I bring you some exciting news (cue ‘exciting news’ music which probably involves a pounding drumbeat and maybe some trumpets). A long time ago (well, 1994) an indie title was released for the Amiga called Knights; not the most inspiring name, I know, but bear with me. This was a two-player game whereby each player took control of a knight in armour and a brightly-coloured cloak (the colour of which could be determined before the game started) and explored a randomly-created dungeon attempting to beat the other player. How the aforementioned beating occured was decided before the game: it could involve just killing the other knight a set number of times, or escaping the dungeon, or retrieving an ancient book written by gnomes or something. There were loads of settings that allowed changes in dungeon size, quest-type, zombie and bat activity (oh, yes, our knightly friends were not alone down there if so desired) and several other things. It was hugely configurable and hugely fun.
There was only one real problem which is that the nature of the game meant that it helped to be unable to see what the other player was doing. The programmer’s solution to this was to split the display down the middle and suggest to the player that they tape a piece of cardboard to their tv/monitor to act as a divider with each player on their respective side of it. This worked, but it wasn’t exactly practical.
But now comes something new, now comes a remake of Knights which, excellently, features network and internet play meaning no more fiddly dividers. This is the best thing, if not ever, then certainly this week. All it really needs is the ability to set up dedicated servers a la many other freeware online games but I’m hoping that will arrive eventually if this takes off. And even if you’re not willing to play online the old two-player option is still in the remake, just find yourself a bit of cardboard and a chum and get, erm, knighting.