Screenshot of Energy Warrior

Energy Warrior

(Mastertronic, 1987)

The Earth has mostly been laid to waste, and only three areas of untouched land remain. Of course, the aliens are going to put a stop to that, so it’s time to get your plane out and blast them... and that’s all you seem to do. Blast some aliens, then blast a caterpillar-like alien, collect a bonus, go to the next level after blasting a number of aliens, and repeat. With nine levels in each land area, you can imagine that the game becomes extremely monotonous. The only other thing worth mentioning is the excellent music.

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Screenshot of The Enforcer

The Enforcer

(Trojan, 1990)

It’s the 1920s, the era of Prohibition, and the FBI are on the trail of a mob of gangsters who are manufacturing whisky. This is a three-level shoot-’em-up which was only released on cartridge. It was intended to be used with the Trojan Phazer lightgun (and was one of only two such games released for the GX4000 and Plus version!), but thankfully it can be played with a joystick as well. In summary, you must shoot the gangsters to score points, but shooting innocent people (including unarmed gangsters) causes you to lose points. Once you have reached a certain number of points, you can go to the next level. The game is over when you are wounded once too often. The graphics are absolutely wonderful and it’s fun to play for a while, but everyone has seen this type of game many times before.

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Screenshot of Enlightenment


(Firebird, 1988)

103 years ago, the druid Hasrinaxx destroyed four skulls and banished the evil Acamantor from the land of Belorn – but now he has returned. Starting at the village of Ishmar, Hasrinaxx must travel through the varying landscapes of Belorn, find Acamantor’s tower, and destroy him once and for all. This game is fairly similar in nature to its predecessor Druid, but the area you can explore is a lot larger, and there is a much greater variety of spells to be collected. You will also have to remember what they do and when they should be used. This added complexity gives the game a more adventure-like feel in addition to the existing arcade elements. Some players may like this, but I feel that this sequel is not as good as its predecessor.

See also: Druid.

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Screenshot of Enterprise


(Melbourne House, 1987)

Reviewed by Robert Small

A clever title for this game. On the one hand, a nod to Star Trek as it’s a space exploration game. On the other hand, it gives away what you will spend your time doing, which is trading with aliens – lots of aliens. Enterprise is quite proud of its vast universe to explore (five trillion planets!). It’s a nice-looking game as well. Stand-out moments include the graphics used for the planets (very 1980s sci-fi) and the animated pictures of the aliens you meet. You pilot your ship in an arcade/simulation manner. Landing on planets is easy enough. Trading with the locals is done through conversation, which can be funny and frustrating in equal measure. Your ship can sustain damage and accidentally damage others as well, but that damage won’t occur through laser fire. There is no combat, and that will disappoint many who will probably turn to a much more famous space trading game, namely Elite.

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Screenshot of Epimetheus+


(CNGSoft, 2019)

There’s no real background story to this space shoot-’em-up; just shoot the waves of aliens and avoid crashing into them as they swirl around the screen. This game was originally an entrant in the 2019 #CPCRetroDev Game Creation Contest and finished in third place, and according to the author, it was programmed in only 48 hours and finished just before entries had to be submitted. It’s got lovely graphics, colourful explosions, excellent music, and amazingly fast and furious action as the aliens whizz around at a blistering pace. This enhanced version includes a few new features and makes the gameplay slightly easier, although even so, if you can survive for more than two minutes, you’re doing pretty well! Despite the very short development time, this is a fantastic game, especially if all you want is a quick blast.

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Screenshot of Equinox


(Mikro-Gen, 1986)

The mining asteroid Sury-Ani 7 has been contaminated with radioactive waste, so a disposal droid (that’s the thing you control) has been sent in to search the eight levels of the mining complex, find the waste canisters and send them down the vacuum disposal chutes that can be found on each level. Naturally, the complex is guarded by monsters which bounce around the screen and must be avoided as much as possible. The game is visually very impressive with great use of colour and very smooth movement, and the tune on the menu is also very good. The clever thing about this game is that although it looks like a straightforward shoot-’em-up, you have to think carefully as to where, and especially when, to use the objects and teleporters. This is an excellent game!

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Screenshot of Er*Bert


(Microbyte Software, 1984)

Er*Bert is a purple bouncy creature, and he has to move around a screen consisting of cubes and change their colour. Out to get him are Boris the gorilla, Coily the snake, and a purple ball. To help him evade their clutches, he can use transporters or rotahats, both of which move him to other parts of the screen. There are ten difficulty levels, four stages on each level, and two speeds that you can use, but the controls are so strange and the enemies so hard to avoid that getting off the first level is extremely tough.

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Screenshot of Erebus


(Titus, 1986)

Reviewed by Robert Small

A very early release from the prolific French publishers Titus, whose support for the CPC was pretty unwavering. The theme of the game is survival, as you have crashed in one of the world’s most hostile environments, so making sure you don’t freeze to death is a good start! Erebus is an adventure game where everything is controlled via cursor. The control method is serviceable, locations are surprisingly varied the further you get, and the graphics aren’t bad for a game released in 1986. However, the game is a trial and error experience which may not be for everyone, and while the graphics are OK, we all know Titus would go on to do even better in that department.

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Screenshot of Escape from Singe’s Castle

Escape from Singe’s Castle

(Software Projects, 1987)

Having rescued Princess Daphne in Dragon’s Lair and killed Singe the dragon, our hero Dirk now endeavours to find the treasure within the castle before the Lizard King reaches it first. There are eight separate challenges in this game which will require nerves of steel and quick reflexes. Among the things Dirk has to do are negotiate a fast-flowing river, run down a tunnel with a boulder in pursuit, and play ‘Simon says’-type games in the throne room and in a room with a tiled floor. The graphics are OK, albeit rather garish, and the music really sets the atmosphere as well. However, it’s a bit too difficult for my liking, and it would be nice if you didn’t have to go right back to the first level after losing all your lives.

See also: Dragon’s Lair.

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Screenshot of Escape from the Planet of the Robot Monsters

Rescue the girls from the clutches of the evil Reptilons. It sounds like something out of one of those awful 50s B-movies, and that’s exactly what the game is based upon. The Reptilons’ base is laid out in an isometric view, and each room usually has a host of aliens to be shot, girls to be rescued, computers to be smashed, and lockers to be broken into and ransacked – although some of their contents may lose you energy. Every few levels, you have to destroy a very large Reptilon. The graphics are pretty good and it’s a decent game with a lot of action, and another person can play too. The noise of your laser gun is immensely irritating, though.

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