Reviewed by Pug
Cursed Be the City is a Gothic-themed text adventure that was created using GAC. You play a character called Ashar, and begin your adventure bound to a rack in a dark and damp dungeon. You must find a way to escape this horrid place of misery and fear before the torturer burns out your eyes! As you can tell, this adventure is very dark in places and is not suitable for young children. Once you escape the dungeon you will eventually learn of your preordained quest. The location descriptions are generally rich with detail and it soon feels like you’re reading a book. A lot of the characters in this one do have strange names, though, which makes your quest a bit confusing at times. If you’re a fan of horror novels, then this one may appeal to you.
You have returned from a long holiday to your job in a custard pie factory, only to find that all production has stopped – and as the repairman, you must fix and restart all of the machinery, otherwise you will be sacked! This is a platform game in which you must explore rooms in the search for the objects that will activate the machinery, and each object is often to be found a long way from where it is to be used. There is also a range of enemies to be found in most rooms, which will sap your energy if you touch them. Both the graphics and sound effects are basic, although a lot of colour is used, but the main problem is that movement of your character is slow, and it takes a long time to go from one place to another, which makes a potentially good game boring instead.
Times are tough on Hardscrabble Island, and you dream of getting away from the island – so when someone invites you on a diving expedition to hunt for treasure, it’s an offer you can’t refuse. However, many of the characters on Hardscrabble Island are dodgy, and you’ll be working with some of the dodgiest characters of them all – and one of them is a traitor... There are two variations of the game, but I’ll leave it to you to discover them. This is a great text adventure from Infocom with enough mystery and excitement to captivate you for some time.
(AMC Soft, 2013)
Reviewed by Missas
Cyber-Chicken is the final version of Cyber Huhn, an entrant in CPCWiki’s 16KB ROM game development competition held in 2013. This version has many differences compared to the original one. To begin with, the game displays a magnificent overscan image. As the game begins, the player can now see the cannons that fire shots at the cyber chickens. The scrolling is smooth and fast, while the graphics, although lacking a background, are detailed. The chickens zoom in as they approach you. The sound effects are reasonable and the gunshot sounds increase and decrease in pitch, and the game also includes several tunes. The gameplay is fast-paced and entertaining; because of the high score table, you can attempt to beat the best scores. Overall, a highly entertaining and original idea placed in the type of game that is rarely seen on the CPC.
American football has become robotic in the 21st century, and it’s more violent than ever. Fourteen armoured robots tackle and clash with each other, attempting to get a touchdown before the ball explodes – it’s actually a bomb! It sounds great, but the game is poorly executed. Rather than being a straightforward arcade game, the game constantly stops for you to choose your tactics, and there are dozens of strategies. It interrupts the flow of the game and becomes its major downfall. The robots also move very slowly, which again ruins things. The graphics are good and the tune on the menu is nice, but I can’t understand why the CPC magazines liked this game so much!
(MCM Software, 1990)
Reviewed by Robert Small
Someone was a fan of Alien – at least that’s the impression this game gives the player. You arrive at an installation on board a flying saucer. You’re then ‘tubed’ to the surface below. Once on the surface you can descend down through its various levels (once again via tubes). There are swarms of robots out to get you, which are bizarrely animated – more zombie than robot. You can dispose of these with your gun. Then there is the alien – a bit of a star in my opinion. You can’t kill the alien (that’s done later), but it will eat the robots. You search for useful objects and will eventually even get to drive a little car to move around the levels more quickly. Graphically it’s quite good – all Mode 0 with the alien being the highlight. There is an excellent piece of music as well. The gameplay is a bit samey but it’s an interesting game.
The Federation’s storage depots have been raided by pirates, so they have hired Cybernoid to travel to the pirates’ planet, evade their defence systems, and retrieve the cargo that they have stolen. Cybernoid has a large array of weapons at its disposal – missiles, mines, bouncing bombs, and heat-seeking missiles, as well as a temporary invincibility shield. The graphics are a feast of colour with lots of beautiful animations and explosions, and the music is rather nice, but the game is far too difficult, even with the four lives you are given. One of the main drawbacks is that you can only use the invincibility shield once with each life, and there are several screens where you really need it! If you somehow manage to reach the second stage without cheating, you probably deserve an award.
See also: Cybernoid II: The Revenge.
The pirates are back, and they’ve launched another raid on the Federation’s storage depots – so once again, the Federation is relying on you to retrieve the stolen cargo. This time your ship has been upgraded, and you now have an array of seven special weapons that you can use, including timebombs, smart bombs and trackers, which crawl along the edges of the screen destroying enemies in their path. However, while the graphics and music have changed (and are still excellent), the gameplay is almost exactly the same as the original – and this includes the very unfair level of difficulty. In fact, I’d say it’s even more difficult than its prequel, and it feels more like an additional set of levels than a proper sequel to me.
See also: Cybernoid.
Cybor JMT61 has been assigned the mission of destroying the Ordirebel computer, housed within a large complex. Many other Cybors have attempted this mission and failed. You must locate the computer while avoiding other robots and floating objects which will cause you to lose one of your nine lives if you bump into them. There are also batteries and bottles of oil and anti-rust lying about, to help you survive. This is an unoriginal game with relatively poor graphics and sound effects, made worse by having to wait several seconds while moving between rooms; the scrolling is very slow and jerky. If that’s not enough, the game crashes after just a few minutes of play.
Compete in the motorcycle championship circuit around eight tracks with nine other riders. You have the option of riding a 125cc, 250cc or 500cc motorbike, although you’ll have to qualify for each race first. This is supposed to be a realistic simulation of motorcycle racing, but it’s practically impossible to get your bike to stay on the track! Despite this problem, it’s also too easy, even though there are five difficulty levels, and there’s no impression of speed either. The graphics are quite good, and the “Accolade presents...” speech sample is actually rather funny, but the engine noises are grating, and unless you’re a serious motorbike fan, it’s not much fun.