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The Race
(Players, 1990)

Race your high-speed sports car along six long tracks and reach the finish before the clock runs out. The track is full of obstacles, and although there are arrows to tell you which direction to go, you'll still need quick reflexes, and memorising the course is essential if you want to reach the later tracks, as the time limit is quite tight. You can also use some turbo boost to increase your speed, although your supply is limited on each track. The graphics are OK, although the backgrounds can be garish, and the chequered background on the third track is sore on the eyes. The music is mediocre as well. Despite this, it's not a bad game, although it is lacking in originality.

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7

The Race Against Time
(Codemasters, 1988)

Released to coincide with the Sport Aid '88 charity event, this arcade adventure sees you controlling Sudanese athlete Omer Khalifa and attempting to light six cauldrons and raise six flags in each of the world's continents. Once this is achieved, you must go to the United Nations building to light the final flame. You really are in a race against time, as the clock is ticking constantly, and if your time runs out, the game ends. You will need to find objects to pass some obstacles, and you must also avoid getting wet! This is a reasonably good game with well drawn graphics, and it also includes a rendition of Peter Gabriel's Games Without Frontiers. However, it's too easy to die accidentally, and the inclusion of a few 'mazes' with a mass of interlinked exits can make it a rather frustrating game to play.

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7

Radius
(Players, 1987)

There are plenty of horizontally scrolling space shoot-'em-ups around, and this is not one of the better ones. Pilot your spacecraft through moons, rocks and space dust to reach the other side of the galaxy, shooting and dodging the waves of aliens on your way. There's little to be said about the graphics and the sound effects, but three things let this game down; the slow scrolling, the ineffectiveness of your laser (which means that there's less shooting and more dodging) and the total lack of power-ups to make things a bit more interesting.

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4

Rad Ramp Racer
(Mastertronic, 1989)

This was one of many games to be released at a time when both BMX riding and skateboarding were popular, but this combines both activities. You can either play against the computer or a friend as you perform stunts on three courses and attempt to score as many points as you can within two minutes. And, erm, that's it. Actually, it isn't – there's a course designer included as well, but it's really awkward to use. You'll see all of the game within ten minutes, but at least there's some brilliant high-energy music to listen to as a bonus.

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5

Radzone
(Mastertronic, 1986)

Some time ago, a nuclear reactor on a colony on another planet exploded and contaminated the entire landscape with radioactive material. You have been sent to clear the mess and turn each sector into a 'safe zone' by collecting tokens. This game features some very odd mutated creatures and a wide variety of puzzles, as most of the tokens are in fairly inaccessible places on each sector. Despite the nice graphics and some stonking music, the game is difficult and the character you control can be quite awkward to get him to do what you want.

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5

Raid!!!
(US Gold, 1985)
Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard

The Soviets have launched several nuclear missiles, aimed at major US cities. As Squadron Commander of the US Defense Space Station, your goal is to reach and destroy the launch sites, then infiltrate and sabotage the Soviet Defense Center. This early wargame features average sound and graphics but several different action scenes. As in Beach Head, you mustn't lose too many lives in the first mission or your chances of completing the game will fade away. The game is rather difficult, even on the easiest level. The first screen, in which you have to take the planes off the space station, is really frustrating and will cost you many lives. However, the following missions are great.

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6

Rainbow Islands
(Ocean, 1989)

Bub and Bob are exploring the Rainbow Islands and must defeat the guardians on each one, before encountering Doh on the seventh and final island. You use rainbows to kill monsters and also to climb on, to reach the top of each level before the tide comes in! Lots of bonuses are to be found, and if you collect all seven gems, you'll get a mega bonus. This game is everything a platform game should be. With amazingly colourful and cheerful graphics and oh-so-cute sound effects and music, and the sheer amount of power-ups and bonuses scattered on each level, you won't forget this one in a hurry.

See also: Bubble Bobble.

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10

Rally Cross
(Anco, 1989)

This is an overhead racing game which can be played by one or two players. Four rally cars race each other around six tracks, and you must complete eight laps before the other competitors; failure to do this means you don't qualify for the next track and the game is over. In fact, it's quite likely that you will never qualify for the next track without cheating. Your car is extremely difficult to control, even at moderate speeds; it behaves as if it was driving on ice! Meanwhile, the other competitors drive perfectly without ever crashing once. It's a shame, because the graphics are quite impressive (although all four cars are the same colour) – but there are many games of this type, and this is certainly not one of the best of the bunch.

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4

Rally Driver
(Hill MacGibbon, 1986)

In this simulation, you are taking part in a rally which consists of three stages. You'll have to act as both pilot and navigator, and read the supplied map carefully in order to plan the shortest route. Each stage has several time controls, where you must stop and enter two letters correctly. These letters are marked on boards which appear on the side of the road just before the time control, and you'll need to slow down to read them. You'll also need to watch out for various other hazards. The navigational aspect of this game is nice, but controlling the car is a nightmare, particularly in wet conditions (which is often the case). You'll crash your car and receive time penalties with monotonous regularity, so qualifying for the next stage is just too difficult.

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4

Rally Simulator
(Zeppelin, 1988)

Don't be misled by the word 'simulator' in this title – this game is about as far removed from reality as it can be. The aim is to complete five laps of the track, but you're racing against four other cars, and if you finish last on any of the laps, you'll have to start all over again. The game is viewed from overhead, and the cars look more like toys – and they behave as if they were driving on ice! Initially, it's great fun as you try to get used to the controls and screech around the tight corners, but you'll probably lose interest when you realise that completing more than two laps of the track without coming last is too difficult.

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6

Rally II
(Amsoft/Loriciels, 1985)

This is one of the earlier racing games where you have to beat the clock to complete ten stages, and you'll certainly know it when you look at the crude graphics and lack of scenery. It's a really simple game – just avoid the cars and negotiate the bends properly. The first four stages shouldn't pose much of a problem; it's when you come to the fifth stage, which is set at night, that the cars become almost invisible. Each stage is much the same as the last one and the other cars are always the same. The facility to edit and save your own tracks doesn't interest me, either.

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5

RAM
(Topo Soft, 1990)

A spy who was carrying out a mission in the city of Chernovska has gone missing. His last transmission was "RAM", which is believed to be a codename for a secret operation that threatens world peace. As agent FOX, your mission is to enter Chernovska and steal a prototype aircraft that the enemy has developed. You are armed with a machine gun and a supply of grenades, and you must battle hordes of enemy soldiers and artillery. You begin with ten lives, but you'll lose them quickly. It can be tricky to kill some of the soldiers; grenades strangely don't seem to have much effect on them! Jumping on to platforms is also annoyingly difficult and you can fall off easily if you're not placed in exactly the right position. The graphics are beautifully rendered and very colourful, but the game plays at a very slow pace and the difficulty level is too high.

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4

Rambo: First Blood Part II
(Ocean, 1986)
Reviewed by Chris Lennard

Rescue the American POWs from Vietnamese slave camps in this cash-in of the very mid-80s Cold War, gung-ho, highly nationalistic and violent Stallone-vehicle film of extremely dubious morals. Run around the jungle using the selection of weapons at your disposal killing the swarms of foreign soldiers intent on killing you, in what is a multi-scrolling top view shoot-'em-up. Bonus weapons can be picked up and used to amusing effect to devastate the local scenery and enemy encampments. It's basically a poor relative of superior examples of the same genre such as Commando and Ikari Warriors, lacking their originality and gameplay. Music and graphics are nice enough but it's only worth playing if you like this type of game.

See also: Rambo III.

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6

Rambo III
(Ocean, 1988)
Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard

After having freed the last GIs jailed in Vietnam, Rambo decides to make a little trip to Afghanistan. The film was relatively good (provided you like action and you don't want to use your brain) but the game is better! First, you have to find several items in a base full of soldiers. Be careful not to trigger mines or alarms. This part is a classical adventure/action game, which involves much killing and a good hand-drawn map to find the way out. The graphics here are really good, though they lack colour. But once you're out, you can play a great Operation Wolf-like game, in which you must shoot soldiers, helicopters and tanks. Two great games in one; it's nearly too much!

See also: Rambo: First Blood Part II.

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9

Rampage
(Activision, 1988)

Ralph, George and Liz have been eating contaminated hamburgers and have turned into giant hairy monsters (I hope BSE won't have the same effects), and they're on the rampage. Up to three players can take part as they attempt to demolish 50 American cities and raze skyscrapers to the ground, terrifying the inhabitants. However, the police and the army are out to stop you! This game is wonderful, with colourful graphics and excellent sound effects, and it's so much fun to ease your stress. It's even better with three players, although the controls are a bit awkward, and the tune is irritating.

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9

Ramparts
(Go!, 1987)
Reviewed by Chris Lennard

A rehash of the more popular classic Rampage which was released at about the same time as this game; you aren't faced with the choice of mutant monsters, but in its place the duller one of ugly looking mediaeval knights. Set in the Middle Ages, you must proceed to destroy stone castles of various shapes, colours and sizes by climbing up their towers and using your knight in shining armour to knock them down with his fists. Naturally, the castle's inhabitants don't take kindly to your demolition derby and sap your energy by attacking you. Food bonuses boost your health, while rescuing various damsels in distress boosts your score. A second player can also join in on the action. An unoriginal game, that pales in comparison with its more illustrious counterpart.

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5

Ranarama
(Hewson, 1987)
Appeared on AA covertape

Mervyn was messing about with some spells and has turned himself into a frog, and now he has to conquer eight dungeons, each containing eight levels. He can cast spells, but to do this (and to survive) he has to tackle the warlocks and necromancers wandering the dungeons and grab some runes off them. This involves rearranging some letters within a tight time limit so that they spell 'Ranarama'. There are also hordes of other monsters waiting for Mervyn! This game involves a lot of exploration, and there is that something that makes it really fascinating for me. It's a bit difficult to get the hang of at first, but as you keep playing it and explore more of the dungeons, you'll soon love it. In fact, it's one of my favourite games for the CPC.

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10

Rasputin
(Firebird, 1986)

The Spirit of Rasputin must be destroyed! His power comes from the Jewel of the Seven Planets, but to reach the jewel, you must neutralise eight spells that are cast in Rasputin's name. You must enter each of the dimensional labyrinths, collect all the spell boxes in it, and destroy the creature that appears. The spells that need to be neutralised take the form of stones inscribed with runes, but they are heavily guarded, and the only way to obtain them is to use the Eyes of Heaven spell which matches the colour of the room it is in. The story is not quite as confusing as it sounds, but it is a frustrating game to play. The graphics are viewed in pseudo-3D, and it's tricky to make sense of the layout of the room, and the controls are awkward as well. All of the CPC magazines rated this game highly when it was originally released, but I can't see why.

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5

Rastan
(Imagine, 1988)
Reviewed by Chris Lennard

Horrible monsters courtesy of evil King Karg have overrun the fair kingdom of Maranna and only its buffed up sword-wielding ruler Rastan can clean it up in this hack-'n'-slash platformer arcade conversion (rip-off of a certain Robert E. Howard character called Conan the Barbarian). Sporting only a loincloth and a large sword (oo-er!) you guide him through six levels of barren and perilous landscapes on his way to the castle dispensing justice on any passing fiend whilst avoiding the lava pits, fatal precipices, and exploring underground caves. Power-ups strengthen our hero and a range of more destructive sharp weapons can be acquired and utilised. Good looking solid action with lots of guts and gore and nice sound effects.

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9

Raster Runner
(Mastertronic, 1990)

This is a Tron clone, and it's fast. You can play with either another person or the computer, which has three skill levels. The winner is the first player to win nine rounds. You should be aware that you can press the fire button to tunnel through the trails left by both players up to three times during each round, and you'll need to know this to beat the computer even on the easy skill level. The graphics are nothing special, although the music is quite good, and I love that warping sound that you hear throughout the game. It'll take some quick reflexes and a lot of practice to beat the computer, but there's really not much of a game in there.

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6

Rasterscan
(Mastertronic, 1987)

A spaceship is stranded somewhere in the galaxy and is in danger, and as a spherical droid, you've got to repair it – and your previous role was to repair toasters. You'll also have to open doors to get to certain areas of the ship by solving puzzles first; there are eight blocks arranged in an octagon, and you have to swap the colours about until all of them are yellow. It's nowhere near as easy as it sounds, and once you've started the puzzle, you can't exit from it until you've completed it successfully. The digitised graphics may be impressive, and the music may be absolutely brilliant, but most of the puzzles give Rubik's cube a run for its money.

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5

Rat Connection
(MBC, 1988)

Waking up after a particularly wild night, you remember that your secretary has gone missing, and you must find her – but not before you find your clothes and get dressed to face the sleazy streets and citizens of Rat City. This is a text adventure game created with The Quill, and frankly, it's very disappointing indeed. The text is extremely brief, and hardly any of the objects that you will need to search more closely are even mentioned – so you need to look at the pictures or guess the names of the objects. As an example, to find your clothes, you must search your bath; however, neither the text nor the picture mention a bath. The pictures are fairly well drawn, although everything is very grey and gloomy, but the difficulty level is very frustrating indeed and put me off completely.

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3

Rath-tha
(Positive, 1989)

Many aeons into the future, the human race built a long tube that absorbed all of the rubbish that was generated by the planets in the system. However, one planet, T'ufo, is notorious for its dirtiness, and has sent a ship called Rath-tha to destroy the tube. You have to guide a spaceship along the tube, take it into outer space, and ultimately reach Rath-tha and blast it to smithereens. This is an average vertically scrolling shoot-'em-up. It's a blatant Spectrum port, so the graphics lack colour, and the scrolling is slow as well. Despite this, it's not that bad, and it's not as difficult as some shoot-'em-ups I could name; I managed to reach the third stage out of four after a few attempts. The music on the menu is terrible, though!

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6

The Real Ghostbusters
(Activision, 1989)

Based on the TV cartoon series rather than the films, the Ghostbusters team must blast their way through ten levels, each one infested with all manner of ghoulish creatures. Killing them releases ghosts which you can suck up with your proton beam. Bonus items can also be collected – one of which summons the help of the Ghostbusters' mascot Slimer, who will hover around you and assist you greatly in killing any nearby monsters. The animation and movement are rather jerky, and the choice of colours makes everything look a bit drab, but despite this, the game is enjoyable to play, and most players shouldn't have many problems completing the first few levels. There's a nice rendition of the familiar theme tune on the menu as well.

See also: Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters II.

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7

Realm
(Firebird, 1986)

The Solar System's Planetary Orbiting Co-Ordinator has malfunctioned and all the planets are out of alignment. A droid called XR3 has been sent into the Co-Ordinator, which is actually an enormous maze. You must explore it, find the nine planets, and place them around the Sun. Although there are no enemy aliens or robots in the maze, there are traps which will catch you out if you're not careful. Signposts will allow you to access new areas, but you will usually need to search the maze thoroughly to find the new passageway. Crowns can also be collected for bonus points. The graphics are simple, and the scrolling is very smooth, but the sheer size and emptiness of the maze makes this a very dull game indeed, even for the most die-hard puzzle fans.

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3

The Real Stunt Experts
(Alternative, 1989)

Motion Picture Productions are making two new films and require you to play the part of a stuntman in three scenes from these films. In the first part, you must rescue some people trapped in a burning building and defuse some bombs. In the second part, you're in a car and have to collect rockets dropped by a helicopter while leaping over buses and barrels while dodging other obstacles. You're in a helicopter for the third and final part in which you just shoot other helicopters and dodge obstacles. It's pretty average stuff, really, and the graphics aren't anything special. The tune is good, though.

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5

Rebelstar
(Firebird, 1987)

There are actually three Rebelstar games, and it's a real shame that this is the only one that was released for the CPC. The Rebelstar Raiders are planning an ambush on Moonbase Delta to destroy five laser defences and the moonbase's central computer, ISAAC. This is a turn-based strategy game where you must think tactically as to how you are going to move your forces and kill the droid guards, without your own forces being shot and killed. There are eight difficulty levels, and even though there is only one mission (in contrast to Laser Squad, by the same programmer, which has five), you'll come back to it again and again – especially if you can find a human opponent to play against!

See also: Laser Squad.

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9

Reckless Rufus
(Alternative, 1992)

Rufus has been caught as a stowaway on a spaceship and has been ordered by the captain to collect some diamonds from the nearby planet of Killey. Needless to say, this isn't easy. Each level consists of a single screen with some blocks and lots of empty space, and Rufus must find some way of bridging the gaps between sections by laying some blocks, while also collecting the diamonds and avoiding the monsters – and it's mostly the monsters which make this make so annoying. They move unpredictably, and crash into you when you're not expecting them to, and worse, Rufus can only fire one bullet at a time. The graphics are nothing special and the animation is rather jerky, but it would still be a satisfactory game were it not for the behaviour of the monsters.

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5

Red Heat
(Ocean, 1989)

Ivan Danko is hunting down the Russian drug baron, Viktor Rostavili. The film saw Danko (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger) teaming up with the Chicago cop Art Ridzik. In this game, he's nowhere to be seen; it's four levels of pure violence as Danko beats up anyone and everyone in his path. You can collect bonus coins along the way, which may give you extra energy or take you into one of several sub-games you can play. Beat-'em-ups aren't my thing, anyway, and even hardened fans may well be put off by the dull graphics, the tiny screen size that is used, and the game's agonisingly slow pace.

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5

Red LED
(Starlight, 1987)

Three ZMX battle-droids must explore dozens of isometric landscapes which are arranged on a grid in the form of a hexagon. Your aim is to create a link from the left side of the hexagon to the right, by collecting all of the energy pods on certain landscapes. You can choose which battle-droid to send into action on each landscape; each is supposed to have its own characteristics, but in practice, they all behave fairly similarly. There are lots of enemies to battle against, and you must be careful not to fall off the edge of the landscapes, otherwise you'll lose precious time – and with only 60 minutes to create the link, you'll need every second! This is a highly challenging and quite engrossing game with colourful graphics. It's easy to learn but tough to master.

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8

Red Scorpion
(Quicksilva, 1987)

You have been sent by the Terran Confederation Star Commandos on a mission to the Bombyx Moons to defeat the evil Necrons, who are mining the moons to obtain the valuable mineral Talanite. Your Death Scorpion is equipped with several types of weapon and has four different visual modes, each of which allows you to see certain objects that would otherwise be hidden. You must also be careful not to shoot civilian Bombyx targets, otherwise you will be charged with war crimes! What could have been a fairly straightforward 3D shoot-'em-up is instead a slow and overly complex affair. There are lots of keypresses to be memorised, and the system for destroying incoming Necron missiles (where you must find the correct wave pattern in order to destroy them) is very cumbersome and detracts from the action.

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4

Reflex
(Players, 1987)

A Breakout clone with 50 zones but a difficulty level that's so high that it's more than likely that you will only see the first three. Become a Reflex Rider and destroy all the bricks (or 'grid components' as the game calls them) in each zone. Alternatively, you can collect the exit bonus if it appears, and there are other bonus icons which can be collected. Your reflex capsule (otherwise known as the bat) has a limited amount of power which also acts as the number of lives you have; using the turbo on your capsule, or the laser, if you've collected the appropriate bonus icon, decreases your power. The graphics are colourful and the music on the menu is nice, but the gameplay is just too difficult.

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6

Relentless
(Axelay, 2013)
Reviewed by Missas

Relentless was the winner of CPCWiki's 16KB ROM game development competition held in 2013. As its name implies, get ready for the most relentless 16 kilobytes of action you will ever get. The game begins with a great tune. Straight away, you are plunged into relentless, non-stop shoot-'em-up action with smooth 50fps scrolling. The graphics are very detailed with a great colour selection that does not tire out the eyes. The sprites are creatively designed. The sound is as good as it could be for a 16K game, with numerous effects. The gameplay is really good but sometimes it gets very difficult. Thankfully, you can adjust the difficulty level if you like. The grab factor is strong until you complete it – something that will not take a lot of time since this game is not lengthy. Overall, this is a good shoot-'em-up, but the other entries in the competition are, in my opinion, just as good.

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8

Relief Action
(Loriciels, 1987)

A laboratory assistant on the NMI spaceship accidentally created a monster which has massacred the entire crew. You are the only survivor, having entered one of the cryogenic chambers before it was too late. Now you must find the shuttle and escape. The ship consists of about 50 rooms and corridors, and you'll find objects which will allow you to access some parts of the ship. Fans of the Freescape games will feel right at home with this game (provided you can understand French); everything takes place in a full 3D environment, and if you can find a pair of 3D glasses, you can use them to enhance the 3D effect even further – quite a nice innovation! There's no sound, but it only increases the tension as you walk the empty corridors of the spaceship, hoping that the monster isn't around the next corner...

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9

REM
(Blaby, 1986)

A Remote Excavation Module has been sent into some underground caverns, to collect radioactive deposits – the sort of task which is certainly not recommended for humans. However, the caverns contain lots of boulders which are lying on unstable soil, so be careful where you move the robot. You've guessed it; this is a Boulder Dash clone, but it's not very good, really. I suppose it would be OK if the graphics were better and the scrolling wasn't jerky. At least there are passwords to allow you to skip levels you've already completed.

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4

Renegade
(Imagine, 1987)
Reviewed by John Beckett

By far one of the greatest, if not the greatest scrolling beat-'em-up on the CPC, Renegade has you playing a vigilante who must go and meet his girlfriend on the other side of town. But instead of catching the tube (the first level is set in a tube station, for crying out loud!), he decides to walk there, disposing of various gangs and their leaders on the way. The difficulty level is just right, the graphics are great – detailed, fluid and colourful – and the game has some of the catchiest tunes to come out of the CPC's speakers. The levels are all suitably different, each populated by its own gang (the junkyard's motorbike gang is a particular favourite of mine), and the Renegade himself has an impressive arsenal of moves available to him – punches, back kicks, headbutts, flying kicks etc. To be honest, I can't find fault with this game; it's a classic!

See also: Renegade III: The Final Chapter, Target Renegade.

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10

Renegade III: The Final Chapter
(Imagine, 1989)
Reviewed by John Beckett

When I first played this game, I had to double-check that it was actually a Renegade game! It's totally different from its classic predecessors, Renegade and Target Renegade! Where the first two were humourless, gritty and ultra-violent beat-'em-ups, this game's more like an episode of Dr. Who! Anyway, you play as Renegade, as you wander through different time zones (prehistoric, Egyptian, mediaeval and the future) in search of your girlfriend (some things never change!), who's been kidnapped by bad guys from the future. Why? Dunno! And instead of fighting chain-wielding street thugs, you must take on cavemen, mummies, dragons and aliens, to name a few! Overall, good cartoony graphics, decent sound, but it's also very, very tough. Not a patch on the original, but worth a blast nonetheless. Oh, and how strict is that time limit?!

See also: Renegade, Target Renegade.

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7

Rescate en el Golfo
(Opera Soft, 1990)

Iraqi terrorists have hijacked a jumbo jet full of passengers and are threatening to blow it up. One of those passengers happens to be our hero Ricky's girlfriend – so can Ricky single-handedly fight off all of the terrorists and rescue the hostages on the 'plane? It may or may not have been a coincidence that this game was released during the Gulf War in 1990 and 1991, when Iraq invaded its neighbour Kuwait. The game is a beat-'em-up divided into two sections. Unusually, the graphics in the first section are in the high-colour, low-resolution mode, but in the second section, everything is drawn in the four-colour, higher-resolution mode. This is a fairly good game overall, although the end-of-level opponent in the first section is far too hard – and if you're wondering how to use the motorbike, open one of the doors to the 'plane and grab the key!

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7

Rescue from Atlantis
(Dinamic/Alternative, 1988)
Reviewed by Alain Schroetter

Aliens have set up a base in the depths of Earth's oceans, and you have to locate their base in the lost city of Atlantis and destroy their leader, Korx. The entrance is hidden in an old wreck, and you'll need to make a hole in the wreck to find it. You've also got to explore the vast labyrinth of caves and make gold bars using the mould you're supplied with – but you'll need to find a heat source first. The underwater creatures make life difficult for you, too. The graphics and animation are good and the music is excellent, but like most Dinamic games, it's too difficult, and far too big as well – it's easy to get lost. It's a departure from Dinamic's usual style of game, and it's not one of their better moments.

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6

Return of the Jedi
(Domark, 1989)
Reviewed by Chris Lennard

Breaking away from the first two vector-based games, this is an isometric scroller. The first level involves guiding Princess Leia through the forests of Endor on a speederbike avoiding the Stormtroopers and the omnipresent trees. The next stage involves guiding the Millennium Falcon through the incomplete Death Star, avoiding the dangerous protrusions in order to take out the central reactor and then escaping in reverse as it blows up. Stage three involves more of the first but with even more trees and Stormtroopers. Finally, you take control of an AT-ST, avoiding the Ewoks' logs and boulders in order to reach the shield generator. Nicely presented, but a disappointingly repetitive and difficult game that lacks the fun of the prequels.

See also: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars, Star Wars Droids.

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6

Return to Eden
(Level 9, 1984)
Reviewed by Richard Lamond

Kim Kimberley is back in an even more obtuse and difficult text adventure! Despite your heroics in saving Snowball 9, you've been cast as a saboteur and forced to flee for your life to the planet Eden. You must find your way through the treacherous jungle into the Robot City before the robots destroy the orbiting Snowball 9 and kill the colonists in the process – who are trying to kill you! This was the first Level 9 game to feature graphics, but they are extremely basic and detract from the location descriptions. Return to Eden cranks up the difficulty level from the very beginning and it makes for an unsatisfactory experience as you find yourself battling with some of the more obscure leaps of logic. The atmosphere of the first game, although not completely lost, is not what it was, and despite some good set-pieces, Return to Eden does not compare well with its predecessor.

See also: Snowball, The Worm in Paradise.

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5

Return to Oz
(US Gold, 1986)

Follow the adventures of Dorothy as she leaves her home in Kansas and finds herself in the magical world of Oz again, encountering such bizarre creatures as the Wheelers, the evil Princess Mombi, Jack Pumpkinhead and the Nome King. This is one of those icon-driven adventures where you can only select a limited number of commands – in this case, only eight. It's mainly aimed at children, and everyone else will find it far too easy; for example, if you select the 'use' command, the program will only let you select objects which you can use in the room you're in. The graphics are mediocre as well and there are no sound effects at all.

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4

Reveal
(Mastertronic, 1988)

Now here is a highly bizarre and original game – map out a 3D landscape which you can't see! Before attempting each landscape, you're given a view of it and have about five seconds to memorise it. Then you must control a gyroscope and manoeuvre it over all of the hidden squares, while avoiding the enemies and sticking to the very strict time limit. If you manage this, you then have to move the gyroscope to a flashing square to go to the next landscape. It's difficult, and it helps if you have a photographic memory, but my goodness, the urge to have another go is there in bucketfuls.

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8

Revenge of the C5
(Atlantis, 1986)

Take one of Clive Sinclair's unloved C5 machines out for a drive around the suburban roads, avoiding all the cars, motorcycles and other monsters (it's dangerous out there in the suburbs!). The game is a flick-screen affair, and if you crash your C5, you are taken back one screen. The problem is that often you'll be moved to a position where it's impossible to avoid hitting something, so you're moved back even further. The roads are too narrow, and even on the easy mode, it's too difficult; some of the gaps you have to squeeze through are far too small. The graphics and sound effects are appalling, and although the name of the game is amusing, there's nothing else to laugh about.

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3

Revolution
(US Gold, 1986)

This is an ingenious puzzle game in which you control a bouncing ball. There are eight levels, each containing four puzzles which are selected at random each time you play. Each of the 32 puzzles contains two red blocks, and to solve the puzzle, you must first hit one of the blocks with the ball to turn it white, then do the same to the other block quickly, otherwise the first block will turn red again. If you succeed, both blocks disappear. Controlling the ball is initially difficult, but it's essential that you master it. The concept of the game is simple, but the puzzles are cleverly designed, and once you master the controls, solving each puzzle brings a real feeling of satisfaction.

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8

Revolver
(Alternative, 1988)

Dirty Dick and his rotten bunch of cowboys have invaded the town of Smallsville, and since the Sheriff and his Deputy have been thrown out by Dirty Dick, the townsfolk have asked you to help clean the town. Each room is laid out in an isometric manner and contains a certain number of gunslingers to shoot. Of course, they're also looking for you, and you only have five units of energy before you die. However, collecting enough reward money for shooting gunslingers allows you to collect more energy. The graphics are OK, but there's very little sound, and while it's possible for two players to play, the game is still a bit dull.

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5

Rex
(Martech, 1989)
Reviewed by Javier Sáez

This time you won't have to kill a single alien. In this game, you are the alien slaughtering poor humans. Rex, a 'rhino sapiens' specimen, is bent on plundering the Zenith tower, where humans keep countless treasures. This is a platform game with some arcade elements. That is, you have weapons to use against most enemies, but your best defence is knowing where and when you should jump to. The graphics are cute, although very small. There is no music, just a few sound effects. Regarding difficulty, Rex is quite hard at first, but becomes a bit easier after some practice.

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6

Rick Dangerous
(Firebird, 1989)

Our intrepid explorer Rick has crash-landed his 'plane in an Amazonian rainforest and has to escape the nasty Goolu tribe. This won't be easy, and right from the word 'go', there are various nasty traps lying to catch you out – as well as those Goolus. From there, Rick moves on to an Egyptian pyramid where he must recover the stolen jewel of Ankhel, and then it's on to a castle to rescue some prisoners, before blowing up the missile silo where the enemy is based – it's all in a day's work. The excellent cartoon graphics are what makes this game appealing, and although there are traps at every turn, it's not frustrating – it has that 'one more go' factor.

See also: Rick Dangerous II.

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9

Rick Dangerous II
(Micro Style, 1990)

The first thing I must mention about this game is that it has the honour of being awarded 97% by Amstrad Action, which is the highest rating they have ever given – and it definitely deserves it. Rick now faces a new challenge from aliens who have landed their UFO in Hyde Park. After that, he visits the ice caverns of Freezia, the forests of Vegetablia, and finally the Atomic Mud Mines. Unlike the original, you can complete these levels in any order you want, when you get to see the fifth and final level. The graphics are just as cute, and there's some great music this time, too! It's got everything that the original had and more, and it's well worth playing.

See also: Rick Dangerous.

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10

Ricochet
(Blaby, 1986)

This is based on air hockey, except that you shoot at the puck to make it move. The goalmouth is quite narrow, and your finger will probably become sore as you frantically unleash a hail of bullets at the puck. The first person to score a set number of goals wins the game. There are several features that can be customised, and you should definitely change the collision mode to 5, otherwise it's impossible to score goals. Unfortunately the other collision modes make the game either too easy or too hard, and the appeal is somewhat limited. The music is surprisingly good, though.

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5

Ricochet
(Firebird, 1987)

Can you break down the jammed safety forcewall using two free-floating mega-neutrons, without letting them touch the fuel core? Oh, you knew this was a bat and ball game, right? Well, I think everyone knows what to do, so let's just say that the graphics, while colourful, are poor; the bricks don't even deserve the name – they're just big, blank rectangles. Nearly all the sprites are monochrome, giving a very Spectrum-like feel to the game. It's a bit easier than most Breakout-style games, but the graphics and a lack of extra bonuses let it down very badly.

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4

Riding the Rapids
(Players, 1987)

It's time to go canoeing down the rapids. Navigate the four courses and try to beat the record time on each one, manoeuvring your canoe through the pairs of flags and pitting your wits against the fast-flowing river. On some courses, you'll even have to go through some of the flags backwards! Time penalties are given to you if you miss any of the flags or fall into the river. Unfortunately it's not really all that good – the graphics are rather basic and very flickery, and there's not all that much challenge involved. If you've got the patience, though, there is a course editor included with the game.

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5

Rig Attack
(Tynesoft, 1985)

The oil rigs are under attack from enemy submarines, and you must shoot them in your helicopter. Unfortunately, they are equipped with long-range missiles, while you only have short-range bombs, so you'll need to fly close to the sea to hit them successfully, which obviously leaves you exposed to enemy fire. Flying this low also means you might fly into the oil rigs if you're not careful. The graphics are nothing special, although the multi-coloured border is used to good effect. The sound effects are sparse, while the actual game is just too hard; it's too difficult to hit the submarines, and they move too fast for you to hit them accurately and get out of their way.

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4

Rigel's Revenge
(Bulldog, 1987)

The colony of Rigel V is at war. You are Harper, a journalist who has been told that the rebel fighters, the Rigellians, have a doomsday device that is capable of devastating the entire planet. When you arrive in the city, you meet Elliot, the man who told you about the device, but he is badly injured and dies. You must find the rebels' headquarters and disable the doomsday device – but you'll need to find your night goggles first... This is a text adventure which has a lot of atmosphere and describes the starkness of the city quite vividly. Harper has to watch his step at every turn, encountering booby traps, mines, bombs and snipers. This is a great adventure with some neat humour as well, but be aware that some copies of the game contain a bug which makes the second part unplayable!

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7

Rik the Roadie
(Alternative, 1988)
Appeared on AA covertape

It's a great life being a roadie, isn't it? Driving down motorways at more than 100mph to your concerts, lugging equipment around, and making sure it all works. This is where you get a taster of what it's like. In the first part, you drive your purple van down the motorway, avoiding the traffic. The second part is where you have to shift the equipment to the concert hall, and the third part involves getting the volume levels correct without blowing the fuses. This game appeared on the Amstrad Action covertape and its readers unanimously considered it to be tosh – and I agree with them entirely.

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2

Road Blasters
(US Gold, 1988)

This is what rallying in the future is like – 50 stages to complete, all laden with hazards such as mines and gun turrets, as well as other cars and motorbikes which you can shoot. You also need to collect blobs of fuel or you'll run out, and on some stages, a helicopter comes along to give you a power-up such as a U2 cannon, cruise missiles, or nitro injectors. The graphics are pretty impressive and the music is good, but all the stages are too long, the whine of your car's engine is irritating in the extreme, and provided you do well in the early stages, the game becomes a bit easy.

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6

Road Runner
(US Gold, 1987)

Beep-beep! Road Runner must escape the clutches of the nasty Wile E. Coyote once again. Each level consists of a horizontally-scrolling landscape in which Road Runner must eat as much bird seed as possible. However, Wile E. Coyote is never far behind, and as soon as Road Runner outruns him, he always comes straight back. The aim on each level is simply to get to the end. I used to love watching the antics of these two cartoon characters, but this game doesn't do the cartoon justice at all. The graphics are good, but it's a boring game where you repeat the same thing again and again in each level, and the almost total lack of sound effects only adds to the boredom.

See also: Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote.

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5

Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote
(Hi-Tec, 1991)

They're back! While the first game re-enacted the same scene over and over again, this sequel sees you playing Road Runner again, but this time alternating between two scenes. The first one is a single-screen affair where you must dodge all the objects that Wile E. Coyote drops on you, the aim being to survive for 90 seconds. The second one is a horizontally scrolling level where you are being chased by Wile E. Coyote and must jump over obstacles to avoid losing energy – but if you jump too often, you'll be caught! These two scenes repeat themselves again and again. The graphics are pretty good and there's a nice tune as well, and although it's fun for a while, it probably won't hold your interest for too long.

See also: Road Runner.

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6

Robbbot
(ERE Informatique, 1986)

You are flying a rocket when it is forced to land on a nearby planet due to a shortage of fuel. Fortunately you have detected that this planet contains reserves of energy, but you have decided to assign three robots – Xor, Rho and Sam – to explore underground and find these reserves. Each robot has a different function. Xor is designed to collect the energy reserves, Sam can repair the other robots if they break down (although it can't repair itself), and Rho transmits communications from the other two robots back to you, so all three robots must stay close together. Graphically, the game is excellent, but apart from exploring, there's little to see and do, and it is immensely frustrating when you crash any of the robots after playing the game for so long.

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6

Robin Hood
(Codemasters, 1986)
Reviewed by John Beckett

A very early game by the now legendary Oliver Twins, the aim of this game is to search the huge castle of the Sheriff of Nottingham and find all the hearts scattered around, and then to free Maid Marian and kill the Sheriff. Of course, out to stop you are the Sheriff's men, armed with bows and swords, but these can be picked off with your trusty arrows. The graphics are quite impressive considering when it was released, and very detailed – Robin fires his bow very realistically – and the sound is great. This is the first game I ever played which had real speech ("Help me Robin!") and this impressed me a lot back in the day. Overall, a good novel twist on a fairly well used idea, which is a fair bit easier than others of its kind, and as a result of this, it is a lot more fun.

See also: Robin Hood: Legend Quest.

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7

Robin Hood: Legend Quest
(Codemasters, 1993)

Maid Marian has been locked in the Sheriff of Nottingham's castle, and Robin must rescue her. Hang on, didn't Codemasters release a game with exactly the same plot already? Indeed they did. This is a different game, although it plays very similarly to the other Robin Hood game, with lots of running around, shooting arrows, collecting keys and treasure, and jumping on to platforms. This was one of the last games that Codemasters released for the CPC, and frankly, one would think that they could have done better than this. The music is good, but it's a Spectrum port, complete with colour clash. There's nothing special about the gameplay, either.

See also: Robin Hood.

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5

Robin of Sherlock
(CRL, 1986)

Replace Robin Hood with Sherlock Holmes, add a lot of humour, and you will have some idea of what this text adventure, written using The Quill, is about. There are some strange events going on in Sherwood Forest – Dorothy's dog, Toto, has been kidnapped; Friar Gorbuchetnik explodes after eating one burger too many; the cabbie's cab has been stolen; the Three Bears are about to hang Goldilox (!), and the local Smurphs are being turned into garden gnomes. The game is split into three parts, but unlike nearly all other multi-part text adventures, you can travel between these parts. There are a lot of locations, although most of them are very similar (which is humorously exploited by the authors!), and most of the objects that you can collect can't be examined, which frustrated me. However, it is still a reasonably good adventure overall.

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7

Robin of Sherwood: The Touchstones of Rhiannon
(Adventure International, 1985)
Reviewed by Pug

This adventure is based on the UK TV series from the 1980s. All the characters from the TV series are here, which helps to make the adventure more enjoyable. The adventure begins with Robin and friends held in a prison cell deep inside Nottingham Castle. Once you work out how to escape, you come across Hern the Hunter, who tells you about your mission. The text commands are simple two-word instructions such as GO DOOR or TAKE STAFF. Almost every location has graphics – some of which are well drawn and atmospheric. There's even animation too; check out the waterfall effect! Adventure fans and arcade gamers alike will find this game an interesting challenge.

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8

Robinson Crusoe
(Coktel Vision, 1987)

Daniel Defoe's 1719 novel of the same name remains famous even today, and this is an adventure based on the novel. You must guide Robinson Crusoe as he tries to survive on the island that he has been shipwrecked on. The game consists of seven stages, with a beautiful illustration adorning most of the screen on each one, and some nice animation to accompany them. Throughout the game, you are given a choice of possible actions, and every choice you make affects the outcome of the story. Finding the exact set of choices to make is a frustrating exercise, since the animations and text are displayed very slowly indeed. The music is awful as well, but the game is still playable despite all of these problems.

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7

Robocop
(Ocean, 1988)

I've never seen the film, but this is certainly a brilliant game. The first few levels take you out on to the streets on routine patrol, before identifying the criminal involved in the drug gang using a photofit, and then raiding the drugs factory. You'll also meet the robot ED209, before finally shooting a criminal who has taken the president of the United States hostage. The difficulty setting is just right, the graphics are beautiful, and the music is great – and no one who has played the 128K version will ever forget the stunning digitised speech – "Serve the public trust, protect the innocent, uphold the law". Everything about this game is just perfect!

See also: Robocop 2.

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10

Robocop 2
(Ocean, 1991)

Robocop is back to clean up the streets of Detroit again, to close down the facilities that produce the addictive drug Nuke, and ultimately face his nemesis, Robocop 2. Seven levels of platforming and shoot-'em-up action await you in this game, which was only released on cartridge. First of all, let me say that no game demonstrates the extra features of the Plus and GX4000 machines better than this one; the scrolling is extremely smooth, and hardware sprites and the many extra colours available are used to great effect. It looks and feels like a 16-bit game! However, it is very difficult indeed, although if you persevere and don't lose your temper, you will eventually learn the full layout of the first level. If it were a bit easier, I would have no hesitation in giving full marks to this game – but it's not to be.

See also: Robocop.

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9

Robotron: 6128
(Lachlan Keown, 2009)
Reviewed by Missas

Robotron: 6128 sends us back to the beginning of the video games era with its pure arcade-style gameplay. Your task is crystal clear: be the only one alive on the screen when the level ends. The graphics are simple and blocky (MODE 0), and there is no background. The sprites' appearance and attributes change from stage to stage. It would be much better if some background screens existed. In-game sound is composed of just the basic effects. However, the music on the options screen is one of the best I have ever heard on the CPC. The gameplay is fast-paced; you need to move and fire fast, and if you can, capture the girls! The brilliant control selection enhances this pure arcade experience and produces an addictive grab factor. Overall, although it is technically obsolete and improvements could have been made on graphics and sound, this is by all means an arcade treasure.

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8

Robozone
(Imageworks, 1991)

In the year 2067, the Earth's cities have become so polluted that they are patrolled by giant Wolverine robots. However, their numbers are decreasing, and you are the only one left to defend New York against another set of robots – the Scavengers. Your mission now is to destroy The Furnace, a building which is choking New York with even more pollution. There are three very different levels to this game. The first two involve exploring New York and its underground system, and aren't much fun to play, while the third is a much better space shoot-'em-up. The graphics are very nice, with detailed sprites and lovely explosions, but it's a shame that the gameplay isn't as good; the rather tedious first level will put a lot of people off.

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5

Rockford
(Mastertronic, 1988)

You may have guessed that this is a remake of Boulder Dash, where you collect gems while trying to avoid loosening the many boulders scattered around. This game is almost exactly the same, but Rockford is now human, and he gets to star in five different roles – as a hunter, a cook, a cowboy, an astronaut, and a doctor! Each of these themes has several levels of their own, and the graphics also change to reflect the theme. The graphics are very nice, and so is the music, but, like the original game that it's based on, it's just too difficult for me.

See also: Boulder Dash, Boulder Dash III.

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6

Rock 'n' Roller
(Topo Soft, 1988)
Reviewed by Javier Sáez

There is an old coin-op by Namco called Rally-X, which could be described as a cross between Pac-Man and Super Sprint. Well, this game is a sort of revision of that coin-op, with better graphics and music, but not as fast as the original. Your task is to drive your car around each level, collecting the parts of a racing prototype, while avoiding enemy cars and other hazards such as mines and traffic lights. Rock 'n' Roller isn't a great game, but once you manage to drive accurately, it'll give you hours of fun.

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7

Rock'n Wrestle
(Melbourne House, 1985)
Reviewed by Missas

Rock'n Wrestle was probably the first wrestling game to be released for the CPC. To begin with, the graphics use MODE 0 and they are both blocky and not too detailed. The sprites are big, but they move by byte and not by pixel, making animation not very smooth. The sound is limited to some effects which I found to be appropriate. And here is where the surprises begin; the gameplay is simply fantastic. With a big variety of moves, from grabs and flying kicks to simple punches and rope pushes, you can do almost anything you can imagine to your opponents. Another mega plus is that opponents' difficulty, style and appearance change from stage to stage. The playability is something that you can only understand by playing this game. The grab factor is very high and it is pushed further by some funny incidents during the fight – for example, when a fighter becomes dizzy. For me, this is the best wrestling game for the CPC.

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9

Rock Raid
(Kuma, 1985)

Stuck in a meteor storm, you must blast all of the rocks while avoiding them and therefore smashing your ship to pieces. Unfortunately, the rocks will split into two, and before long, you'll have a dozen rocks zooming around the screen and no room to get out of their way. You can also choose one special option, such as hyperspacing to another part of the screen, reversing, or using a shield or a smart bomb, or if you're really adventurous, a lucky dip. It's really a simple version of Asteroids and it's good fun – the graphics are good as well – but it is rather difficult.

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6

Rock Star Ate My Hamster
(Codemasters, 1989)

Your Auntie Mabel has left you 50,000 in her will, and you've decided to use it to break into the music business by forming your own band. You have to get four gold discs before the year is out. The game starts with you selecting the stars (including Tina Turnoff, Bill Collins and Michael Gorge), getting a contract, recording an album, and then releasing the album and singles to boost its sales. You'll also have to cope with charity gigs, stars quitting, and of course, the tabloid press! The graphics aren't that good and the music isn't much better, but you won't believe that being the manager of a band could be so much fun. One word of warning – don't play this game if you're easily offended!

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9

The Rocky Horror Show
(CRL, 1985)
Reviewed by John Beckett

A strange little game based on the cult film and musical, this game has you as either Brad or Janet (witless hikers), wandering around the weird Rocky Horror mansion, collecting all the scattered pieces of the machine that can restore their partner from their frozen state, courtesy of the house's residents. The graphics are very detailed and impressive but lack colour, while the music is really quite good. There's even a whole rendition of The Timewarp at the start, complete with dance moves! The game itself is very surreal – scarily so in parts – and there's even one baddie who steals your clothes, leaving you wandering the mansion naked, until you find them again! The down side is that the game is quite short and easy, as the time limit is generous, and bad guys can be very thin on the ground in parts. A game mainly for fans of the film. Those like me who've never seen it will be left cold.

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6

Rodland
(Storm, 1991)
Reviewed by Chris Lennard

Rescue your Elven Mom from the top of the Maboots tower in this very cute platformer that owes a lot to Bubble Bobble. Clear all the monsters out on every level using your trusty magic wand to thwack them into very useful destructive power-ups, while collecting any bonuses on the way as you advance to the next. Boasting large colourful graphics, lovely sound coupled with simple yet effective gameplay, this is a stunning game.

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9

Rogue
(Mastertronic, 1988)

The origins of Rogue date back to around 1980, when it became extremely popular in universities. It was the first ever role-playing game, with very rudimentary graphics which were drawn using ASCII characters, and has inspired many other games. Your quest is to retrieve the Amulet of Yendor which lies deep within the Dungeons of Doom. The dungeons are generated randomly, so you'll never play the same game twice. You roam around the levels of the dungeon, collecting gold pieces, potions, magic scrolls and other items, and fighting monsters, which increases your strength and experience so that you are better prepared for the lower levels. The CPC version of this legendary game has proper graphics, but it's rather tough, and worst of all, it's very seriously bugged and crashes so often that getting far in the game is impossible.

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6

Rogue Trooper
(Piranha, 1986)

Rogue Trooper is the sole survivor of the Quartz massacre that took place on the wartorn planet of Nu-Earth. His army was betrayed to the Norts, but the traitor's movements were recorded on video tapes. You must recover the eight tapes and return to a waiting shuttle, and kill lots of Nort troops too. You've also got three bio-chips which frequently give you useful hints or encourangement, and first aid kits and ammunition can be picked up as well. The game is different every time you play it, since the objects you need to collect are placed randomly in each game. The graphics are good, if a little drab, but there's no music and few sound effects. It's not brilliant, but it's still worth a go.

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7

Roland Ahoy!
(Amsoft, 1984)
Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard

Roland, who's definitely a big traveller, is now a pirate cruising the seas. I know what you're thinking; "It's a Roland game, it must be bad!" Well, you're not totally wrong. And yet, this is a rather enjoyable little game, though it has only four screens – the map where you control your ship towards the different areas, the harbour (where you pick up treasure), the powder quay (to refill your ammunition), and the cave where you must hide the treasures you've stolen. Each screen contains a trap, the spider in the cave being the most treacherous. There is also a sea snake and a bridge which you must destroy, and that's all! The graphics are simple but colourful and the sound effects are minimal. But it is funny anyway.

See also: Roland Goes Digging, Roland Goes Square Bashing, Roland in Space, Roland in the Caves, Roland in Time, Roland on the Ropes, Roland on the Run.

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5

Roland Goes Digging
(Amsoft/Gem, 1984)

Aliens have taken over a building site, and Roland's boss wants our hero to remove them. Roland agrees, as he's broke and needs to supplement his meagre wages. You need to dig holes and coax the aliens into falling into them, where they will be trapped. By freeing them again, they will fall out of the hole and die. This is a slow and boring platform game with very simple graphics (although colour mixing is used) and an awful tune.

See also: Roland Ahoy!, Roland Goes Square Bashing, Roland in Space, Roland in the Caves, Roland in Time, Roland on the Ropes, Roland on the Run.

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3

Roland Goes Square Bashing
(Amsoft/Durell, 1984)
Reviewed by John Beckett

Gaming's most inconsistent mascot returns in this joint venture between Amsoft and Durell. This time around, he's a cube with legs (how does he get into these scrapes?), and the aim of the game is to traverse 20 increasingly difficult levels of floating square platforms – which quickly disintegrate after you step on them – until there are no platforms left. Why? Don't ask me, but nevertheless it's reasonably fun for about 20 minutes, until repetition sets in and – more importantly – the difficulty curve shoots skyward on level 7. The graphics are very simple but colourful, and the music is serviceable – though the 'falling' noise will start to grate after a while! In short, it's Q*Bert meets Octoplex.

See also: Roland Ahoy!, Roland Goes Digging, Roland in Space, Roland in the Caves, Roland in Time, Roland on the Ropes, Roland on the Run.

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3

Roland in Space
(Amsoft/Gem, 1985)

The evil Maetro must be defeated, and Roland is the man to do it! He has to travel to seven planets to retrieve all 158 bits of a superweapon that will destroy him. The planets are all differently themed; there's an Egyptian pyramid, a futuristic city, a treehouse, and a pirate ship, and even an underwater section. Shame then that it's really a remake of Roland in Time, with the same terrible graphics and music, and gameplay that's just as difficult.

See also: Roland Ahoy!, Roland Goes Digging, Roland Goes Square Bashing, Roland in the Caves, Roland in Time, Roland on the Ropes, Roland on the Run.

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3

Roland in the Caves
(Amsoft/Indescomp, 1984)

Roland has transformed into a flea and is exploring another planet when he falls into a cave. You have to help him get out by jumping on to the ledges in an effort to reach the top, while avoiding the plants and the vicious pterodactyl! When you've got out of the cave, you get a bonus and go on to another one. This makes the game very uninteresting. It doesn't help that you have less than five seconds before the pterodactyl is upon you, and that it's very difficult to measure your jumps correctly. The graphics are surprisingly good, but getting anywhere within the cave is a matter of luck as far as I can determine.

See also: Roland Ahoy!, Roland Goes Digging, Roland Goes Square Bashing, Roland in Space, Roland in Time, Roland on the Ropes, Roland on the Run.

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2

Roland in Time
(Amsoft/Gem, 1985)

Roland's latest adventure sees him journeying through various time zones to collect some crystals, taking him right through from the Egyptian era to well into the future. There are a total of ten time zones to visit, and you can warp to any of them, in any order, in your 'phone box (I wonder where that idea was borrowed from?). The two tunes used in the game are terrible and the graphics are abysmal, and the game is much too difficult, even with ten lives.

See also: Roland Ahoy!, Roland Goes Digging, Roland Goes Square Bashing, Roland in Space, Roland in the Caves, Roland on the Ropes, Roland on the Run.

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3

Roland on the Ropes
(Amsoft/Indescomp, 1984)

An intrepid adventurer named Roland – or Fred if you're playing the original Spanish release of this game – is exploring some dungeons in Egypt, and he has to acquire as much treasure as he can, head towards the top of the dungeon, find the exit, and escape. On the first level, your main enemies are ghosts and rats, but later on, you'll encounter mummies and bats, and if you somehow manage to reach the fourth level, skeletons. However, there is no map available to you, so you may well find a lot of dead ends. It's one of the earliest games for the CPC, but it is fondly remembered by many people, mainly because it was included with many CPCs, and it was one of the few good games that you received with it! To this day, it still retains all of its simplistic charm, although it's a bit difficult.

See also: Roland Ahoy!, Roland Goes Digging, Roland Goes Square Bashing, Roland in Space, Roland in the Caves, Roland in Time, Roland on the Run.

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7

Roland on the Run
(Amsoft, 1984)
Reviewed by John Beckett

Roland is one of gaming's oldest mascots and yet has never achieved the levels of fame of other veteran mascots such as Pac-Man or Frogger. Why? Well, games like this can't have helped his cause! In my opinion, the worst of all the Roland games, this one-screen affair works a bit like Frogger in reverse, in that you have to jump from a train at the top of the screen on to the back of two lanes of passing trucks, before jumping into your hideout at the bottom. And the game's about as interesting as that concept sounds. Somehow losing any of the magic that Frogger had, it's unbelievably boring, and has sound effects that make white noise sound like a beautiful melody. All I can say in its favour is that its one screen is very colourful.

See also: Roland Ahoy!, Roland Goes Digging, Roland Goes Square Bashing, Roland in Space, Roland in the Caves, Roland in Time, Roland on the Ropes.

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Rollaround
(Mastertronic, 1988)

An entertaining little game where you control a ball and have to wipe markers off coloured tiles by rolling over them. Of course, there are various nasties to impede your progress, and chasms will have to be crossed to reach some otherwise inaccessible parts on each level. Then there are some markers that will only appear if you touch a square with a special symbol on it... and don't wipe too many markers of the same colour! The graphics are very colourful indeed and suit the game perfectly, and while it's maddeningly frustrating to start with, it quickly becomes addictive, and you have a generous supply of lives as well.

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Rolling Thunder
(US Gold, 1988)
Reviewed by John Beckett

Rolling Thunder has you playing secret agent extraordinaire Agent Albatross, who must infiltrate a secret gang of masked bad guys and put them out of business. The first level sees you doing this by walking from left to right, jumping from the bottom of the screen to the walkway in the middle, shooting an endless stream of baddies, and hiding in doors to replenish your bullets and escape from the endless torrent of bad guys. You'll also find that – should you get that far – the second and third levels (and no doubt beyond) are almost identical to the first one. The graphics are good and fluid – Albatross moves quite realistically – and the sound effects are serviceable. It's just that the game is so repetitive and boring that you'll soon be turning it off.

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Room Ten
(CRL, 1986)

The Galcorp Leisure Corporation has devised many games which can be played on low-gravity moons and asteroids. One of these games is glyding, in which two players bounce a ball around a court using a bat. If a player manages to aim the ball so that it hits the wall behind the other player, he scores five points. The first player to score 35 points wins the game. In fact, glyding is nothing more than a 3D version of one of the very first computer games, Pong – and it's actually rather good, although I recommend that you change the default speed setting to something faster, as the game will otherwise be rather boring. You can also change the computer's skill level if you're playing against it, but the game is a lot more fun if you play against a human opponent.

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R-Type
(Easter Egg, 2012)
Reviewed by Missas

Easter Egg writes its letters with gold on the CPC scene, delivering this outstanding remake of one of the most legendary shoot-'em-ups of the 1980s. The game is not just an enhancement of the previous Spectrum port, but a brand new game. The game starts with a fantastic cinematographic introduction along with an atmospheric tune. The graphics are fantastic, with precise colour selection, excellent sprite design and effects, while the scrolling is very good. Everything moves smoothly and fast. There are plenty of sound effects and the music changes from level to level. The gameplay is fast-paced and the game is challenging. Collision detection has also improved. The grab factor is very high. Overall, a state of the art CPC experience.

See also: R-Type (Electric Dreams).

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R-Type
(Electric Dreams, 1988)
Reviewed by Chris Lennard

Lead mankind's fight against the evil Bydo Empire in this conversion of the greatest side-scrolling shoot-'em-up of all time from Irem Corporation. Fly the elite R-9 fighter destroying all manner of weird alien creatures using the variety of power-ups available at your disposal, including the all-important special weapon – The Force. Often imitated, R-Type redefined the genre when it was released with its faultless gameplay. Sadly, this is probably the worst conversion of all, as the graphics are clearly ported from the Spectrum and there's no sound to speak of.

See also: R-Type (Easter Egg).

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Ruff and Reddy
(Hi-Tec, 1990)

Ruff and Reddy have landed on another planet which is inhabited by small beings called Lilli-Punies. They are holding Reddy captive and have ordered Ruff to find some missing Lilli-Punies before the pair are allowed to leave the planet. As Ruff, you have to rescue all the Lilli-Punies on each level. It's a simple platform game with the usual mix of monsters to avoid. Unfortunately you can't kill any of them, which makes the game frustratingly difficult to play. Some of the Lilli-Punies are in awkward places, and it's seemingly impossible to reach them without being hit by a monster and losing one of your three lives. The graphics are nice and colourful, but the difficulty of the game lets it down.

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Rugby Boss
(Alternative, 1989)

Can you manage a Division 2 rugby team and take it to the top of Division 1? This management simulation sees you assuming responsibility of a team picked at random from the twenty available, which seems rather unfair to me; why should I not be allowed to choose which team I want to manage? The game itself doesn't have a lot of options – all the players have just one skill number associated with them, and can play in any position – although some people (including myself) may think that this is not a bad thing. The match highlights progress at a reasonable pace, and you must be careful with your finances; you can't get a loan, so if you run out of cash, you're sacked. It's text only as well, but that doesn't bother me too much, and speaking as someone who doesn't like rugby at all, I don't think this game is too bad.

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Run for Gold
(Hill MacGibbon, 1986)

There aren't many running simulations for the CPC, but this is one, and it's actually rather good. You take on the role of a coach who trains two runners. Your ambitions are to get these runners to win Olympic gold medals and break the world record in the 400m, 800m and 1500m events – but who said this was going to be easy, with 39 other runners sharing your aspirations? You start off by running in local meetings, then hopefully you will qualify for Crystal Palace, the European Championships, the World Championships, and finally, the Olympics. Fortunately, this does not involve lots of joystick waggling (and breaking); instead, you must pace the runners by moving a bar up and down, so that they have sufficient energy to last throughout the run. It works quite well, and the animation and graphics are really good too.

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The Running Man
(Grandslam, 1989)

In 2019, the United States of America is a totalitarian state. Ben Richards was convicted for refusing to fire on a group of protesters and has been selected to take part in a deadly TV game show, The Running Man, where contestants must fight a series of armed opponents known as Stalkers – and no contestant has ever emerged alive. You must defeat four Stalkers and then confront the show's creator, Damon Killian. Once you defeat a Stalker, there is a mini-game where you must match symbols; if you succeed, your health is restored for the next zone. Most of the Stalkers are fairly easy to beat, and there are no other opponents to fight before you reach them. The graphics are disappointing and there are very few sound effects, but arguably the worst aspect of the game is the annoyingly fiddly and unresponsive controls.

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Run the Gauntlet
(Ocean, 1989)

In the TV series, contestants from four teams faced gruelling land and sea challenges and assault courses, and it's the same here. After choosing which country you want to be (Great Britain, the USA, Holland or Australasia), you're given a random selection of events to tackle. In the land and sea races, it's a matter of steering your boat or vehicle round the track, but the assault course (aka 'the hill') is an arm-busting, joystick-waggling frenzy. It's a nice game, although some events (e.g. meteors) will take time to be mastered. The graphics are great as well.

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Rygar
(US Gold, 1987)

Rygar is on a mission to defeat an evil tyranny, battling through ten stages in this horizontally scrolling platform game. All the usual assortment of aliens and monsters are there, and most of them can fly. However, you'll have to jump over waterfalls and chasms a lot as well, although it is possible to bounce on monsters' heads. Stones also appear out of the ground, and shooting them will reveal one of several types of bonus. The graphics are pretty good although they're not terribly sophisticated, and during each stage, there's no time to relax at all – but fortunately, the game isn't all that difficult. And as for the music, it's also excellent, and strangely familiar...

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