Screenshot of Dragon’s Lair

Dragon’s Lair

(Software Projects, 1987)

King Aethelred’s beautiful daughter, Princess Daphne, has been kidnapped by the evil dragon Singe! Dirk the Daring, the King’s most favoured knight, sets out to rescue Daphne before Singe kills her. The arcade version of this game was revolutionary at the time, and there are eight challenges for Dirk to complete here. Unfortunately, they’re extremely difficult – the first level is tough enough, but the second level is impossible! The graphics are reasonable (although the title screen is very good), and so is the music, but it’s a real shame that you can’t choose which levels you want to play at the start of the game.

See also: Escape from Singe’s Castle.

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Screenshot of Dragons

Dragons

(Amsoft, 1985)

Another platform game with twenty levels consisting of a single screen, where you must kill all the dragons on each level and collect as many gems as you can while you’re at it. A large white dragon flies across the top of the screen and lays lots of eggs which you can push so that they fall off the platforms and squash any dragons underneath them. There are several types of dragons which have different characteristics. The graphics aren’t too bad, but the sound and music are terrible, and it’s too difficult.

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Screenshot of Dragontorc

Dragontorc

(Hewson, 1985)

Reviewed by Robert Small

There was once a well received arcade adventure game called Avalon on the ZX Spectrum. Sadly CPC owners were never to play this game on their machine. However, we did get the sequel, Dragontorc. Avalon’s hero Maroc the Mage stars in an attempt to save Britain from an evil witch queen. Graphically you can clearly see this game has come across from the Spectrum, but whatever you do, don’t let that put you off. Maroc levitates around the various locations (from forests to crypts) selecting spells, using a spirit servant to collect objects, and then using these objects to progress, as well as befriending certain creatures in the game through gifts. It can be tricky to play at first, while the jury is still out on those graphics. What isn’t in doubt is the scale of the game or the plethora of good ideas within.

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Screenshot of Drakkar

Drakkar

(Delta Software, 1989)

Reviewed by Robert Small

The name of this game comes from the name given to Viking ships. You take control of a Viking warrior in this arcade adventure. There are a variety of animals to be avoided and Roman soldiers to be killed. You can dispatch enemies with swipes of your weapon or by throwing an axe. You’ve also got access to a shield for protection. The graphics are very Spectrum-like but there are some good aspects, like the statues in the background. The music isn’t great and neither is the sound when you move your character. An unoriginal game but OK for what it is.

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Screenshot of Drazen Petrovic Basket

Drazen Petrovic Basket

(Topo Soft, 1989)

Reviewed by CPC4eva

Another game that uses the name of a well known sportsperson with the hope of making it a success. Unfortunately it has failed rather miserably with Drazen Petrovic Basket. The brown and orange colour scheme is horrendous and the actual basketball game is played from a top-down perspective which resembles a football match and not a basketball game. The actual gameplay is very poor. You seem to be always going in circles chasing your opponent and the player selection is frustratingly annoying, as is trying to grab or pass the ball. The game leaves you rather confused and constantly scratching your head as to what is happening. To enjoy a better basketball game you should play Basket Master instead, which also uses a well known sportsperson (albeit only in the Spanish version) but is actually good.

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Screenshot of Dream Warrior

Dream Warrior

(US Gold, 1988)

Far in the future, corporations controlled by the Focus Fellowships rule the Earth. They are capable of focusing demons into people’s dreams. Infighting within the group has allowed a group of four scientists, the Asmen, to stop Focus in their tracks, but Ocular, the Dream Demon, has captured three of them. You were the one who wasn’t captured, and you must enter their minds and rescue your colleagues. What sort of a plot is that, I ask you? Anyway, this is a boring shoot-’em-up in which you collect psy-globes to operate the lifts, obtain extra energy (or ‘dream depth’ in this game) from safes, and build up images of your colleagues which will be shown at the bottom of the screen. The graphics and sound effects are poor, and the gameplay consists mostly of standing in a corner, waiting for demi-demons to appear. Definitely a game to avoid!

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Screenshot of Driller

Driller

(Incentive, 1987)

After the Ketars abandoned their mining expeditions on Mitral, a large amount of gas has built up beneath its surface, and it will explode in four hours. You have to place eighteen rigs on each of the sectors on Mitral to release the gas safely. This was the first of the Freescape games, and as a result, it moves quite slowly, but it’s a great puzzle game as you try to work out where the rigs should be placed, whilst avoiding all the lasers and other obstacles the Ketars have left behind. You might also want to know that the sound effects were provided by the winner of an Amstrad Action competition!

See also: Dark Side.

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Screenshot of Druid

Druid

(Firebird, 1986)

The Princes of Darkness have placed four skulls in a tower, bringing misery to the surrounding land, and it’s up to you, a druid, to venture into the tower and destroy the skulls. The tower is really a maze consisting of eight levels, each filled with monsters and treasure chests which can be opened to reveal offensive and defensive spells, as well as keys. You have three types of offensive spell to use against monsters, although many of them are resistant to at least one type of spell. Defensive spells include making yourself invisible, creating a magical Golem, and a smart bomb which kills everything on the screen. The graphics are OK, if a little garish on most of the levels, but it’s a real joy to play it and to explore the tower.

See also: Enlightenment.

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Screenshot of Druid and Droid

Druid and Droid

(Leosoft, 2022)

A druid was performing rituals at Stonehenge when an unexpected visitor arrives – a droid who has been transported over 2,000 years back in time. This droid has been sent because the future of humanity is under threat, and it can only be saved by combining the ancient wisdom of the druid with the advanced knowledge of the droid. Both characters must collect items that float around the screen, but if one of them collects the wrong type of item, they lose a life. This results in some rather hectic gameplay as you frantically try to manoeuvre both characters and avoid picking up the wrong items! The game finished in fourth place in the #CPCRetroDev 2022 contest. The music is very pleasant to listen to but the graphics are a bit simplistic with garish colour schemes. However, the game is enjoyable to play and there is plenty of variety in the levels to keep you entertained.

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Screenshot of Duck Out

Duck Out

(CNGSoft, 2017)

Reviewed by Missas

In this arcade game, you take control of a rebellious duck who has decided not to become someone’s dinner and instead fights for its freedom using a frying pan! It is a humorous game which has its roots on the ZX Spectrum. The graphics are Spectrum-like, but they look cartoonish and funny. They are also well drawn, but the speed of the game won’t let you have a careful look. Everything moves very fast; even the tune is fast-paced. It is a very difficult game that constantly demands the player’s best reflexes. Most probably, you will lose a lot of times before being able to progress. The grab factor depends on one’s patience; will you find its difficulty to be a challenge or an annoyance?

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