Reviewed by Pug
In this offering you take to the skies, World War I-style. You take the role of a fighter pilot escorting a bomber over enemy lines. The gameplay sees you in your cockpit with the bomber ahead of you. Pressing the SPACE bar signals the bomber to deploy its payload, which at times seems hit and miss; you can’t aim properly. Several enemy aircraft swarm in and attack, and this is where you come in – but be careful not to hit the bomber. The graphics are vector-based with an effective terrain moving below you – watch those hills! As you play, you actually begin to feel like you’re flying as the landscape banks and rises towards you. The game is difficult to master but fun all the same.
(ABO Soft, 2018)
Reviewed by Piero Serra
In this Gauntlet-inspired game with RPG elements, made for the #CPCRetroDev 2018 contest, your character is seeking glory while trying to steal as much gold and jewellery as possible. The impressive loading screen leads into a neat options page with well presented instructions, accompanied by some moody music. The gameplay takes time to get the hang of as your character moves slowly to begin with, his pace quickening as he gathers food. Similarly, fighting enemies is not a case of just slashing away; you need to find knives and potions first. The graphics are as clear and colourful as you could want from an 8-bit machine, although the scrolling is a little jerky. The sound effects are unexciting, with bearable in-game music. The game is not an easy challenge but it’s fun and worth taking up if you like an arcade game with a little more depth.
By 2056, the Star Wars satellite defence systems were ready, with eight satellites orbiting Earth. There was total peace for many years, but now aliens have taken over the satellites and started attacking Earth. You are Captain Nick Diamond, and your mission is to destroy the satellites with the sole remaining spacecraft available – the fairly standard Eagle Class E751. Your spacecraft is equipped with a cosmogun, but as you destroy more aliens, you can use a fazalaza, a dyno ray, and a blaster – the only weapon that can destroy the satellites. However, you have to blast a lot of aliens to obtain the blaster, and this is so tedious and repetitive that it’s not worth the effort. The graphics lack colour as well, although the music is excellent.
(Iber Soft, 1989)
It’s 1992, and there has been no conflict between the world’s superpowers for many years – but there is now a serious threat to Earth, a threat so serious that the World Security Council has been put on DEFCOM 1 (er, surely it should be DEFCON 1?). Those aliens are up to no good again, and they’ve been detected in the Vesta-7 sector of Ceres. This is a shoot-’em-up in three parts, and you control a different vehicle in each part. You have to fly to the space shuttle launch site in a helicopter, then fly the shuttle through an asteroid belt, and then take on the aliens in a space fighter. In the first and third parts, you also have three smart bombs. This is a mediocre game, primarily because it’s a Spectrum port, but there are also no power-ups, and the sound effects are very poor.
Reviewed by Missas
Defence is a brilliant and original strategy game which is influenced by the demo scene with its overall presentation. In this marvellous and smartly programmed gem, you have to place your defences in such a way that the enemies are destroyed before they reach the exit. You have four types of defence, each with different attributes. The enemies also have different abilities. The levels are intelligently designed and they pose challenges as to how to set up your defensive perimeter. The graphics are great, although the animation and movement of the sprites are jerky. The sound is truly magnificent with a fantastic tune – one of the best I’ve heard on the CPC – playing throughout the game, and there is some digitised speech too. The gameplay is remarkable; it’s highly addictive and the difficulty is correctly set. What else could you ask for?
Reviewed by Pug
Defender on the CPC. Unless you’ve lived on Mars for the last 30 years, there’s no need to explain how this game works. Alligata’s version is very neat indeed. The graphics move smoothly and are colourful. The sound effects are very imaginative but there’s no music – no worries, though, as the arcade original didn’t have any music either! The difficulty level is set just right to allow progression and very high scores!
(Ubi Soft, 1989)
- Knowledge of French is required in order to play this game properly.
Travel back in time to England in 1149. The king has been assassinated, and the Saxons and the Normans are fighting it out to reclaim the throne. You play the part of one of four Saxon lords (hint: choose Sir Wolfric the Wild) and must fight the Norman lords (and the Saxon lords too if you want) and prevent them from gaining territory. The more territory you have, the more taxes you can collect from the peasants to build up your army – but all this fighting takes a heavy toll. You can also claim territory in jousting contests, and lay siege to your enemies’ fortresses! This is a big game, and the graphics and animation have to be seen to be believed; they are simply breathtaking. Unfortunately, it’s too difficult, as the Norman lords take control too quickly for you to do anything about them, and this is a real shame.
(Enigma Variations, 1990)
Ming the Merciless has kidnapped the Defenders’ children and is holding them in the Fortress of Evil. You control Flash Gordon as he fights his way through three levels of the castle, shooting and jumping over monsters, and facing some pretty mean end-of-level guardians before encountering Ming himself. Your colleagues are also able to help you, by opening locked doors or creating bridges which will allow you to cross chasms. There are also a few icons which can be collected, giving you a more powerful weapon, extra energy or an extra life. The graphics are marvellous, but the music on the menu is unremarkable. However, the biggest problem is that the game is very tough indeed; completing the first level is quite a challenge, even with the four lives that you are given.
(Gremlin Graphics, 1987)
Every now and then, there’s a game which is strikingly original, and this is one of them. By bouncing a laser beam off sets of mirrors, you must shoot all the balls on the screen before aiming it at a target. However, watch out for the gremlins who will adjust the mirrors when you’re concentrating on something else! You must also avoid overloading the machine, which can happen if the laser bounces back on itself, or if the beam hits a mine. It’s not easy to get the hang of it at first, and the colour schemes used in some levels are horrible, but you may well like it, and there are 60 levels to tax your grey matter.
Our hero is back to rescue some more fairies from hell and bring them to safety in heaven, but there are lots of lakes of fire and nasty, fire-breathing monsters to battle against. In fact, there are far too many monsters. If you thought Stormlord was tricky, then you clearly haven’t played this game; it’s impossible to get anywhere without a monster appearing from nowhere and causing you to lose a life. Getting Stormlord to jump properly is also a matter of luck. The graphics are as well-drawn as the first game, and the tune is good, too, but it really is far too difficult.
See also: Stormlord.