Adiós a la Casta: Episode 2: De Buen Rollo
Following the December 2015 election in Spain, no agreement could be reached to form a coalition, and new elections were held in 2016. Once again you play Coleta Morada (known in real life as Pablo Iglesias), and you must wander around a supermarket and an underground car park, collecting objects to boost your own charisma and ammunition to help you defeat the end-of-game boss ANSAR. However, there are a variety of people and creatures who will drain your energy if you touch them. The gameplay is identical to the previous episode, but the graphics are drawn in the CPC’s colourful, low-resolution Mode 0, and they look absolutely marvellous and are very nicely animated. A jolly and catchy tune also plays throughout the game. It’s less difficult than its predecessor but it still offers a challenge.
See also: Adiós a la Casta: Episode 1.
Advanced Pinball Simulator
(Code Masters, 1988)
Are pinball games really supposed to have a plot? This one does. A wizard has cast an evil spell over the land of Santagon and threatens to erupt a volcano. You have to make a potion and banish the wizard forever, as well as performing other tasks. These are done by extinguishing letters on the table and hitting other things with the ball. Why a pinball game needs a plot (especially one we’ve heard so often) is a mystery, but it’s certainly not a bad example – just an average one. The ball moves rather slowly, but this doesn’t make the game any easier, and there’s also only one table.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: ChinnyVision.
(Level 9, 1984)
Reviewed by Richard Lamond
Set many years after the events of Colossal Adventure, the second in Level 9’s Middle-earth trilogy has a simple mission – find and defeat Agaliarept, the Demon Lord, in his Dark Tower. Borrowing heavily from J. R. R. Tolkien, Adventure Quest has a number of familiar locations (starting outside the same brick building as in Colossal Adventure, for example). The descriptions are very well written, positively oozing atmosphere, and the parser is of a high standard for the time. Offering a definite challenge, Adventure Quest is not as accessible as its predecessor, but as with most Level 9 games, perseverance will bring reward. The re-release in 1986 as part of the Jewels of Darkness compilation features simple graphics which add to the experience, although there is something of a trade-off in game speed. A worthy follow-up to Colossal Adventure.
See also: Colossal Adventure, Dungeon Adventure.
The Adventures of Bond... Basildon Bond
(Probe Software, 1986)
Reviewed by Robert Small
Many years ago in the annals of TV comedy there was a comedian called Russ Abbot. One of his comic creations was a parody of James Bond. Bizarrely, someone, somewhere thought it was a good idea to make a game about it! Now in all fairness this isn’t a bad-looking game. It’s in Mode 0 and Basildon Bond looks exactly like his TV counterpart. You run around a TV studio seeking and using the items you come across on a quest to complete some jokes that were appropriate for the era – the type that will have you rolling your eyes at the screen. Rogue TV cameras are out to get you, but you can call on a couple of sidekicks for help. This isn’t an exciting game by any means but it has an odd curiosity value.
The Adventures of Timothy Gunn
The city is overrun with gangsters, and the mayor has enlisted Timothy Gunn to deal with them. Your mission is simple; shoot everyone you see! Some gangsters carry evidence, which you will need to collect in order to go to the next level. Other gangsters carry guns, which when collected will also restore a small amount of your energy. Also beware of snipers, whose crosshairs will appear on the screen if you are too slow to gather evidence! This game was an entrant in the 2018 #CPCRetroDev Game Creation Contest and it finished in fourth place, and the gameplay is very similar to the first level of The Untouchables. The graphics are very colourful, the scrolling is amazingly fast, and the music is good. However, the inclusion of the sniper can make this game frustrating to play and it would have been better without this feature.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Xyphoe.
Many years ago, Jesper Goldenstark discovered a previously unknown planet, and he found powerful crystals that contained large reserves of energy. However, once the planet’s resources were depleted, chaos ensued and the settlement was left in ruins. This game consists of four parts that retell the story of Jesper’s descendants and the settlement’s rise and fall. The graphics are colourful, if a little simplistic in places, but there are several utterly marvellous tunes that accompany the action. The first part, which is a platform game, contains some acid drops that fall at random, and getting past them is very frustrating, which spoils the gameplay somewhat. Thankfully the other parts are considerably less frustrating, and you can play them without playing the previous parts first.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: Amstrad CPC World, XeNoMoRPH.
L’Affaire Santa Fe
- Knowledge of French is required in order to play this game properly.
You’re a wanted man in the Wild West, and have been forced out of the town of Santa Fe – but where are you going to go? This is a multiple choice adventure where you are given two or three options and then select one of them. When you first see the truly luscious pictures (which were hand-drawn and then digitised and touched up on the CPC) and hear the music, you think that this is going to be a big game. If you play it for a while, though, you realise that there isn’t as much as you think. There are very few locations, and while there are many opportunities to die, it’s a very easy game to complete (there are two possible endings, by the way). It is worth playing just to see the gorgeous pictures, but should some of them have been sacrificed to make a bigger game?
African Trail Simulator
Take to the desert on your off-road bike as you negotiate all the stages of the African trail. Before you start each stage, you must select three items of equipment to take with you; the right choices may well be crucial. You have to gauge your speed correctly and perform wheelies where necessary when you ride over hills, or you’ll fall off. You may also meet other riders who will knock you off your bike. Unfortunately, the gameplay doesn’t match the excellent graphics – there’s little scenery, the stages last too long, and there isn’t enough of a challenge.
Reviewed by Chris Lennard
Strap into an F-14 Tomcat and take to the skies engaging the might of the Soviet air force in this Cold War shoot-’em-up arcade conversion. Placed in a seemingly never-ending dogfight armed with only your trusty Mavericks and forward cannons, you pitch and yaw in 360° above a variety of landscapes, dodging enemy assault whilst mercilessly destroying them. The graphics are superb, with large, colourful sprites all around, with appropriate sound effects that reflect your destructive capabilities adequately. This is such an accurate port that it suffers from the same drawbacks in gameplay in that destroying enemy vessels is a formality and it’s random pot luck as to whether you are shot down or not.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: ChinnyVision, jgonza, Xyphoe.
(Interceptor Software, 1986)
Reviewed by Robert Small
There has been a massive earthquake, and to top it all off, the local nuclear power plant is going critical. Sounds like a great day. This is a text adventure but it does have some very nice scene-setting graphics for some of the locations which draw quickly. The locations are surprisingly varied and the real world setting makes a pleasant change to the usual fantasy worlds that text adventures often inhabit. The descriptions are atmospheric to read as you work out what needs to be done with the various objects to be found and how to input commands so that they are accepted. If you enjoy this genre then it’s a game you should add to your ‘to-play’ list.