Gauntlet IV

Game Data:

  • Review Date: June 15, 2021
  • Release Date: July 1, 1994
  • Platform: Sega Genesis
  • Publisher: Tengen
  • Developer: Tengen/Atari
  • Genre: Shooter

Anecdotes: Gauntlet is 1 for 2 so far. Both games appeared on the NES. The first one was a fun, but unfair adventure through Morak’s lair trying to recover an orb. The second was an awful, clunky port of the arcade game. I suppose I could have tried III on a Commodore, but I was never a fan of the Commodore. I’ve never played it. Let’s see how or even if IV will break the tie.


  • The animation of the elf is much smoother. He can also move faster than in II. The graphics and play control have all been smoothed out, making for a much more pleasant experience when on the floors.
  • The game offers mode options, so for players like me that prefer goals to reach, there is a quest mode. For players that like playing levels and blasting things, they have an arcade mode.
  • I have to mention how they used the voice from the arcade to welcome players to the shops in quest mode. Nice touch.


  • I’m not one to complain about load times, but they really make the game a chore here. It seemed like I was looking at loading screens longer than the floors and changing floors so quickly doesn’t help.
  • To add to that, I played the Fire and Water Towers, and both of them had a series of exits where I went about 7 or so floors up the tower (or down in Water’s case) that led to jack squat. They were just dead ends. Couple this up with the load time issue and this becomes agonizing to have to go back all those floors.
  • The tower floors also had the issue of looking exactly the same. The floor textures vary, but they’re all the same color, so players are unlikely to notice. They also put the floor number on-screen, but players won’t be paying attention to that.


Whatever. How did the elf get here and how does he get out?
Look at all that food below. I need to get there.
Well, at least they’re generous with the keys…
Here is one of those paths to nowhere. I should have U turned right here.

Final Opinion: It’s middle of the road for me. I’ve seen much better and I’ve seen much worse.

Grade: C

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