Another big part of my obsessive compulsion to stick overwrought metagames into my game designs is this game. Without the bit where you’re moving troops around a constantly changing England, Defender of the Crown would just be a collection of wonky mini games that were as pretty as they were boring.
Plus I could never get the hang of the jousting bit, what was up with that?
Still, you definitely can’t argue that Defender of the Crown had a massive influence on the way games were presented afterward. Cinemaware were pioneers in using TV-style presentation and movie like camera angles to make games not look so, well, videogamey. Compare something like their later TV Sports Football to the Madden games of that era and it’s clear to see how big a difference there was.
Heck, I even remember a kid’s TV show on at the time that took five minutes out of showing cartoons to demonstrate some guy playing Defender of the Crown on the Amiga. It was a pretty big deal.
Personally I preferred the C64 version, much less time was spent disk swapping and the graphics were all the more impressive for looking almost as good as the Amiga game but in 16 colours.