Screenshot of Bomb Jack

Bomb Jack

(Elite, 1986)

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.

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Screenshot of Bomb Jack II

Bomb Jack II

(Elite, 1987)

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.

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Screenshot of Bombfusion


(Mastertronic, 1989)

Terrorists have broken into the Sellerscale nuclear power plant and planted bombs all over it. You must defuse them, and at the same time, guide used fuel capsules into the crate. They’re automatically controlled by the computer, and when you move over them, they will follow you – unless they touch the Balloid which also roams around the screen. The amount of radioactivity increases when a bomb goes off or you touch the Balloid. At first, it seems that the game is OK, despite the rather simple graphics and almost total lack of sound. However, it’s a bit boring, mainly because it’s too easy and extra lives are easy to obtain.

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Screenshot of Bombscare


(Firebird, 1986)

A space station orbiting Neptune has been taken over by aliens. They have planted a massive bomb in it, and unless it can be deactivated fast, it will blow not only the space station, but Neptune as well! You control a rather odd-looking bomb disposal droid and must wander the station looking for the four pieces of equipment that will deactivate the bomb – or you can find the exit and take the coward’s way out, leaving Neptune to its fate. The rooms are shown in an isometric layout, and although the game has a Spectrum-like feel to it, this can be forgiven once you become immersed in the game. It will take a while to get the hang of controlling the droid, but once you do, you’ll discover a rather neat game.

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Screenshot of Bonanza Bros

Bonanza Bros

(US Gold, 1992)

Robo and Mobo are the Bonanza Brothers – two robot burglars out to grab treasure. Their targets are ten buildings, each containing eight pieces of treasure, but they’re all guarded by security guards and dogs. You can knock them out with your stun gun, but you must make sure that the guards don’t see you, or you’ll lose one of your eight lives. The graphics are below average and there’s almost no sound, although the tune on the menu is great. However, the game is let down by the awkward controls – to jump, you have to hold down the fire button, and then release it and then move in the direction you want to jump.

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Screenshot of Book of the Dead

Book of the Dead

(CRL, 1987)

Reviewed by Robert Small

Fans of ancient Egypt will want to check out this text adventure. It’s got a very uncommon setting in this genre which is normally dominated by science fiction and traditional fantasy. In this game, you play not as a man or a woman but the son of an Egyptian god. From the first puzzle, which acts as an introduction, it has some clever moments. Place descriptions are nicely done, while the graphics are reasonable. The original setting and story goes a long way to elevating this game from just another adventure to a genuine must-play at some point for CPC text adventure fans. Just make sure you obtain the version where you begin the first part inside an egg, as the original release is bugged!

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Screenshot of Booly


(Loriciel, 1991)

This is one of those puzzle games in which you have to swap the colours or states of tiles so that they all match. However, this game is made more difficult in that if you click on a tile, some of the adjacent tiles may not be changed, and the connections between the tiles are invisible – although it is possible to see them briefly by pressing a key. Furthermore, there are 150 levels and three stages in each level... that’s enough to keep the most hardened fan of puzzle games baffled. The graphics are good (although the backgrounds are garish) but there are very few sound effects, and if you don’t like puzzle games, you should give this game a miss.

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Screenshot of Booty


(Firebird, 1986)

You’re a cabin boy called Jim, who has to collect treasure (or booty if you want to call it that) from an old galleon. There’s lots of it to collect in the holds of the ship, but you’ll need the correct numbered keys to open the holds. Then there are the ghosts of the pirates who used to sail the ship; touch them and you lose a life. And finally, some of the rooms contain platforms and lifts. This is a simple platform game with colourful graphics and a short tune that repeats itself constantly and soon becomes quite irritating. At first it seems good, but the collision detection is dodgy, particularly when getting on and off lifts, and when you lose a life, you go all the way back to the first screen, which is very annoying indeed.

See also: Booty: The Remake.

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Screenshot of Booty: The Remake

Booty: The Remake

(PlayOnRetro, 2023)

The original release of Booty by Firebird is rather lacklustre, so SalvaKantero from PlayOnRetro decided to develop a remake – and it’s much better for it! As in the original game, you play a cabin boy called Jim, and you have to explore twenty rooms of a pirate galleon and collect as much treasure as you can. Most of the rooms contain locked doors that can only be opened with the key of the same number, but you can only hold one key at a time. The graphics, animation, sound effects and gameplay are a huge improvement on the original. The movement of Jim and enemy pirates is much smoother and more fluid, and the ability to fit yourself between two pirates by standing on a ladder makes the game significantly less frustrating to play – and you get more lives as well. Forget the original game and play this instead; it’s brilliant!

See also: Booty.

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Screenshot of Bored of the Rings

Bored of the Rings

(SilverSoft, 1985)

One day, Fordo Faggins went to his uncle Bimbo’s house, Fag End, where he overheard a conversation between Bimbo and the wizard Grandalf. Before he knew it, Bimbo tossed a ring in his direction and asked him to head to the land of Dormor and destroy it. If you’re familiar with the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, you should instantly recognise that this text adventure is a parody of The Lord of the Rings, featuring places such as Boggiton, Rivendull and the Morona Gate. A humorous style of writing is maintained throughout all three parts of the adventure, which is to be expected from Delta 4, but the quality of the rest of the adventure leaves something to be desired. The first part contains a lot of moving around and hardly any puzzles, and there are too many gratuitous mazes to explore, which seem to have been included merely to annoy the player.

See also: The Boggit.

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