CPC GAME REVIEWS - by Nicholas

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6th February 2016
I may have reduced my CPC activities (and thanks very much to those of you who have e-mailed me with messages of support for everything I've done over the years), but I'm still checking the CPCWiki forum regularly, and there are still plenty of new releases and games being developed!


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 team of Hungarian programmers have converted a Breakout clone to the CPC. The original version for the Enterprise computer 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, 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!

31st January 2016
Three new CPC games have been released recently, two of which are conversions of ZX Spectrum games.

Skool Daze

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?

Jumping Jack

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.

RIP Push'n'pop

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 (see entry below), 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.

And finally...

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
CPC4eva is back and he has reviewed fourteen games:

24th December 2015
Happy Christmas, everyone! I have reviewed five games:

Missas has reviewed one game:

28th November 2015
Following on from writing Space Pest Control as part of the 2015 #CPCRetroRev Game Creation Contest, Juan J. Martínez has converted his Spectrum game The Return of Traxtor to the CPC. It's a puzzle game in which you must match three or more coloured blocks to make them disappear. Blocks are constantly appearing at the top of the screen and pushing the other blocks downwards. You can download The Return of Traxtor from Juan's site, usebox.net.

3rd November 2015
The Push'n'pop site has a fascinating interview with the organiser of #CPCRetroDev about the origins of the contest, which is well worth reading.

2nd November 2015
All 35 entries – and one other entry that was disqualified – are now available to download from the #CPCRetroDev site in both CDT and DSK format.

1st November 2015
The results of the 2015 #CPCRetroDev Game Creation Contest were announced yesterday. This is the third year that it has been running, and thanks to the increased publicity the 2015 contest received within the wider CPC community, a record 35 games were submitted to the competition! A total of €900 of prizes was offered, and there were two main categories (BASIC, for games written entirely in BASIC, and PRO, for all other games), as well as two 'special mentions'. The verdicts of the jury are:

BASIC category

  • 1st: Regreso al CPC (Antonio Corpas) – €100 prize
  • 2nd: Junior! (MiguelSky) – €50

PRO category

  • 1st: Space Moves (Toni Ramírez) – €300
  • 2nd: Frogalot (CNGSoft) – €150
  • 3rd: Top Top (Rantan Games) – €75

Special mentions

  • Technical achievement: Frogalot (CNGSoft) – €125
  • Originality: Mas to the Past (Antrax CPC) – €100

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees!

Only a few of the entries have been released so far, and my understanding is that the organisers will release and publicise each entry individually over the coming weeks. However, some authors have decided not to wait and have already made their entries available for downloading (click on the names of each game below to download them):

In the meantime, you can find more details (in Spanish) of the nominations and results, as well as screenshots of all 35 entries, at RetroManiac.

In other news, Eric Safar has released a few screenshots of his forthcoming adventure Athanor 2: La Légende des Hommes-Oiseaux, the sequel to Athanor which was released last year. So far, the game looks very impressive! You can keep up to date with its progress by visiting Safar Games.

As it was Hallowe'en very recently, I had hoped to review a few horror-themed text adventures, but in the end, I only had time to look at one of them:

Finally, Missas has reviewed two games:

2nd October 2015
Morri has released a new CPC game called Let's Go! It's a clone of the mobile platform game Relic Rush which has been written using CPC Basic 3 and a variety of other tools. It's a very simple game; a pink blob wanders left and right and climbs and descends ladders, but the only way you can control it and stop it moving is to hold down the SPACE bar or the Fire button on the joystick. You can download Let's Go! from NVG.

A video showing an early preview of a version of Nintendo's Super Mario Bros. for the CPC has been uploaded to YouTube. Gianpaolo Ingegneri is the person behind the preview, and there's a brief interview in both English and Spanish on the RetroManiac blog. The preview currently only shows the very first level scrolling endlessly, but it looks promising – although I suspect that Nintendo won't be happy if they find out about it!

Spanish CPC users may also be interested to learn of a new text adventure called Elf which is being developed by Defecto Digital Studios for both the CPC and the PC. It's based on the platform game released by Ocean Software in 1991. Visit Defecto Digital Studio's site for screenshots and a YouTube video. Of course, the game is in Spanish, but it looks very nicely presented, and there are digitised graphics for each location.

I have reviewed seven games:

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