Screenshot of Crazy Cars

Crazy Cars

(Titus, 1988)

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.

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Screenshot of Crazy Cars II
Screenshot taken from cartridge version of game

Crazy Cars II

(Titus, 1989)

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.

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Screenshot of Crazy Cars 3
Screenshot taken from disc version of game

Crazy Cars 3

(Titus, 1992)

Reviewed by Pug

In this episode of the Crazy Cars series, you race in your Lamborghini aiming to reach the top of the first division. The routes you race along are Memphis, Denver, Miami, Boston, Houston and Mojave. There is an entry fee for each race, and you can also gamble on who will win. Cash is needed to repair your car and buy upgrades. Graphically, this game is very attractive with well drawn screens, good use of colour, and character portraits. The only problem lies in the frame rate which results in a visually jumpy race. It’s still playable, though, and deserves a few goes.

See also: Crazy Cars, Crazy Cars II.

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Screenshot of Crazy Golf

Crazy Golf

(Amsoft, 1984)

I loved playing crazy golf when I was young, but this version of the game is staggeringly bad. It’s written in BASIC for a start, and each of the 18 holes is drawn entirely using lines. It looks extremely ugly and amateurish, and even more so thanks to the horrible colour schemes that are used. Aiming the ball is a bit difficult, and achieving par or under will take a lot of practice – and no doubt a lot of frustration as well. However, the game is so awful that most players will play one round and switch off. The fact that it was released very early in the CPC’s life is no excuse for such an abysmal game.

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Screenshot of Crazy Shot

Crazy Shot

(Loriciel, 1989)

Do you remember those funfair stalls where you have to shoot at various targets and win prizes depending on how many points you score? This offering consists of five target shooting games – Jungle Adventure, Junior Hunter, Magic Balloons, Smoker Nightmare, and Special Police. Each game has its own slightly different set of rules, and if you run out of time or bullets, the game is over. Although you can play the game with a joystick, it is more fun if you use Loriciel’s Westphaser lightgun, for which the game is designed. The graphics are gorgeous, but if you only have a joystick, it’s a little bit too easy and becomes uninteresting in the long term.

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Screenshot of Cred Breaks Out

Cred Breaks Out

(TSB Magic Micro Club, 1986)

Cred has been given the task of rescuing Interrestials that are being held captive in the Ontick prison. Each level is a single-screen maze containing five prisoners and two wandering Ontick aliens. Cred has to open the prison door and guide the Interrestials to the safety of his spaceship while avoiding the Onticks. This game was offered as a promotion by TSB Bank in the UK to encourage young people to join, and it’s really not a bad game at all, despite the very basic graphics. The gameplay may be simple and slightly too easy, but it’s fun if you’re looking for something that will only take a few minutes to play, and the music on the title screen is rather nice.

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Screenshot of Le Crépuscule du Naja

Le Crépuscule du Naja

(Chip, 1987)

Secret agent Karl Adrix, also known as KA, has been sent by his government to explore the Asian jungle, in order to find the lair of a beast that poses a great threat to that continent. This is the first in a series of six games starring Karl Adrix. You can pick up weapons to kill various flying creatures, shields to prevent them from sapping your energy, and backpacks that enable you to fly around and reach otherwise inaccessible platforms and exits. However, you can only carry one object at a time. Some locations also contain idols that will replenish your energy if you stand next to them. The jungle is large and there are lots of locations to explore, and the graphics are colourful and the music is quite jolly. It can take a while to get used to the controls, but once you get the hang of them, it becomes fun to play, and as the jungle is large, you’ll be exploring it for a while.

See also: 20000 Avant JC, Le Maléfice des Atlantes, Le Talisman d’Osiris.

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Screenshot of Cricket Crazy

Cricket Crazy

(Alternative Software, 1988)

The English cricket team are on their way to a Caribbean island to play a cricket match against the island’s team. However, although the players don’t know it, there is another important reason why the match is being played. The island is rich in a natural resource called guano, and the British government wants to grab some of it. But the problems for the team begin when their plane is hijacked, and things only get worse... This is a text adventure in two parts. In the first part, you must find the team’s hotel and prepare for the match, while in the second part, you play the match – which is quite a strange experience considering it’s all done in the style of a text adventure! The game has been written using GAC, but the parser’s limited abilities once again make this a frustrating adventure to play.

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Screenshot of Cris. Odd Prelude

Cris. Odd Prelude

(Dreamin’bits, 2017)

There was something unusual about that door, and when Cris approached it, a strange force pulled her through it, and she found herself in a bizarre world. Why is there a book floating in the air, and how can she reach it? As Cris, you must explore this world. The first thing that strikes you is the graphics; they are some of the most beautiful to grace the CPC, and the animation of Cris and the enemies is reminiscent of Prince of Persia. The music is very atmospheric and suits the dream-like nature of the world you have to explore. With this amount of detail, the game itself is quite small, and it shouldn’t take long for most players to complete it. It was an entrant in the 2017 #CPCRetroDev Game Creation Contest and finished in a well deserved fourth place. There are a few glitches in the collision detection and the screen can become slightly corrupted, but this is still a great game despite these flaws.

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Screenshot of Critical Mass

Critical Mass

(Durell, 1987)

Aliens have invaded a colony within the Terra Federation, and they intend to blow up the anti-matter conversion plant and create a black hole that will destroy the entire planetary system. You have been chosen to confront the aliens and shut down the plant before it reaches critical mass. This shoot-’em-up, which was first released for the CPC on Durell’s Big 4 compilation, sees you piloting a spacecraft across five zones, avoiding rocks, mines and aliens. Contact with these will drain your energy, and if you run out of energy, your spacecraft explodes spectacularly into dozens of tiny pieces (an amusing effect that is well worth seeing) and you must find another one. The graphics are sparse and Spectrum-like, but the game itself is challenging and fun to play once you get the hang of manoeuvring the spacecraft.

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