30th April 2016
Missas has reviewed two games from last year's #CPCRetroDev competition:
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Introduction and FAQ
Text only version
List of games reviewed
List of advertisements
AMTIX! reviews list
Links to other CPC sites
30th April 2016
Advertisement for Sir Ababol II: The Ice Palace
24th April 2016
The special edition is dedicated to the #CPCRetroDev contest that was held last year. There are reviews of all 36 games, an interview with Fran Gallego (the organiser of the contest as well as the developer behind the CPCTelera library), and "making of" articles for some of the highest-ranking games in the contest (Space Moves, Frogalot, Top Top, Regreso al CPC and Junior!).
What intrigued me the most were the advertisements included in the magazine: Adiós a la Casta: Episode 1, Galactic Tomb, and... Sir Ababol II: The Ice Palace (see the image on the right). My limited knowledge of Spanish prevents me from confirming if this is just a spoof advertisement, but is it really possible that we may see a return of the Mojon Twins to the CPC after a hiatus of five years?
Video preview of Galactic Tomb on YouTube
23rd April 2016
The most impressive game that I learnt about is Galactic Tomb from ESP Soft. It's a shoot-'em-up with beautiful graphics, multi-directional scrolling and end-of-level bosses. A playable demo of the first level was available at Amstrad Eterno, and a YouTube video is also available, which you can also watch right here on CPC Game Reviews. Based on what I've seen in the video, this could be one of the best-looking and most ambitious games to be released for the CPC for several years!
The second game from ESP Soft is Linaje Real – a platform game with a mediaeval theme which is being programmed by GG. According to ESP Soft, the game has "scrolling so smooth that you'll have to see it to believe it". ESP Soft uploaded a YouTube video several months ago, so you can judge this claim for yourself, although the video doesn't have any sound.
Adiós a la Casta: Episode 1
Shortly before Christmas 2015, a beta version of Adiós a la Casta was released by 4MHz. Now they've released version 1.00, which you can download from their web site. It's a platform game in which you play a character called Pablender (inspired by the Spanish politician Pablo Iglesias) who must collect as many opposition votes and the votes of undecided people as possible, with the votes being represented by icons. The more votes collected, the easier it will be for Pablender to defeat the final boss Rodrigo Rata. I don't know anything about Spanish politics, but this is a very playable platform game with nice graphics and music which plays fairly similarly to most of the Mojon Twins' games.
Zombi Terror Reloaded
The final game to be announced is Zombi Terror Reloaded from a new development team called Bitzarro Games. It's a reworking of Kabuto Factory's game Zombi Terror which was released for several different formats. The game is a text adventure in the style of the Choose Your Own Adventure gamebooks that were popular in the 1980s, although you'll need to understand Spanish to be able to play it properly. You can download Zombi Terror Reloaded from Bitzarro Games' site.
If you missed all the action at Amstrad Eterno, you can get a taste of how the event went by watching this YouTube video from Toni Ortiz.
Screenshot of A Prelude to Chaos
27th March 2016
The game seems to be inspired by the Legend of Zelda series of games for Nintendo's NES console, and the aim is to collect 40 jewels scattered around a maze of screens. You can download it from the CPCWiki forum.
I have reviewed three games:
Missas has reviewed four games:
This latest batch of reviews means that CPC Game Reviews has now reviewed more than 1,900 games!
Video preview of CPC Bros. on YouTube
20th March 2016
A new contributor, Jorge Giner Cordero, has reviewed Akalabeth. (Yes, there is an unofficial CPC version of this famous game!)
Screenshot of Out of This World
8th March 2016
I was admittedly somewhat harsh in my criticism of Geco's previous conversion TVBALL, but he has definitely redeemed himself with Out of This World! You can download the game from the CPCWiki forum.
24th February 2016
Screenshot of Heroes Rescue
Video preview of Ghouls'n Goblins on YouTube
21st February 2016
Jonathan Cauldwell's Arcade Game Designer utility has proved quite popular on the ZX Spectrum for creating new games, but it's received relatively little attention on the CPC, which is a bit of a shame. However, Javy Fernández recently announced that he is developing a new platform game called Heroes Rescue using Arcade Game Designer. So far, he has released a playable demo with six levels, which you can download from Defecto Digital Studio's site. You can follow its progress on the CPCWiki forum.
I also recently came across a video on YouTube showing a work in progress of a conversion of Ghosts'n Goblins to the GX4000 console by Nemo Kantio. It's been in development for a long time but it's only come to my attention in the last couple of weeks. There's no indication of when it will be released (if ever), but nonetheless it's an interesting video to watch. It seems to make good use of the extra graphical features of the GX4000, and the graphics are definitely far superior to the official CPC release of Ghosts'n Goblins! The only strange thing is that the new game is entitled Ghouls'n Goblins; is this a mistake, or is it intentional?
Missas has reviewed two games:
Screenshot of Railways
Screenshot of TVBALL
6th February 2016
Firstly, an English version of Elf has been released. You can download it from NVG.
Trewdbal Productions is developing a conversion of Sid Meier's game Railroad Tycoon for the CPC, provisionally entitled Railways. The aim of Railroad Tycoon is to earn money by building a rail transportation network that transports passengers and goods from one place to another.
A preview version of Railways is available, and although you can't buy any trains, you can explore the map and lay tracks and build stations, which will give you a feel of how the game should eventually look as development progresses.
I have spent countless hours playing Transport Tycoon Deluxe (a fairly similar game to Railroad Tycoon) and its open source successor OpenTTD, so it was a real surprise to hear about an attempt to convert this style of game to the CPC! You can follow its progress on the CPCWiki forum.
A Hungarian fan of the Enterprise computer has converted a Breakout clone to the CPC. The original version was called Enterball, and it was also converted to the Videoton TV computer – a computer I had never heard of until now. I don't know what the specifications of this computer are, but the CPC conversion by Geco, entitled TVBALL, looks very Spectrum-like and there are some issues with the speed of the bat and ball. You can download TVBALL from the CPCWiki forum, but make sure you scroll down to get the latest version of the game!
Screenshot of Skool Daze
Screenshot of Jumping Jack Sinclair ZX Spectrum Emulator
Screenshot of Elf
31st January 2016
The first one is Skool Daze, which is widely (and in my opinion rightly) regarded as an all-time classic; I have fond memories of playing it, and its sequel Back to Skool, on a Spectrum. It was actually released at the end of 2015, although as usual, I've only got round to writing about it now! You play a boy named Eric, and you must retrieve your school report from the headmaster's office by finding the four-letter combination to the safe. However, you also have to attend lessons and avoid getting lines from the teachers; get 10,000 lines and you're expelled!
The Spectrum version has been completely disassembled and meticulously documented, and Spanish CPC user Joseman took up the challenge of converting it to the CPC. Naturally, it lacks the colour of the Spectrum version, and the default colour scheme is hideous, but thankfully there is the option to change the colours to something easier on the eye. You can download the CPC version of Skool Daze from NVG. Now, does anyone want to try converting Back to Skool to the CPC?
The second game is from 40Crisis, who has already emulated several Spectrum games on the CPC, like Ant Attack, Jetpac and Maziacs. His latest conversion is Jumping Jack, which was originally released in 1983 for the ZX Spectrum 16K by Imagine Software and was featured in a 'making of' article in issue 146 of Retro Gamer magazine a few months ago. It's a very simple platform game in which you must jump up through moving holes in the platforms to reach the top of the screen, while dodging enemies that move from left to right. It's initially quite addictive but it soon becomes very frustrating indeed.
Jumping Jack can be downloaded from the CPCWiki forum. However, this download doesn't actually include the game itself; instead, it contains a program to generate the CPC version of the game from the ZX Spectrum version. Therefore, you will also need to download a TAP or TZX file of the Spectrum version, which can easily be found on World of Spectrum.
The third game is a Spanish text adventure called Elf. It's an unofficial adaptation of an Amiga and MS-DOS arcade game that was released by Ocean Software in 1991. Yes, I thought it sounded a bit odd that an arcade game could be adapted as a text adventure, but there you go. It contains lots of digitised pictures and looks quite impressive, but obviously you'll need to understand Spanish to be able to play it properly. However, the author Javy Fernández has stated that an English version is to follow. You can download Elf from NVG.
Sadly, the Push'n'pop website, which was a focus for the CPC demoscene community and also hosted an interview with the organiser of the #CPCRetroDev competition that I linked to just two months ago, has disappeared from the Internet. The articles that were on the site have been donated to CPC-POWER for their archives, which will be a great relief to many CPC users out there, but I can't find the aforementioned interview on CPC-POWER yet.
I have decided that I am going to curtail my Amstrad CPC activities significantly this year. I've realised over the last few years that I have spent far too much time with the CPC, mostly maintaining the NVG archive, trying to keep it as tidy as possible, and uploading new versions of games – and it's still nowhere near as tidy as I would like it to be!
I will definitely not be abandoning the CPC scene completely – I've been part of it for 20 years – but it's become too much of an obsession and it was increasingly taking over my life. I will not be taking down NVG and CPC Game Reviews, but don't expect to see these sites being updated frequently any more (not that I was reviewing many games for CPC Game Reviews anyway, admittedly).
26th December 2015
24th December 2015
Missas has reviewed one game:
E-mail: nich <AT> durge <DOT> org