Deep in King Solomon’s mines lies a vast fortune, there for the taking — for anyone foolhardy or greedy enough to enter the subterranean world.
To reach the unimaginable wealth in this conversion of a coin-op original, you must make it alive through a series of rooms inhabited by menacing creatures like fat-tummied parrots, Michael Jackson llamas, jellyfish and fireball-firing heads. Not even the hardiest of souls can withstand their withering touch, and you have only six fragile lives ... but the unpleasant creatures can be disposed of with the fireballs you find in this underworld.
Each room contains coloured blocks arranged in patterns across the screen; these can be used as stepping stones to a key that unlocks an exit door. Finding a successful route isn’t easy, but large open spaces in rooms may be crossed by laying further blocks to create a staircase. Take care, however — the inhabitants of the dark mines can destroy the block you’re standing on, sending you tumbling down.
You too can destroy as well as construct, evaporating blue blocks that obstruct a horizontal pathway.
In each underground room, objects — handbells, angels, acorn crowns — can be collected to accumulate points. A time bonus can be added to this total — but if you overstay your welcome and can’t reach the treasure before the deadline, then time really has waited for no man and money no longer concerns your corpse.
“Solomon’s Key has quite a lot of playability, and though the first screen is very easy the second is much more difficult and needs thought. With its small characters and bright graphics Solomon’s Key looks like a budget game and probably should have been one — still, it’s fun.”
MIKE ... 69%
“Despite its simplistic plot and gameplay, Solomon’s Key has turned out very well indeed. The graphics are good, though they do get a bit cluttered when there’s a lot going on. And though I doubt I’ll be playing it in a few months, the game as a whole is appealing and fairly addictive.”
BEN ... 83%
“King Solomon must have been a pretty wealthy bloke judging by all the treasure dotted around here! Anybody remember Mastertronic’s Rockman? Well, Solomon’s Key is very similar but a bit better presented. The graphics are well-defined, the animation is good and there’s plenty of playability. The idea of dodging nasties and collecting keys may not seem too exciting but I assure you you’ll be addicted in a second.”
NICK ... 83%
Control keys: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: small and not very colourful
Sound: reasonable spot FX and decent opening tune
Options: definable keys
General rating: a simple but enjoyable arcade puzzle game