(Ere Informatique/PSS, 1985)
In the future, civilisation is in great danger from a wave of viruses sweeping the planet. The World Health Organisation must contain these outbreaks as best it can. Your role is to obtain samples of the viruses and analyse them so that you can create antidotes. This is done by rotating and/or reversing the order of the elements that make up the viruses. The order depends on how the virus spreads, so you can use this knowledge to create antidotes for similar viruses more quickly. You can also use a ‘scorched earth’ policy, or as a very last resort, use a nuclear bomb – but you may well be forced to resign if you do this! The graphics are very good, especially the map of the world, but the tasks you must perform soon become quite repetitive, and the arcade-style game in which you create antidotes could have been a lot better.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Novabug.
(Virgin Games, 1989)
This game was supposed to be called Continental Circuits, but someone misheard the name and it ended up as Continental Circus instead – never mind. The game sees you racing on eight Grand Prix tracks around the globe with 99 other cars, and you start last. To go to the next stage, you must complete a lap of the circuit within the time limit and reach a certain position. If you crash into other cars, you’ll have to go to the pits and get your car repaired, but if you leave it too long, your engine will catch fire! Everything – the graphics, sound and music – is excellent, and it’s one of the best racing games on the CPC. The first track is tough, though.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: Axelino, ChinnyVision, Xyphoe.
(Audiogenic Software, 1985)
A mad professor has built a machine called the Contraption which is powered by golden apples, and you must collect the apples strewn around each level. You’ll need to work out the exact route across each screen first, though! When you have collected all the apples, you’ll then have to feed them into the Contraption to maintain it. The graphics are quite good and the menu screen is well worth seeing, although there’s little to say about the sound. I still don’t like it much, as it’s just too hard – I can’t get past the second level!
(Gremlin Graphics, 1987)
The world is under threat, and you have been assigned to patrol a section of the inner sea and destroy enemy fighter planes, ships and submarines. A map displays the positions and movements of the enemy, and when you wish to engage in combat, you are taken to another screen where alerts are highlighted and you must select one of three weapons with which to attack, depending on the level and nature of the threat. This leads to one of three sub-games – shooting down aircraft with Seawolf missiles, guiding an Exocet missile across the sea and aiming it at enemy ships, or using a helicopter to fire depth charges at a submarine. The sub-games are initially fun to play, but there doesn’t seem to be anything else to do, and the game seems to lack any sort of goal to achieve.
Go back to the lawless era of Prohibition as you play a lone cop in America defending the streets against the gangsters and the bootleggers. Each level consists of a single screen in which men pop out from windows, roofs and boxes, firing bullets and hurling bottles at you, which you must of course dodge. You must try to survive with all your lives intact for a set period of time, after which you will be taken to the next level. You start the game with nine lives, and you’ll need them. The music on the menu is an excellent rendition of a very well known tune, and the graphics, while perhaps lacking slightly in colour, are well drawn. The gameplay is hectic and you’ll need quick reflexes and a sharp eye to succeed.
This is one of the less well known cartridge games, at least in the UK. The plot is certainly not original – it’s the usual “aliens have taken over the Earth” story. You’ve got the latest helicopter and have to destroy the aliens. The game is a standard vertically scrolling shoot-’em-up where you fly your helicopter left and right, shoot planes and aliens, and collect some power-ups. The extra facilities of the Plus are used here to produce some nice graphics, but it’s a shame that the game itself is rather dull.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Xyphoe.
The asteroid mining base Eroc 1 has come under attack from aliens, and all 720 personnel are dead. You, Andrew Angello, have been sent to the base to investigate what has happened. You must explore the mines and retrieve all the bio-memory units that recorded events at the base. During your search, you will need to find batteries to replenish your energy, and several other useful objects, such as a metal detector and laser gun, are buried, so you must also find a spade. The mines are very large (there are over 1,000 screens!), so it will take a long time to find all the units. Making a map is essential, but the graphics are drawn in monochrome, and one room looks very similar to the next. The icon-driven menu system for selecting commands is also extremely fiddly to use.
La Corona Mágica
Reviewed by Robert Small
OMK perhaps doesn’t have the best reputation as a developer on the CPC. Buran, another of their releases, had some good ideas but the execution wasn’t great. Are there signs of improvement with La Corona Mágica? Yes – in terms of graphics, at the very least. The look of the game is reasonably true to the animation on which it’s based. There are panels at the start that introduce the various characters, and in-game it’s colourful, but the movement of the characters is a bit wooden. The backgrounds are quite nice, though. You get to play as more than one character but the gameplay consists of very basic spellcasting or fighting accompanied by annoying sound effects. All in all a very shallow game.
(The Power House, 1987)
Two players must battle it out to locate the pieces of the star-bomb which are scattered around several levels. Each level is actually a long corridor, and the parts are found at the very end of the corridors. The first player to assemble the star-bomb wins by blowing up his or her opponent. That’s all there is to this game, really. To make it last a bit longer, you can configure the difficulty level and the number of pieces to collect. The graphics are ugly and the colour schemes which are used are horrible. The music, if you can call it that, is even worse! This is a really boring game which lacks action and anything which might be exciting.
It’s your first day in your new job with Rogers & Rogers, but your new business partner David Rogers is attempting to stitch you up for insider dealing. You must expose this corruption and bring him to justice, or you’ll be the one who ends up in jail! This is a text adventure that unusually is set not in space or a fantasy world, but in the City of London in the 1980s. The emphasis isn’t on collecting and using objects but on interacting with the other characters in the adventure. They move around frequently, and being in the right places at the right times is essential if you want to progress and obtain the necessary evidence. It’s a very tough adventure to complete and it will require a lot of trial and error, but I found the scenario very engrossing, although the graphics in several locations are poorly converted.