• Graphics
  • Sound
  • Playability
  • Lastability
FormatCommodore Plus/4
DeveloperGary Cooper

Main review

Legendary explorer Sabre Man’s latest escapade isn’t going well and, whilst scouting out the jungle territory from a high vantage point, he slipped and tumbled base over apex into a previously undiscovered valley. He rapidly decides that climbing out the way he arrived over mossy rocks and past the savage creatures glimpsed in the vegetation isn’t an option, so the only option is to do what he does best and explore. As luck would have it, our hero has crashed to Earth near an ancient-looking carved stone tablet which describes a magical amulet which can be used to open a portal to freedom if all four pieces are located.

Of course, Sabre Wulf isn’t going to be a simple journey to find the pieces of amulet and in the jungle death can quite literally strike from anywhere, with all manner of jungle creatures appearing from the ground and occasionally patrolling the pathways… and then there’s the Wulf to worry about; Sabre Man’s trusty sword can deal with most of the fauna, but the more hardy inhabitants and particularly this mythical beast need to be avoided at all costs.


Sabre Man can pick up items scattered around the pathways but these only add to his score but the flora offers a little extra help in the form of orchids that magically bloom for mere seconds and, depending on their colour, these pass on powers when touched; although the powers themselves are something of a mixed bunch and range from extra speed from the cyan orchids to the yellow ones causing temporary paralysis, they all impart immunity whilst their effects last.

The graphics are taken from the Spectrum but modified to take advantage of the target machine’s larger palette and there are spots of colour clash when enemies pass over each other, the static objects or Sabre Man himself. The sound is a similarly straight port too, which is something of a shame because the single channel music on presentation screens and simple spot effects might appeal to fans of the original, but they really don’t do the 264 series any justice.

All of the original’s 256 screens (arranged in a sixteen by sixteen screen grid) from Ultimate’s classic are present in this conversion and, with the surroundings being quite similar from location to location it can be very easy to get lost, so players either need to make their own map or rely on one of the many available online. Sabre Wulf‘s massive maze of an in-game map means that it’ll a challenge to collect all the pieces of amulet and escape, but this task is possible as long as the player doesn’t get lost, exercises a little caution and utilises the flower power.