Defender of the Crown was an oddity when it debuted in 1986: a highly-polished game with impressive visual presentation (for the time), but one that didn't fit into any established genre. Civilization players of today might recognize a sort of proto-strategy in the slightly fantastic Medieval England setting, where you raise an army and conquer Britain in bits and pieces. But the actual gameplay requires real player interaction with the pre-rendered background, including various forms of fighting, jousting, and management.

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Now you can try Defender of the Crown out for yourself, without having to dust off the old Commodore or load up a DOS emulator. The original publisher Cinemaware has ported the game to Android and put it up for one and all, with a reasonable $2 entry fee. (Fans will recognize one of Cinemaware's later games, The King of Chicago, also recently ported to Android.) Aside from the new touch interface, the game looks pretty much identical to the first release almost twenty years ago, unfortunately including the aspect ratio.

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At its heart this is a role-playing game, though there's also liberal amounts of strategy thrown in, particularly in how you spend money and assign forces in your territory. Arcade segments give short bursts of skill-based play, augmented by your choice of character and their strengths and weaknesses. If you're unsure of how to proceed - these old PC games can be pretty obtuse - the full manual for Defender of the Crown is included in the Android version.

Defender of the Crown
Defender of the Crown
Developer: Cinemaware
Price: $1.99