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 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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Screenshot of La Espada Sagrada

La Espada Sagrada

(Topo Soft, 1990)

Reviewed by Javier Sáez

This game was an attempt to recreate the flavour of good old adventures, but adding better gameplay and some fine details. The plot is simple – recover the sacred sword to your tribe (by the way, the English translation of the game’s name is ‘the sacred sword’). La Espada Sagrada is divided into three stages. The first two are 100% pure adventure. The third one is a jump and shoot arcade game, which is less amusing than the other stages. There’s little more I can say; the graphics are good and so is the sound. Give it a try and you’ll have fun for a long time.

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Screenshot of ESWAT
Screenshot taken from 128K version of game


(US Gold, 1990)

Reviewed by Robert Small

There have been many Sega games converted to the Amstrad CPC with varying degrees of success. ESWAT has you controlling a futuristic cop taking out bad guys as you progress from left to right through its levels. You start off as an ordinary cop but progress to wearing a special armoured suit with greater firepower. There are some nice aspects to the graphics, like arriving in your police car at the start of levels, but everything runs very slowly. There’s no music and limited sound effects. There are big sprites but the colour palette is limited. It’s the speed which hurts the most, as playing the game feels as if you’re plodding along, which hinders your enjoyment.

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Screenshot of The Eternal Light 2

The Eternal Light 2

(MORRISoft, 2014)

Reviewed by Missas

In this old-style platform game, you take control of a wizard who needs to gather some lanterns. This game was created using Sprites Alive. To begin with, the graphics are average with vivid colours and nicely drawn levels. You need to move platforms and avoid the enemies while trying to collect the lanterns. You may also try to achieve the best score by going as fast as possible. There is no in-game sound. Despite this serious drawback, the game is a Jet Set Willy-style platformer and it will not disappoint you, chiefly because of the smart level design.

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Screenshot of European 5-a-Side

European 5-a-Side

(Silverbird, 1988)

If you want to put some digitised speech into your game, at least make sure it’s recognisable. As well as being possibly the easiest football game I’ve ever played (I won my first game against the computer 8-0 and the second 16-0 – and that was in the six-minute game!), it also has the worst digitised speech I’ve ever heard in any game. You can just about make out the words “Goal! G-g-goal!,” but try listening to the attempts at saying “kickoff” and “half time”. Thrashing the computer is fun for a while, but soon becomes boring. Playing against a friend might be more fun, but it’s a pretty mediocre game, anyway – passing to other players is impossible. The sound of the crowd is good, though.

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Screenshot of European Soccer Challenge

European Soccer Challenge

(Players, 1990)

Play against other European football teams in this abysmal game. You can play against a friend or the computer, but unfortunately the computer is very good, even on the easiest skill level, and your players are very difficult to control. There are very few options that can be modified; the matches always last 15 minutes, and it seems to make no difference what team you choose to play against. The graphics are absolutely horrible, although the loading screen is rather good. Finally, there is some mediocre music on the menu, but the main game features no sound effects at all! This is one of the worst football games on the CPC, and should be avoided.

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