This is another of the Freescape games, and this time, it’s set in a castle where you have to rescue your twin brother/sister (you can play either a prince or a princess). You have to search the castle and kill twenty spirits before confronting the dragon. There are lots of puzzles to work through and keys to find, and you must also make sure you don’t get yourself trapped, or get lost in the catacombs; it’s essential that you make a map! The 3D graphics are great, but like all the other Freescape games, there’s not much sound.
See also: The Crypt: Castle Master II.
Reviewed by Pug
You have got the contract to build on a remote island in the middle of the North Sea. A small tanker brings building blocks that your trusty helicopter must lift and place upon the island. Each block adds wages to your bank balance. A certain amount of construction must be completed each day or you lose the contract. Bad weather and natural disasters hinder your progress and reduce your bank balance. This is a simple but addictive game with clear and colourful graphical effects and imaginative sound.
Reviewed by Robert Small
The majority of 3D vector graphics games have you in control of some sort of machine – a tank, for example. Catch 23 has you exposed and on foot. Straight away you feel a lot more vulnerable. The graphics run at a good speed. Vector graphics seem to be a graphical style the CPC is comfortable with. It is quite easy to get lost exploring your island location and it’s hard to see enemies coming from a distance. Enemies also seem to appear out of thin air which can frustrate. The pacing of the game is also a little odd. Is it an all-out action game? Do you take your time and explore? Still, there are a host of neat features tucked away in the game, but patience will be needed to unearth them.
Reviewed by Chris Lennard
Collect the six ingredients of your most powerful spell in order to defeat the evil Pumpking and thereby claim the powerful Golden Broomstick which is sought by the best and cleverest witches in the land. Fly across the landscape on your broomstick finding the coloured keys to the six doors, behind which lie each one of the reagents you require. As you peruse the skies, you are attacked by all manner of things; witch-eating bats, cloak-scorching fireballs, murderous pumpkins and badly behaved seagulls are just a few of the hazards facing you. A large, engaging game that is highly enjoyable in spite of its difficulty.
Reviewed by Chris Lennard
Having defeated the evil Pumpking, seized the Golden Broomstick and become Witch-Queen, the Hag no longer lives in her dilapidated cottage but has moved to a huge castle at the edge of the forest. You play the part of a small pumpkin, who was in fact the Pumpking’s guardian in Cauldron, and must recover the Golden Broomstick from the clutches of the oppressive Hag. In what is some respects a similar game to Wizball, you must bounce around the Hag’s castle avoiding her supernatural minions. It was always going to be hard following up to Cauldron, and while this is a good enough game, its prequel is superior.
Ug the caveman is intent on stealing some pterodactyl eggs, and he has to collect three of them. However, he can only carry one at a time, and he mustn’t drop it on his way back to the cave! And then there’s the prehistoric monsters to watch out for as well... There are nine islands in total, and in between each island, there’s a two-screen bonus level where you collect wheels. The colourful cartoon graphics and the phrases that appear on the screen when you collect fruit (“twistin’ my melon” is one example) make the game appealing, but it’s a bit too easy, and having to complete the same bonus level after every island is very tedious.
(Discovery Informatic, 1987)
Reviewed by Pug
Well, the loading screen looks both grim and foreboding, suggesting a great adventure is at hand. When the gameplay begins, your heart sinks and you realise that this is a simple game of “dodge the falling objects.” This in itself is very difficult to achieve, and if you do make it to the right-hand side of the screen, more of the same follows. They should have called this one Cavern of Frustration; it’s a very poor game indeed.
Reviewed by John Beckett
Caves of Doom? It’s more like Graphics of Doom! OK, maybe I’m being harsh – the game is ancient and the graphics are very colourful – but they also suck! But look beyond the graphics and you’ll find a pretty challenging (but not impossible) and enjoyable game. The story is that you’re trapped in the bowels of the Caves of Doom and must find all the keys, whizzing around in your trusty jet pack, before making your escape in a handy rocket. It’s nothing ground-breaking, but it’s got a certain charm to it! The graphics are bad (one of the more intimidating bad guys is a stick man!), the sound is bad, but the game is good, simple fun! Oh, and one other thing; it’s much easier to play using a joystick.
I’m not a fan of tennis, but as far as tennis games go, this early effort must rank as the worst of the lot. The first thing you notice when playing the game is the truly awful, flickery graphics; two little stick men being watched by several other stick men, with the ball being represented by a tiny dot. The next thing you notice is that the game is unbearably slow; definitely not the fast-paced action that you’d get at Wimbledon. There really is little else that I want to say about this game, other than that it is rubbish!
Doc Terror wants to steal the entire world’s supply of tyron dichromate from the Weapons Development Centre, and only the Centurions – Ace, Jake and Max – can stop him. The game takes place in an enormous maze, and the aim is to locate six segments of a key. These segments are locked away in buildings, and in order to obtain them, you must open the doors to the buildings by looking for the key with the corresponding shape. To make things more difficult, these keys are surrounded by ‘moats’ which can only be passed if you are controlling the correct Centurion – either Air, Land or Sea. The gameplay resembles that of Gauntlet, but most of your time is spent repeatedly trudging from one end of the maze to the other in a search for the correct door or key, and boredom will soon set in.