Reviewed by John Beckett
Based around the little known film of the same name, Cobra is one of the most bizarre film licence games ever! Similiarities between the film and the game are that you must shoot a lot of people, and you must rescue beautiful Ingrid from the evil Night Slasher. But that’s where the similarities end. You see, in the game, you must eat burgers to get better weapons (knife, gun and machine gun) and are constantly under attack by dive-bombing ducks, for some reason! Each of the platform-filled levels are pretty much the same (OK, they’re identical, but with harder bad guys) and I reckon you’ll be bored long before you get to the Night Slasher. Graphics are nothing special (though there’s a wicked picture of Stallone on the loading screen), the sound is virtually non-existent, and the whole thing is just so average, it hurts. The movie was a stinker, and the game is little better!
Fly an AH-1W Super Cobra through four levels of shoot-’em-up action. Your helicopter is equipped with a machine gun and a limited supply of missiles which you’ll need to use to destroy the guns that are scattered across each level. You can obtain more missiles or some extra firepower by shooting certain aliens and collecting the bonus icon that appears. You also have a small number of ‘enemy blockers’ which freeze the aliens and guns for a short time. The aim in each level is to destroy all the guns and collect all the pods, and you’ll then face two giant helicopters which must be shot in order to progress to the next level. The graphics are nice and colourful and the difficulty level is set just right to make this a fine, action-packed game.
(Cobra Soft, 1985)
Reviewed by Pug
This is Cobra Soft’s attempt at simulating a pinball machine on your CPC. From the moment the game loads up, you’re presented with a very odd-looking display. Visually, the tiny table looks crude, dated and not at all entertaining. After entering some credits and selecting the number of players, this uninspiring game begins. A few beeps and bangs fill your ears as a small, flickery ball is sent on its way. Because of the very tight play area you’ll struggle to keep the ball in play and soon you’ll lose interest.
Reviewed by Robert Small
A very early space combat game from Amsoft that doesn’t hide its inspirations from some of science fiction’s biggest hits. Your vessel has everything you’d expect in terms of technology. Scanners, a shield and a warp drive are all present and correct among others and they can take damage from enemies and be repaired when you orbit planets. Everything is viewed from the first-person perspective, but you can alter the view to check behind you. The object of the game is to repel an alien invasion that is sweeping all before it. This is an early game, so the graphics are basic, but they move at a fast pace. The sound is minimal. An extra option called Commander increases the level of strategy from the ordinary Pilot option. Overall, this is a good Amsoft title which has some good arcade action with a side order of strategy.
Zen is a cute little creature who must use his magical abilities to collapse 96 different structures. Each structure is made from light blue sticks and bridges which are connected to each other. Zen must paint all the sections dark blue, and then use his magic Rotix stick to collapse the structure. However, there are two monsters on each screen who will reduce the amount of time available, although you can collect diamonds to gain some time. It takes some practice to get used to the controls. Zen can switch between two modes which indicate whether or not he is using magic, and some actions can only be performed in one mode but not the other. Even once you’ve mastered the controls, this is still a frustrating game; more time is spent trying to dodge monsters and collect diamonds than attempting to collapse the structures.
In 2099, humans have set up a colony on another planet due to overpopulation on Earth. You control a maintenance droid and your task is to keep the colony running as efficiently as possible. The humans grow mushrooms as their source of food and you must gather them up once they are fully grown and take them to a store where they can be collected by a supply ship later. However the planet is inhabited by aliens who will attack your crops and the solar panels that provide energy. It’s a constant battle to maintain and collect the crops, shoot the intruding aliens, repair the damage they cause, and ensure you order enough supplies to keep the colony going. This is an early example of a resource management game and it was fairly original for its time. It’s interesting to play for a short while, but there’s no clear goal or objective to achieve and it soon becomes rather repetitive.
(Level 9, 1984)
Reviewed by Richard Lamond
Based on the original Adventure by Will Crowther and Don Woods, Level 9’s take on the game still has your nameless protagonist on an underground search for treasures, but has expanded the game world significantly. Retrospectively branded the first in the Middle Earth trilogy, Colossal Adventure was originally a text-only adventure but was later re-released with added graphics as part of the Jewels of Darkness compilation. There’s a reason the original Adventure took off and it’s all in the gameplay. Clear and well thought out puzzles with a built-in transportation system that’s light years ahead of its time, Colossal Adventure is a faithful retelling of a landmark game. It won’t win prizes for originality, but the atmosphere and feel of the game hold up to this day. While a few software houses tried to bring Adventure to the CPC, this is the best version.
Reviewed by Richard Lamond
Of all the versions of Will Crowther and Don Woods’ Adventure on the CPC, this is probably the poorest. From a plot point of view, the game is top notch, following closely to the seminal template. However, where Colossal Cave Adventure lets itself down is in its dreadful response speed and presentation. The game takes a virtual ice age to respond to each of your commands, and although having no graphics doesn’t hinder the gameplay, the choice to have red text superimposed on a yellow box against the CPC’s regular blue background is really ugly. The game is also written entirely in unprotected BASIC. The sloppy execution would be bad enough in normal circumstances, but when you compare it to the much slicker versions released around the same time or even earlier, it makes Duckworth’s interpretation seem all the poorer.
(Topo Soft/Kixx, 1988)
Benurio is a soldier who has been accused of treason and disloyalty to the Roman Empire. To prove his loyalty, he must take part in a chariot race – but the other contestants are set on killing him! As Benurio, your aim is not to win each of the four races, but simply to survive. Each race consists of eight laps, and each course contains obstacles that you must avoid. You can choose to fight your opponents, and if you win, you can obtain their weapon, or alternatively, you can try to force them into one of the obstacles on the course. The graphics and animation are of a high standard, and a suitably imperial tune plays on the menu, although in-game sound effects are limited to the galloping of your horse. However, the races are too long and the gameplay soon becomes quite repetitive.
Chess has never been my forte, and it shows when I’m playing against the computer in this game. Be warned – it plays a pretty mean game! However, it is very customisable, although there aren’t any menus; you’ll just have to remember which keys to press. You can also see your previous moves, and a nice touch is that you can see the computer thinking ahead, and what move it thinks you’re going to make. The perspective view of the board is great as well, although you can change it to the 2D view. A lot of people reckon this is the best chess program on the CPC, and it’s not hard to see why.