Compete in all sixteen races of the 1990 Formula 1 season and try to beat seven other drivers and ultimately win the World Championship. You can practice or race at an individual track or take part in an entire season of racing. Weather conditions will vary, so you will need to choose the correct tyres at the start of each race. First impressions aren’t good; the game is a blatant Spectrum port and the controls are quite unresponsive – changing gears is particularly awkward. As for the race itself, the other drivers have an extremely annoying tendency to crash into your car, it’s a miracle if you manage to get away from the starting grid unscathed! This is a very poor racing game indeed and isn’t worthy of anyone’s attention.
Reviewed by Robert Small
When you think of MicroProse flight simulations on the CPC, the one that normally springs to mind first is Gunship. Before Gunship, however, MicroProse gave CPC owners the chance to pilot the American F-15 fighter jet. Graphically you can see relatively quickly this isn’t up to the standard of Gunship, but it runs quite smoothly and the wireframe enemy planes are nicely done. The presentation is quite simple but the game options are easy to choose and there are seven missions from different theatres of war to play, and the difficulty is adjustable. The sound is very basic indeed. The instruction manual is going to need to be at hand to get the most out of this, but it’s a solid flight simulation, if not at the top of its genre.
(Digital Integration, 1991)
Reviewed by Robert Small
The first thing you notice when loading F-16 Combat Pilot is the really nice Mode 0 screens, from the loading screen through to the selection of game modes and loading your F-16 fighter jet with weapons. There is an extensive list of game modes, including tankbuster, scramble and deepstrike, and training and quick start options are available. You set waypoints on the map and then start your mission. The game is played from the cockpit view complete with a realistic-looking head-up display. It’s not the quickest but it’s still good in terms of graphics and what the CPC can offer. The game features decent sound effects from the engine, alarms, guns and explosions, but sadly there’s no music. This is a really accurate flight simulation and well worth checking out for fans of the genre.
Reviewed by Pug
Pilot your F-16 along four missions, flying over desert, snow, the tropics and the ocean. In this offering from Mastertronic, you take on approaching aircraft, dodge tank fire and take out the helicopter bosses. The sparse scenery passes under you at a rapid rate, as do the enemies in the sky. Each stage plays pretty much the same as the last and soon becomes tedious. The graphics are decent for such a game, with sound effects to match.
(Zeppelin Games, 1991)
Fly your Tornado fighter plane through four levels of airborne mayhem, shooting down formations of enemy jets and avoiding their bullets. Thankfully, unlike a lot of other shoot-’em-ups, the bullets are easy to see; they’re red and orange to make them stand out from the background. At the end of each level is a huge target for you to destroy – a tank, a helicopter, a jet, or an airport control tower. There’s no music, and the only sound effects you’ll hear are when you’re firing bullets, or you or an enemy plane is destroyed. However, the graphics are very nice, and it’s a good game, albeit one that is slightly too easy.
See also: Q10 Tankbuster.
(Virgin Games, 1986)
The FA Cup is a knockout football tournament held annually in England, and the Football Association endorsed this management game, in which you and up to seven other players guide teams through the various rounds and hopefully reach the final at Wembley stadium and win the cup. Each player manages ten teams, and the game can start at either the first or third rounds. In the early rounds, all you can do before each match is decide on your team formation (defensive, balanced or attacking). In later rounds, you are given multiple-choice questions asking you to make a managerial decision, and you can also change your team’s formation during the match. The action is entirely text-based and it feels like you have no control or influence on the outcome of matches. There is also another version, FA Cup 87 Football, which has updated team statistics, but the gameplay is identical.
(The Edge, 1986)
Reviewed by Shaun Neary
Isometric arcade adventure games were a ten a penny on the CPC back in its heyday, and at the time, this game was regarded as an afterthought coming out around the same time as Batman, Get Dexter! and Head Over Heels. You play Isvar and find yourself inside the Castle Avars, where nobody has set foot inside in over 3,000 years (that’s some impressive diet that the guards are on!). You need to find the Book of Light, but that’s easier said than done, as guards, bubbles of doom and other adversaries stand in your way. The Mode 1 graphics work, but the colour choices came from the Sinclair playbook. There’s an average tune on the title screen but Isvar sounds like a galloping horse. These flaws aside, this one has a lot of depth, and is a must if you like isometric adventures.
See also: Fairlight 2.
(The Edge, 1988)
Reviewed by Robert Small
Fairlight was a decent isometric adventure game, and eventually the CPC received a version of the sequel, subtitled A Trail of Darkness – doesn’t that sound uplifting! Visually the game isn’t a vast improvement upon the original, if at all, and its Spectrum origins are there for everyone to see. Aurally the game has an OK tune to listen to, but in-game it’s mostly just your scuttling footsteps to keep you company. It’s a bigger game with more locations than the original, so that should mean it’s worth a look? Unfortunately not, as it contains game-breaking bugs. A shame then, as had this been given care and attention upon release it would have been worth investigating like the original. Instead, the publisher knowingly chose to release it in an unfinished state.
See also: Fairlight.
(Enigma Variations, 1991)
Most of us have heard of the author Enid Blyton’s creation, The Famous Five – four children and a dog who go on exciting adventures and solve mysteries. This text adventure is based on the first of the 21 books in the series, in which three of the gang travel by train to Kirrin village to stay with their Aunt Fanny and Uncle Quentin, and meet their cousin Georgina. Together, the gang explore Kirrin Island nearby and search for treasure. This is a great adventure which is very suitable for novice players, although completing it will still be a challenge. There is also excellent use of character interaction; some tasks can only be completed by a particular character, for instance. Unfortunately, the disc version (which contains graphics for some of the locations) is bugged and cannot be completed. It’s a shame, but at least the cassette version is fully playable!
The extremely valuable Fantasia Diamond has been stolen and taken to a fortress. Boris the master spy has attempted and failed to retrieve it, so now it’s up to you. Among the many characters that you will meet on your journey are a toy robot, a bunch of nasty pixies, an elf, a guardian, a conductor, and a rather unfriendly woodcutter, so there’s certainly a lot of variety! Some locations have very crude pictures, although given the year this game was released, this can be excused. There are several random elements during the game which you cannot influence, and the need to find and consume food and drink is an irritation that I could have done without, but the puzzles, with one notable exception, aren’t too difficult.