(Code Masters, 1989)
More BMX biking action is on offer here. There are two sets of tracks available – dirt biking and quarry racing – and up to four players can compete against each other. You can also choose from either normal or expert mode; the expert mode allows each player to customise their bike’s performance with a choice of tyre width and chainwheel size, but the time limits for each track are much tighter. Controlling your bike is awkward and the confined nature of most of the tracks makes this a frustrating game to play; the quarry racing tracks are truly infuriating. This is really a cut-down version of an earlier full-price release from Code Masters, Professional BMX Simulator, with the same graphics and music, so you may as well play it instead.
This game wasn’t released in the UK until 1988. I can’t understand why it wasn’t released earlier, because the quality of the graphics is beyond description – how people must have gasped in awe of them back then! Erm, oh yes, the game... Bob Winner is on a quest to find a lost civilisation, and has to collect three keys which are being held by three opponents that he meets on his journey – two boxers and a gun-wielding cowboy. To fight them, Bob has to find the right object. There are only about twenty screens, but they all feature stupendous digitised backgrounds. The graphics and animation are without a doubt the best I’ve ever seen on a CPC, although the game ultimately lacks depth and isn’t that big.
(TV Games, 1988)
Ah, Bob Monkhouse! This is a computerised version of the 80s TV show which was presented by him. It’s a quiz game which also has an element of bingo in it; in each of the three rounds, you have to fill in certain squares on your bingo card, and the first player (out of four) to do this wins a prize. In the final round, the first player to fill in all the squares goes on to the end game, to win a holiday. Unfortunately, you don’t really get to win all the prizes in real life. The graphics aren’t bad and the game is simple enough to play, but the questions repeat themselves much too often.
(The Edge, 1986)
Bobby is a spherical droid, and his five chums – Osborne, Boogle, Bungo, Bert, and Barnaby – are lost in a large maze. It’s his job to find them and return them to where he started by pushing them along. However, the maze is huge and is filled with all manner of nasty traps such as switches, crushers, and black balls which will attempt to knock you out. The maze is viewed in isometric 3D and it looks quite good, although there are very few sound effects and no music. Nevertheless, this is a lot of fun to play, and exploring the maze is almost as much fun as finding the other droids.
Bobo’s in a prison and is trying to make his escape, but he’ll have to complete some tasks first. Bobo’s plans seem a bit awry to me – the five tasks, in order, are: serving soup to the other prisoners, peeling potatoes, helping the other prisoners to flee by using a trampoline, jumping to and fro on high-voltage wires, and keeping the guards asleep. The graphics and animation are marvellous, done like only the French can do them, and the tunes accompanying each task are nice, too. However, the tasks, though fun at first, become cumbersome after a while and you may lose interest. The game only comes into its own when you play with a friend and see who can get the highest score.
(Digital Integration, 1987)
Reviewed by Piero Serra
The delightful music that introduces Bobsleigh will be familiar to most people in the UK as the theme to the BBC programme Ski Sunday. Quite why Digital Integration chose it for a game about bobsleighing is another matter. Anyway, the game starts with a multitude of options: event type, track location, bobsleigh fittings, team fitness, and weather information. There’s a management element too, as you have a budget for upgrades and repairs, which comes from funding and prize money. Once you’re happy, it’s on to the track to race. You have to waggle your joystick or furiously tap keys to get going, jump in and steer. The game didn’t fill me with new-found love for the sport but it is well presented and mildly exciting. I actually preferred the bobsleigh section of Epyx’s Winter Games, but if you are a bobsleigh fan the detailed options here should appeal.
Reviewed by Chris Lennard
More Tolkien spoofing in this text adventure game from Delta 4, the creators of Bored of the Rings. Guide the hapless Boggit, Bimbo Faggins, and the kooky wizard Grandalf, along with Thorny and his band of dwarves, to vanquish the Dragon Daug and steal back the treasure. Well, that’s supposed to be the plot, as no opportunity has been missed to poke fun at The Hobbit in this rather amusing parody. While it suffers the same drawbacks as its predecessor – the graphics are not exactly top-notch and the sound effects and music are lacking – the game more than makes up for this with its irreverent humour. Some of the puzzles are tricky, but aren’t outrageously difficult, and the gags to be found in almost every corner of the game make this a gem.
See also: Bored of the Rings.
Here’s a bizarre game where you control a bloke on a spring or pogo stick of some sort, who has to reach the exit of each screen by jumping from platform to platform, avoiding the monsters that fly around the screen. You have to get the strength of the jump just right, or you’ll miss the platform and fall off the screen. The graphics are pretty crude and very flickery, and there are hardly any sound effects. There are 20 screens, but most people will be screaming in frustration by the time they reach the third screen.
Reviewed by Pug
This was a fun and unique game that was a rave in the arcades back in the mid-1980s. It’s still fun to play today, and the CPC conversion is a good one too. The aim is to jump into flight and collect all the bombs on the screen. Collecting lit bombs in sequence rewards you with bonus scores and special abilities. Several nasties begin to appear as you fly around, making progress a little tricky. This is a great game with good graphics displaying various scenic backgrounds, smooth sprites and varied sound effects. Sadly, there is no music, which is a shame.
See also: Bomb Jack II.
Reviewed by John Beckett
I’m not usually one for puzzle games, but I make an exception for Bomb Jack II. Much like its predecessor, the aim is to fly around platforms, collect things and avoid bad guys, but where it differs is that you can only fly to platforms that are directly above, below or beside where you are. This adds a lot more strategy to the game, as you try to work out the best route, while the bad guys get faster the longer you take. The difficulty curve is perfect, the sound is decent, and the graphics are above average, with some nice little background drawings of pyramids, Stonehenge etc. Unfairly forgotten in the face of its classic predecessor, Bomb Jack II is one of my favourite puzzle-style games ever, and the game I play the most. It really is that addictive!
See also: Bomb Jack.