(Rainbow Production, 1986)
- Knowledge of French is required in order to play this game properly.
Terrorists have planted a bomb in an embassy, and it is due to explode in 45 minutes. The evacuation takes 20 minutes, leaving you with only 25 minutes to locate and defuse the bomb. With a scenario like this, you may be expecting to play an action-packed arcade game. Instead, it’s a text adventure in which you explore the embassy by typing in commands, but it lacks the challenge that is found in most other games in this genre. Although there are a lot of rooms, and the pictures accompanying each location are lovely, there are few objects to be collected and used and no characters to interact with (which is not surprising given that the embassy has been evacuated!). A lot of the puzzles seem to consist of finding the right key to open a door, and having to type articles with each object (e.g. “ouvre la porte” instead of “ouvre porte”) is irritating.
(Code Masters, 1988)
Take to the off-road in your all-terrain vehicle and negotiate six courses within the time limits set for each one. As this is supposed to be an all-terrain vehicle, the courses take place in deserts, grassland, swamps, and even on ice, and the obstacles you have to tackle also depend on the scenery. The graphics are quite good (especially when you’re flung off your vehicle and it lands upside down), but they lack colour, and the sound and music are both OK as well. It’s not great, but at least you can progress through the first few courses without much bother.
(Gremlin Graphics, 1987)
Having escaped from the clutches of Intermole by hiding in Gibraltar, Monty Mole now dreams of spending the rest of his days on the island of Montos in Greece. First, though, he’s got to get some money. This is a jolly little platform game where the map resembles that of Europe, although to reach some countries, you’ll have to find an airline ticket and check in at a desk. Littered around the map are travellers’ cheques which Monty can pick up, and as money is collected, you’ll see a picture of Montos appear gradually at the bottom of the screen. The graphics are simple but still quite good, while a catchy melody plays constantly in the background.
(Erbe/US Gold, 1990)
A rather unusual selection of six Australian-themed events is provided in this humorous game. It starts with belly-flopping into Sydney harbour, then continues with shark fishing, shooting beer bottles from a moving jeep, kicking and catching a ball from one player to another on a beach, throwing and catching a boomerang, and finally, a dry boat race. The graphics are very colourful and the animation is marvellous, and there are some really jolly tunes to listen to. Like most multi-event games, not all of the events will appeal to everyone, and the controls are quite difficult to understand on a couple of them. Overall, though, it’s an entertaining and well presented game, and the pictures that are displayed after competing in each event are a really nice touch.
(Again Again, 1989)
Reviewed by Richard Lamond
Control the Koalas in their attempts to win either the Outback Amateur League or the Victorian Football League in this CPC interpretation of the Australian sport. This is a shabby representation of a sport that takes place on a cricket oval, but here is represented by three flick-screens; when the ball isn’t present on the screen you’re in, then it effectively doesn’t exist until you go back into the screen that contains the ball. Knocking the ball out of bounds results in a re-take from the centre spot and it’s disturbingly easy to run from the centre spot and score a goal (worth six points). Your computer opponent is poor, scoring the odd behind (worth one point) but otherwise being largely useless. The graphics are uninspiring and sound effects are restricted to the odd whistle and crowd noise. There is no two-player option either; a real disappointment.
I love the dodgem cars at the funfair, but this is no ordinary dodgem car session – no, this one involves lots of killing! Your aim is to bash the opponents’ dodgem cars and cause them to fly out of their cars. As they run on to the arena to grab another car, you have to run them over with a sickening crunch! However, the timing is important; you must build up speed by circling the arena for a while, and bash into your opponents’ dodgems after they’ve just crashed. Of course, your opponents can do the same to you... The first level is OK, but the second level, where there are two other competitors, is too hard, and it’s a boring game, anyway, even with all the blood and gore.
(Gremlin Graphics, 1986)
Reviewed by John Beckett
When I saw the loading screen, I knew this game was going to be special – a ninja with a pair of shurikens seemingly bursting from a tiger’s head! Cool! The plot of the game is uncertain; something about ridding the dungeon of monsters to please the god Kwon. You can call on Kwon’s services to regain your health several times, but do it too much, and he gets angry and kills you! Ungrateful fool! The dungeons are fairly huge and difficult, but not overly so – each go takes you that bit further, and the player’s interest is kept going with new monsters and treasures to uncover. The graphics are fine – small but clear, and very well animated – and the music is a treat; a nice kung fu ditty and lots of satisfying explosions! I love ninja games, and this is one of the best. I advise you play it as soon as possible!
See also: The Way of the Tiger.
Pépito is a cartoon character which is used in France to advertise a brand of sugary chocolate biscuits and cakes. You play Pépito, on the trail of some Mexican bandits who have stolen his supply of chocolate. The journey takes you across 34 screens, confronting the local wildlife, as well as chasms, boulders, and the bandits themselves. Most of the hazards are avoided by jumping over them, which requires some careful timing, although some enemies can be fought off by flinging your sombrero, or some chocolate biscuits, at them. The game is aimed at young children, so it’s slightly easy, but while the graphics are absolutely stunning, you have to wait 15 seconds on average for the next screen to load, and unless you have a lot of patience, you will soon find yourself losing your temper.
(Proein Soft Line, 1989)
Reviewed by Robert Small
Averno is a single-screen arcade puzzle game which evokes more famous games of the era. It almost looks as if Taito could have released this in the arcades. It’s actually a Spanish release. Each screen is made up of bricks. Around the screen are placed keys, which are needed to unlock doors to progress to the next screen. To gain access to the keys and doors you must nudge the bricks carefully downwards. Do things the wrong way and the level will be impossible to complete. You’re also on a time limit. Graphically it’s in simple Mode 0 with basic sound effects and manic music. The game can be frustrating while you work out a solution to each screen and some form of variety in the graphics would have helped, but this isn’t a bad little game.