(Rack It, 1988)
Terrorists have seized some missiles and threatened to destroy the world. The US government has decided to send tanks and helicopters into Battle Valley, where the terrorists’ six bases are located. The tanks are used to destroy cannons, rocket launchers and missile tracking stations, but some of the bridges are damaged and you’ll need to use the helicopter to collect pontoons and winch them on to the bridge. The graphics and music are impressive, but the controls are awkward; to turn around, you have to press the fire button twice quickly, and to go faster, you must also press fire twice quickly and the direction you’re moving in. Anyway, it’s a rather tedious game, because the scenery doesn’t change and a lot of time is spent driving back and forth between bases.
(Hit Pak, 1987)
It’s another Breakout clone, and it’s certainly not the best of the bunch. While the graphics are reasonable, there are next to no sound effects. What really annoyed me, however, was the size of the bat; it’s too small, and it moves rather slowly so that you can’t reach the ball in time. Each level also has an alien that fires large bullets which always seem to get in your way. All of this makes clearing the first wall a tough task – and why are there so many bricks that require more than one hit to clear?
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Novabug.
Reviewed by Missas
Bub and Bob return to the CPC after 24 years! CNGSoft delivers this great remake of a rather average coin-op conversion from 1987. To begin with, forget what you remember about the previous conversion. BB4CPC delivers vastly improved graphics (better colours and level design), the arcade music, and most importantly, coin-op perfect gameplay. This means that the gameplay and grab factor are now very high and that the disadvantages of the previous version (bad collision detection, drab colours and very few sound effects) are no longer present. Retro lovers should love BB4CPC and will certainly have a great time with it!
See also: Bubble Bobble.
Beach Buggy Simulator
You’ve just bought a new beach buggy, so what better way to test it than to participate in the Dune Trials and race along a series of tracks, jumping over boulders and shooting down any helicopters flying overhead? This is certainly not your average race course! As with most racing games, you must reach the chequered flag within the time limit. Your fuel supply is limited, and it’ll run out quickly if you crash too often. Fortunately, more fuel can be collected along the course, and thankfully the buggy is indestructible – it must be a great buggy! The graphics are colourful and a nice tune plays throughout, although there are no sound effects. It’s a really easy game to get into, and the difficulty level is set perfectly.
Reviewed by Robert Small
The weather may not always be great outside in the real world but if you load up Beach Volley, at least you’re guaranteed to see some sun. A nice loading screen is followed by suitably jaunty music. Positioning your player and timing are everything if you want to win. The graphics are big and colourful. Nice touches include the “OK” bubble that appears when the ball is set, and the way players’ heads look up to follow the ball. There’s a good variety of locations with differing backgrounds, and a map is displayed before each location for that arcade feel. This is the best volleyball game on the CPC.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: jgonza.
(US Gold, 1985)
A dictator has control of the fortress on the island of Kuhn-Lin, and your mission is to storm the island and recapture it – but you’ll have to battle with the enemy forces first! The first stage of the game is a sea invasion where you sink the enemy’s aircraft and ships, although there’s a secret passageway you may take to surprise them. Once you’ve blown them away, you can land on the beach and make your way to Kuhn-Lin by tank. When you reach the fortress, you have to aim your gun at several targets before the turret lays waste to your tank. This is one of those games that was once good, but which has since dated; it doesn’t have much appeal any more.
See also: Beach-Head II.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: ChinnyVision, Xyphoe.
(US Gold, 1986)
The dictator is back! It’s a war between the allies, led by J. P. Stryker, and the dictator’s armies. There are four stages to the game in which you must first parachute them into the enemy fortress and reach the turret. Your can then control the turret and use it to shoot tanks and jeeps as the enemy attempt to stop you. When you’ve got your remaining men into the helicopter, you have to go on an obstacle course, dodging gunfire and other obstacles, before the final confrontation with the dictator himself. The game isn’t as good as its predecessor, despite the fact that you can control either the allies or the dictator, and the graphics are awful.
See also: Beach-Head.
You are a cadet in the Stellar Imperium’s pilot academy, and as your final test, you must fly an X12 Fighter craft across sixteen sectors to prove your status as an elite pilot. It’s just as well that this is only a simulation machine and not a real X12. Actually, this is yet another vertically scrolling space shoot-’em-up with nothing new in it at all. The graphics are quite good, but there’s no music and few sound effects. The stages are quite short, but if your spacecraft is destroyed, you have to start at the beginning of the stage, and another problem is that there are no power-ups which enhance your firepower.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Amstrad CPC World.
The Beer Hunter
(Global Software, 1986)
Reviewed by Robert Small
Is this a contender for the best named game on the CPC? It’s surely got to be up there. The quest is not for gold or silver. It isn’t for jewels or power either. No, it’s much more important – the quest for a good, refreshing pint. Humorous text, a smattering of locations and some simple graphics brew together to form a nice little adventure. It’s neither the best or worst of its genre on the CPC, but it scores bonus points for not being fantasy or science fiction, which are oversubscribed, and I’ll raise a glass to that.
Behind Closed Doors Seven
(Zenobi Software, 2018)
The Balrog needs to go to the toilet, so he walks to the bottom of his garden – but the wooden hut that used to be his ‘smallest-room’ is no longer there! In its place is a deep, dark hole. What is he going to do now? The first three games in the Behind Closed Doors series of text adventures were originally released for the ZX Spectrum and are interesting because they all take place in a single location – the hut. The seventh game, which is the first one in the series to be released for the CPC, increases this to two locations. It’s not surprising to learn that the solution is very short, but the variety and humour of the many messages that appear as a result of looking up, down and around you, and examining and searching objects, makes it very entertaining to play while it lasts; just make sure you examine and search everything.