Nicholas Campbell

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Missas is back with reviews of three recently released games:

The first Amstrad CPC game of 2018 has already been released! It's a version of the ZX Spectrum game Pssst!, which was one of the earlier releases by the legendary software house Ultimate Play the Game. Pssst! starred Robbie, a robot who had to spray insects in order to prevent them from eating a growing flower. However, there are three different types of spray, and only one type will work on each type of insect, so you have to constantly move from one side of the screen to the other, avoiding the insects while trying to pick up the correct spray to use.

Robbie Strikes Back may play a bit more slowly than Pssst!, but it features colourful MODE 0 graphics and it plays music throughout the game. You can download it from Play on Retro.

Over the Christmas holidays, CNGSoft (César Nicolás González) uploaded two new releases to his web site – one new game (on the CPC, at least) and an updated version of a previous release.

Duck Out

Duck Out is a Spanish game that was originally released under the Dro Soft label in 1989 for the ZX Spectrum and MSX. It's a fairly strange game; you play a duck who is in a kitchen and has decided to make a bid for freedom to avoid ending up as someone's dinner! Armed with a frying pan, you must bash various humans, animals and flying hazards, and avoid contact with them. CNGSoft has made some improvements to the controls to make it more playable, as well as adding sound effects and music (provided by Daniel Canales).

You can visit CNGSoft's web site to find more details about the conversion, and download Duck Out; go to the bottom of the page to find the link to download the game.

Basket Cases

CNGSoft has also released an updated version of Basket Cases – his entry for the 2017 #CPCRetroDev Game Creation Contest, which was ranked in third place out of 29 entries. This update fixes some bugs and features some improvements in the graphics – including some very strange-looking opponents, if you are skilled enough to reach level 6!

You can visit CNGSoft's web site to download the new version, as well as the original version which also includes source code; go to the bottom of the page to find the link to download the game.


Issue 176 of Retro Gamer came through my letterbox this morning, just in time for Christmas. As well as an article about the history of Amstrad which includes interviews with Lord Sugar and Roland Perry, there is also a review of a new game called BEARS!, which came as quite a surprise, as I had heard nothing at all about this game previously, or its developers, the SOHDE Team.

BEARS! is a cartridge-only game for GX4000 and Plus machines, in which you control a young bear who has to locate Lady Grumpleton of Grizzly Manor, who has been missing for several days. Along the way, you meet many different characters, and you must also engage in combat with various enemies, which involves you and your opponent taking it in turns to select a method of attack and depleting each other's hit points. If you succeed, you either gain hit points or receive new skills, and you may also get an item to add to your inventory.

BEARS! can be downloaded from The SOHDE Team's web site, and you can use it on a real GX4000 or Plus machine in conjunction with the C4CPC device.

Pinball Dreams

Batman Group has tweeted screenshots of all four tables that will feature on their Amstrad CPC conversion of the classic Amiga game Pinball Dreams. There is still no confirmation of when it will be ready for release, but all the tables look gorgeous!

If you still haven't played the preview version of Pinball Dreams, then I urge you to download it and try it for yourself. If it is released, it will definitely be the best pinball game on the CPC by far.

I have reviewed six games that were submitted to the 2017 #CPCRetroDev Game Creation Contest:

La Abadía del Crimen is regarded – some might say revered – in Spain as one of the best 8-bit games of all time. It's based on the novel The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. The game sees you playing William of Baskerville, accompanied by his apprentice Adso, and you must investigate a series of murders that take place throughout your seven-day stay at a monastery. While you're doing this, you must also participate in the daily routines of the monks in the monastery. Failure to do so will incur the displeasure of the abbot and you will be expelled from the monastery. It can be compared to Ocean's 1986 release The Great Escape.

Sadly La Abadía del Crimen was never officially translated into English, and English-speaking CPC users have long complained of not being able to play it. Well, they don't need to complain any more, because thanks to the work of khaz, myself (Nicholas Campbell) and others on the CPCWiki forum, an English translation (renamed to The Abbey of Crime) now exists!

You can download The Abbey of Crime from the CPCWiki forum, and I would urge you to do so. It really is a fascinating and engrossing game which is full of mystery and adventure, and having played and tested it thoroughly as part of the translation process, I feel its legendary status is fully deserved.

4Mhz are now accepting pre-orders for their latest release Profanation 2: Escape from Abu Simbel, which was awarded second place out of 29 entries in the recent #CPCRetroDev 2017 competition. The game is packaged in a small plastic clam case and includes an A3 size poster illustrated by Lorena Azpiri, the daughter of the late Alfonso Azpiri whose artwork adorns the inlays of many Spanish games; you can see the packaging in the photo on the right. It costs €18.99 excluding postage, which is €11.00 for most European countries, and the game is expected to be sent to customers during the first half of December 2017.

All 29 games that were submitted to the 2017 #CPCRetroDev competition can now be downloaded from the #CPCRetrodev site. Have fun, everyone!

The results of the 2017 #CPCRetroDev competition were announced yesterday evening. I thought it was exciting watching the jurors deliver their results via Skype and seeing the positions of the top games change constantly. If you haven't seen them yet, the results are as follows:

PRO category

  • 1st place: Baba's Palace (Rafael Castillo) – €300 prize
  • 2nd place: Profanation 2: Escape from Abu Simbel (4Mhz) – €175 prize
  • 3rd place: Basket Cases (CNGSoft) – €100 prize
  • 4th place: Cris. Odd Prelude (Dreamin'bits) – €50 prize
  • 5th place: Bitume (Arnaud Bouche) – €25 prize

UA category (for games developed by students of the University of Alicante)

  • 1st place: Raimbo (ToBee) – €100 prize
  • 2nd place: Nightmare Fortress (Petaflopis) – €50 prize

Special mentions

  • Best music (awarded by Gominolas): Baba's Palace – €100
  • Most enjoyable game (awarded by Carlos Abril): Baba's Palace – €100
  • Best artificial intelligence (awarded by Pablo Ariza): Basket Cases – €100

So far, the top three games in the category have been made available for downloading by their respective developers; click on the screenshots below to be taken to the developer's web site, from where you can download the corresponding game.

Congratulations to all the winners, and thanks to everyone who participated in the competition. Amstrad CPC fans now have plenty of new games to look forward to playing!

Hello again, everyone! I've been taking a break from updating this site for a few months to focus on other things, and anyway, not much seemed to be happening on the CPC scene in terms of new releases. However, the last few days have seen a flurry of news, so I guess I ought to post something.

#CPCRetroDev 2017

31st October 2017 was the deadline to submit entries for this year's #CPCRetroDev contest. 29 entries were submitted, which is lower than the total of 34 entries in 2016, but the overall quality of the entries looks a lot better this year; many of last year's entries were incomplete and/or bugged. The awards ceremony will be held on the evening of Friday 10th November. The organiser ByteRealms has uploaded a playlist featuring 20-second video clips of all 29 entries.

Chibi Akuma(s): Episode 2: Confrontation!

Remember the 'bullet hell' shoot-'em-up Chibi Akuma(s): Episode 1 that was released right at the end of 2016? Well, Chibiko returned just in time for Hallowe'en in the follow-up, Chibi Akuma(s): Episode 2: Confrontation! Keith has said that Episode 2 is about twice as long as the first one, with five levels in total, and there are many extra features such as a two-player mode, on-screen dialogue that appears during gameplay, a two-player mode, unlockable achievements, and enhanced end-of-level boss battles if you have 256K of memory. Apparently this is the first Amstrad CPC game to take advantage of having this amount of memory!

Episode 2 can be downloaded from the Chibi Akuma website, where you will also find full instructions, screenshots, and a guide to all the characters who feature in the game. Just be aware that the content of the game may not be to everyone's taste; Keith provides plenty of warning about this!

If you like the Chibi Akuma(s) games, then you may also be interested in buying a poster from poly.play. The cost is €2.50 excluding shipping.

The Shadows of Sergoth

News of this Dungeon Master clone first appeared about four weeks ago. It's being developed by a French team led by Christophe Petit, and it looks very impressive indeed, with beautiful MODE 0 graphics. Christophe has uploaded a video to YouTube which shows the game in action, and you can also view some screens, and the background story to the game, at CPC-POWER.

Video preview of The Shadows of Sergoth on YouTube

Kitsune's Curse

Juan José Martínez has been working on a sequel to his previous release Golden Tail – a platform game that starred the ninja spy Kitsune. As with his previous games, it's looking very nice, and the gameplay is very similar to Golden Tail. You can follow the development of Kitsune's Curse on the CPCWiki forum and Twitter, where Juan regularly posts videos showing the game in progress.

Other news

  • Physical copies of Doomsday Lost Echoes, the excellent illustrated text adventure from Doomsday Productions, are now available to buy at poly.play. The cost is €20 for a version with two 3½″ discs, or €25 for a version with one 3″ disc and one 3½″ disc, excluding shipping. You can also buy an A3 size poster for €2.
  • The Mojon Twins presented a preview of their forthcoming game Ninjajar: The Lost Levels at Retro Zaragoza in September. The original Ninjajar game was released for the ZX Spectrum, but this new version will also be released for the CPC, and it should be available in a physical edition as well. Thanks to RetroManiac for this news.
  • The Mojon Twins also revealed a lovely mock-up of a cover inspired by Dinamic's game Phantis (known as Game Over II in the UK) on Twitter. Clearly it was inspired by this year's #CPCRetroDev contest, which offered bonus points to any game that included some sort of reference to Phantis, but I didn't see any submission from them...
  • Salvador Cantero revealed a short preview of a game called Robbie Strikes Back a while ago. It's based on Ultimate Play the Game's 1983 ZX Spectrum game Pssst! and it looks very colourful.
  • Tom et Jerry has released another conversion of an Apple II text adventure that was originally released by Froggy Software in 1986. The latest one is called La Java du Privé. You can download it from Tom et Jerry's site, and there is more comprehensive information about the game (including plenty of very colourful screenshots) at CPC-POWER. The game is entirely in French, though.
  • For the collectors among you, a special edition of La Aventura Original (a Spanish translation of Crowther and Woods' Colossal Cave Adventure) is being sold on eBay, with the consent of one of the original authors, Andrés Samudio. The game is lavishly packaged and features a new inlay and loading screen, a 48-page booklet about the history of the game, a postcard and an adventure planner. At the time of writing, no copies of the game are currently available for sale on eBay, but this listing includes several photos to show you what is included if more copies do reappear for sale. At €39.00 excluding shipping of €18.00 to the UK, it's too expensive for me – although it's actually a bargain considering the prices of most other CPC games for sale on eBay Spain!

E-mail: nich <AT> durge <DOT> org