An axe with magical powers has been stolen from the village of Kartes by the evil Tarox, and its people have suffered terribly for years as a result – but then a boy called Arkos was born, and his childhood was spent training to eventually retrieve the axe and bring prosperity to Kartes once more. As Arkos, you must first cross the village to the marshes, where you will meet Tarox, who has transformed himself into a huge monster. Once you defeat him, a large bird will take you across the marshes to the abandoned temple of Zintos where you will find the axe. The graphics are very colourful and well drawn, but the sound effects are rather basic, and the first and third parts of the game are very frustrating due to the sheer number of enemies that can appear on the screen, which wastes a lot of your lives.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: jgonza (part 1), jgonza (part 2), jgonza (part 3).
The Armageddon Man
In 2032, the world is close to Armageddon. Sixteen countries form the United Nuclear Nations (UNN), and its supreme commander, the so-called ‘Armageddon Man’, decides the fate of the world. It’s your job to maintain world peace and stability between these nations. You have a network of satellites which allow you to eavesdrop on communications and shoot down nuclear missiles. There are other aspects of the game as well, and you can also declare your support for, or criticise, any of the nations. Events happen quickly, and it’s quite a task to keep up with them. This is an icon-driven strategy game and it will take some time to master. If you’ve got the patience, you might well like it a lot, but it really isn’t the type of game that everyone will enjoy.
Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard
If you already know a few Dinamic games, it’s hardly useful to present you this one. Two words will be sufficient: ‘beautiful’ and ‘unplayable’. In the first part, you drive a jeep and then fly a helicopter, and you must clear your way through myriads of enemy jeeps and helicopters. If this wasn’t enough, there are many holes in the road so you have to jump to avoid them, and missiles keep falling. It’s a real challenge to stay alive for more than 15 seconds. In the second part, you must cross a swamp to enter the enemy camp and destroy it. As usual with the Spanish developers, the graphics are colourful and the sprites move smoothly. The game window is a bit too small, however. Unless you play with infinite lives or are specially gifted (I’m not), it’s really hard to keep your self-control!
See also: Navy Moves.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: Amstrad CPC World, jgonza (part 1), jgonza (part 2), Metr81 (part 1), Metr81 (part 2), Novabug, Retro Danuart.
(ESP Soft, 2011)
Reviewed by Missas
Arquimedes XXI was originally released for the Spectrum and MSX machines in 1987, but thanks to ESP Soft, it is also available for the CPC. Firstly, this is a pure text adventure. The game starts with a well drawn introduction screen. The graphics are above average (Mode 0) with a fine colour selection, but they are not too detailed. The result is satisfactory, though. The parser is limited to simple words like “examine” and “w” (meaning west) and after some practice, a player won’t have any problems with the interface. Because of the well drawn in-game screens, the gameplay is further assisted. The plot is very interesting, thus the grab factor is strong. A minus here is that the game itself is rather small. Overall, an interesting text adventure that is worth playing.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Metr81.
(Gremlin Graphics, 1989)
You are Artura, and your evil half-sister Morgause has kidnapped Nimue, apprentice to Merdyn the Mage. You must rescue Nimue so that Merdyn can recover the lost Treasures of Albion and reunite the kingdom of Albion. Behind the rather grandiose background is a run-of-the-mill platform game in which you must explore a huge castle in the search for magical runes that will enable you to teleport to other sections of the castle in your search for Morgause. The castle is filled with warriors, rats, bats and other creatures which you can kill with your axe, and witches also need to be defeated in order to reveal some of the runes. The music that plays before the start of each game is amazing, but the graphics look rather dull in comparison, and the game requires a lot of walking around and exploration; you’ll definitely need to make a map to find your way around.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Metr81.
Aspar GP Master
Jorge Martínez ‘Aspar’ won four motorcycle World Championships in the 80cc and 125cc classes in the 80s, and this game (released outside Spain as Grand Prix Master) sees you competing in the 80cc World Championship, which consists of seven tracks and a total of twelve other riders. Unlike most other racing games, you get an overhead view of the track, rather than a view from the motorbike. You can practice each track before attempting to qualify and ultimately race, which is a good thing, because qualifying isn’t easy. Your bike has a turbo booster which you need to use in the corners to maximise your speed. Getting the hang of qualifying and racing will take a lot of practice, but it’s worth it, as the game is a lot of fun once you’ve mastered it.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Retro Danuart.
(Ubi Soft, 1987)
America’s highways are ruled by lawless anarchists, and the juggernauts that travel all over these highways now require armed protection. You’re in control of one of these lorries and have to shoot all the cars and motorbikes that come up behind (and sometimes in front of) you and attack you. As well as a gun, you’ve got a flamethrower and some mines, although these are limited. At the top right of the screen, you can see how damaged your juggernaut is, and if any section becomes badly damaged, the juggernaut will burst into flames. The graphics are good, but I found the action to be a bit dull and repetitive.
Joystick-waggling games are normally the bane of my life, so it’s refreshing to see such a game where battering the hell out of the joystick won’t work! Better still, it can be played using a keyboard! As you might have guessed, you’re taking part in an assault course and you must complete the course within the time limit. It’s all about getting a sense of rhythm – if you lose it, you’ll fall off some of the obstacles, which is rather easy. It is possible to complete the courses, but they’re all much the same, really.
Assault on Port Stanley
The Falklands War of 1982 saw British forces retake the Falkland Islands after it was briefly occupied by Argentina, and this game is very loosely based on it. The game begins with you controlling a British warship and firing at enemy ships – although you can’t adjust the range of your gun. At any time, you can launch a helicopter, where you must dodge and shoot enemy planes. If you reach land before you run out of fuel, you must then fly your helicopter through a narrow channel and dodge even more enemies, while occasionally stopping at huts to collect troops and refuel. The gameplay is badly flawed, particularly in the first stage, where the best way to survive is to avoid confrontation with the enemy ships. The graphics are rather basic and there’s very little variety in the enemies you encounter.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: GameHammer Classic Gaming, Xyphoe.
Asterix and the Magic Cauldron
(Melbourne House, 1987)
Reviewed by Chris Lennard
Recover the seven missing pieces of Getafix’s cauldron so he can brew his famous magic potion, or else the small village of indomitable Gauls will no longer be able to hold out against the Roman invaders. As always, it’s up to Asterix to save the day accompanied by his ever-ravenous friend Obelix. Make your way around the village, its forest, the surrounding fortified camps and even the Imperial capital itself whilst engaging in combat with nefarious legionaries, wild boars and even a Gladiator in the quest set before you. It’s a nice looking game, but it has no sound and is ultimately way too difficult as the fight sections are a bit of a gamble.
See also: Astérix Chez Rahàzade, Astérix et la Potion Magique.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: jgonza.