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The Sentry (ZX Spectrum)

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MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.8
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
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Description

A surreal and very original game by Geoff Crammond.

The game plays out on a 3D landscape with hills and valleys made up of several levels. At the highest vantage point stands The Sentinel, a statue-like being with an energy draining stare, you begin at the lowest. "Energy" plays an important role, there's a constant amount in the game world and each object is worth a certain number of units - including you.

The object of each level is to absorb The Sentinel and Hyperspace to the next from his vantage point.

The Sentinel scans further round the landscape every few seconds - if you're caught in his gaze, or rather the square you are standing on can be seen, you'll have about 5 seconds to teleport to another location (or hit a key to teleport to a random location - which will never be higher, and may be lower than your current level) before the Sentinel begins absorbing your energy, when it reaches zero you will be destroyed. To travel a "robot hull" must be created on a visible square then teleported to, making sure you absorb your old hull to avoid losing energy. Boulders and trees can also be created, trees to block The Sentinels view and boulders can be stacked to gain higher ground.

There are a few other elements to the game - on later levels there will be other Sentries positioned around the landscape. If only part of you can be seen i.e. not the square you are standing on, a nearby tree can be changed into a "Meanie" which will ultimately force you to teleport. There are 9999 levels in the game but the next level number is based on the current level + how much energy you have remaining.

Sentinel Returns is a remake very true to the original.

Screenshots

The Sentry ZX Spectrum Aerial view of the selected landscape
The Sentry ZX Spectrum Input a landscape number
The Sentry ZX Spectrum Title screen
The Sentry ZX Spectrum Starting point on the landscape surface

Alternate Titles

  • "The Sentinel" -- UK title

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User Reviews

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The Press Says

Computer Gamer Jun, 1987 88 out of 100 88

Forums

Topic # Posts Last Post
remake of The Sentinel: "Zenith" 5 hydra9 (3851)
Jul 08, 2007

Trivia

1001 Video Games

The Sentinel appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Amiga port

Steve Bak on his Amiga port of The Sentinel:

Basically it’s still the Atari ST version on the Amiga. I looked at the ST code and didn’t change much. When the code finishes drawing a frame, a subroutine of mine kicks in and turns it into the Amiga’s data format. This happens so fast that nobody will notice a difference.

Awards

  • ACE
    • October 1988 (issue #13) - Included in the Top-100 list of 1987/1988 (editorial staff selection)
    • March 1991 (issue #42) - Included in the list Greatest Games of all Time in category Original Games (editorial staff choice)
  • Amiga Power
    • May 1991 (Issue #00) - #20 in the "All Time Top 100 Amiga Games"
  • Happy Computer
    • Issue 01/1988 - Best Strategy Game in 1987
  • Power Play
    • 1987 - Best CPC Game '87
    • 1987 - #2 Best Spectrum Game '87
  • Zzap!
    • January 1990 (Issue 57) – 'The Best Games of the 80's Decade' (Stuart Wynne / Phil King)

Jack Lightbeard (2653) added The Sentry (ZX Spectrum) on Feb 20, 2005
Other platforms contributed by Jack Lightbeard (2653) and Terok Nor (18924)