An alien invasion fleet is approaching the planet of New Stratford, so you decide to investigate it in your spacedozer. There are several mother ships to be destroyed, but you must use bombs instead of missiles, and fly over the surface of each mother ship one at a time. Once you destroy enough of it, you are whisked off to the next ship. It’s a bit different from most other space shoot-’em-ups, but it’s also rather dull, since you can’t shoot any of the smaller spaceships, and crashing into them won’t hurt your ship all that much. The controls are a little erratic and the graphics are sub-standard. Fans of action-packed shoot-’em-ups should avoid this game.
Deep within a labyrinthine mine lie deposits of gold, and being the intrepid miner that you are, your aim is to retrieve as much treasure as you can from the mine while dodging the many hazards that lurk within it – including dragons! You have an oxygen tank for travelling through flooded areas, and a battery for your lamp; if it runs out, the game is over. You have a supply of spare batteries and oxygen tanks, but you can only carry up to four items at a time while you’re in the mine. It’s easy to get lost, so making a map is essential. The graphics are rather simple, but the biggest problem is that hazards appear randomly, which makes it difficult to predict them, causing lives to be needlessly wasted. The music is also annoying, mainly because it keeps randomly speeding up and slowing down!
(Code Masters, 1988)
Another of those games where you must escape from a labyrinth of dungeons and caves, fighting skeletons, orcs and ghosts, opening doors, collecting spells, and releasing some prisoners along the way if you have some release spells. The graphics are extremely well drawn and the music is so atmospheric and eerie! The only problem is that the game is too difficult, and it is made harder by only having one life; if you die, you have to start all over again.
(Gremlin Graphics, 1987)
New York’s streets are overrun with gangs, and the police can’t handle it, so the chief has done a deal with vigilante Paul Kersey and allowed him to go and kill as many gang members as he can. You play Paul in this rather violent game, based on the equally violent film of the same name. You wander the streets with a variety of guns, scoring points for killing gang members, but losing points for killing policemen and little old ladies. You also need to raid apartments to find more weapons and locate the gang leaders and kill them. As already mentioned, this is a violent game, with bodies being graphically torn apart and blood flowing everywhere when you shoot anyone with the rocket launcher. However, the game doesn’t have much depth, and I often became disoriented when using the map and compass.
(The Executioner, 2008)
Reviewed by Missas
In this classic first-person shoot-’em-up, you control a bike equipped with guns, and the objective is to destroy two other bikes while riding through a forest. By succeeding in destroying the opponents, you move your way through eight night and day levels. There are also tanks and helicopters, while the forest becomes denser as you progress. The graphics and sound are fairly simple; it is a direct Spectrum port from the original 1983 release. Nevertheless, Deathchase’s gameplay is its strong point. Although it is an old game, it plays well, the bike moves in 3D, and the difficulty level is correctly set. Thus, the grab factor is strong. Overall, an old classic from the Pac-Man era; expect nothing less than pure gameplay experience.
(Blaby Computer Games, 1984)
Reviewed by CPC4eva
This game is written in BASIC and looks like it’s been ported from a Spectrum version (although it wasn’t actually released for that machine). It’s got a great title for a game but sadly there’s not much going for it. It’s a karate-style beat-’em-up that lacks some decent sprites and graphics, or any proper playability. I couldn’t use the joystick and the keyboard controls were pretty awkward to say the very least. For a BASIC game, there are some nice moves such as the jump kick and somersaults, but the actual fighting component was poorly executed and a real let-down. The minimal sound effects are just as awful and the background graphics may as well have been a blank screen.
(Starlight Software, 1987)
Reviewed by Pug
Enter the Deathscape and take on the Varg empire. This game is a trench run where you fly down a corridor of sorts blasting away at approaching baddies. The colourful sprites move quickly and without flicker, and the vector graphics give a good impression of speed. The control panel at the bottom of the screen displays shields, fuel etc. and an animated hand gripping the joystick. As for the sound, it’s a case of shooting and explosion sounds. Overall, you will quickly become bored by this game.
(Bubble Bus, 1986)
Reviewed by Pug
You are Sammy Solver and you’re trapped within Deathsville. You must collect objects to solve puzzles and find your eventual path to freedom. This is a platform game that is similar to Pyjamarama but with better-looking graphics. There’s a castle to explore, the outdoors, cottages and underground mines; all of them are full of traps and secrets. The game can appear challenging at first, but once you solve the stairway puzzle, many aspects of the game will become clear. Well worth an hour or so of your attention. (The screenshot shows the solution to the stairway puzzle.)
See also: Tombstowne.
(US Gold, 1989)
Fight an onslaught of enemy submarines single-handedly in this simple shoot-’em-up. You control a boat at the top of the screen, and you must destroy the submarines using depth charges. Some submarines will release a pod when destroyed, which floats to the surface and releases a flag. Collecting this flag alerts a helicopter, which drops one of several types of power-up. Every so often, there is a token to be collected from the seabed, and you must collect it by transforming your boat into a pod and sending the pod down to the seabed. There are also several intermediate stages that you must complete before you can progress to the next level. The graphics are reasonable, but the game becomes rather dull to play quite quickly, and the Missile Command-like intermediate stage is particularly boring.
In the year 2030, a TV game show sees contestants entering a labyrinth and attempting to find their way out – but the maze is filled with deadly traps, and it’s a fight for survival, all in the name of fame and entertainment! The maze consists of three sections, appropriately named ‘deep’, ‘deeper’ and ‘deepest’, and you have to find keys to unlock the door to the next section while avoiding various enemies and lasers. This game was an entrant in the #CPCRetroDev 2022 contest and it initially finished in fifth place, but it was later upgraded to joint fourth after the organisers made a mistake. The presentation is of a high standard, and the music suits the tense atmosphere. The dystopian background story and gameplay are similar to Smash TV, but there is no ability to shoot the enemies, and I felt the gameplay could have been more fast-paced and exciting, particularly in the first section.