Screenshot of Dragon Attack

Dragon Attack

(Bitplane Technomantes, 2016)

A swarm of giant aliens called Star Dragons are heading for Earth, and you have been selected to single-handedly defeat all twelve of them in your Camelot spacecraft. Each Star Dragon consists of several segments and moves around the top of the screen with each segment firing a hail of bullets at your spacecraft. The amount of bullets on the screen is overwhelming, but thankfully only the cockpit is vulnerable to the Star Dragons’ firepower. This game was the first ‘bullet hell’ shoot-’em-up to be released for the CPC, and it was an entrant in the 2016 #CPCRetroDev Game Creation Contest, where it finished fourth overall. In my opinion, it should have finished higher than that. It’s an addictive game, and having such a huge number of bullets on the screen simultaneously is an impressive technical achievement.

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Screenshot of Dragon Breed

Dragon Breed

(Activision, 1990)

Zambadlos, the King of Darkness, is threatening the Agamen Empire with his black magic. It is up to Kayas, King of the Agamen Empire, and Bahamoot, the Dragon of Light, to destroy Zambadlos and send him back to the realm of darkness. This is a horizontally scrolling shoot-’em-up, but the dragon you control has a long, flexible tail which can be manoeuvred and used to kill enemies – although you can still use the traditional methods of shooting missiles and breathing fire at them. It all sounds good, but it turns out to be quite a lousy game. It’s a horrible Spectrum port, complete with colour clash. Because the playing area is very small, and the dragon occupies a lot of the screen, it’s difficult to avoid enemies, and if you crash into any of them, you are sent back a long way. It’s not fun to play at all.

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Screenshot of Dragon Spirit

Dragon Spirit

(Domark, 1989)

Princess Alicia has been captured by the evil serpent demon Zawell, but it seems that the only being who can rescue her is a magical flying dragon, and that’s what you are in this vertically scrolling shoot-’em-up. Flying over eight levels, you must simply dodge or throw fireballs at the flying enemies, and drop bombs on the beasts on the ground. You can collect power-ups by dropping bombs on eggs. Unfortunately, they are few and far between, and they’re of little use anyway. The graphics are nicely drawn and very colourful, although the sound effects are poor, but it’s basically just another shoot-’em-up, and a very difficult one as well – I can just about complete the first level without cheating.

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Screenshot of Dragon’s Gold

Dragon’s Gold

(Amsoft/Romik, 1984)

A wealth of treasure is guarded by a dragon in a castle, and you aim to claim some of this treasure. The castle consists of six rooms which contain different hazards. You have to survive until the doorway to the next room opens; how long you need to survive depends on which of the three difficulty levels you have selected. When you’ve reached the final room, you must collect the treasure while avoiding the dragon and return to the first room. With only six rooms, there’s hardly a game to speak of, and everything about the game is banal. Amazingly, it’s written in machine code, but you wouldn’t believe it after you’ve played it!

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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 Dragons of Flame

Dragons of Flame

(US Gold, 1990)

Reviewed by Robert Small

This game is the follow-up to Heroes of the Lance. It’s a fantasy game set in the Dungeons & Dragons universe. The cast of characters has been increased from eight to ten, but in some ways this game is a downgrade on its predecessor; for example, the resolution of the graphics has been changed, so it’s more colourful but has less detail and doesn’t scroll like the earlier game, opting for flick-screen transitions instead. The presentation has taken a hit compared to the original, and when changing character from the gallery below, the sprite representing your hero remains the same on the screen. The gameplay remains similar – a role-playing game fused with an action game. The sound is also poor. Compared to the original, this feels as if it has been rushed out the door.

See also: Heroes of the Lance.

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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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