I must confess, I came to Chaos late. Very late, in fact... within the last five years. I'd never played it or even heard of it until then. But when two mates, completely unconnected, mentioned it as one of the best Spectrum games ever, I figured I had to give it a try. And I'm really glad that I did...
Strategy games were never my thing. That's probably got a lot to do with the fact we had arcade games in our chip shops, taxi offices and corner shops. You'd head in with your pocket money and treat yourself to some fast-paced (and usually short-lived) fun. There was no time for strategy, subtlety or thought.
Computer games changed all that, though. You could play a game at your leisure, even taking a whole night if you wanted! That broadening of scope led to some incredibly deep games being released, and there were few as willing to test your brain's capacity for strategy as Julian Gollop.
There's no great storyline to Chaos... it's described as “a game of magical combat between 2 to 8 wizards in an arena”. But do you really have to have a story every time you play a game? As long as you have an objective, that's enough.
Being a wizard, you have a list of spells you can cast. These spells summon creatures, both real and imaginary, of all kinds. The aim is to use these creatures to counter those of your opponent(s), and eventually overcome any and all other wizards in the arena.
It really is that simple, and there's not much more that can be said about it. In practice, it is absolutely fantastic to play, even for a single player against computer wizards. Going up against human opponents, though, is about as much fun as you can have on a single screen. Especially when you win. Give it a go and find out!