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Defender of the Crown

aka: Conquering England, DOTC, Defender of the Crown: ObroƄca Korony

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Critic Reviews 65% add missing review

Raze (86 out of 100)

It's heartening to see that the NES-version of Defender of the Crown is more playable than the original Amiga version. The visual presentation is also superb - possibly the best of any NES game. Why it took so long to appear is a bit of a mystery, but those who purchased the original version will be intrigued to see what an excellent job Palcom have done with the 8-bit game. NES games just get better and better.

Oct 1991 · NES · read review

Play Time (82 out of 100)

Der Strategie-Freak wird hier ebenso gut bedient, wie der Action-Freund. Bis das Spiel erfolgreich beendet ist, werden viele, viele Tage ins Land gehen. Einzig der gar schreckliche Preis von DM 129.- lĂ€ĂŸt den Ritter verzagen.

Dec 1991 · NES

Nintendo Magasinet (Sweden) (4 out of 5)

Defender of the Crown Àr ett grafiskt snyggt spel som skiljer sig en del frÄn övriga Nintendospel. I USA kallas det ett rollspel men jag skulle nog snarare vilja kalla det ett strategispel. Helt klart Àr att Defender Àr mycket spÀnnande tills man klarat det.

Jun 1991 · NES

Nintendo Power Magazine (4 out of 5)

This colorful role-playing adventure will present a good challenge for the experienced Power Player.

Jul 1989 · NES

NES Game Power (8 out of 10)

Bei „Defender of the Crown“ handelt es sich um ein interessantes Strategiespiel, das leider in der AusfĂŒhrung einige WĂŒnsche offenlĂ€ĂŸt. In erster Linie ist die fehlende Möglichkeit, das Spiel mit mehreren Spielern gegeneinander zu spielen, enttĂ€uschend. Hinzu kommt, daß die Actionszenen nach mehrmaligem Spielen langweilig werden, da sie keine Abwechslung bieten. Dennoch bereitet der strategische Charakter von „Defender of the Crown“ viel Spaß; insgesamt kann das Spiel als empfehlenswert bezeichnet werden.

1991 · NES

Total!! UK Magazine (71 out of 100)

Defender of the Crown is already well known on home computers, and this NES version is a bit late in coming. However, it's just as much fun as all the others.

Jan 1992 · NES

All Game Guide ( )

Defender of the Crown is an enjoyable and challenging game. There are number of paths to victory, but none are easy.

1998 · NES · read review

Mean Machines (59 out of 100)

While Defender of the Crown is quite good fun to play, you leave it wanting more. The arcade-style screens are neat and the strategy part is simple enough to let a facts 'n' figures dumbo like me enjoy it without getting bogged down, but there's just not enough to keep you entertained. The game is fairly challenging, but again, not really enough to make it good value for money. With the benefit of some additions like extra arcade sequences and a more complex strategy element, this could have been really good. As it stands, it's a fairly enjoyable, but ultimately unsatisfying game.

Dec 1991 · NES · read review

Retro Archives (10.5 out of 20)

Defender of the Crown sur NES souffre d’une rĂ©alisation Ă  la ramasse et d’un systĂšme de jeu qui aurait Ă©tĂ© mieux inspirĂ© de se baser sur celui de la version CPC plutĂŽt que de la version PC. Reste un titre efficace sur une machine oĂč les jeux de stratĂ©gie ne sont pas franchement lĂ©gion, mais il y avait moyen de faire mieux, bien mieux.

Nov 2nd, 2017 · NES · read review

Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) (21 out of 40)

DOTC was an interesting computer game that successfully paired beginner-level war gaming with some of the most vivid graphics around. The NES version, however, lacks the sharp visuals of the original and what we end up with is a slow-moving cart that will appeal to die-hard war-gamers only.

Nov 1989 · NES

Video Games (52 out of 100)

Wer sich schon immer wunderte, womit man vor Erfindung der Videospiele die Zeit vertrieben hat, weiß jetzt Bescheid: Eroberungen, Duelle und RaubzĂŒge fĂŒllten den Arbeitstag gemĂŒtlich aus. Dank der originellen Spielidee ist man von Defender of the Crown zunĂ€chst sehr angetan. Die immer wiederkehrenden Actionteile nutzen sich aber rasch ab. Außerdem gibt es keinen Weg, um den Spielstand zu sichern. FĂŒr Einsteiger hat die Mischung aus Strategie und Action sicher ihren Reiz, aber fortgeschrittene Spieler werden sich zu schnell langweilen.

Mar 1991 · NES · read review

Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the NES Library ( )

Not even the occasional appearance of Robin Hood (lending aid to the cause) can help sway the odds in this interesting, but supremely difficult and poorly controlling take on what could have been more fun. There is a lot on offer here, but being a Jack of all trades and master of none just doesn’t cut it.

2016 · NES

Power Play (50 out of 100)

Die neue NES-Version ist zwar schwerer und spielerisch ein wenig erweitert worden, aber im Gegenzug rasselte die QualitĂ€t der Grafik gewaltig nach unten. Alles in allem ein gebremstes VergnĂŒgen, dessen Spielprinzip Abnutzungserscheinungen zeigt.

Jun 1991 · NES

Questicle.net (C-)

Defender of the Crown suffers from obtuse and difficult gameplay, even when selecting Wilfred, the most well-rounded Saxon, to play as. Even after perusing the manual, your best option is to simply jump in and play. I’d recommend building an army first, but you’ll need funds to do that. You can go on raids or take lands to get more gold, but without an army, you won’t get very far. The combat mechanic is clunky, as are the tournament controls; it doesn’t surprise me that DotC was originally an Amiga title, as the controls seem better suited to a mouse and keyboard. If you can build up your character’s army and attributes, you might stand a chance at reclaiming the crown. I lacked initiative, so Wilfred made me a boot shiner.

Sep 2011 · NES · read review

Player Reviews

It's everything you hate about the original, plus nothing you love.
by Ognimod Zeta (7)

The Good
I... guess? the fact that they put a couple extra minigames (the morningstar fight and the castle defense with crossbow). Not the minigames themselves, but the fact that they thought to include them.

And the fact that it was published by Ultra Games, who also published the NES version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which is actually one of my favorite games on the console, so as far as I'm concerned, that's a positive for me...

And... that's about it.

The Bad
Everything else.

To begin with, the original Defender of the Crown, from 1986, was largely a "playable" tech demo for the Amiga computer's graphical capabilities -way, way beyond those of any other computer, console, or even arcade system of its day-, but not much else; the gameplay itself, what little of it there was, was extremely difficult to the point of being almost completely impossible -a common tactic to hide that a game is really very short and/or on around the same level of complexity as the original Pong; see also Dragon's Lair or Shadow of the Beast-. Unfortunately, this NES version is no different.

The controls, like in all the Amiga versions of all the Cinemaware games I've played, are slow, clumsy, and unresponsive. Trying to aim your lance in the joust or walk forward in the swordfights is like playing arm wrestling with the control pad. These are not controls fit for action minigames, which is a problem, because your success in this game depends on your success at the minigames.

Which ties into problem number two; the money balance and AI. You are supposed to conquer territories to collect gold and use that gold to hire an army. But the enemies start right next to the most valuable lands (between six and eight gold every month), allowing them to get bigger armies than yours, more quickly than you can. Once they do, they go into a frenzy and start crushing everyone who gets in their way. Your only hope of success is to get to the southern lands before they do -leaving your castle completely unprotected while you're at it, because in the first few fights you won't get anywhere with less than twenty guys- and hope they don't inconvenience you too much before you can raise enough money; hardly a sensible idea for a "strategy" game. Also doing well at the minigames so you won't have to worry about conquering lands or collecting taxes (just joust/steal the other guy), but that's its own hurdle, as detailed above.

Finally, the graphics and audio are, to say the least, atrocious. The NES was capable of excellent graphics and audio, but it was simply not up to the task of looking like even a Commodore 64 port of an Amiga game, which is the reason this version should have never been even attempted in the first place. And that's about as much as I can say about it.

The Bottom Line
Beam Software, the actual developers of this port, essentially made the same mistake Elite Systems made when they ported Dragon's Lair to the NES. Since they could never recreate the original graphics, they thought they could compensate by recreating the original gameplay, either not knowing, not realizing, or not caring that the original gameplay was barely there and what was there was unreachable. So what they have left us with is a game named after the original that possesses all the flaws of the original and none of its virtues. If you really like turn-based strategy games with action minigames and you must have one for NES, I recommend North and South instead.

Aug 2nd, 2022 · NES

Plus 20 player ratings without reviews

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Jo ST, Patrick Bregger, lights out party, Big John WV, SlyDante, Riemann80, RetroArchives.fr, Terok Nor, RhYnoECfnW.