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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Screenshot of Croco Magneto

Croco Magneto

(Croconews, 1989)

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.

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Screenshot of Crossfire

Crossfire

(Atlantis, 1989)

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.

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Screenshot of The Crypt: Castle Master II

The Crypt: Castle Master II

(Domark/Incentive, 1990)

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.

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Screenshot of La Crypte des Maudits

La Crypte des Maudits

(Lankhor, 1991)

  • 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.

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Screenshot of Crystal Castles

Crystal Castles

(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.

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Screenshot of Crystal Kingdom Dizzy

Crystal Kingdom Dizzy

(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.

See also: Bubble Dizzy, Dizzy, Dizzy Down the Rapids, Dizzy Panic, Dizzy: Prince of the Yolkfolk, Fantasy World Dizzy, Fast Food, Kwik Snax, Magicland Dizzy, Spellbound Dizzy, Treasure Island Dizzy.

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Screenshot of Cubit

Cubit

(Amsoft, 1984)

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.

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Screenshot of La Culotte de Zelda

La Culotte de Zelda

(Zisquier, 2020)

Reviewed by Missas

A long time ago, in a very distant world, there lived a princess named Zelda. She ruled the kingdom of Hyrule and had perverted its inhabitants into lust and vice – but one fine day, the gods decided to punish her for forcing the elves to breed with the girls from the village next door. Zelda was exiled to the other side of the ocean, isolated, and above all, without any spare panties! This is a no-nonsense game; in fact it is an amazing effort that harnesses the power of the Plus range. The graphics are magnificent, with detailed sprites, a high frame rate, fantastic colours and a huge variety of enemies. The sound is nothing less than fantastic. An atmospheric tune plays throughout the action, while there are a variety of effects. The gameplay is fantastic. This role-playing game certainly delivers awesome quality and it’s easily one of the best Plus games ever to have been released.

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Screenshot of El Culto

El Culto

(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.

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