(Ludovic Deplanque/Christophe Petit, 2005)
Reviewed by Missas
CPC Aventure, as its name implies, is an adventure game with a very interesting storyline. You wander around in the world of the CPC and interact with almost all the famous heroes and characters with which we grew up. The game features nicely drawn graphics and it is quite big. There is almost no sound, but the feeling of meeting again with the most memorable sprites of the CPC era is an unprecedented experience that elicits strong emotions. The grab factor is very strong and the dialogue is very well written. It is a very well conceived game. In my opinion, this is one of the best CPC adventures ever.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Amstrad CPC World.
(ESP Soft, 2022)
The third and last game in ESP Soft’s Columns trilogy is a real gem, which is rather apt given its name. Most of you should know how Columns is played – columns of three randomly selected jewels fall from the top of the screen, and you must move them in order to align three or more jewels of the same colour in a horizontal, vertical or diagonal line. If you’re playing on your own, there are three playing modes (time attack, classical and stage-based), and if you want to play against the computer or a friend, there’s a two-player ‘versus’ mode as well. The graphics are really colourful and beautiful – the way the jewels shine occasionally is a particularly nice touch – and the music is a recreation of that which is featured on Sega’s versions of Columns. This is the best version of Columns that ESP Soft have produced and an excellent finale to the series.
See also: Totems.
Reviewed by Missas
Do you remember how sad we were when we CPC owners did not get a port of Sensible Soccer in the early 1990s? Nearly thirty years later, this misfortune is corrected thanks to VoxelTower. CPC Soccer arrives as an incarnation of one of the best football games ever in the history of video gaming and it sure is fantastic. The graphics are very close to their 16-bit counterpart. They move very fast and smoothly and the player you are controlling flashes so you do not get confused. The scrolling is fantastic, but where the game excels is its gameplay. It is truly entertaining and there are many options and teams. In my humble opinion, this is by far the best CPC football game ever.
See also: CPC Soccer 22.
CPC Soccer 22
When CPC Soccer was released, it caught the attention of many CPC fans, who made comparisons to Sensible Soccer. However, there were a few minor niggles. CPC Soccer 22 is an updated version that features several improvements. The most obvious one is that the action is now presented in the CPC’s Mode 0, so teams and players now wear appropriately coloured shirts. There are also five types of pitch that affect the behaviour of the ball, cutscenes where the referee approaches a player to give him a yellow or red card, and a cursor to show where you’re aiming when you’re taking, for example, a goal kick or a corner. It’s still not perfect – the horizontal scrolling of the pitch still feels jerky – but it’s a joy to play, and with all the improvements, it’s difficult to argue against it being the best football game for the CPC.
See also: CPC Soccer.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: XeNoMoRPH.
(US Gold, 1990)
The evil Dr K is planning to take over the world with a race of biogenetic humanoids. Enter Andy Attacker and Ben Breaker, two guys on a mission to fight their way through sixteen levels of mayhem in Dr K’s fortress. Don’t you just love original plots? Anyway, this is a reasonably good game. You (and another player if you can find one) must explore each level and plant some detonators at specific points, and find the exit quickly before they explode. Fortunately, there’s a map which shows you where to plant them. There’s a lot of shooting involved as well, and the humanoids are rather nasty as well. The graphics are pretty good and the sound effects are OK, but it’s a bit too difficult (although you get plenty of credits) and the collision detection could be better.
Breakout has been around since 1976, and this version of it is probably deliberately based on the versions from the early days to give it that retro feel; all the bricks are blocks of one colour, and the ball is simply a square. The sound effects are few and far between as well. OK, so the presentation might be minimal, but the levels are rather badly designed, and it’s very difficult to clear all the bricks from each level; often you rely on collecting a power-up which sends you to the next level. At least you can choose which level you want to start on.
(Topo Soft, 1987)
An asteroid colony has been struck by a meteor, and the CRAY-5 supercomputer which controls the colony’s atmosphere has been damaged. The only way to save the colony is to activate thirteen interrupters scattered around nine zones of the complex within a time limit. You will need to collect keys in order to unlock doors within the complex; however, there are three types of door, and only the correct type of key will unlock them. Other hazards include magnets, spikes and walls marked with a skull and crossbones symbol, all of which drain your energy if you touch them. The graphics and music are both rather basic, but everything is recognisable. The main problem is that you will often have to fly through some very narrow passages, and it’s almost impossible to avoid contact with aliens or the aforementioned energy-sapping walls, which makes it extremely difficult to make much progress in the game.
(The Future Was 8 Bit, 2019)
The Tech Wise Astro Team has assigned you to rescue a group of cosmonauts who have gone missing. You control a spaceship and you must rescue the cosmonauts and shoot the aliens on each level. You can only use the thrusters on your spaceship for a very limited time before they need to be replenished, which is what makes this game so challenging to play. The ship is very manoeuvrable, but you can easily run out of thrust and your ship will fall to its doom. In addition, you must avoid the aliens’ bullets, and if you’re too slow, another group of aliens will appear and home in on your ship! The graphics are colourful but basic, and the sound effects suit the game well. The game becomes very difficult indeed from the fourth screen onwards, but nonetheless it has that elusive “one more go” factor.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Saberman.
It’s another of those races where you’re driving along roads and have to reach the next checkpoint before your time runs out. Here, each level is divided into stages, and your car metamorphoses into a better and faster one when you reach the next level – nice. However, there are hardly any other cars on the track, which is mysterious; most of the time, you’re driving down empty roads, and boredom sets in quickly as a result. There isn’t even any scenery to make things a bit more interesting! The sound isn’t up to much as well, and this is quite a lousy game.
See also: Crazy Cars II, Crazy Cars 3.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: ChinnyVision.
Crazy Cars II
You’re in a Ferrari F40 and are trying to smash a racket which is being run by some corrupt policemen. You have to race your car around four American states – Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico – and reach several destinations within the time limit. The police are on the loose, though! This game is much better than the original Crazy Cars, with excellent graphics and great Doppler effects when you’re approaching police cars. There’s also some really groovy digitised music to listen to on the title screen if you’re playing the disc version of the game! The noise of your engine is OK, too, and it’s a nice game with a lot of map-reading required. As for the cartridge version, the only differences in the graphics are that the sky looks nicer, and the instrument panel is brown instead of grey – although the map is built into the game and can be accessed at any time.
See also: Crazy Cars, Crazy Cars 3.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: ChinnyVision, ZEUSDAZ.