(Byte Back, 1989)
Fancy a game of Breakout – but with a playing area that’s bigger than the screen? That’s what you get here. The usual fare is present, although there are only four types of bonuses to collect. You also have to keep track of the ball at all times – it may well go off the screen. The graphics are very impressive and the scrolling stars are a nice effect, but the game is slow, and unless you have rockets (one of the collectable bonuses), it’ll take aeons to complete a level.
(Electric Dreams, 1987)
Your spaceship has crashed on the Emerald planet, and now you must search for nine separate pieces. This will be a time-consuming task, because the game boasts an incredible 40 billion locations! Fortunately, you have a device that can track the location of the nearest piece, and you can also use beacons to navigate your way around the planet and transport objects. A jet pack allows you to travel more quickly around the planet. The landscapes are quite detailed, if rather Spectrum-like, but unfortunately it takes ages to draw them, and getting anywhere takes an excruciatingly long time. Even the most patient players will find themselves becoming frustrated – and there’s no facility to save the game. While technically impressive, it feels as if the programmers added a game merely as an afterthought.
(US Gold, 1987)
Several trains carrying lots of gold are travelling through the Wild West, which is too good an opportunity to miss. However, you don’t have a gun, so you’ll just have to use your fists. After a preliminary fight to start things off, you climb on to the top of the last carriage of an express and must beat up the enemies, who will use a variety of weapons against you. Once you’ve made it to the front of the train, you grab the gold and go to the next express – but this time you’re on horseback and must shoot the enemies while running alongside the train. Of course, they’re trying to shoot you as well! This procedure repeats for the remaining expresses. The game is OK to play, although it may become repetitive after a while. The graphics are a bit basic, though, and it’s best played with the volume turned off!
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Xyphoe.
(Audiogenic Software, 1991)
A cul-de-sac of seven houses is overrun with horrible insects, rodents and amphibians, and all of them must be killed. Enter the Exterminator! Each house has five rooms, and in each room, the floor is tiled. Killing creatures causes the tiles to change colour, and if you manage to turn all of the tiles in a column to the same colour, you are taken to another room in the house, or if all five rooms have been cleared, the next house. The creatures you will encounter include rats, mosquitoes, robot tanks and toads – and watch out for the wasp which buzzes around the room constantly and will sting you! The graphics are very appealing, and the music (which only plays during the game if you have 128K of memory) suits the hectic pace of this fantastic game really well.
(Digital Integration, 1991)
Steg pirates have invaded the Pioneer 10 spaceship and have damaged the life support systems and activated the self-destruct sequence. In the three levels of this excellent shoot-’em-up, you must find the litho-acid crystal and bring it back to the ship’s energy input pad, then swim through the fuel tanks in order to reach the computer and blow it up with a very limited amount of ammunition. The graphics are excellent and highly colourful, and the explosions when you shoot aliens are spectacular – and so is your weapon! The music is also extreme-ly good (ha-ha!). The only complaint is that there are only three levels, and the last two are rather short.
(Endurance Games, 1988)
Based on a little-known board game of the same name, this has to be one of the most bewildering board games I’ve ever played. Between two and four players take turns to move counters around 32 squares and try to capture their own colour by placing their counters on those squares. Your opponents try to do the same, so you place your counters on their squares – but how can you do both at the same time? To make matters worse, you can change the arrangement and the colours of the squares during your turn, so if your counters are correctly positioned, you can suddenly win the game from out of nowhere. Of course, the computer players are much smarter than you and will often win the game on the first turn, which doesn’t make the game any fun at all.
Reviewed by neepheid
In this platform game you are a detective trying to solve a crime. You must navigate the rooms and avoid the enemies in order to open safes. Some of the safes contain a clue, and once you collect all eight clues and unlock the riddle, you can go to the courtroom and accuse the suspect. You have limited time and your energy is depleted by contact with enemies. The graphics are colourful but the sprites are a bit flickery. The sound is really good, with decent effects and a jaunty rendition of Johnny B. Goode playing continuously. Unfortunately the controls aren’t the best; jumping can be inaccurate and sometimes you can get stuck on or in the scenery. There are some unfair parts to the gameplay like unavoidable enemies. All in all, it’s not a bad game – it has its charms but the issues make it merely OK when it could have been better.