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!
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.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Metr81.
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.
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.
Bump Set Spike!
(Entertainment USA, 1987)
There aren’t many volleyball games for the Amstrad CPC, and this one is very poor. You play a game of doubles volleyball against the computer (there’s no two-player option), and the first team to score ten points wins. The graphics are basic; the players look and behave more like robots than humans, and the overuse of blue doesn’t provide any realism. What is even worse is the control mechanism. Instead of a fast-paced game, every time a player touches the ball, the game pauses while that player positions a marker around the court to indicate where to aim the ball. It totally disrupts the flow and ruins any potential for enjoyment. It’s also impossible to aim the ball diagonally. To borrow some volleyball terminology, spike this game into the bin!
Guide Bumpy around each of the many levels in this game (I don’t know how many there are) and collect all the items. Each level consists of walls and platforms and you just have to bounce from platform to platform, but it’s not as simple as that; some of the platforms disappear when you bounce on them, while others force you to bounce in a certain direction. You’ll also need to break down some walls and put out fires, but you must have the right power-ups! It’s one of those games which has a simple concept but is ridiculously addictive – I love it! While it can be initially frustrating, practice makes perfect, and the graphics and sounds are pretty good as well.
See also: Bumpy’s Arcade Fantasy, Pop Up.
Bumpy’s Arcade Fantasy
This time, Bumpy is at a fairground consisting of nine attractions, and each attraction contains either twelve or fifteen sub-levels, very similar to the levels in the original Bumpy, and there are over 120 levels to complete! Fortunately, there’s a password system to let you skip the attractions you have completed, and you can attempt any of the levels on an attraction in any order. Also, there are far more different types of platforms and walls, although you soon learn how they work. The graphics are much more colourful too, but while this game is still excellent, it doesn’t seem to be quite as addictive as its predecessor.
See also: Bumpy.
Breakout meets baseball in this rather nice-looking game. Instead of having a bat to prevent the ball from falling off the screen, you control a bunny with a baseball bat who must hit the ball whenever it comes near. The advantage of this is that you can control where you want the ball to go – upwards, or to the left or right. There are all the usual bonuses to collect, and there are 22 levels to complete. Graphically it’s impressive, albeit a bit garish, although I didn’t like the music much. It’s not a frustratingly difficult game, either, unlike certain other Breakout clones I could name...
Reviewed by Robert Small
I’m not sure how many people know this, but the USSR was developing their own version of the Space Shuttle, and you get to pilot it in this game. Let’s start with the good parts. It offers variety. First you’re tasked with the launch procedure. You will go through pre-flight checks against the clock followed by another mini-game that simulates the stresses of the launch upon the human body. Finally if you’re successful, there is a satellite launch. At this point the game takes an abrupt turn into an arcade shoot-’em-up, first scrolling vertically, followed by a maze-like section. Graphically it isn’t great. The astronaut and space shuttle graphics early on are nice but the arcade section suffers from flicker and choppy scrolling. Original idea; shame about the execution.
This is the game that every Plus and GX4000 owner has, because it came free with their respective machines. It’s an endurance race where you must stay on the track for as long as possible without running out of time, but first of all, you must qualify to determine your grid position. This game makes full use of the extra capabilities of the Plus and GX4000 machines and it has some beautiful, crystal-clear music on the title screen. The sky even changes from day to night to show your progress! It’s touches like these that make this game better than others like it.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: ChinnyVision, Novabug, Xyphoe.