When games were worth going hungry for…
When I was around 13, maybe 14 years old, every other Friday instead of a wholesome packed lunch my mother would hand me some dinner money so I could partake in my schools ‘snack bar’; a healthy assortment of pizza, chips, burgers and the like; the sort of food that would have our current, paranoid nanny state place the area in quarantine and any children who’d eaten to many chips put down just in case they infected other children.
More often than not though, I would choose to go hungry and spend my few pounds on a video game on the way home from school. A far more sensible, healthy option in my eyes.
Arriving on the Spectrum, C64, Amstrad CPC and MSX in 1987, (updated versions on the ST and Amiga were released at a later date), under Masrtertronic’s ‘Bulldog’ label of £2.99 budget games, Feud was an absolute blast. Playing it today it’s clear that the games developer, Binary Design, did a hell of a good job as it’s still a lot of fun and a damn good challenge.
You play as powerful sorcerer, Learic, in a quest to defeat your evil twin brother, Leanoric, before the ageing curse he put on you takes hold and you drop down dead.
As with many games of the time the action is set within a maze cleverly disguised as various locations filled with regular folk going about their day-to-day business. There’s a small village, a graveyard, a wooded area and, rather amusingly, an actual maze.
Scattered throughout the land are varying types of herbs that Learic must collect and return to his cauldron to create an arsenal of spells with which to defeat his evil twin.
Although these herbs regenerated after a short time it’s not as easy as it sounds as not only do you have to have the correct set of herbs for each spell, whether it’s fireball or a healing spell, Learic’s brother was also on the prowl with it in mind to finish you off before the curse took root.
If you happen to stumble across Leanoric without any spells at the ready you would have to run like the clappers, doing your very best to lose him in the twisting corridors of the games map.
Eventually though, and through the use of careful tactics and a bit of patience, you’d be ready to turn the tables and fry your twin brothers ass with a lightening bolt or, a particular favourite of mine, the ability to turn hapless villagers into zombies that attack Leanoric on sight.
For £2.99 I was absolutely thrilled by this little gem back in 1987. Downloading Feud onto my Android phone in 2012 it’s turned out to be a great title for “gaming on the go” having not lost any of its charm or playability.