(US Gold, 1988)
Lots of skateboarding here as you attempt to earn medals and raise some money to buy tickets and equipment by showing off your miscellaneous skills at courses scattered throughout Skate City. There’s a ramp, a couple of downhill tracks, and a slalom track too. If you don’t do well enough, you won’t get any more tickets to get into the courses, and the killer bees will come after you (honest)! The game is quite a lot of fun at first as you muck about on all the courses, but I lost interest after some time. And killer bees? Who on Earth decided to put killer bees in a skateboarding game?
(Code Masters, 1989)
Time to burn some rubber on a motorbike as you race against eight other riders. You have to finish each race in a certain place to qualify for the next race; if you don’t manage this, you’re out. The motorbike is quite powerful, but you’re going to need to use some turbo to get past the other competitors, and on longer races, you’ll also need to pit to fill up with fuel and to change the tyres. However, it’s too easy to crash, and by the time you’re back on your bike, you’ll be too far behind to gain on them. The graphics are really blocky as well, and don’t really give the impression of speed.
Since the 1980s, there have been arguments over which 8-bit computer is the best – the ZX Spectrum, the Commodore 64, the MSX, or the Amstrad CPC? This is a tower defence strategy game in which the other 8-bit computers wander around predetermined paths, and you must place CPC machines beside certain sections of the paths to attack and destroy them. If too many of them make it to the finishing point, you lose. Each machine costs a certain amount to deploy, and your reserves are very limited, so you need to think carefully about what types of machines to use and where to deploy them. The graphics are cute and nicely animated, but there is no sound at all and the difficulty curve is too steep; the second level seems to be nigh-on impossible to complete. We CPC fans know it’s the best 8-bit computer, but it won’t win this particular war.