Can you unlock the mysteries?
This week’s Hamster release takes us to the mid-1980’s, with a memorable fantasy game that was popular in the arcades, but made a much bigger impact on the home computer market: Solomon’s Key, now available to download on Nintendo Switch.
Released by Tecmo in 1986, Solomon’s Key is a puzzle-platformer that tells the story of a young sorcerer, tasked with retrieving the titular item and restore light to the world. The player guides the sorcerer, Dana, through 50 single-screen levels, and must unlock the door to each stage while dodging hazards and enemies. Dana can create platforms and attack monsters, but must move fast to beat the clock and will die immediately upon contact with an enemy.
Stylistically ahead of its time, Solomon’s Key bases its stage on the signs of the Zodiac, with some pretty slick architecture and stage design. Weapon upgrades and hidden items are waiting to be discovered, and there are also a selection of hidden rooms to be accessed, completion of which can alter the game’s ending. All-in, Solomon’s Key is quite a unique title for such an earlier period of video game history.
Solomon’s Key would eventually see home release on a slew of platforms including the Famicom and Sega Master System as well as home computers such as the ZX Spectrum Commodore 64, Amstrad, Amiga and Atari ST, among others. If you’re up for a little old school adventure, then Solomon’s Key is available now on Nintendo Switch worldwide, priced at around $8.