Screenshot of Amsgolf


(Amsoft, 1984)

Reviewed by Pug

After the traditional Amsoft loading screen you are presented with a very bland-looking display. Instructions are offered and it’s vital that you read them to learn how the game works. When you’re ready to play, you’re asked for your handicap, which also requires a password. Simply put, Amsgolf asks the player which club to use, the direction to aim the ball, and then the strength of your swing. After pressing the appropriate keys the action begins. A line is drawn that indicates the direction and destination of your ball, with redefined characters representing the scenery. Each screen or hole is simply another mish-mash of drab-looking hazards with pointless audio. It’s a game that you’ll try once and never touch again.

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Screenshot of Amsilvania Castle

Amsilvania Castle

(Magic Team, 1987)

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

Somewhere within the dungeons of Amsilvania Castle lies a hoard of treasure, and you are determined to find it. Before you enter the castle, you can buy items such as ropes (to get you out of hidden traps), pliers (to open treasure chests), batteries, and scorpion antidote. The gameplay consists of going from room to room searching for objects to help you progress. Making a map is essential, otherwise you’ll soon become lost. The graphics and sound effects are very primitive and your character moves very slowly – which is perhaps to be expected, as the game is mostly written in BASIC. You’ll encounter a lot of locked doors early on, but there are no keys around to unlock them, and most of the treasure chests can’t be opened. Most of the rooms look very similar to each other, and exploring the dungeon soon becomes tedious and dull.

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Screenshot of Amsoccer


(IJK, 1986)

Amstrad Rovers take on IJK United in the worst football game that has ever been released for the CPC. There are only four players in each team, and none of them can run fast enough to catch up with the ball, which bounces around the pitch like it’s on ice; it doesn’t have any friction at all! Every time the ball moves past the edge of the screen, you have to wait for several seconds while the screen scrolls to reveal the next section of the pitch. Scoring goals is more or less impossible, and the graphics and sound effects are abysmal. How on Earth such an awful game was ever released is beyond me.

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Screenshot of Amstrad Shuffle

Amstrad Shuffle

(Alpha Omega, 1986)

This is a collection of eight card games, with two separate parts containing four games each. The first part contains the traditional game of patience, where you arrange cards in columns in descending order and alternating suit colours, as well as clock patience (a bit boring), row patience (much more interesting), and pairs (a memory game). The second part contains the more complex games – carpet patience (much too easy), raglan patience (a much harder variant of traditional patience and very hard to get anywhere), sultan patience (which uses two packs of cards and is quite challenging), and blackjack. If you’re familiar with patience, you should be able to learn the rules easily and enjoy some of the games a lot – I certainly did.

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Screenshot of Anarchy


(Rack It, 1988)

Shoot all the blocks on each level whilst avoiding the monsters, and then when you’ve done that, find the exit block with an inability to fire! You also can’t shoot blocks if you’re next to them – you have to get a run at them, if you see what I mean. The graphics are a bit simple but they do the job, as do the sound effects and the music. It’s still a good game to play with some tight time limits, although the keyboard controls are really awkward.

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Screenshot of Android One

Android One

(Vortex Software, 1985)

An android has been sent to shut down a nuclear reactor which is going to explode. You have to battle and blast your way through 14 screens containing mutant monsters, and when you reach the reactor and shut down, you’ve got to make your way back to the screen where you started from. The game is absolutely awful, though, with ridiculously simple graphics and sound effects, and it’s also too hard.

See also: Android Two.

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Screenshot of Android Two

Android Two

(Vortex Software, 1985)

A new menace has come to invade an alien planet. You control the new improved Android 2, and have to clear five Millitoids from three zones – the Maze of Death, the Paradox Zone, and the Flatlands – within a time limit. You’ve also got to avoid walking into the indestructible robots and stepping on the many mines scattered about the zones. The graphics are fairly basic, the sound effects are poor, and the animation and scrolling are jerky, all of which lessen the appeal of a game which could otherwise have been reasonably good.

See also: Android One.

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Screenshot of Andy Capp

Andy Capp

(Mirrorsoft, 1987)

Reviewed by John Beckett

Based on the popular Daily Mirror comic strip, you control flat-capped layabout Andy. The aim of the game is to find out who has stolen your dole money. You do this by wandering around the vast neighbourhood, quizzing your mates, while at the same time finding ways to line your pockets until your giro turns up. You can have a flutter at the bookies, even – heaven forbid – go to the Job Centre! On top of this, you’ve been barred from your local, and the police are after you – just another day in the northeast of England! The graphics retain the charm of the comic, but are very grey and dull, and on the whole, although it’s different and fun for a while, the game soon becomes rather boring.

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Screenshot of Angel Nieto, Pole 500

Angel Nieto, Pole 500

(Opera Sport, 1990)

Ángel Nieto won thirteen motorcycle World Championships in the 50cc and 125cc classes back in the 1970s and 1980s, so why you ride a 500cc motorbike in this game is a mystery to me. Anyway, you’re competing with ten other riders in the World Championship, with four tracks to race in. Yes, there are only four tracks! Despite this, it’s actually a pretty good game. There are no qualifying sessions and you automatically start last in each race, but you can practice each track beforehand. The graphics are very good and it’s not too slow either, although the engine noises aren’t very realistic at all.

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Screenshot of Angle Ball

Angle Ball

(Mastertronic, 1987)

Here’s an original twist – a hexagonal pool table! You can play against a friend or the computer at any one of over twenty different table layouts. There are only eight balls on the table instead of the normal fifteen, and if you fail to pot a ball three times, you lose the frame. There’s not that much else to say about it, but one nice feature is that you can design your own table layouts and save and load them for later use. The title music is also awful, but that doesn’t matter too much.

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