Joust

DOS game, 1983

Genre:
Arcade
Year:
1983
Developer:
Williams Electronics
Publisher:
Atarisoft
Perspective:
Platform, Side-view
Theme:

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Joust is an iconic arcade-style game that became popular for its unique gameplay and cooperative and competitive multiplayer features. Set in a medieval fantasy world, Joust places players in the role of a knight riding a flying ostrich. The primary objective of the game is to defeat waves of enemy knights who are riding buzzards. Players joust against these adversaries by colliding with them mid-air. The key to success lies in striking enemies from a higher altitude; if the player is lower than the enemy when they collide, the player loses a life. …read more

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Game review

Joust is an iconic arcade-style game that became popular for its unique gameplay and cooperative and competitive multiplayer features. Set in a medieval fantasy world, Joust places players in the role of a knight riding a flying ostrich. The primary objective of the game is to defeat waves of enemy knights who are riding buzzards. Players joust against these adversaries by colliding with them mid-air. The key to success lies in striking enemies from a higher altitude; if the player is lower than the enemy when they collide, the player loses a life.

Players control the flight of their ostrich using the joystick (or keyboard in the DOS version) to move left or right and a button to flap the ostrich's wings. The physics of the flight is a crucial aspect of the game, as players must master the rhythm and timing of flapping to maintain the correct altitude and speed for successful jousting. Joust's levels, or waves, increase in difficulty as the game progresses. The game environment consists of a few platforms and a pit of lava at the bottom, with each new wave introducing more challenging enemies and obstacles. Some waves include indestructible enemies like the pterodactyl or eggs that enemies hatch from if not collected quickly.

The game's graphics are simple, with a black background and basic sprites representing the characters and platforms. Despite the simplicity, the visuals are effective and have a certain retro charm that is appreciated by fans of classic arcade games.

Joust's appeal lies in its straightforward yet challenging gameplay, the strategic depth required to master jousting, and its unique setting and concept. Its legacy in the gaming world is significant, as it influenced the development of many subsequent games and is often celebrated for its innovative approach to multiplayer gaming.

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