(Free Game Blot, 1985)
- Knowledge of French is required in order to play this game properly.
Mille Bornes is a card game that originated in France and was originally released in 1954. The aim is to be the first player to cover exactly 700km, and in this officially licensed computer adaptation, you play five rounds against the computer. Before you can cover any distance, you must play a Roll card (a green traffic light), then you can play distance cards. You can stop your opponent in his tracks by playing one of four types of hazard card, but this can be counteracted by the use of the corresponding remedy or safety card. However you’ll then need to play another Roll card before you can restart your journey. The full rules are too long to explain here, and unfortunately the program assumes you know how to play the game, but if you do, you’ll find that it’s a fairly decent version of the card game.
(US Gold, 1986)
There aren’t many ten-pin bowling simulations around for the CPC, but this is one of them, and it’s really rather average. Up to eight players can take part in either open or league bowling, and there are three skill levels – kids, amateur and pro. First you align your player, and then use a cursor to aim your shot. The animations of the bowler are impressive, but the colour scheme is garish, the sound effects are dreadful, and getting a strike seems to be difficult even on the kids skill level.
Now’s your chance to play in a darts tournament without the need to drink lots of beer! You can take part in a tournament or take a ‘round the clock’ test, or even play against a friend. You fire darts by moving an animated hand diagonally to the right sector. The tournament is a bit easy and you should sail through the quarter- and semi-finals without any fuss, but beating Jammy Jim in the final is another matter entirely! The default colour scheme is horrible, but thankfully, you can change it. The digitised speech is awesome, too, with shouts of “180!” each time you get that score – brilliant!
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: ChinnyVision, Novabug.
Reviewed by John Beckett
A conversion of Capcom’s ground-breaking shoot-’em-up, 1942 on the CPC is actually quite a faithful conversion of the arcade original. Unfortunately, the arcade original hasn’t aged at all well and neither has this. There is a pleasant tune on the title screen and the graphics, though simple, are nice and colourful. Unfortunately, the game suffers from serious repetition issues. There are a huge 32 levels (quite a difference from the sequel’s measly four!), but they all look the same – huge expanses of blue ocean, the occasional island dotted about, and the same few types of aeroplane attacking you again and again. The game starts off enjoyably enough and has a nice difficulty curve, getting very challenging in later levels. Unfortunately, boredom will ensure you won’t get that far.
See also: 1943.
This game is based on the Battle of Midway, which as World War II historians should know, happened in 1942... but it would be a bit silly to release a sequel to 1942 which was called 1942, wouldn’t it? Ah, well! This game sees you (and a friend if you want) in your P38 Lightning aircraft, taking on the might of the Japanese air force and navy on your own. The graphics and sound effects are better this time, but I don’t like the music very much. The biggest let-down, though, is that there are only four levels; after that, they just start repeating.
See also: 1942.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: Axelino, jgonza, Novabug (gameplay), Novabug (longplay).
1st Division Manager
(Code Masters, 1992)
Although it’s a Code Masters release, the person who wrote this also wrote several football management games for Cult, and you know what they’re like! This isn’t one of the better games, though. It has a graphical menu screen representing your office, where you click on objects on the screen to do things, but the graphics are poor, and the match highlights look awful as well. The worst bit, though, is that most matches end 0-0; in fact, I had to replay an FA Cup match six times because of this! You can train your players in certain areas, but this seems to be of little use, and it’s very hard to get yourself promoted given that winning games is so elusive.
2 Player Super League
Reviewed by Pug
This game is one for die-hard football management fans only. It relies on text and statistics that display your team’s welfare, ability, skill and position in the league. Matches can be played – or rather, a text table informs you of the score at half time and full time. It’s all very simple-looking, and with other better versions out there that actually have graphics, you will soon tire of this ancient-looking attempt by Cult. It plays similarly to their 1991 release of a similar name, 2 Player Soccer Squad.
20000 Avant JC
Humanity is being threatened with extinction by a deadly virus named X13. The only way to counter the threat is to travel back in time to 20,000 BC and reconstruct the virus. Secret agent Karl Adrix has been sent in a time machine to explore a prehistoric landscape, find the constituent parts of the X13 virus, and thus save humanity. Karl’s third outing in a series of six games is very similar to the previous two – the same tunes are used again, for example – but it isn’t as good. There aren’t as many places for Karl to regain energy, and the layout of the rooms and placement of objects means that it’s much easier than the previous games to become stuck and be unable to retrieve a vital object that you dropped somewhere else earlier, all of which makes it a rather frustrating game to play.
See also: Le Crépuscule du Naja, Le Maléfice des Atlantes, Le Talisman d’Osiris.
20000 Lieues Sous les Mers
(Coktel Vision, 1988)
- Knowledge of French is required in order to play this game properly.
Professor Aronnax, his servant Conseil, and a whaler called Ned have been taken prisoner aboard the Nautilus submarine, piloted by the mysterious Captain Nemo, after it crashes into their ship. This is a computer adaptation of Jules Verne’s 1869 novel of the same name, and you play the part of Professor Aronnax as he helps Captain Nemo in his underwater exploration. As well as a point-and-click adventure, there is also a sub-game where you shoot sharks. However, much of your time is spent waiting or visiting rooms and clicking things over and over again, hoping that something will happen. The graphics are messy and are not up to the standards of most of Coktel Vision’s other adventures, either.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: XeNoMoRPH.
(Futur Antérieur, 2014)
This brain-bending puzzle game was originally released for mobile phones and quickly became extremely popular. You have to slide numbered tiles around a 4×4 grid, and when you combine two tiles of the same number, they merge and form a new tile whose number is double that of the original tiles. The aim is to obtain a tile with the number 2048. However, you have to move all the tiles on the grid in one go, and every time you move tiles, another one is introduced. It’s extremely addictive, and if you haven’t played it yet, you’ll soon realise why the concept has been so successful. An excellent tune also plays throughout the game, although it can be turned off if you need to concentrate. My only criticism is that the graphics on the Mode 1 version of the game could have been a lot better, but the authors have also released a Mode 0 version with more colourful graphics.