Arkista’s Ring copies the top-down graphical style of The Legend of Zelda, but replaces non-linear exploration with straightforward action.
There is a story here about a ring and the elven kingdom and other “Lord of the Rings”, but none of it is important. You play as a spunky elven princess, Christine (the name “Linkle” sounded absolutely ridiculous). Thirty two levels of shoot-and-run madness is the main course (the game repeats a couple times, so you can technically ascend to stage 125). You shoot the enemies around you – worms, bats, vortexes, trolls, anything goes – with arrows and move forward.
Once you’ve shot enough to quench the level’s bloodlust, a key will appear in a random hole somewhere. Obtain the key and progress to the next level. Occasionally, enemies drop item bags, which include potions, weapon upgrades (flamethrower!), a wand that obliterates every enemy on-screen, among others.
While the combat is certainly enjoyable, Arkista’s Ring is really only a third of a game. If Zelda could combine dungeon crawling, world-exploring, and excellent combat, then American Sammy easily could have added more depth here. Arkista is a Zelda clone sans ambition.
PUBLISHER/DEVELOPER: American Sammy
GENRE: Action RELEASE DATE: 06/1990 – (US)