Screenshot of Budokan: The Martial Spirit

Budokan: The Martial Spirit

(Dro Soft/Electronic Arts, 1991)

Reviewed by Piero Serra

This fighting game came fairly late in the commercial life of the CPC and it’s a good example of how such games improved over the years. There is no backstory; your character is simply in training to fight in a tournament consisting of karate, kendo (fighting with a bamboo sword), bo (a staff) or nunchaku (the weapon with a chain). The instructions are lengthy, going into detail about your character’s stamina and ki (energy), scoring, and the many moves for each discipline. The graphics are colourful and atmospheric, and gameplay can be fast, with opponents able to knock you off your feet within seconds if you’re not careful. Only the sound is disappointing, being limited to punches, kicks, and the tournament bell. Budokan is a fun challenge, and one of the most realistic martial arts games for the CPC.

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Screenshot of Buffalo Bill’s Rodeo Games

Buffalo Bill’s Rodeo Games

(Tynesoft, 1989)

Compete in six rodeo events – knife throwing, target shooting, calf roping, the bucking bronco, steer wrestling and the stagecoach rescue – on your own or with up to three other players. You can choose to play in as many or as few events as you wish, and you can try again as many times as you like, which is very useful for the more difficult events (particularly the calf roping and steer wrestling). The graphics are colourful, beautifully drawn and very well animated, and the music is excellent, with some great renditions of well known American tunes. Most of the events are fun to play, and this is a game you will want to keep coming back to in order to improve on your previous scores.

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Screenshot of Bug’s Quest for Tapes

Bug’s Quest for Tapes

(YB Soft, 2021)

Here’s a platform game that is based on the alter ego of a man who broadcasts live on YouTube on Saturday evenings, testing his extensive collection of Amstrad CPC cassettes. One fan had the inspiration of developing a game around this character – Novabug – and enlisted the help of other fans to provide graphics, level designs and music. You control Bug, and you have to gather as many cassettes as you can so that the CPC community can watch more episodes of tape testing. As with most platform games, there are hazards and enemies to avoid. If you lose a life, you’ll also lose a cassette. Fortunately you get plenty of lives – 25 in easy mode, or 10 in hard mode – but even so, reaching the Bug Loft will not be a doddle! The graphics are simple but colourful (although some sprites are of a sexual nature) and Bug is very easy to control. Overall, this is a very nice game.

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Screenshot of Buggy II

Buggy II

(Chip, 1986)

Drive a buggy across the desert, avoiding all the hazards and searching continually for fuel. The desert is strewn with barrels to dodge and rivers to cross. Your aim is to find two white poles and drive between them; if you succeed, your buggy will be refuelled. A pair of green arrows on the panel at the bottom of the screen indicates if you are on course or not. The graphics are colourful, and the game really gives an impression that you’re driving fast. The sound effects are reasonable as well. However, the obstacles are placed randomly in each game, and as you progress, it can be almost impossible to dodge them, which is very frustrating indeed. You’ll also be going so fast that you often won’t be able to notice the white poles in time and you’ll drive past them. Despite this, it’s still all right if you’re looking for a quick game to play for a few minutes.

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Screenshot of Buggy Boy

Buggy Boy

(Elite, 1988)

Reviewed by Chris Lennard

Heartily enjoyable arcade driving game. Navigate your motorised buggy with its two (!) gears around numerous outside race courses that progressively become more fiendish as you lap the circuit again. Narrow bridges have to be traversed to avoid a watery delay, while rocks, fences, boulders and wood piles are cunningly placed to prevent you from reaching your goal before the time runs out. Along the way, bonus points are collected by passing through flags of various values, and the logs that are occasionally placed on the road enable you to jump over otherwise unpassable paths. A nice looking game that is very addictive.

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Screenshot of Buggy Ranger

Buggy Ranger

(Dinamic, 1990)

In the year 2019, machines have rebelled against mankind and laid waste to cities, and only a Buggy Ranger can stop them. You control an armoured buggy with a removable turret which you can manoeuvre around the screen in order to destroy the many obstacles and enemies that the buggy will encounter as it drives through each city. Although the turret is mostly invulnerable, the buggy’s energy is depleted by collision with airborne enemies or obstacles on the ground. The graphics are colourful and of the high standard that one expects from a Dinamic game, but there is no music. Thankfully it’s not overly difficult to progress in the game; just make sure to keep moving swiftly and don’t plod along!

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Screenshot of Bugsy


(CRL, 1986)

Bugsy Maroon is a small, blue rabbit with a big aim – to hire a mob and become Public Enemy number 1 in Chicago! This is a two-part text adventure set in 1922. You start the game with no weapons and some loose change. You’ll have to find a way to make an impression and get the local gangsters to respect you – and it took me a while to work out where to begin. Talking to characters calls up a menu where you can select various options, such as greeting them, threatening them, buying items from them, hiring them, or demanding protection money. Obtaining money (by whatever means) will enable you to buy weapons and hire more men for your mob. The graphics are generally extremely garish, with some very poor choices of colours for most of the locations, but the text is well written and very humorous; it made me laugh a lot!

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Screenshot of Builderland


(Loriciel, 1991)

Melba is our hero in this game, but you don’t control him; he just walks merrily along the screen. You have to help him avoid any traps by moving bricks and ramps to let him walk over chasms, lakes of fire, mines, and so on. Other objects such as knives and helmets can be used to prevent Melba from being killed by any nasty creatures. Occasionally you’ll also have to build a house, where a large monster has to be defeated by throwing rocks on it. The graphics are stunning and the sound effects and music are also cute, but the game is far too difficult and the levels are too long.

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Screenshot of Bullseye


(Macsen, 1985)

Reviewed by Pug

The Sunday afternoon TV show of old hits the CPC... “super, smashing, great!” Round 1 is a general knowledge round where your darts skills are as important as getting the question right. Round 2 sees both players compete for the highest score with three darts. Round 3 sees the leading player take on the black and red board – “keep out of the black and in the red, nothing in this game for two in a bed.” You are then offered a chance to gamble your winnings by scoring 101 or more with three darts. The graphics are clear, if a little basic, and the classic theme tune is included, but where’s the top prize – a speedboat?

See also: Bully’s Sporting Darts.

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Screenshot of Bully’s Sporting Darts

Bully’s Sporting Darts

(Alternative Software, 1993)

I remember the quiz show Bullseye well. Bully was the mascot of that show, which also saw the contestants playing games of darts. There are plenty of darts games on the CPC, so this one adds several rather bizarre variants of darts. As well as the standard 501 and ‘round the clock’ games, there’s cricket, football, golf, snooker and tennis! The best way to understand how to play these variants is to watch two computer-controlled players playing. Aiming the dart is a bit tricky since the hand you control wobbles rather erratically, but fortunately, the computer offers nine skill levels. The graphics are very good, and although there are hardly any sound effects, the wide variety of games will keep you entertained.

See also: Bullseye.

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