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aka: Ninja Darkness, Saboteur!
ZX Spectrum Specs [ all ]
See Also
Buy on Commodore 64


Saboteur combines platform, beat 'em up and stealth elements, setting you as a lone samurai trying to infiltrate an enemy complex. You are capable of all manner of ninja-style moves including kicks and punches, as well as using weaponry. You must travel through an underground complex linked mainly by platforms and ladders, before triggering a bomb and escaping the complex. Your energy recharges if you stay still, so finding areas free of guards (kill these for money) and dogs (avoid them; killing them gains you nothing) is useful, especially as you only have one life. There's plenty of object manipulation involved, although only one item can ever be carried at a time.

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Credits (ZX Spectrum version)

Illustration & Design by



Average score: 85% (based on 9 ratings)


Average score: 3.3 out of 5 (based on 19 ratings with 1 reviews)

An interesting adventure with various levels of difficulty

The Good
All is described below

The Bad
All is described below

The Bottom Line
A game by Durell Software, where you, the player, are a ninja, or a guy dressed like a movie ninja, and you have to infiltrate an enormous enemy establishment where you must find a floppy disc with some valuable content and escape to safety with the help of a helicopter which is waiting for you. You need to act quickly though, since your time is limited. The obstacles you will face are in the form of guards who throw stuff at you and beat you with remarkable joy and persistence, but luckily, one punch, kick or thrown object by you is enough for them to stop bothering you. There are also some dogs that can be avoided by jumping over them, as well as some strange overhead mechanisms that seem to throw tomatoes at you. These things make me feel like I'm performing in a concert again.

All these, plus the falls, drain your energy quickly, but in order to get back in perfect health, all you need to do is rest for a bit, which you can do by finding a quiet place and hold still for a few seconds. The game is in mode 1, which means that the resolution is not bad, but we can only have 4 colours at the same time on screen. Saboteur's gameplay is quite interesting since it's not inhumanely hard to play but not very easy either. In any case, according to how tough you feel, you can choose the difficulty level at the beginning.

If I was obliged to find something that annoys me, it would be the slight lag in responding to the key orders, which makes the player's life a bit harder but not too much for it to be a burden. In general, I can say that Saboteur is one of the very interesting games for an owner of an Amstrad CPC computer and it's not a surprise that, according to Retro Gamer magazine, this 1986 game sold about 100 thousand copies. And we're talking about the 1980s, a period when a computer was not exactly something that all houses had.

And now it's time for the rating. Graphics: 4. Durell sacrificed the colours in favour of the detail and the result is quite satisfying. The 4 colours are enough to create an atmospheric feeling that gets kind of claustrophobic in some parts. Sound: 2. The introduction music score sounds a bit more playful and lighthearted than it should, making it more fit for a martial arts game like Kung Fu Master or Double Dragon, and the in-game sound effects are nothing special. Gameplay: 4. The game is easy and simple to learn and control, it's fun, sometimes it's hard to get centered on the staircases which leads to a pointless jump kick and some wasted time, but the little faults are not enough to ruin the entertaining value of the game. Also, the fact that you can only carry one object each time, adds up to the challenge factor. General experience: 4. The various difficulty levels keep the interest up for a long time as Saboteur will always be a challenge and you will keep returning for some more.

Amstrad CPC · by Marios Amontaristos (10) · 2015



According to the magazine Retro Gamer, the game sold about 100.000 copies.

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Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 15114


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Martin Smith.

Commodore 16, Plus/4 added by Trypticon. Antstream added by firefang9212. Amstrad CPC added by cafeine.

Additional contributors: formercontrib, Patrick Bregger, ZeTomes.

Game added October 7th, 2004. Last modified February 22nd, 2023.