Barbarian (known as Death Sword in the USA) is a one-on-one sword fighting game. Each character (a sword-wielding barbarian) has six life blocks and can survive twelve blows before biting the dust. The action takes place against two backdrops: a forest clearing and a pit of death. Fight against the warriors of Drax and rescue Princess Mariana. The fighters' moves are impressive: they can slice and dice with the sword, chop away, duck, jump, roll, and then there's the lethal chop which takes the opponent's head clean off. The game also features a two-player mode, in which players fight their characters against each other. Not to be confused with "Barbarian", a MelbourneHouse/Psygnosis game from 1988!
GRAPHICS / SOUND
The backgrounds themselves are fine: nothing to complain about or to get overly excited about, for that matter. The Amstrad CPC colors are great whilst sprites and backdrops move fast and smooth too, and it is obvious that a great deal of care and attention has been taken over them. Check out the backgrounds in each level and you'll see what I mean. Sprites are nicely animated with several frames and a variety of moves with or without moving their sword! The CPC version is certainly the best 8 bit version as far as the level details and colors.
Sound is nice, although no music offered during gameplay rather than a few catchy small tunes when battle starts and... ends, but the sound effects are well matched to the game's atmosphere. A truly great effort all in all!