Screenshot of Biospheres


(Silverbird, 1988)

In a network of labyrinths, several bio-bombs have been planted, and it’s your task to blow up the bio-bomb on each level. However, you must first find the six parts of the bio-shield before attempting to shoot it – shooting the bomb without the shield is not a good idea! Of course, there are lots of nasty creatures floating about the labyrinths, and they tend to drain your life force rather quickly. You can also collect accelerators (smart bombs) and use them to help you kill lots of nasties at once. I have to say that this game is rather good – the graphics are well drawn and there’s some nice music to be heard in between levels, and it’s a lot of fun to play as well.

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Screenshot of Birdie


(Ere Informatique, 1987)

An interesting game, this one; what would it be like to be a bird? This game sees you controlling a bird, flying to some unknown destination. The landscape is viewed in perspective 3D from behind the bird, and you must avoid bumping into trees and other obstacles. All this flying makes our feathered friend hungry, so he (or she – I don’t know what sex the bird is) must look out for butterflies and eat them. Sadly, this original concept hasn’t worked too well in this game, for while the graphics (particularly the animation of the bird) are great, the scrolling is very slow indeed, and there’s no music and hardly any sound effects.

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Screenshot of Bitume


(ABO Soft, 2017)

In the year 2091, the USA has descended into lawlessness, and gangs of criminals rule the highways. You have been hired to escort and protect a convoy, and you must negotiate the dangerous highways and fend off and destroy the criminals’ vehicles. Your car is equipped with three types of weapon – a gun, mines, and missiles. The criminals will fire back at you and damage your car if you are hit; too much damage results in a life being lost. This game finished fifth in the 2017 #CPCRetroDev Game Creation Contest, and both the graphics and gameplay are very similar to Ubi Soft’s Asphalt; the explosions when you destroy a vehicle are particularly nice. The difficulty level is set just right, and while the action may sometimes be lacking, I think this game surpasses Asphalt overall.

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Screenshot of Black Beard

Black Beard

(Topo Soft/Kixx, 1988)

Black Beard’s old mate, Red Beard, has stolen his map of a treasure island after drinking too much rum again. Black Beard is angry and storms on to Red Beard’s ship to find the map. As Black Beard, you have to roam the ship and open the treasure chests by firing bullets at them. There are invincibility potions and extra lives to collect, and one chest contains a torch which you must use to light the cannon next to the plank and prevent Red Beard’s pirates from boarding the ship. Eventually, the final chest, which contains the map, will open. This is a mediocre game with all the action viewed from above. The graphics are quite good, but movement is sluggish and lives are easily lost by pirates appearing from nowhere.

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Screenshot of Black Fountain

Black Fountain

(Incentive, 1987)

In the land of Areth, Abhaldos has contaminated the River Ist with a poison, turning the river black. You are Shardor, a servant in the court of the town of Loesp, who has been given the mission of cleaning up the river, by finding a magical crystal. This is a text adventure which was created with GAC. The scenario is set in a medieval fantasy land, and once you’ve left the court with the help of Garros the gatekeeper, you need to find some money and get the various craftsmen of Loesp to make objects for you. Unfortunately, the game doesn’t let you discover what skills most of the craftsmen have and what objects you are supposed to ask them to make. The parser is quite unforgiving as well, and I’m not particularly impressed with the game.

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Screenshot of Black Land

Black Land

(Bollaware, 1995)

Reviewed by Missas

Black Land is a role-playing game with lots of monsters, items, locations, graphics and commands, matched with a remarkable storyline. You control four characters – Goromon, Bartoc, Vanessa and Frederick – with vastly different attributes. Goromon, the magician, can use a lot of different spells, while the warriors will find lots of weapons, shields and other useful items with which to fight a variety of enemies. The game is shown in highly detailed isometric 3D using the four-colour Mode 1, and it has a nice intro and music. The gameplay is amazing – a true must for every RPG lover. The game is so vast that it will take you a huge amount of time to complete it. In fact, it is possibly one of the biggest games ever to be released for any 8-bit machine. This is a true masterpiece and it is definitely not one to be missed.

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Screenshot of Black Magic

Black Magic

(US Gold, 1987)

The evil Red Warlock Zahgrim has ruled the kingdom of Marigold with an iron fist, and now is the time to banish him! In this arcade-cum-role-playing game, you are a lowly apprentice who knows only a couple of spells. However, by shooting the various monsters and collecting objects, you can gain valuable experience points; collect enough, and you move up one rank and learn more spells. Your mission is to collect the six magical eyes of King Anakar, which are scattered around the large landscape. The mixture of platforming and role-playing elements is interesting, and although it’s a little slow-paced and the graphics may be nothing special, I found it quite captivating to explore the realms of Marigold.

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Screenshot of Black Sea

Black Sea

(Mananuk, 2022)

Captain Robinson has been hired to explore the depths of the Black Sea in his bathyscaphe and search for treasure. However, the supply of oxygen in the bathyscaphe is limited, so you, as Captain Robinson, will need to refill it regularly. Naturally you’ll also need to avoid the many creatures that lurk in the Black Sea and will drain your energy on contact. It’s nicely presented, with a beautiful animated title screen, colourful graphics, well animated enemies, and a pleasant melody that plays continuously. There is a fairly large area to be explored and a wide variety of treasures to be collected, although there’s one particular relic that may be quite tricky to locate! It’s a fun little game, although the placement of some energy-draining hazards when you enter a screen is a slight annoyance.

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Screenshot of Black Tiger

Black Tiger

(US Gold, 1990)

Long ago, three evil dragons brought darkness to a kingdom that used to be at peace. Eventually a warrior named the Black Tiger emerged to restore peace to the kingdom, and it is he who you control in this dull platform game. You must jump across chasms and climb poles to reach the end of level, while battling various monsters with your mace and set of knives. Killing monsters and smashing vases lets you collect zenny coins which you can use to buy more powerful weaponry and shields, which you’ll certainly need for the later levels; just find an old man and he’ll help you. Why is it dull, then? The game is an ugly Spectrum port with poor graphics and music, and the scrolling and movement are both very jerky.

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Screenshot of Blade Runner

Blade Runner

(CRL, 1986)

Reviewed by Javier Sáez

Several replicants have managed to reach the Earth, which is forbidden under penalty of death. It is your duty as a Blade Runner to kill, no, ‘retire’ them. The gameplay is quite simple. You move across a map of Los Angeles searching for flashing dots that mark the position of a replicant. When you get to the dot, your spinner lands and a side scrolling view of a street is shown. After a short chase, the replicant is spotted and shot down without opposition, as life seems to be much easier for Blade Runners in computer games. I’ll put it plainly, this game is just a curiosity for Blade Runner fans only. The Spectrum-like graphics are awful, and the gameplay is always the same. Only the menu music has some quality (guess why – it’s a Vangelis theme).

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