Diamond Mine II
(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.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: XeNoMoRPH.
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.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: jgonza, Xyphoe, Xyphoe (cartridge version).
Die Alien Slime
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.
(Code Masters, 1987)
This is the Dizzy adventure that started it all, and it’s stood the test of time well. Dizzy has to defeat the evil wizard Zaks by making a magic potion consisting of four ingredients – but finding them will not be easy. The graphics are reasonable and the music is quite cool as well, although there are no other sound effects. The game is a little easy (although there is a secret area which you will need to discover), and there are lots of extra lives to collect, but if you fall into the trap in the haunted forest, you won’t be able to carry on. It’s very annoying and loses the game some marks for me. A cut-down special edition of the game for one of Amstrad Action’s covertapes also exists.
See also: Bubble Dizzy, Crystal Kingdom Dizzy, Dizzy Down the Rapids, Dizzy Panic, Dizzy: Prince of the Yolkfolk, Fantasy World Dizzy, Fast Food, Kwik Snax, Magicland Dizzy, Spellbound Dizzy, Treasure Island Dizzy.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: ChinnyVision, GameHammer Classic Gaming, Metr81, Novabug.
Despite the name, this is not a dice game but a fruit machine simulation, although it doesn’t have all that many bonus features. However, if you score points, you are always given the option to gamble by guessing what type of fruit will be selected on a spinning wheel. If you are very lucky indeed and manage to light up six fruits in the correct order, as shown at the bottom of the screen you can play a dice game in which you can win up to 200 points by guessing whether the next roll of the die will be higher or lower than the previous roll. As well as playing a ‘normal’ game, you can also try to break the bank by amassing a certain number of points. The graphics are colourful, as one would expect, and I actually like its relative simplicity, although if you want a fruit machine simulation with lots of bells and whistles, this isn’t it.