(Rafael Castillo, 2017)
Shaolin Kid and Little Indian have travelled to the palace of Baba Yaga in search of information about the elixir of life. However, Baba Yaga will only give the duo this information if they defeat all her henchmen, in 100 levels of platform-based puzzles. The first few levels see you controlling Shaolin Kid, and you must push blocks, climb ladders and burrow your way through earth to find ways of killing all the enemies. Later on, Shaolin Kid and Little Indian appear together and must cooperate with each other. This game won the 2017 #CPCRetroDev Game Creation Contest, and it’s beautifully presented, with cute, colourful graphics and animation and fantastic music. It will take a lot of thinking to beat many of the levels – but when you work out a solution, the feeling of satisfaction is great! Thankfully you also receive a code on completion of each level so you don’t have to replay earlier ones.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Saberman.
Baby Jo in “Going Home”
Baby Jo is lost in the park, and his mother is worried about him, but being a strong and brave little baby, he makes his own way home. There are four levels which take Jo through the park and some caves and mine shafts, before emerging again in a housing estate and his mother’s house. This is a jolly platform game which has ‘cute’ written all over it; the graphics in particular are marvellous and really colourful, and the scenery and the types of monsters that Jo faces are also cute. The levels are big and are divided into several sections; if you lose a life, you restart at the beginning of the section you died on. There are also passwords for each level, which is also very helpful. The only problem with the game is that there is no sound at all!
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Metr81.
Back to Reality
The ship in which you are travelling has entered a black hole and emerged into a parallel universe. You have to get it back into the real universe by somehow making antimatter and combining it with matter. This is an adventure game which involves collecting objects and turning them into new objects, from which you eventually end up making antimatter. You’ll need to be rather good at science to work out all the puzzles! You’ve also got a limited supply of oxygen which will need to be replenished frequently. The graphics are OK but the music (if you can call it that) is terrible, the man you control walks much too slowly, and at the end of the day, the game really isn’t all that interesting.
Back to the Future
(Electric Dreams, 1986)
Reviewed by Piero Serra
As Marty McFly trapped in 1955, you must prevent your oblivious future mother from falling in love with you instead of your future father. She falls more in love with you the longer she is in your vicinity. This induces a paradox, the progress of which is measured by your family portrait gradually disintegrating. If the portrait disappears entirely you won’t be born, so you must trick your folks into spending time alone together using objects from the film. Electric Dreams’ Back to the Future game always had a reputation for being a rush job. The gameplay can be confusing but I think the execution really spoilt its reputation – jerky scrolling; slow character movement; no in-game sound whatsoever. I loved this game when I was younger, though, and somehow still like it now. Despite the flaws the idea is interesting, and it’s at least worth trying if you like the film.
See also: Back to the Future Part II, Back to the Future Part III.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Xyphoe.
Back to the Future Part II
(Image Works, 1990)
Reviewed by Pug
We’ve all seen the movie, so there’s no need to explain the premise behind this one. The game opens with the hoverboard chase, which looks very dull in monochrome, where you race to the town hall while taking on Biff’s cronies. The second level looks more appealing graphically, as you help Jennifer leave the house unnoticed. A dull monochrome beat-’em-up follows this, leading to an animated sliding puzzle game. The final level is similar to the first one. The graphics vary, the music is good, but the game doesn’t work too well, as some of the stages are sluggish.
See also: Back to the Future, Back to the Future Part III.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: jgonza, Novabug, Xyphoe.
Back to the Future Part III
(Image Works, 1991)
Reviewed by Pug
Image Works got their act together with this game and made better use of the CPC. Again, great presentation upon loading followed by good visuals. In this one, you are chasing the train in order to save Dr Brown’s sweetheart. You start on horseback, which is well animated, and travel along entering various towns. The scene changes to a 2D shoot-’em-up with cowboys and Indians. Beyond this, you face Mad Dog’s gang in an isometric shootout. This game is a great improvement on the previous one. The graphics and sound are all spot on.
See also: Back to the Future, Back to the Future Part II.
Back to the Golden Age
(Ubi Soft, 1991)
- Knowledge of French is required in order to play this game properly.
A great mage once ruled the world by using the power of four magical crystal balls, or Edres. The mage held one of the Edres, and three priests held another Edre each. However, one of the priests has stolen three of the Edres in an attempt to take over the world. You are Zad, and have been entrusted by the great mage to recover the missing Edres. This is an arcade adventure where you explore castles and dungeons, collect potions, fight knights and warriors, buy supplies, and cast various spells, although the descriptions of what they are used for are often very cryptic. The graphics and animation have been done superbly, and the game itself is really big and will keep you occupied for a long time.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Axelino.
Researchers from the US Army have created a virus, but it is out of control, and they have asked for your help in wiping it out. Each level consists of a single screen containing viruses and white blood cells, and you must destroy all the viruses before they infect all the blood cells. To do this, you can use either a rolling pin to flatten the viruses, a pair of lasers to fry them, or a combination of the two – but you must decide which method to use at the beginning of the game. Each level also contains many coloured tiles which affect play in different ways. This is a simple arcade game, but it’s very enjoyable and the action is frantic throughout; there’s no time at all to relax!
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Amstrad CPC World.
A patient is critically ill, and viruses are spreading around his body. Bactron – a yellow blob of antibiotics – must reactivate the enzymes which have been sterilised by the viruses. The game involves lots of exploration, trying to locate the enzymes in the patient’s body while avoiding the viruses which will drain your energy if you touch them. It’s a race against time as well; more viruses are being produced and the patient’s temperature is rising. The enzymes are shown as yellow cubes, and activating them boosts Bactron’s energy, but don’t touch the light blue cubes! The rooms are viewed from an isometric perspective, and the graphics are absolutely gorgeous, especially considering the year it was released. The music is wonderful and really groovy, and it’s a nice game with a clever plot.
Inspired by the Olympic Games, the stray cats of Los Angeles have teamed together to hold their own competition. Up to four players compete in four events. There are two obstacle courses to negotiate, a game in which you must jump into the air and catch geometric shapes while trying not to fall into a pool of water, and a ten-pen bowling game against a dog, in which you bowl balls and try to hit each other with them. Between each event, you have to travel across the city to the next event on a motorbike. (These cats are really cool!) The graphics are well drawn, but the game seems to be aimed at children, as I found it to be far too easy, and unless you can find someone else to play against, there isn’t enough challenge to make you want to play it again.