Joyous Rebel 1

Adventure 1996 Windows Axe Productions Third Person

Proper old-school adventuring

Ultima fans feeling starved of old-school RPG shenanigans can rejoice with the discovery of this obscure little gem. It might be basic, fairly crude and decidedly ugly, but if you let Joyous Rebel into your life, and are of the right frame of mind, then it could prove to be just what you're looking for to fill that RPG-shaped hole in your life. The game doesn't do anything particularly original, right from its cliched fantasy setting and epic quest requiring a lone hero to save the land from terrible evil, to its top-down view where you explore dungeons and engage in combat with the myriad beasties that roam the world. However, what it lacks in originality, it makes up in sheer verve and by the simple fact of being generally well done (for a freeware title). Everything is pretty simple, from the list of available actions (just the four, but it will get you through) to the turn-based combat and the exploration, but this simplicity provides much of the game's appeal. The visuals might be off-putting to many and they are undeniably unattractive, with very basic sprites and environments, but again there's something about them which you can't help but like. The story too might be wrapped up in the usual fantasy stereotypes, with its guardians of light, plucky fishermen and so on, but things generally keep you entertained and involved with some merry old characters and cheesy dialogue to enjoy along the way. Don't bother picking up Joyous Rebel if you require modern flash and slick visuals, but if you like proper old-school adventuring, then check this out.

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