7th January 2017 Rainbow Graphics has
awarded their CPC Game of the Year 2016
to Magica by Juan José Martínez, based on
polling by CPC fans. Congratulations to Juan for the award and for developing
such a fun little game! Personally, my CPC game of 2016 was
Imperial Mahjong by Cargosoft. Rhino's conversion of Pinball
Dreams also looks extremely impressive, but as only a preview version is
currently available, it shouldn't count in my opinion.
McKlain has released an album of 30 chiptunes that he
has composed for the CPC and Spectrum, entitled Basic 1.1 – Ready. A
Chiptune Compilation. Many of you should be familiar with his music, as he
has contributed tunes to games such as both Adiós a la Casta
episodes, Megablasters: Escape from Castle in the Clouds and Space
Moves, as well as several demos. You can
the album from Bandcamp.
Keith Sear has released a new version of Chibi
Akuma(s) which fixes a couple of bugs and speeds up the game slightly. You
can download the new version from
the game's website.
25th December 2016 As it's Christmas, CPC Game Reviews is pleased to bring you a little
Some of you may recall that
Cronosoft used to sell some text
adventures that were written by Jason Davis and originally published by WoW
Software during the early 1990s. I helped Simon Ullyatt, who runs Cronosoft, by
providing new loading screens and master copies of the new versions. Because
they were being sold commercially, Jason had requested that they were removed
from the NVG FTP site so they would no longer be freely available for
downloading. (At the time, NVG was the major download site for CPC games, and
CPCRulez didn't exist yet.)
However, the games have not been available for purchasing for
several years. Well, following some discussions with Simon Ullyatt and Jason
Davis, they are now freely available to download from NVG once more! Just click
on the loading screens below to download the corresponding game.
The Smirking Horror
Yarkon Blues II: Space Station Zebra
Here are links to reviews of all four games, in the order in
which they were released:
23rd December 2016 I have been given the privilege of playing a two-level preview version of
Chibi Akuma, the forthcoming shoot-'em-up from keith56, and it looks
pretty good! The game will require a CPC with 128K of memory. The game features
some humorous touches as well.
Some screenshots from the preview version are displayed
below. Many of you may already have seen what the first level looks like from
the author's message
on the CPCWiki forum and the game's website,
but the second level looks different and features different enemies – but
I don't want to reveal what the end-of-level boss is!
The level 1 boss
I have reviewed twelve games, all of which have been released
I wanted to review Sir Ababol II: The Ice Palace as
well, but it appears to be bugged and parts of the second level became
corrupted while I was playing it. Has anyone else experienced this issue?
The quantity of new games released in 2016 has amazed me,
and probably many of you as well. So much for my resolution at the start of the
year to "curtail my Amstrad CPC activities significantly"... It was going quite
well for the first half of the year, and then game after game was released and
I couldn't resist trying them all out.
Will 2017 be another great year for CPC gaming? Let's hope
so! In the meantime, I wish all CPC fans a Merry Christmas!
18th December 2016 A new version of CPCGamesCD has been released. CPCGamesCD is a CD-ROM
image that contains all the games on the NVG
FTP site, and it provides a useful front-end called
CPC Loader that enables you to browse
through the entire list of games and select which emulator to use to play them.
It also contains nearly 200 Amstrad PCW games. You can download a zipped ISO
file from the CPCGamesCD website;
the links are at the bottom of the page (the download from mega.nz is the best
one to use).
Screenshot of Chibi Akuma
CPCWiki forum member keith56 has announced that he is working
on a shoot-'em-up called Chibi Akuma. The game should be released in
January 2017 (i.e. next month), and it will use some of the Plus machine's
enhanced abilities. It will also feature up to 256 enemy bullets on the screen,
so it's going to be a pretty crazy shoot-'em-up! You can
the discussion on the CPCWiki forum or
visit the game's website.
Screenshot of Phoenix
3rd December 2016 Norbert Kehrer has released a conversion of the 1980 coin-op arcade game
Phoenix for the CPC. It's a shoot-'em-up with five levels and it is
influenced by Galaxian. The first four levels see you shooting formations
of alien birds which take it in turn to swoop down on you. If you reach the
fifth level, you have to destroy a mothership by repeatedly firing at it, which
slowly wears down its shield, until you hit the alien inside it. Two versions of
the game are provided; one with colourful MODE 0 graphics, and another with
higher resolution but less colourful MODE 1 graphics. You can download both
Juan J. Martínez's game Golden Tail has been
released on cassette, 3″ and 3½″ disc. You can buy copies of
the game from poly.play.
20th November 2016 Thanks mostly to #CPCRetroDev, a lot of new CPC games have been released
in the last few weeks, so this is going to be a fairly lengthy news update.
The results of the #CPCRetroDev 2016
announced earlier this month,
and if you click on the link, you can download each of the 34 entries
individually, or download all of them in one ZIP file.
I haven't played all of the entries, but of those I have
played, I was very impressed with Outlaws, which deserved to win overall.
I would have rated Dragon Attack second and Hire Hare third;
Dragon Attack is particularly original, and it's the first ever 'bullet
hell' shoot-'em-up on the CPC! I also think Ice Slider should have been
rated higher than it was.
Another game that caught my attention was Maze
Adventure. It's a 'dungeon crawl' style of role-playing game viewed from a
first-person perspective, in a similar manner to Bloodwych. It's quite
rare to see this type of game on the CPC, but unfortunately the gameplay is
frustratingly slow and the user interface is clumsy.
Screenshot of Doomsday Lost Echoes
Screenshot of Sir Ababol II: The Ice Palace
Doomsday Lost Echoes
Doomsday Productions have released
their text adventure Doomsday Lost Echoes. You can download the game from
their website (which looks very
professional indeed). The download also includes a very well presented and
comprehensive manual with many beautiful illustrations. You can also
download the artwork
in the form of icons and desktop wallpaper.
After playing it for a while (and thanks to the author for
helping me solve a puzzle that had me stuck for ages!), I can say that this is
one of the best text adventures to be released for the CPC, and the authors
deserve congratulations for their efforts. The pictures that accompany each
location are amazing and the game oozes atmosphere; if you've played
Orion Prime, the background story to Doomsday Lost
Echoes is very similar. If you can understand Spanish, the
latest issue of RetroManiac magazine
(issue 11) has a 'making of' article, starting from page 110.
Sir Ababol II: The Palace
After a hiatus of several years (their
last CPC game was released in 2011), The Mojon Twins are back with a new game,
Sir Ababol II: The Ice Palace. As with most of their previous releases,
it's a platform game in which you must climb six towers in the land of Freezia
and rescue eight princes and princesses who have been turned into bats by the
evil sorcerer Alastor. The game is loaded in several parts, and each part
(except the first one) requires a password to access it. You can find more
information about Sir Ababol II: The Ice Palace, and download the game,
from The Mojon Twins' website.
Screenshot of Nibiru
Following on from coming second in the
#CPCRetroDev 2016 contest with Hire Hare, CNGSoft has released a new
version of Frogalot, his entry from the 2015 contest. The updated version
features some minor improvements to the graphics, but the level layouts remain
the same as in the original version. CNGSoft has also written a
'making of' article on his
website, from where you can also download both versions of Frogalot.
Jose Javier García Aranda released a game called
Nibiru at the end of October. It is programmed mostly in BASIC, but it
uses his 8BP RSX library (also known as 8 Bits de Poder) to enhance the
capabilities of the CPC's BASIC. Visit the 8BP website
for more information and a link to download it.
29th October 2016 Well, 2016 is turning out to be a glorious year for new CPC games –
they just keep being released faster than I can keep up!
Rhino has released a preview version of
Pinball Dreams, and it looks stunning – as would be expected from
the author of Batman Forever,
one of the most impressive demos to be
released for the CPC. Currently only one of the four tables ('Beat Box') is
available to play, and it seems that no score is kept, but this is already
shaping up to be the best pinball game for the CPC! You can download
Adiós a la
Casta: Episode 2
Copies of Adiós a la Casta:
Episode 2 are now for sale
on 4MHz's website on 3″ disc, and are on offer at a reduced price of
€9.99 excluding postage and packaging. The game should be available as a
free download from tomorrow (30th October 2016). A preview version is currently
available and can be
downloaded from 4MHz's website,
but note that the game requires 128KB of memory.
Doomsday Productions has been working
on a text adventure for the last year called Doomsday Lost Echoes, and
after much playtesting, it's now nearly ready for release. They have produced a
trailer, which you can watch on their website.
The game has been developed using Professional Adventure Writer (PAW) and
features many beautifully drawn MODE 1 pictures, and it is scheduled for release
next Tuesday (1st November 2016). However, if you want to play it on a real
CPC, you're going to need 128KB of memory and either a 3½″ disc
drive or an HxC floppy emulator.
The team claims that Doomsday Lost Echoes will be of
the same standard as Magnetic Scrolls' famous adventures like
The Pawn and
The Guild of Thieves. I've been following the discussion on the CPCWiki forum
closely, and having seen some of the screenshots and other pictures on their
website, I'm confident it will be of a high standard.
The deadline for the #CPCRetroDev 2016 competition has passed and 34 games were submitted – two fewer than
last year's total of 36 games. The organiser ByteRealms has uploaded a
playlist showcasing all the games in action. Below is a selection of
screenshots taken from some of the best-looking games that have been submitted;
click on the screenshot to view the game in action on YouTube.
Amsthrees (Glasnost Corp)
Dragon Attack (Bitplane Techomantes)
Hire Hare (CNGSoft)
Ice Slider (EgoTrip)
Maze Adventure (Piterayo)
Outlaws (RetroBytes Productions)
Screenshot of Imperial Mahjong
15th October 2016 Cargosoft has released a new game called Imperial Mahjong. It's
based on the game of mahjong solitaire, which uses the same set of 144 tiles
that are used in the Chinese game of mahjong.
announced it in September 2015
and promised that it would use a new graphic mode on the CPC, but they would not
reveal any further details or screenshots. As their previous release,
Orion Prime, set new graphical standards, CPC fans knew
this wasn't just hype from Cargosoft.
So, after much anticipation, Imperial Mahjong is
finally here – and Julien Névo (Targhan) and Sylvestre Campin
(Supersly) have again developed a masterpiece! The screenshot on the right
really is taken from a CPC emulator – although Cargosoft
recommend that you run it on a real CPC, and most emulators unfortunately cannot
cope with the special graphic mode that the game uses (although it works with
WinAPE and WinCPC).
Mahjong solitaire games have been released on the CPC before,
but none have come close to matching the quality of this release! As you can see
from the screenshot, the graphics are astoundingly beautiful. You can download
Imperial Mahjong from Arkos'
website, and there is a
discussion thread on the CPCWiki forum.
Screenshot of Vector Vaults
Screenshot of Tower of Despair
Screenshot of Magica
Screenshot of Wolf/RPG Preview
8th October 2016 So after returning from a wonderfully relaxing holiday, I once again find
myself deluged with news of CPC games...
First up is a fast-paced arcade game
called Vector Vaults. The author, Alberto Rodriguez Martinez, intends to
release a series of games called the Hidden History Saga, and Vector
Vaults is the first game in the series. You control a spaceship and you have
to pilot it through a series of mazes, dodging walls and obstacles and
collecting batteries to replenish your constantly diminishing energy.
Vector Vaults may look primitive with its chunky,
vector-based graphics, but this is intentional, as it's a homage to the
Vectrex console, and the
simplistic graphics mean that the screen can be updated really quickly. It's an
exciting, difficult but addictive game with that "one more go" factor. You can
download Vector Vaults, and also purchase a physical edition for your
Tower of Despair
Spanish CPC user MiguelSky brings us
yet another conversion of an adventure game. This one was originally released by
Games Workshop for the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64 way back in 1984. It's a
two-part fantasy text adventure written using The Quill. Malmor, the
Demonlord of Darkness, has returned to the Tower of Despair, and you have been
given the task of going to the tower and defeating Malmor once and for all. You
can obtain more information about Towers of Despair from
ESP Soft's website.
Note that the links to download the game and the manual are currently not
working, but you can download
the game from NVG.
Juan J. Martínez has been
busy working on another new platform game called Magica. You are a
sorceress who has to collect bottles of potions that have been stolen by
various creatures. Each level consists of a single screen, and you can stun
enemies and then walk into them to retrieve your potions. Juan is going to try
to finish the game in time for the end of the
#CPCRetroDev 2016 competition
later this month. You can follow the progress of development on either the
or Juan's Twitter feed.
It has long been a dream for CPC users
to see a clone of Wolfenstein 3D on their machines. For years, the
closest thing we had to a working example was a rather stunning
demo by Richard Wilson.
However, Greek CPC user Optimus has been working, on and off, to program an
engine that can be used to develop a Wolfenstein-style dungeon
exploration game. He has decided to release a preview of his work so far, and
you can download
it from the CPCWiki forum and see it for yourself (the screenshot shown here
doesn't really do it justice). Whether it will ever be finished depends on his
motivation; as I know only too well, real life keeps getting in the way too
In my last update, I announced that
Rhino was planning to convert an Amiga game to the CPC. Well, that game is...
Pinball Dreams! The Spanish site RetroInvaders
made an announcement
a few days ago, and needless to say, the CPC community is getting excited by
the news, as the
discussion on the CPCWiki forum is proving. This tweet from
Un Pasado Mejor appears to show a couple of CPC screens of the actual game,
but unfortunately I can't verify their authenticity.
Defence title screen
Cyber-Chicken title screen
12th September 2016 The good news just keeps on coming! Here's the latest set of
Shining recently announced that he has
released a new game after three years of development. It's called
Defence, and it is the first 'tower defence' strategy game to be
released for the CPC. It's not a genre that I'm familiar with, and I've never
played any tower defence games before, but any new games for the CPC are to be
As well as a freeware edition, it will also be possible to
buy a personalised edition of the game – either a digital version (a DSK
file to use with emulators), or a physical copy of the game on disc. Visit
Shining's website to download the
freeware edition and get more information about the personalised editions, and
go to the CPCWiki
forum to discuss the game.
TFM has graciously allowed his game Cyber-Chicken to be downloaded
for free. The game was previously only available on cassette or disc, and only
115 copies were produced (you can see the nicknames of some of the people who
bought copies here). You can
download Cyber-Chicken from the official
Physical copies of
Elf, Heroes Rescue and The Return of Traxtor now available
Defecto Digital Studios' games,
Elf and Heroes Rescue,
can now be purchased
online. They are both available in either cassette or disc formats, with
prices ranging from between 9 and 13 euros (excluding postage) depending on the
format and style of box.
Juan J. Martínez's game The Return of Traxtor
is also available as a physical edition on cassette from the
store, with the CPC version of the game on one side, and the ZX Spectrum version
on the other – just like Mastertronic used to do with some of their
A new game from
One of the CPC's most talented
programmers, Rhino, has
on the CPCWiki forum that he is converting a well known Amiga game to the
CPC, and a preview should be released in October 2016. He claims that it will
be "the most technically advanced game on Amstrad so far, and probably the best
game on 8 bits". Given that Rhino is the genius behind the incredible Batman
Forever demo, it would be unwise to dismiss these claims lightly...
29th August 2016 After some discussion between EgoTrip, Missas and me, the rating for Missas'
review of A Prelude to Chaos has been reduced to 9 out of 10.
Screenshot of Golden Tail
Screenshot of Heroes Rescue
Screenshot of Kung Fu Guns
21st August 2016 It's been nearly two months since I last posted any news, but since my last
posting, several new Amstrad CPC games have been released.
Juan J. Martínez has released a
new platform game called Golden Tail. The Golden Tail is a magical
stone that has been broken into 30 pieces. You play a ninja spy called Kitsune,
and you must wander around looking for the pieces of the Golden Tail. One
rather nice innovation is that you can use Kõga Magic to become invisible
for very short periods of time, and while you are invisible, you can run faster
and jump higher. You can
download Golden Tail from
Javy Fernández of Defecto
Digital Studio has released the full version of Heroes Rescue. A preview
version of the game with six levels was released a few months ago, but the full
version has thirteen levels and features cartoon characters from Teenage Mutant
Ninja Turtles, The Simpsons and Marvel comics, who you must rescue. You can
Heroes Rescue from Defecto Digital Studio's site; click on the blue
button labelled "Descarga AMSTRAD CPC" towards the bottom of the page to
download it. Javy is planning to release a physical edition of the game as well.
Kung Fu Guns
is an annual competition where entrants have to program a game on old 8-bit or
16-bit hardware in one week. The team at ByteRealms set themselves a challenge
– to develop a beat-'em-up for the 2016 competition. In fact, they
developed their game Kung Fu Guns over a weekend – and they
achieved 5th place out of 20 entries!
In Kung Fu Guns, you play Sheriff Melissa Chase, the
'Red Hot Princess', who has arrived in the town of Dos Santos to rid it of
bandits. As the game was developed in such a short space of time, there are only
two levels, there's only one type of enemy, and it's very easy to complete, but
the author has stated that ByteRealms will probably release a more polished
version with additional features in the future. In the meantime, you can
Kung Fu Guns from NVG or from