Your girlfriend has been captured by a huge monkey and you must rescue her. It will come as no surprise to learn that this game is a clone of Donkey Kong. The graphics are very crudely drawn; the ‘monkey’ doesn’t resemble anything close to a monkey! The animation is very jerky, and the way the hero jumps means that while jumping over barrels on the first level isn’t too much of a problem, avoiding enemies and jumping on to moving platforms is frustratingly difficult on subsequent levels. The sound and collision detection are also poor. Overall, this is a terrible game!
(Leisure Genius, 1986)
Dr Black has been murdered in his own home, and between two and six players must deduce who committed the murder, where it happened, and what weapon was used. This adaptation of the famous board game works well if there’s only one human player, but with two or more human players, it’s awkward, as the computer asks other players to look away from the screen when it’s displaying clue cards. The graphics are functional, with some nice use of stippling to provide the illusion of additional colours. On the other hand, the sound effects are disappointing, although they can be turned off. You can assign each computer player one of three skill levels, but even on the highest skill level, I regularly beat them – although this will depend on what strategies you employ when taking notes! Despite these flaws, I still think Cluedo is the best of Leisure Genius’ range of board game conversions on the CPC.
(Cobra Soft, 1985)
Guide the cobra around the screen and eat plants while avoiding crashing into itself or the edge of the screen. Back in the 1980s, there was no shortage of snake games to be found in CPC magazines in the form of listings that you had to type in yourself. Cobra is a little different in that there are a variety of layouts and levels to be played, and your main aim is not to eat all the plants, but to survive long enough for the timer to run out and therefore progress to the next level. On some levels, the inclusion of scorpions makes things more difficult; if one of them touches the cobra, the game ends. The overall presentation is nothing special, and while the game isn’t written in BASIC, it looks and feels like a type-in listing.
Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard
Based upon a great manga comic strip, famous among French teenagers in the 1980s, this game is unfortunately far from the original. You control Cobra and his cyber friend Armanoid, and you must save a young girl (girls were the main reason for the success of that comic...) from the Evil Salamandar. As soon as the action starts, you know that you’re in front of a bad game. The sound effects are exactly the same as in Flash, another game from the same authors, and the gameplay is exactly the same too! Well, they changed the backgrounds and the characters... All you have to do is shoot everything around you. The screen scrolls in every direction but you don’t know where to go because enemies come from everywhere and the buildings around you are always the same. Boring and disappointing – you’d better watch the original manga instead.
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.