Knightmare is a great game that somewhere along the line has been lost / forgotten / dismissed by the masses. For most it is seen as a poor mans Dungeon Master using the engine used for the captive game. While in my opinion it was one of the best games of its type.
The game is very loosely based on the children’s TV show of the time. In fact in less you really look hard you could not notice at all. Apart from the main objective (finding the 4 core items within the dungeons), the use a wells as stairwells, and mining cars as moving platforms you would not notice at all.
As with all games of this ilk you start by forming a party of 4 adventurers. Each of your guys starts out with one of 6 classes (fighter, adventurer, ninja, wizard, genji, and priest).
-- Fighter -- skilled at using standard weapons
-- Adventurer --- skilled at using all random objects as weapons
-- Ninja -- Ranged weapons
-- Priest -- Healing / buffing / ill effects removal
-- Wizard -- Attack magic (e.g. fireball)
-- Genji -- Utility magic (e.g. block)
One of the great joys of the game is the unusually weapons that are picked up especially at the start of the game. The ninja starts by using base balls for instance while the Adventurer class gets everything from bread knifes
at the start of the game up to chainsaws by dungeon 4.
Of course as with any of these types of games your characters all improve skill in classes they are using and thus each ends up with a combination of the class they started with and those they use the most. Each time a character gains a level in a class they not only gain addition health / attributes but all gain access to higher skills spells within weapons. This is most important for the caster classes that use magic staffs to gain access to spells, which are revealed as you go up the levels. In addition the strength of each spell increases as well.
You start the game in a top level outdoor section able to hunt rabbits (for food) and gain access to the 4 dungeons that make up the game. You have to work your way through each dungeon in the correct order through as access will only be granted to each using the final reword item from the previous dungeon.
The dungeon design is what makes the game. Each is more then the standard set in Dungeon Master. Each contains lakes with boats to use to / multiple levels (using ladders / wells / etc) / moving platforms (mining carts) that require you to jump on and off at the correct points / traps (false triggers that fire fireballs , alarms that spawn creature ) / walls with wheels to move and so on. The best part of this is the puzzles built into all of the above. These usually need move then your standard level of its a locked door so find a key. These include the need to cure an unwell to make it into a gateway well and a spanner to break the machinery of a conveyer belt. (I will not give more then this away!)
Unfortunately for the game the main work seems to have been put into the later dungeon levels in terms of clever puzzles and graphics for creatures. These are really good (or were for the time) dungeon 3 on but look a bit on the rushed side on dungeon 1. These means that most players only play see the start of the first dungeon then give up as a poor Dungeon Master as mentioned above. This is a real shame as a great game is not seen for what it is.
Give this a go and stick with it past the first dungeon and you will be rewarded with one of the best games of its generation that is still today better then the majority of games in terms of pure strategy and puzzles.