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© Echelon

SOFTWARE REVIEW: TORVAK THE WARRIOR
by Stefan Posthuma

An elaborate description of different forms of alien excrement
passed the lips of the mercenary annex hired gun. Out of gas.
Wonderful.
It seemed like a nice trip, go to that new shop on the third
planet in the Tippecanoe system. It just opened and advertised on
the TriD with large swords, axes and other barbaric weapons. Just
the kind Cronos liked to play with on a lost afternoon. Of
course, for the real stuff he had his gadgets, but slicing and
chopping opponents for a change was a nice passtime.
So he hopped in his latest toy: His Corvette. Named after some
famous antique sports car, this was the latest in short-range
space travel. Equipped with all sorts of devices to make it go at
insane speeds, and more features on its boardcomputer than a
military assault ship, it was the top thing. One problem though,
it was more like an engine with a hull around it. Not much space
for fuel and other things. In his enthusiasm, he flew around the
planet a couple of times before landing and buying the enormous
sword and the book. He didn't bring his killer gadgets, they
simply didn't fit in the small cockpit.
After consulting his board computer, he sighed. The planet he
landed on after scrambling out of the warp was not yet civilized.
There was one self-service station some hundred miles from where
he landed. Great. He had to travel a hundred miles on foot
through unknown country. The computer stated that there was life,
and most of it wasn't very nice. Several expeditions had failed
because too many of the colonists got themselves killed.
Something strange happened. Cronos actually thought. Several
neurons in his brains actually sent some coherent signals to each
other, and thoughts formed. Not really knowing what happened,
Cronos was a bit taken aback by this. His first impulse was to
eliminate the source of confusion, but he soon decided against
that after he almost beheaded himself with his fingernail.
Then he decided. He had to take the sword and defend himself
with that. Only one problem posed itself, Cronos' ability with
swords and stuff wasn't particularly great. He knew how to handle
a Gargantual Omni-Deth Meson Blaster, he was skilled with the
Giga-Kill Slaught Wrench and nobody mastered the Krikkit Klepto-
Krusher as well as he did. But a sword?
Fortunately, he had a book. A book with pictures telling him how
to be a fierce warrior. So he put on some nice music on the on-
board sound system and started reading.

A few hours later, he emerged from his Corvette. Sword in one
hand, book in the other, he started towards the forest beyond
which the energy station was supposed to be. The country was
kinda nice. He climbed a soft hill, covered in long grass and
sweet smelling stuff all around him. Strange. Normally, he didn't
notice these things. Anyway, before he had time to dismiss these
eerie thoughts, his attention was drawn by a grunting sound. He
stopped and listened. A bush parted and a rather nasty looking
creature emerged. It was short, ugly and probably smelly too. You
know, the typical orc-like thing that needs slaughtering bad.
Cronos lighted up. Yeah, finally some fighting to do. OK, refer
to that page marked 'Assaulting an unarmed Victim'. Cronos
memorized the instructions:

A) Heave the sword above your head.
B) Yell your favourite warcry.
C) Run toward the Victim with great speed.
C) Swing the sword in the direction of the Victim's neck, and
hope for the best.
D) If you can't stand blood, look away.

So Cronos swung the sword in the direction of the creatures
neck, ran towards it, yelled at it and heaved the sword.
This was not his lucky day.
The creature didn't die or anything. It wasn't afraid either,
and started pounding Cronos' left leg with it's claws.
Damn.
Cronos looked at the book again in puzzlement. Shit. Did it the
wrong way around. And he had studied so hard. He also found out
that reading books while there is a nasty creature pounding your
left leg doesn't work so he hit the thing with the hand that was
holding the book. It stopped pounding and slumped onto the
ground. Great, now he didn't get to hack at it either. He sighed
deeply and started off towards the forest again. He had a long
day ahead of him.

*****

'Torvak the warrior' is yet another hack'n'slash game in which
you are a fierce warrior out to defeat some evil that threats
some once peaceful and harmonious land. You are armed with a
large axe in the beginning, and make your way across a
horizontally as well as vertically scrolling game world. Of
course, creatures you encounter are hostile and a few swift
strokes of your weapon will usually slaughter them.
Bonuses can be collected by hitting tombstones, and these
bonuses vary from extra strength (each time a creature hits you,
you lose some strength) to extra power (creatures die more
easily) or extra speed (you swing your weapon faster, so fighting
becomes a lot easier). Also, tombstones reveal various treasures
that give you extra points. Better weapons can be found too,
ranging from a sword (it's longer, so you don't need to be so
close to your enemy) to a chain with a spiked ball attached to
it (even longer).
The good thing about this game is the variety. There are lots of
creatures, moving platforms and lots of rooms and stuff to
explore. I like the swamp where you slowly sink into, or the
water in which you can stand. The levels are enormous, ranging
from wastelands to forests to old cities, and you will spend a
lot of time before you have covered it all.
The programmers, Core design are known by their good games (like
Rick Dangerous II) and this is another quality products. If you
are looking for a game like this, Torvak is a very good choice.

Game rating:

Name: Torvak the Warrior
Company: Core Design
Graphics: 8
Sound: 7
Playability: 8
Hookability: 9
Overall rating: 8+
Hardware: Colour monitor & joystick required

Disclaimer
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.