Screenshot of After Shock

After Shock

(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.

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Screenshot of After the War

After the War

(Dinamic, 1989)

Reviewed by Alain Schroetter

I remember precisely the day I received After the War. A friend of mine sent it from Spain when it was released, and it was a shock! The Spanish programmers at Dinamic did some really good work – enormous sprites, fluid animation, neat, full colour graphics and irreproachable sound track, a feat that even the programmers of the 16-bit versions hardly managed to reproduce! It is no coincidence that the game caught the attention of foreign publishers. Try this game out and see what an 8-bit machine can really do.

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Screenshot of Aftermath


(Alternative Software, 1988)

This is a version of the arcade classic Missile Command, where meteorites hurl down from space and obliterate your bases on the ground. You’ve got six bases, and an ammunition base to fire at the incoming meteors. If all of your bases are destroyed, that’s it – the world is doomed! However, if any missiles hit your ammunition base, you won’t be able to fire for the rest of the level. This isn’t a bad game by any means, but it does become repetitive, and very easy when you only have one base left. The graphics are a bit dull as well.

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Screenshot of Afteroids


(Zigurat, 1988)

Take one of the earliest computer games ever (namely Asteroids), and add some nice graphics to it, along with a few bonuses to pick up. That’s what you’ve got here. You control a little spaceship that floats around a large arena, and you have to blast all the meteors and other objects that bounce about the arena. However, shooting meteors will cause them to fragment into several smaller meteors. Another problem is that there’s no friction and controlling your spaceship is difficult, to say the least. First impressions are good – you’ve got ten lives, and the first level is easy enough – but it doesn’t last, as the second level is far too hard.

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Screenshot of Agent Orange

Agent Orange

(A’n’F, 1987)

Reviewed by Pug

Those peace-hating aliens are at it again... tut, tut! They’re trying to take over as many worlds as they can by planting carnivorous plants. You are out to counter this, though, by shooting down the alien planting ships and collecting the seeds they leave behind. Do well, and money can be made, allowing you to purchase more powerful ships. The game itself, when played, shows a few bugs in the programming, such as scrolling into unseen alien attack, resulting in loss of life. The monochrome graphics make the gameplay a let-down to a certain degree, but it does carry that “one more go” element. The sound and music are good.

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Screenshot of Agent X II

Agent X II

(Mastertronic, 1987)

The Mad Professor is back, and he has set up an underground base on the Moon where he is developing a zit-ray that will cause all of Earth’s population to suffer from acne – then he can sell acne cream and make a fortune. Don’t you just love games with mad storylines? There are three parts which load separately. The first part is a horizontally scrolling shoot-’em-up which is easy to complete. The second part takes place in the Mad Professor’s base and is a platform game in which you must collect the access codes in order to log in to the computers. The third and final part is a Breakout-style game which is a lot harder, but also rather boring. The graphics are colourful and the music is beautiful, but the gameplay just isn’t of the same standard.

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Screenshot of Ahhh!!!


(CRL, 1984)

Aliens have invaded the galaxy, and you must clear six sectors, each of which contains three waves of aliens. You have lasers at your disposal, and a cloaking device can be used, acting as a shield – but it uses fuel. After you’ve destroyed three waves, you have to dock with a spaceship to refuel. It’s such a hard game, though, because of two things; when you’ve shot most of the aliens, the remaining ones move ridiculously fast, and they can also move off the top of the screen, reappearing at the bottom so that they crash straight into your ship. The graphics are poor as well.

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Screenshot of L’Aigle d’Or

L’Aigle d’Or

(Loriciels, 1986)

Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard

  • Knowledge of French is required in order to play this game properly.

An abandoned castle in the mountains of Westphalia, traps and gloomy dungeons... you must find the Golden Eagle (the English translation of the game’s title), an artefact that brings power and wealth to its owner. This is a really good graphic adventure game, even if the graphics aren’t really appealing. The animation is awful too, by the way, but you’ll enjoy trying to find your way among those dusty rooms, collecting items and falling into dark pits (drawing a map will come in handy!). One of the very best games of 1986.

See also: L’Aigle d’Or: Le Retour.

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Screenshot of L’Aigle d’Or: Le Retour
Screenshot taken from Plus version of game

L’Aigle d’Or: Le Retour

(Loriciel, 1992)

  • Knowledge of French is required in order to play this game properly.

The Golden Eagle has been stolen again, this time by Nahmur, the grand priest of a sinister cult. However, he does not know how to master its powers, so he has broken it into several pieces. Not surprisingly, your mission is to recover all the pieces of the Golden Eagle. This is an arcade adventure which is set in the future. You can access information kiosks which allow you to read e-mails and news, and there are also weapons stores where you can exchange your weapon. If you find any safes, you might be able to open them; just listen very carefully as you turn the dial! The graphics and animation are both stunning, especially if you have a Plus machine; contrary to what some might say, this was the first non-cartridge game to utilise the Plus’ extra colours. It’s an intriguing game which mixes action and adventure elements well.

See also: L’Aigle d’Or.

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Screenshot of Airborne Ranger

Airborne Ranger

(MicroProse, 1988)

Reviewed by Piero Serra

This is yet another of those games I read about when I was young, but didn’t play until recently. I remember thinking Airborne Ranger looked absolutely fantastic, with an exciting list of missions, supplies to collect, terrain to negotiate and enemies to evade. A veritable wonderland of boyhood adventure from the comfort of a bedroom chair. Today, the graphics look a bit sketchy, the playing area seems tiny and scrolls jerkily, and the sound effects don’t impress. The missions are varied but the gameplay is simplistic; first throw your supplies and yourself from a plane, then trek back to your objective to complete the mission. Most of the tension comes from the fact that the controls are so unresponsive. I can’t help but wonder what I would have thought had I played this in the late 1980s – actually, I probably would have loved it, but times have moved on...

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