Reviewed by Robert Small
Croco Magneto is a fast-paced arcade puzzle game that sees you guiding a blue bouncing ball through maze-like screens collecting blocks and avoiding one-touch deaths scattered throughout the maze. The more blocks you collect, the better, as this depletes a radiation bar at the bottom of the screen. The music is excellent, the graphics are smooth and colourful, and the controls are good. It’s not easy but it’s fast and fluid.
As a new recruit to the Chicago police force, you’ve been assigned the task of clearing the city of gangsters. On each of the eight levels, you must shoot the gangsters while avoiding the civilians, for which points will be deducted. The graphics are pretty simple and so are the sound effects, and it is one of the easiest games I’ve ever played – I really did complete it on my first go! Still, if you’re after a quick blast, you could do worse than this one.
This was the last Freescape game to be released, and you could only buy it either bundled with Castle Master or as part of the Virtual Worlds compilation. After rescuing your twin brother/sister in Castle Master, you are now held captive in the dungeons and have to escape. You start on the sixth floor below the ground and have to work your way up to the first floor. It uses the same formula as the first game, although some doors are padlocked and can’t be opened with keys; you’ll need to find another way to enter these rooms. It’s a rather nice game requiring a lot of brainwork and careful movements, although in my opinion, it’s more difficult than its predecessor.
See also: Castle Master.
- Knowledge of French is required in order to play this game properly.
After stealing the magical book of spells in La Secte Noire, the Black Sect has returned to terrorise the population. They are gathering in a nearby crypt, and you have ventured into it, to annihilate this evil sect once and for all. Will you succeed? The crypt is filled with passages blocked by grilles, doors and chests to be opened, and lots of buttons to be pressed and levers to be pulled, and the secret rooms that come with performing these actions. As with nearly all of Lankhor’s other games on the CPC, this is a text adventure, and the graphics are beautifully drawn, capturing the sinister atmosphere of the crypt perfectly. The parser is rather limited, but this isn’t too much of a problem.
See also: La Secte Noire.
(US Gold, 1986)
Bentley the bear is exploring a castle and must collect all the gems from each room in the castle. Among some of the bizarre monsters to be encountered are marbles which home in on Bentley, tree spirits which Bentley can temporarily disable by jumping over them, centipedes which eat gems slowly, and witches. Both the graphics and sound effects are absolutely terrible, and Bentley seems to have his legs stuck together! This was originally released as a limited edition game, but it sold so poorly that it was re-released a few years later – and it’s not surprising to see why when you see how it plays. It’s a distinctly average game, although it’s not really bad.
(Code Masters, 1992)
The treasures of the Yolkfolk have been stolen from the Temple of Zeffar, and Dizzy has to retrieve them to avoid a curse falling on the kingdom – and so begins Dizzy’s final adventure on the CPC. This game is quite different from Dizzy’s other adventures. It’s divided into four parts, and there are passwords so that you don’t have to replay parts that you have already completed, which is a very welcome addition. What is most noticeable, however, is that the graphics are in the high-colour, low-resolution Mode 0 instead of the normal four-colour Mode 1 that has been used in all of Dizzy’s other adventures on the CPC, and I actually like the new graphics. On the other hand, most of the puzzles are easy to solve, and the conversation with other characters is often banal.
Noughts and crosses is brought into three dimensions as you play either a friend or the computer to be the first to line up four tiles in a row. Of course, as well as stopping your opponent making lines on one level, you’ve also got to keep an eye on them making lines that cross all four levels, if you see what I mean. However, this is easier said than done when you’re playing the computer – maybe the human brain just isn’t capable of visualising the lines in 3D. It’s probably better to play with a friend, although the controls are awkward; you have to press fire quickly twice to place a tile, and it often doesn’t work.
(Tartessos Games, 2023)
You have travelled to a village in the mountains whose inhabitants are living under a constant blanket of fear, and your goal is to uncover the source of this terror. You will need to explore the village, enter some of the houses and talk to the inhabitants to learn new information and gain access to some locations. You also have a gun that you can use to shoot enemies, including strange purple zombie-like creatures that respawn constantly on each screen. You also need to watch the clock, although collecting scrolls will give you extra time. This is a simple game, but I don’t really like it. The graphics are colourful but nothing special, and while the tune in the background adds to the atmosphere of mystery, it plays very quietly. However, the game feels rather dull and lacking in variety, and having to shoot zombies over and over again is an annoyance.
In 19th century Spain, the French army is occupying large parts of the country. Now they have amassed enough firepower to destroy the entire country – but one warrior, Curro Jiménez, has the courage to confront and defeat the French single-handedly! You must travel on foot, on horseback, and even on a hot air balloon, through towns and across countryside to reach the French army camp. You are armed with a gun to shoot the French invaders, and along the way, you need to collect treasure chests to obtain dynamite; some chests may give you an extra life instead. The graphics and animation in this game are stunning, and unlike many Spanish games, it’s relatively easy to make progress, although jumping over the barriers when you’re riding a horse can be frustrating.
(Puddle Soft, 2020)
While travelling on a long journey to Strasbourg, your coachman loses his way in the Black Forest and stops to check his maps. He asks you to go to a village nearby to find a place to stay for the night. The village has an inn and a stable, but after you take the horses to the stable to rest and then return to the clearing where the coachman stopped, he has disappeared – and so your story begins in the cursed village of Rabenstein. This text adventure is full of atmosphere and mystery, with astonishingly beautifully drawn pictures accompanying each location, in the style of Level 9’s later releases. However, it’s not particularly large, and experienced players should have no problems completing it fairly quickly, but while it’s not much of a challenge, it is nonetheless quite enjoyable to play while it lasts.