Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard
Dinamic are famous for creating good-looking games which are cursed with a difficulty level that makes them hardly playable. Unfortunately, this basketball game (known as Fernando Martín Basket Master in its native Spain) is not an exception to the rule. Playing against the former Spanish player who gave his name to the game, or against a friend, you must prove your skills in a one-on-one game. You can dribble, shoot from every position, dunk, defend and make fouls – and you will, because it’s hard to retain possession of the ball for more than a few seconds, even on the easiest level. The controls aren’t suited to a sports game, and scoring feels like a miracle. After every basket, a replay scene reminds you how badly you play and how easy it is for your opponent to score. This is the kind of game that requires a lot of self-control.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: jgonza, Retro Danuart.
Reviewed by Robert Small
As far as I can tell this is the only game that Multicrom released for the Amstrad CPC, so already it offers something unique. You take control of a squad of eight soldiers on a mission to reclaim a fortress. The player will face many traps (and when I say many, I really do mean many!), enemy soldiers and desert-dwelling creatures. The game offers a combination of action and puzzles with your squad of soldiers sometimes working together to progress. There is a nice Arabian theme on the title screen and some good sound effects. The graphics are big and have some nice details but there is slowdown and sprite flicker sometimes. Frustration appears as some rooms are a pain to get past, but this was a reasonable start for Multicrom. Shame we didn’t see more from them.
(Ubi Soft, 1991)
Reviewed by CPC4eva
You play the role of an agent of BAT on a vital mission to apprehend some dangerous escaped criminals. The city of Terrapolis on the planet of Selenia is known for hosting some of the most dangerous killers in the universe. There you must search for the criminals by exploring and using your bargaining or ruthlessness with the people that live there. Be careful and trust no one – not even the police. An immense game in size and scope, the stunning graphics will have you mesmerised and it is not an exaggeration to say that this is an 8-bit graphical masterpiece. The game is played by using a point-and-click interface, and while it may sound boring, it’s rather practical and is extremely easy to use, allowing you to explore and have a real sense of adventure. You will become hooked on this amazing game.
Robin has been kidnapped, and to rescue him, Batman has to find seven pieces of the Batmobile which have gone missing in his lair, which is very big indeed. First, though, you’re going to need to find four other items which improve your agility; when you find them, you can then explore other parts of the lair. Each room is viewed from an isometric perspective, and the graphics are very detailed, although some rooms have awful colour schemes! The sound isn’t particularly good, though, but the game is quite a challenge, and you’re going to need all of the eight lives you start with. Thankfully, you can collect icons which let you save your current status and location to memory (although unfortunately not to cassette or disc).
See also: Batman: The Caped Crusader, Batman: The Movie.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: GameHammer Classic Gaming, Metr81.
Batman: The Caped Crusader
The Joker and the Penguin have kidnapped poor Robin again, and Batman has to complete two missions, entitled ‘A Bird in the Hand’ and ‘A Fete Worse Than Death’ – so you really get two games for your money! The playing area is viewed in the style of a comic strip, showing one frame at a time, and it’s quite smart. Some frames have captions as well, giving you strong hints as to which object you need to use. The icon system is wonderful to work with, Batman is very well animated, and the graphics, while a little dull, are still detailed – and one of the tunes is incredibly groovy!
See also: Batman, Batman: The Movie.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: ChinnyVision.
Batman: The Movie
Batman’s nemesis, the Joker, is up to his evil tricks again. You must chase the Joker through Gotham City, in five levels of platforming and driving action. The game starts with you chasing Jack Napier through a chemical factory and cornering him so that he falls into a vat and becomes the Joker. You must then escape in the Batmobile to the Batcave and discover which objects contain the Joker’s deadly chemical, Smilex. Once that’s done, you go back on to the streets, and finally, pursue the Joker to Gotham Cathedral. The graphics and music are both up to Ocean’s high standards, although the second level is infuriatingly difficult; I’ve never been able to pass it without cheating. With regard to the cartridge version, the choice of colours is a lot better, but nothing else is different.
See also: Batman, Batman: The Caped Crusader.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: Axelino, jgonza, Novabug, Novabug (cartridge version), Retro Danuart, Xyphoe.
Battle Beyond the Stars
(Solar Software, 1985)
This is another Galaxian clone, but it’s really fast. Each level has five waves, and you can choose to start on any of levels 1 to 5. Each wave of aliens moves differently, and you’ll need to learn their moves in order to destroy all of them. You’ll also need exceptionally quick reflexes to dodge the missiles that the aliens fire at you. Although the graphics and sound effects may be rather basic, and the gameplay is totally unoriginal, it is extremely intense; if you can survive for more than a few minutes, you’re doing well.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Novabug.
Reviewed by Robert Small
Realtime Games did a solid job in bringing Carrier Command to the CPC. The good news is that their conversion of Battle Command is just as good. Once again the 3D graphics are of a good quality; they seem to move a little faster as well. The presentation is nice, from the 3D rotating tank on the title screen to the way mission and payload selections are displayed. There are ten different missions to choose from. This isn’t as complex a game as its predecessor. It can be enjoyed as an arcade shoot-’em-up. Driving your tank and destroying the enemy is good fun.
Battle of the Planets
Zoltar has declared war on the entire universe, and you have to defend five planets against his fleet of spaceships. Take out a few of them, then head towards the planet’s surface where more spaceships can be shot and you can get a chance to refuel and repair your shields. Once that’s been accomplished, it’s time to take off and hyperspace to another planet, before Zoltar’s cohorts kill all life on any of the other planets. It’s not the most interesting game – it’s just the same old blasting and planet-hopping all the time.
(Hit Pak, 1987)
It was such fun playing battleships with your mates at school, using only a pen and paper! So why would you want to play it with a friend on a computer? Granted, you get to watch a nice sequence showing your ship firing at your enemy’s ships and watching them burst into flames if you hit them, but can you really trust your friend not to look at the monitor while you position your ships? You can still play against the computer, though, and this is probably your best bet – and keep the salvo fire option on, otherwise you’ll only get four shots a turn and games will drag on for ages.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Xyphoe.