• Graphics
  • Sound
  • Playability
  • Lastability

Main review

The Stormlord, a huge, bearded and indeed almost godlike figure in the classical Norse sense of the word, who strides around the land flinging lightning from his fingers and generally being omnipotent, has found himself caught up in a battle for his entire world. The evil Queen has thrown the otherwise peaceful and tranquil land into disarray by kidnapping all of the fairy folk, her plan is to dispose of them in order to make her power absolute so the Stormlord must wade in to save them before the Queen has her wicked way with them.

Of course, it won’t be a simple matter of Stormy stomping around in a manly fashion, the fairies are being restrained by magical defences as well as locks and chains and he’ll need to find ways to circumvent those mystical protections using the seemingly random objects scattered about the place, the uses for which present themselves without too much fuss – for example, a downpour of toxic rain can easily be passed if carrying an umbrella and magical shoes can significantly increase the height of jumps.


Stormlord on the Oric was developed by Jonathan “Twilighte” Bristow and, rather like his previous games including Pulsoids, it really pushes the boat out visually, wedging a quite remarkable amount of colour into what appear to be the original Spectrum graphics (an option also exists to disable the colour for the main play area, I assume because some players might find it a little overwhelming) although the layout of the various levels and the impressive scrolling haven’t survived the transition, instead a flick screen system is employed as Stormlord travels around the world.

A cover of Johannes Bjerregaard’s accomplished title music from the C64 version of the game has been used throughout on the Oric, both playing at its regular tempo for the titles page and drastically slowed down during play; whilst that does sound quite dramatic, it does turn what is usually a nicely up-tempo piece into something of a plodding dirge and I found myself almost exclusively playing with sound effects enabled after the first couple of games.

It does need to be noted that Stormlord on the Oric isn’t really the same game as the other versions, as noted already there have been some pretty significant changes made to the overall design that make it stand apart from Raffaele Cecco’s 1989 release, but despite these modifications it does manage to retain quite a bit of the feel of the original and certainly maintains the high difficulty level and frustratingly strict time limits Hewson’s game was famous (or just as likely infamous) for. Fans of Stormlord should be aware that they’ll have to learn the levels all over again but will most likely enjoy the experience, whilst those who found the original too punishing should give it a try but keep any blood pressure medication they require close at hand.