(US Gold, 1990)
We all know how boring our science lessons are (or were) at school, but this game makes science rather more interesting. You control a skimmer which you use to collide atoms and molecules together so they annihilate each other, but if you run out of time, the atoms will reach critical mass and you’ll lose a life. Also, if two atoms of different colours come together, a new atom will be produced. The graphics are quite nice, even though there’s not all that much to see! There isn’t much sound either, but it’s still reasonable. It is quite a good game, but it’s a bit too tricky for my liking.
(Juliet Software, 1987)
Reviewed by Robert Small
Things start off reasonably well in this shoot-’em-up. A title screen that doesn’t so much as owe a debt but outright plagiarises the classic TV series Battlestar Galactica is accompanied by some nice music. Straight into the action we go, taking out static targets, and we have minimalist graphics that not only scroll very nicely but in two directions. Think Uridium with the way the ship banks left and right on screen, only this time it’s up and down instead. There’s an interesting sound effect as you fly by objects and the laser and explosion sound effects are fine. Level complete, and there are points to spend on levelling up. And then... it all goes horribly wrong. A change in style as you are now placed on a single screen with enemies to blast and a building to protect, and this isn’t great. They should have stuck to the first part and expanded on that.
Reviewed by Pug
Eagle’s Rider is a 3D sci-fi shoot-’em-up. The aim is to remove all Cyborg presence and bring freedom to the galaxy. To do this you need to collect energy cells as you travel through asteroid fields. Once a stage has been cleared, you approach the nearest space station and learn clues as to where the Cyborgs’ home world is. The graphics are well drawn, scale smoothly and give a good impression of speed. Overall, not a bad conversion of what was a 16-bit game.
(US Gold, 1988)
Reviewed by Robert Small
Echelon on the CPC is the definition of frustrating. Frustrating because it has a reasonably well thought out world and back story, a cool spaceship for you to pilot (great box art, by the way), and some great ideas that should make it a classic. It’s a 3D wireframe shoot-’em-up with simulator and strategy leanings in which you can explore atmospheric settings, shoot enemies and get to grips with the myriad of systems that your spaceship has to offer. However, the game speed is slow to the point of glacial at times, the wireframe graphics can be hard to make out, and the multitude of keyboard controls to remember will not be for everyone. It can also crash unexpectedly on occasion. The CPC isn’t short of experiences like this, but if you can overlook the faults then it may be worth a play.
How many of us who were kids in the early 90s remember Edd? He was a TV superstar, and he also had his own game. Edd is starring in a movie based on his adventures in the BBC studios – sounds exciting! He has to collect all the stars in each scene, and the only weapons he’s got are snowballs which freeze the monsters temporarily. The graphics are amazingly colourful and do the job brilliantly, and there’s a stonking tune on the title screen. Unfortunately, the pace of the game is slow and it quickly becomes boring, although I’m sure younger children might like it.
(Format War, 2011)
Reviewed by Missas
Paul Kooistra continues to produce brilliant games for the CPC, this time with a rather short but sparkling shoot-’em-up. You are Lim Tandell, the best pilot who suddenly finds himself under attack in the artificial Edge World. Your mission is crystal clear: blow away anyone in the screen! The graphics are really good – colourful, futuristic, and well designed. A fantastic tune plays throughout, but there are no sound effects. The game is very short, thus the grab factor is weak. The gameplay is fast-paced and the scrolling is excellent. You can grind your ship against the walls to gain extra points. Overall, a very nice but really short (demo-like), state of the art, horizontally scrolling shoot-’em-up.
Reviewed by Chris Lennard
Inside the mysterious Agon Mansion of De Josef Vincent who disappeared a century ago, you have discovered a fantastic machine, The Eidolon, that has the power to travel to a mystical realm – one peopled with strange creatures that have lured you away there. Your only escape is by collecting jewels on every level in the correct order to destroy the end of level dragon and the creatures that stand in your way. Getting these requires you to destroy the jewels’ guardian using the fireballs littered in the caves, or luring it away. Technically, this is a very impressive first-person perspective game which long precedes those on the PC. On the other hand, it’s a strange and difficult game.
(Gasoline Software, 1986)
Fly around a network of caves using your electrically-operated propeller helmet, looking for mushrooms which will miraculously allow you to open reservoirs and flood the caves. Yes, you did read all of that correctly. You have to wonder what substances the programmers of this French game were taking when they wrote it. It’s clearly inspired by Sorcery, and the graphics are very pretty. As well as a battery representing energy, your propeller also has three fuses, and if you touch any monsters excessively, one or more of the fuses will blow, and this affects your movement and severely hinders your chances of escaping. There is also one particular monster that kills you instantly, which is very frustrating. Despite this, it’s a reasonably enjoyable, albeit crazy, game to play.
Freddy is working in his uncle’s shop, shifting all the computer equipment on to the conveyor belt so that it can be sent to the warehouse. However, his uncle is nasty and ungrateful, and throws other pieces of equipment at him which he has to dodge. Each of the fifteen levels contains several items, and you push them towards the conveyor belt at the bottom of the screen while avoiding your uncle. This is a very early game and it really shows. The graphics and sound are laughably basic, and the game itself is far too easy; by the time you’ve completed the first five levels, you’ve more or less seen the entire game.
(English Software, 1987)
Get on your futuristic bike and race across three continents. This is a race against time, and instead of other competitors, your main problem is avoiding oncoming hazards, which for some bizarre reason include rotating cubes, bouncing spheres, and electrostatic columns that are dropped by planes flying overhead. At the start of the game, you have a choice of ‘steering envelopes’ which let you choose the responsiveness of the steering, and you can also choose which continent to start on. Initially the game looks promising – the tunnel effect is particularly impressive and is rarely seen in racing games for the CPC, and the music suits the fast speed of the game – but with no one to race against, and hardly any variation in the scenery, excitement is soon replaced by sheer tedium.