Screenshot of Alien Highway

Alien Highway

(Vortex Software, 1986)

Reviewed by Chris Lennard

Defeat the aliens again in this sequel to Highway Encounter. Once again you must guide the Vorton and its precious weapon, this time the Terratron, through 30 zones in an attempt to destroy the extraterrestrials’ industrial complex. Avoiding the electrified edge of the road at all costs, you must get past the cunningly placed obstacles, whilst shooting the Zebs and any passing kamikaze aliens. Along the way you are also required to arm the bomb by picking up seven regeneration stations or otherwise it will fail to detonate. However, what is a good, hard game is let down by Mode 1 graphics and poor sound.

See also: Highway Encounter.

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Screenshot of Alien Storm

Alien Storm

(US Gold, 1991)

Reviewed by Missas

Our planet is once again being attacked by aliens, and a special squad known as Alien Busters is formed to save the day. In this game you may choose from three characters (Gordon, Scooter and Karla) who have different attributes and special moves, in order to complete six big levels, each of which is divided into several stages. Graphics are colourful Mode 0 with 16 colours on screen, and a lot of effort has been applied to make them look very detailed. The sound has a variety of effects which help the game maintain an atmosphere, and the main music theme is also fine. The gameplay is enjoyable because of the variety of players’ moves, the good controls and the different gameplay stages of each level. You may have to face aliens in close combat or shoot them in first-person perspective! Overall this is a very good and balanced game which you will most probably enjoy playing.

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Screenshot of Alien Syndrome

Alien Syndrome

(ACE, 1988)

Reviewed by Pug

Alien Syndrome is an eight-way scrolling maze shoot-’em-up. Your goal is to resuce the captives on each level before the timer runs out. One or two players can take part in a Gauntlet-like game. The game itself looks drab and moves at a jerky rate with endless numbers of mutant sausages and jellies out to get you. Computer screens sometimes hide the odd power-up or bonus, but this usually allows another nasty to catch up with you. Too difficult, poor use made of the CPC’s graphic capability, with a handful of sound effects. This one could have been a great game if it wasn’t for it being a rushed port.

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Screenshot of Aliens


(Electric Dreams, 1986)

Nothing has been heard from the colony of LV-426 for some time, so Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley sends a team of five Colonial Marines to investigate – and her fears are well-founded, as the colony is now home to an army of aliens. Your aim is to find your way through the labyrinth of 255 rooms and kill the alien queen. The game (which is based on the highly successful film of the same name) mixes arcade and strategy elements – you’ll be blasting a lot of aliens, but you need to work out a way of reaching the alien queen’s chamber, and there are other rooms to explore as well. If you’re not careful, one or more of your team might be captured or impregnated! It takes time to understand how the game is meant to be played, but you’ll enjoy it once you do. The background music makes the atmosphere much more tense and eerie as well!

See also: Alien, Aliens: US Version.

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Screenshot of Aliens: US Version

Aliens: US Version

(Electric Dreams, 1987)

This game was first released in the USA before it was released in the UK. As one might expect, it’s based on the film of the same name, although unlike the UK version, which concentrates on one section of the film, the US version contains eight sub-games, each of which is inspired by a different section of the film. Unfortunately, the sub-games combine to make a rather unsatisfying and incoherent game. It starts off promisingly, with a nice comic book-style introduction and an easy first level in which you identify your equipment, but the second level, which sees you landing the drop ship, is almost impossible to complete. Thankfully there is a built-in cheat to allow you to select and play the other levels while you’re playing this lousy game. The graphics in some of the sub-games are laughably bad as well.

See also: Alien, Aliens.

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Screenshot of Alive


(Lankhor, 1991)

Reviewed by Piero Serra

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

In this stylish French text adventure, you have crash-landed in a snowy wasteland and must search the local area for help. The game clearly draws inspiration from the point-and-click style of adventure that had become popular on PCs and 16-bit machines in the late 1980s. In Alive, however, the interaction is limited to selecting directional arrows, or choosing words from long lists to give instructions to the parser. The game is reasonably verbose and pushed the limits of my understanding of French, so I kept getting killed by strangers or falling off cliffs, but I could see that there is plenty of detail to the story. There’s a nice title tune and the graphics are cartoony, although some of the colour choices are unappealing. This should be worth trying for those who can read the language.

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Screenshot of Alkahera


(Budgie, 1985)

Reviewed by Pug

Alkahera sees you conscripted by the Galactic Government to patrol the trade routes in outer space. The game places you inside the cockpit of your spaceship with a 3D view of your surroundings, where your scanner alerts you to illegal presence. It’s a simple game of “shoot the scaled sprite”, where 90% of the time you collide with it instead. Game over occurs very quickly and the escape pod option is a waste of time. The graphics are colourful and add a little appeal. Simple sound effects add some atmosphere to a very boring game indeed.

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Screenshot of Alloy Box

Alloy Box

(CNGSoft, 2023)

Deep within a military compound lies something secret that has been obtained by an enemy nation – but what is it? Enter our hero, who has to explore the compound, find the safe where the secret is stored, blow up the safe, and get out! The enemy base is swarming with guards, and you will need to use stealth to try to prevent them from spotting you. Firstly, you’ll need to acquire a gun, then you need to obtain ammunition for it. Other objects to be found in crates are tin cans (extra energy), coloured cards to open doors, and dynamite for blowing up the safe. After eight previous attempts, CNGSoft finally won the #CPCRetroDev Game Creation Contest in 2023 with this effort. However, it wasn’t my favourite game of the contest. The graphics and music are of a very high standard, but I found it infuriatingly difficult to avoid the guards, and your energy drains very rapidly.

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Screenshot of Alpha Jet

Alpha Jet

(Coktel Vision, 1988)

Reviewed by Robert Small

A vertically scrolling shoot-’em-up in which you pilot the real life Alpha Jet fighter plane. There are some positive aspects; the loop-the-loop upon take-off and barrel rolls on moving left and right are a nice touch. The game features surprisingly good sound effects and the pseudo-3D used on the backgrounds is actually quite nice. There are also a good variety of enemies. Unfortunately the game is a bit of a mess technically. It’s far from smooth, with questionable collision detection. There are much better alternatives available.

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Screenshot of Alphajet


(DMV-Verlag, 1989)

Reviewed by Piero Serra

Back in the magazine-focused days of early microcomputing, it was quite an achievement for hobbyist coders to have their games featured in a monthly publication. One such coder was Eduard Pfarr, whose first game, Alphajet, was published as part of a compilation that was sold by German magazine PC Amstrad International. The idea is simple: fly around avoiding or shooting the enemies, locate the bomb and drop it on the alien base. Inspired by Ultimate’s Jetman games on the ZX Spectrum, it certainly has similar physics, graphics and sound effects. It’s far from a bad game when viewed in its context, but as a piece of CPC software the game fails to make full use of the machine’s capabilities, with blandly monochromatic level design, few sound effects and no music. It’s quite good fun, though, and is probably worth trying if you are a fan of Lunar Jetman.

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