Video game reviews

Sabre Wulf (Ultimate / 1984) ZX Spectrum Review

Sabre Wulf is an action-adventure game developed and published by Ultimate Play the Game for the ZX Spectrum in 1984. It is the second game in the Sabreman series, following on from Sabreman in 1983.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Sabre Wulf, its gameplay, graphics, and sound, and explore why it remains such a classic game over 30 years after its release.

Sabre Wulf Gameplay

In Sabre Wulf, the player takes control of Sabreman, an adventurer on a quest to collect four pieces of an amulet that will allow him to unlock the treasure trove of the Sabre Wulf.

The game is split into four distinct areas, each with its own set of challenges and obstacles.

The gameplay of Sabre Wulf is a mix of action and puzzle-solving

The gameplay of Sabre Wulf is a mix of action and puzzle-solving. The player must navigate through the levels, avoiding traps and enemies while collecting the pieces of the amulet.

Sabreman has a variety of weapons at his disposal, including a sword, a bow and arrow, and bombs, which can be used to defeat enemies and destroy barriers.

The game also features a day-night cycle, with the player having to navigate through the levels before the sun sets, or risk being trapped in the level until the next day. This adds an extra layer of challenge to the game, as the player must balance their exploration and combat with the need to make it back to the starting point before nightfall.


Sabre Wulf features some of the most impressive graphics ever seen on the ZX Spectrum. The game uses a technique called “filmation” to create a 3D-like effect, with the player able to move in any direction through the levels.

Sabre Wulf features some of the most impressive graphics

The character and enemy designs are also well-detailed and animated, with Sabreman in particular being an iconic design.

The game’s backgrounds are also well-designed, with each area having its own unique look and feel. From the dense jungle of the first area to the icy wasteland of the fourth area, Sabre Wulf takes the player on a journey through a variety of different environments.


The sound effects in Sabre Wulf are minimal but effective. The sound of Sabreman’s sword slicing through the air, the pattering of his footsteps on the ground, and the growls of the Sabre Wulf all add to the game’s atmosphere. The music is also memorable, with each area having its own distinct tune that perfectly fits the mood of the level.

ZX Spectrum Legacy

ZX Spectrum Legacy

Sabre Wulf’s influence can be seen in a variety of games that followed it. Its innovative use of the “filmation” technique has been cited as an influence on games such as Knight Lore and Alien 8, while its mix of action and puzzle-solving has been echoed in games such as Tomb Raider and Uncharted.

The enduring popularity of Sabre Wulf can be attributed to its innovative graphics, challenging gameplay, and memorable design. Despite being released over 30 years ago, the game remains a beloved classic that continues to be enjoyed by gamers of all ages.


Sabre Wulf is a classic game that is still remembered fondly by gamers today. Its mix of action and puzzle-solving, innovative graphics, and memorable design make it a true classic of the ZX Spectrum era.

Whether you’re a veteran gamer looking to relive the glory days of the ZX Spectrum or a newcomer looking to experience a classic game for the first time, Sabre Wulf is a game that should not be missed.

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