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Page 1: Fairlight - Fiendish Freddy's Big Top o' Fun
Page 2: The Fifth Axis - Fire!
Page 3: Fire and Forget - Five-a-Side Footy
Page 4: Five a Side Soccer - Flyspy
Page 5: F1 Tornado Simulator - Football Manager World Cup Edition
Page 6: Forbidden Planet - 4 Soccer Simulators
Page 7: The Fourth Protocol - Frogalot
Page 8: Frogger - F-16 Fighting Falcon
Page 9: Fugitif - Future Shock
Screenshot of Forbidden Planet

Forbidden Planet

(Appeared on an Amstrad Action covertape)

(Design Design, 1986)

The Evil Lord wants you to collect several parts of a message that he has left on the Forbidden Planet. The planet is heavily guarded with laser defences which fire at you, and there are also many plasma tunnels (basically, hollow rectangles) through which you must pass, or your ship's energy will be depleted. There are also 'dislocations' which teleport you to another area of the planet. It's a 3D space shoot-'em-up which is very fast, but actually it's a truly awful game; steering the ship using the map is very inaccurate, and your energy depletes so fast that you don't stand a chance of surviving for more than five minutes. As Amstrad Action discovered, entering swear words into the high score table is more fun than playing the game itself.

See also: Dark Star.

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Screenshot of The Forest at World's End

The Forest at World's End

(Interceptor Software, 1985)

Princess Mara has been captured by the evil wizard Zarn, and you have been sent to the forest to rescue her. However, many foes lurk within the forest. This adventure game is actually a bit easy, although there are several confusing mazes, and the exits from each room aren't logical – for instance, you can go north at the start, but to get back to the starting room, you have to go west! The vocabulary is also rather limited, but this isn't too much of a problem, and the graphics, while reasonable, aren't quite up to the standard of Interceptor's other adventures.

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Screenshot of Forestland

Forestland

(Classic Quests, 1987)

As you are sleeping, you dream about being on a forest path... then you wake, and find that you are now on that path. You've entered some sort of fantasy world – Forestland. This is a text adventure which uses most of the clichés that are to be found in any standard text adventure – dark places which require a torch, doors to unlock, treasure to be found, and a complex maze. Despite the plot, the adventure is little more than a treasure hunt, and although I seem to be criticising it very harshly, it's actually not too bad – at least, if you're a novice adventurer. The HELP command provides clues at appropriate places to help you. Experienced text adventure fans won't find it much of a challenge, though.

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Screenshot of For Gold or Glory

For Gold or Glory

(Alternative Software, 1988)

The third and last of Charles Sharp's sports-themed GAC text adventures sees you at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, as the coach for the women's javelin team. For some reason, Britain's two best female javelin throwers, Fatima Sanderson and Tessa Whitbread, have been performing poorly since they arrived at the Hotel Olympus. Has their food been poisoned or drugged? Well, those Lithuatvians look suspicious, and you've got only three days to solve the mystery... Thankfully, this is a somewhat easier game to get to grips with than the other sports-themed text adventures that I mentioned earlier, although the parser is still limited and you will occasionally have to enter exact combinations of words to achieve the correct results, which is rather annoying.

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Screenshot of Forgotten Worlds

Forgotten Worlds

(US Gold, 1989)

The Emperor Bios and his minions have laid waste to the cities, turning them into forgotten worlds. You have returned to the cities and have to destroy the Emperor's minions and three monsters he has created. You have a jet pack at your disposal, so you can fly all over the screen and manoeuvre swiftly to avoid hails of rockets and missiles. You can also pick up coins and buy some power-ups. This is a very good shoot-'em-up, boasting colourful graphics and blistering action. It takes time to work out how to control your character, but once you master it, you'll really like the game.

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Screenshot of Formula One

Formula One

(CRL, 1985)

There are lots of Formula 1 racing games on the CPC, but Formula 1 management games are very rare. Up to six players can play as you battle it out to win the World Championship. You get to choose your team, which drivers to hire, and your sponsors. Before each race, you can spend money on improving both cars, and you must also choose which tyres to run with. The races are fun to watch, but you do have some involvement in them, as you have to get one of your mechanics to change the tyres and fix the car in pit stops! The graphics are mediocre and the sound basically consists of rather nice engine noises, but if you're a Formula 1 fan, you'll probably enjoy this game immensely.

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Screenshot of Formula 1 Simulator

Formula 1 Simulator

(Mastertronic, 1985)

Qualify and race your car around any one of ten Grand Prix circuits. You'll first have to do a qualifying lap before actually racing against the other cars. You can choose whether to use automatic or manual gears, but if you use manual gears, make sure you don't over-rev the engine and blow it up! One thing you unfortunately can't choose is the weather, which usually ends up being wet, thus making the car more difficult to control. The game hasn't stood the test of time, though; the cars are just black silhouettes and there is no scenery of any sort, and the title tune is grating.

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Screenshot of Forteresse

Forteresse

(French)

(Loriciels, 1987)

Lord Angkor's beautiful daughter, the 22-year-old princess Gwendoline, has been kidnapped and locked away in a fortress. Can a brave warrior such as yourself rescue her? This is a graphic adventure which is very easy indeed to get into. Gwendoline is wearing a suit of armour, and you must find padlocks to remove the armour one piece at a time. Once you have found all of them, Gwendoline will be revealed in all her beauty... What struck me most was the quality of the graphics; each of the dozens of locations is represented by a beautiful, full colour, digitised picture. Hardened fans of French adventures might not like the relative simplicity of this game – there are only six types of objects to be collected and only a small set of commands which are represented by icons – but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Screenshot of 4×4 Off-Road Racing

4×4 Off-Road Racing

(Epyx, 1988)

Can you survive a gruelling endurance race across four courses of inhospitable terrain? You'll need to buy a suitably tough 4×4 truck (there are four models to choose from) and all the parts you think you'll need for the long journey ahead – but space and money are limited. Throughout the race you'll have to dodge obstacles and occasionally stop to repair your truck. Hopefully you brought enough spare parts with you! The graphics are OK, although the palettes for some of the courses are a bit strange. There's a nice tune on the title screen, but the sound effects are mostly limited to the drone of your truck's engine. The courses are long and you have to pace yourself and not drive flat out all the time. If you're looking for action-packed racing then this game isn't for you.

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Screenshot of 4 Soccer Simulators

4 Soccer Simulators

(Code Masters, 1989)

This is a compilation of four soccer games – 11-a-Side Soccer, Indoor Soccer, Street Soccer, and Soccer Skills (a training game). There's not much difference between the first three, other than the rules and the scenery. The training game is a joystick-waggling game where you take part in various training programmes and complete them in the shortest time possible, and not surprisingly, it's dull. The other three are OK, and there are three difficulty levels for each. You can also play with up to three other people, although having four people crowded around a keyboard makes things awkward!

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