Kai Temple
by Ian Wright, Philip Greenwood [1], Simon Clarke
Firebird Software Ltd
Crash Issue 34, November 1986   (1986-10-23)   page(s) 21

High up in the Himalayas there is a mystical Kai temple. This holy shrine is guarded by fearsome martial arts warriors: Ninjas and the Divas. Their sole job is to protect the treasures and religious artefacts within the temple, and very dedicated to their vocation they are too. It is into this potentially dangerous situation that you unwittingly stumbled...

It is impossible to escape from the Kai temple, unless you happen to be a martial arts supremo. The Ninjas can only be despatched by an accurately timed combat kick. When one of these kicks hits home, the Ninja dissolves into a crumpled mass on the floor. Divas can only be killed by lobbing a dagger into their torsos.

Each screen consists of three platforms patrolled by a number of guards. Your character can leap between the platforms to avoid flying arrows and daggers and must chase around the screen dealing death. Each screen has a time limit indicated by a counter if the guards aren't eliminated quickly enough, the game ends. Contact with a Ninja or Diva result in the loss of one of your three lives.

As you progress in the game, more and more pasties have to be dealt with and time limits get shorter. Every time three screens are cleared a bit of bell ringing Is needed before the game moves to the next level. Pounding on the fire key makes a strength bar grow and then your man leaps onto a seesaw, propelling a ball into the air. If the bell is rung by the flying ball it's onto the next screen, otherwise it's back to the last section of the temple.

Tibetan air is very thin, and while the Ninjas and Divas are perfectly acclimatised you aren't. Now and again your oxygen starved brain plays tricks, making the task a lot harder the whole screen turns upside down!

Points are scored for each Ninja and Diva destroyed and for every level completed. There is a high score to beat each game, but the main problem is simply staying alive...

Control keys: redefinable: up, down, left, right, kick, throw dagger
Joystick: keyboard only
Keyboard play: responsive
Use of colour: monochromatic
Graphics: amateurish
Sound: irritating spot effects
Skill levels: one
Screens: 9

'Oh dear, this game is awful. The collision detection is poor, and the graphics are very bad. The noises made during the game don't exactly make you sit up with pleasure, and as far as playability and addictivity are concerned, Kai Temple must be one of the most boring games I've played recently. The whole thing is totally unexciting, and well worth steering clear of'

'Kai Temple is an extremely boring game. The graphics are far too small for a game that has hardly anything happening in it. I couldn't find anything in Kai Temple to show that the programmer had any ability... The backgrounds are very simply drawn, and the animation of the characters is nothing special. The way that the screen flips upside down is about as complex as a sausage roll. The game features some very cunning collision detection - you can put your loot right through the opponent and he'll survive. But you can be a few pixels away from him and he'll get you - something to do with bad programming? I couldn't ever go wild over Kai Temple'

'Don't be fooled by the loading screen which looks suspiciously like a screen dump from Way of the Tiger - the only thing the two games have in common is that they are both beat 'em ups. Although you don't need much in the way of brain power to play this successfully, you do need a lot of patience as this is a very frustrating game mainly due to its simplicity. The graphics are adequate but not good, the characters are small and undetailed and the backgrounds are mediocre. The sound effects aren't too bad; there are a few nice effects here and there but no tunes. A mediocre game.'

Use of Computer43%
Getting Started53%
Addictive Qualities40%
Value for Money46%
Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 11, November 1986   page(s) 33

Okay, I'm not going to go into lavish detail on the storyline here... we're talking Ninjas, leaping up and down platform levels, and savage kicks to the groin. Not one for the goolies, eh lads?

There are three platforms to negotiate and one Ninja to start off. Plan your kick and - Pow! - he dissolves into dust at your feet. And, as usual with this sort of game, getting your kick timed perfectly is all-important. But like all games of this type, kill one Ninja and two more take his place. And so on.

The graphics aren't going to stop the world, but they're not bad - if a little slow, when there are loads of things happening on screen; three Ninjas, a thrown knife, your character and a flying sword seem to place great strain on the usual speedy stuff you expect from this Kung Fu action. But one neat twist to the game is that the screen sometimes suddenly inverts and you find yourself and the enemy Ninjas upside-down.

You'll soon get the hang of when to kick the Ninjas to do them a real nasty and four lives are usually enough to give you a fighting chance. But if you're looking for a storyline - finding treasure or saving the princess of something - you can forget it.

Still, for two quid you could do worse - Firebird's Ninja Mastere for example! If you want five or six fancy kicks then look around for another game, but if you want to become a master of just one classic move - The K'i'ck I'n The Gro'i'n - then this is the game for you.

Value For Money8/10
Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 56, November 1986   page(s) 76

More budget-priced high kicks from Firebird as they release yet another Kung Fu rip/take off.

The Kai Masters, famed for their gentle mind cultivating disciplines, have gone loopy and trapped you in their Tibetan temple. Defeat the Ninjas, Devas and flying swords and you stand an even chance, if lucky, of escaping this programming nightmare.

You can kick the Ninjas and Divas to death. Stand in exactly the right position and hammer the kick key. If you're too close or far away you lose one of your four lives, but if you are on target the unarmed assassin melts into the floor. Alternatively you can throw a knife which chugs unenthusiastically across the screen at the speed of a crab edging its way across the ocean floor. Again, if you're not on target it's bye bye Kai.

Flying swords are impossible to deal with so avoid them by leaping from one platform to another. Your adversaries are impervious to the cutting blades so don't try to trick them by jumping at the last moment.

If those weapons and wielders are not enough the programmer seems to have an Australian sense of humour. Despite your years of training in the Kai arts you still haven't got used to the Tibetan atmosphere, which makes you high. Without warning the world turns upside down and you're on your head facing an opponent. It's a neat trick but it doesn't lift the tedium.

Kai Temple is a simple, two colour, levels and ladders game which becomes hard when you've played it for more than 15 minutes. The bashing is done with two keys and is 8 one chance only. The game is a one-play wonder which would have been better if the programmer had put in more obstacles and better graphics - a joystick would have been a good idea too.

Label: Firebird Silver
Author: Ian Wright
Price: £1.99
Memory: 48K/128K
Reviewer: John Gilbert


Summary: A kick in the teeth for all fans of the martial arts. Flat graphics and flimsy plot. A let down even at budget level.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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