There are plenty of single-screen racing games on the CPC, but this one offers very realistic physics. You have to race your car on several tracks (five in the free download version) and complete a set number of laps within the time limit; there are no other cars to compete against. If you hit the edges of the track too hard, you are penalised by being unable to accelerate for a few seconds. Where this game differs from others like it is your ability to drift around corners, leaving tyre marks on the track and emitting squeals from your CPC’s speaker. Another feature is the use of subpixel rendering to display the car smoothly at 50 frames per second. It’s great fun to play, although the car can be quite tricky to control on some surfaces. It’s just a shame that hardly any effort seems to have been directed at the background graphics, which are very crudely drawn indeed.
(Probe Software, 1985)
Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard
You’re exploring a sunken ship, trying to find a lost golden crown. You’ll first have to collect many treasures hidden in the darker places of the ship, avoiding ghosts and having enough oxygen to survive. This is the kind of Sorcery-style game that you love to play, even though the graphics aren’t brilliant, the sound effects are poor and the action is rather repetitive. Anyway, it will keep you in front of your screen for a few hours, because you always want to discover new treasures.
(Blue Ribbon, 1986)
Reviewed by Pug
A Nibbler variant in which you collect dots (I mean diamonds). Your character in this game stands above ground and pumps away as your mining line moves through the underground maze. Come into contact with any of the inhabitants head-on and you kill them, but if they touch your line, you lose a life. It’s a dated-looking game, but one that slowly grew on me. It requires a lot of concentration and strategy.
Little Dianne has to collect 160 diamonds scattered over four levels and deposit them in several safes that can be found on each level. Of course, there are a lot of monsters known as Buguivores that try to stop her from doing this, and on each screen, they will try to block your way as much as possible and steal the diamonds you are carrying, although there are gates which you can swing open to kill them temporarily. You can move between the levels by finding the teleport, even if you haven’t collected all the diamonds on a level. It’s nothing original at all, and the graphics and overall presentation of the game look really dated. It should be noted that Dianne is almost identical to another game from Loriciels, Torann, which was released at the same time.
See also: Torann.
The famous comic strip detective must rescue his girlfriend, Tess Trueheart, who has been kidnapped by Big Boy Caprice and his gang. The game involves lots of shooting and beating up Caprice’s henchmen, some of whom are heavily armed. Occasionally they will leave behind guns which you can collect, but their supply of ammunition is limited. The film that this game is based on was memorable for using only primary colours, and the graphics in the normal CPC version retain this theme, although they are blocky and poorly defined. The cartridge version has much better graphics (as you would expect), uses scrolling instead of flick-screen action, and makes great use of the extra capabilities of the Plus machines. Note that my rating is for the cartridge version; the normal CPC version only deserves a rating of 6 out of 10.
An alien breeding experiment on the spaceship Taccia has gone badly wrong and the ship is now overrun with alien species. You are the last remaining human on board, and it is your task to set the self-destruct mechanisms on board the ship and find the escape pod. Energy barriers and teleporters provide access to other parts of the spaceship, but you’ll need to find the correct tokens to be able to switch them on and off, and you’ll also need to find a computer terminal nearby. While this shoot-’em-up may have a marvellous title, it doesn’t live up to expectations. Although the action is fast and smooth, most of the rooms are fairly spartan, with hardly any variety in the aliens that you can kill and objects to collect being scattered very thinly.
Reviewed by Pug
In this platform game, you move around and clear away the monsters by digging holes in the floor. The controls are responsive, but the monsters move a little too fast at times. When you clear a screen, new monsters appear, but the layout of the platforms and ladders on the next screen remains the same – yet if you lose a life, the layout changes. Each new screen places more monsters randomly on the screen, meaning that you may be unlucky in your current postion. Average visuals and limited sound effects. Presentation-wise, this game looks a little bare.
After defeating the warlock Lycurgus in Hire Hare, the sorceress Hecatia has taken on another challenge, this time to defeat two more wizards, Glanosuchus and Alopecodon, who reside in a large mansion. There are four different colours of key to be found, and each one will unlock doors of the same colour. Also be found are magical wands that will increase Hecatia’s powers, and plenty of enemies that will drain your energy on contact, although they can be shot. Hecatia’s second outing was an entrant in the #CPCRetroDev 2022 contest. It initially finished in third place but was later upgraded to joint second after a mistake by the organisers. Each room is viewed from an isometric perspective, and the graphics are beautiful and a feast of colour. The music is also a delight to listen to, and with 150 rooms to explore, you’ll be kept occupied for a long time in your attempts to defeat the wizards.
See also: Hire Hare.
Reviewed by Robert Small
Fans of the movie Tron would do well to check this game out. They will instantly recognise the inspiration – a futuristic sport where you battle against the computer or a friend. You’re armed with a lethal disc. You can take out your opponent directly or by aiming at tiles behind your opponent which will then remove tiles on your opponent’s floor leading to a quick death. There is a nice array of gameplay options including the ability to practice and play in a tournament. The graphics are colourful, if a little blocky, and there is suitable music on the title screen and standard in-game effects. The controls could be better but this is still worth playing.
A simple shoot-’em-up in which you control a submarine and must fire missiles at planes, helicopters, boats and other submarines. The submarine can only shoot upwards, though, and while you’re trying to aim your missiles correctly, the enemy craft are firing ammunition of their own at you. As you progress through the levels, there is more ammunition to dodge, and your movement is also increasingly restricted as you won’t be able to move up to the surface of the sea. Unfortunately, each level has exactly the same enemy formations which makes the game too easy and repetitive in the long term.