Most snooker games view the board from above. This one dares to be different by viewing it from one end and adding some perspective. However, it just doesn’t work. Aiming your ball is like most other snooker games – you move crosshairs about the table and fire. The perspective makes aiming the ball accurately impossible, especially when you’re aiming for a ball at the far end of the table. It also uses only four colours, so working out the other coloured balls can be tricky. The 3D graphics are a reasonable attempt, but I’ll say again that it doesn’t work in a snooker game.
(Code Masters, 1987)
Reviewed by John Beckett
Prepare for a biased review – this is in my top three favourite CPC games ever! There is so much to this game, I can’t do it justice in such a small space. You play a special agent whose mission is to deliver the CHAOS weapon (Complete Hostile Alien Obliteration System) to the scientists of a distant planet overrun by hostile aliens. But things aren’t that simple and you’ll find yourself making many trips to other planets before you eventually deliver the weapon. The game itself is a 3D shoot-’em-up where you must shoot the rapidly approaching alien ships using a set of crosshairs, before they crash into you and drain your shields. The graphics are fairly simple but still good, the sound is excellent (cue the Code Masters trademark sampled speech!) and this game is just brilliant fun!
(Realtime Games Software, 1985)
Take on the enemy Outsider spaceships in your advanced Starstrike spaceship, and penetrate and destroy their reactors hidden deep beneath the surface of the Outsiders’ moons. This 3D space shoot-’em-up features fast and colourful wireframe graphics and non-stop action – whether it’s shooting the Outsider spaceships and their plasma bolts, dodging towers as you fly towards the enemy base, or avoiding the catwalks as you zoom along the equatorial ducts leading to the reactors, you’ll need to have quick reflexes and a good aim! While the gameplay may ultimately be a little repetitive, it’s still great fun to play and an excellent choice if you’re looking for a quick session of blasting aliens.
See also: Starstrike II.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Xyphoe.
3D Stunt Rider
Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard
With hindsight, it’s amazing that people could sell full-price games that were as bad as this. The only thing to do here is trying to jump with your bike over double-decker buses (which proudly bear the inscription ‘AMSTRAD’). The problem is that you must start your jump exactly at the right speed, if you don’t want to crash either on the buses or on the landing track. And when I say exactly at the right speed, that’s exactly! 25mph instead of 23mph won’t do. Add to that the impossibility of controlling accurately the speed of your bike, and you obtain an extremely irritating game, even if the graphics are rather good!
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: ChinnyVision, Xyphoe.
3D Time Trek
Aliens have destroyed your home planet, and you must rid your galaxy of them. The galaxy consists of 64 sectors laid out in an 8×8 grid, and you must explore the sectors and search for the aliens using your long range sensors. Once you find a sector containing a wave of aliens, you have to shoot a few of them by moving a cursor around the screen, and then you can teleport to another sector to continue your mission. There are also planets where you can restore some energy, but only if you land your spacecraft successfully. This is a very simple game with basic graphics. The gameplay requires very little skill and offers little variety, and it won’t be long before you’ll become bored of it.
3-D Voice Chess
(CP Software, 1985)
Reviewed by Robert Small
There are a good number of chess games on the CPC, the majority of which fall into the good to very good category. How to stand out among the crowd? How about some synthesised speech? 3-D Voice Chess does this quite nicely. It’s a little muffled but it’s quite the party trick to hear the moves being read aloud. With that unique selling point out of the way, is the rest of the game any good? The graphics are clearly defined and the gameplay is accessible with configurable levels of difficulty. Overall, an impressive early chess game for the CPC.
(Hit Pak, 1987)
Stranded at the bottom of the sea, you must find or construct a submarine that will rescue you and take you back to the surface. The sea bed is littered with objects that you can collect. Some of them are hidden from view by larger objects that can be pushed out of the way. You will also find Eric the Eel, who can squeeze into gaps that you cannot fit into – but watch out for the octopuses, who will steal your oxygen tanks if you’re not careful! This isometric arcade adventure with some lovely graphics and a pleasant rendition of a tune that will be familiar to British ears. However, the controls are awkward, and it’s quite difficult to work out what you’re supposed to do with the objects you can collect.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Amstrad CPC World.
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!
4 to 4 Back to the Future
(Kukulcan/Tom et Jerry, 2015)
Reviewed by Missas
This is another great addition to the already admirable collection of CPC puzzle games. The main idea here is to match four ‘sliders’ with squares of the corresponding pattern. However, once you push the sliders there is no way to change their direction or make them stop until they hit a wall. This game, despite its title, has no connection to the well known film franchise. It is very well presented and executed and my guess is that the author has a mathematical mind. The game is presented in Mode 1 and the graphics are plain but good. A pleasant tune plays throughout the game. The gameplay is very demanding; it is indeed a really tough game to beat. Gamers be advised; if you want a very strong challenge, this is the next puzzle game to try out. Will you dare to accept it?
4×4 Off-Road Racing
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.