Screenshot of Fantôme City

Fantôme City

(Coktel Vision, 1986)

Reviewed by Robert Small

A game set in the haunted Wild West sounds reasonable enough, but when it’s been put together as haphazardly as this, goodwill is hard to find. Let’s start with the music. A familiar piece has been chosen and it’s all right the first couple of times, but it wears you down after a while. Sticking with the audio, and the sound effects when firing your gun aren’t the best. That’s the objective in Fantôme City. Scan your pistol across the scene and dispatch the bad guys. It’s a shooting gallery but unfortunately it’s hard to be accurate, which is a major problem. Add to this some rather crude graphics with garish colours and it’s not good. Some small plus points – your gun looks quite cool, the little cowboy that takes a hit each time you lose a life is a good touch, and the odd bit of destructible scenery.

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Screenshot of Fast Food

Fast Food

(Code Masters, 1989)

Dizzy stars in a Pac-Man-style game, where he must eat all the items of food in each maze while avoiding the ghosts – Bonzo, Wiza, Pipa and Fido – each of which has their own personality. Fortunately, there are many power-ups to collect, and bottles of ketchup, mustard and relish will also help Dizzy out. There is a total of thirty levels to go through. It’s a nice game with colourful graphics and some rather neat music, although you get an extra life every three levels, which makes things a little too easy. Still, the cartoons you get to see every three levels are fun to watch!

See also: Bubble Dizzy, Crystal Kingdom Dizzy, Dizzy, Dizzy Down the Rapids, Dizzy Panic, Dizzy: Prince of the Yolkfolk, Fantasy World Dizzy, Kwik Snax, Magicland Dizzy, Spellbound Dizzy, Treasure Island Dizzy.

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Screenshot of The Fear: Storm II

The Fear: Storm II

(Mastertronic, 1987)

Una Cum has now captured The Fear, a small but very powerful wooden casket. It is locked inside a stone circle, and to release it, you must touch the stones in the right order. Having done that, you must then take The Fear to the monastery for good to triumph over evil. You can take control of either Silver (Agravain’s daughter), or her husband Frost. The graphics are OK, but there are few sound effects. As for the game itself, it’s pretty average and not as good as its predecessor. Your character moves too fast, you can often find yourself getting lost in the scenery, and worst of all, you can only fire horizontally.

See also: Storm.

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Screenshot of Fernandez Must Die

Fernandez Must Die

(Image Works, 1988)

An evil dictator known simply as Fernandez has taken over the South American country of the Democratic Republic of El Diablo, and its exiled leaders have called on you to free the country. You must take on Fernandez’s army single-handedly and blow up eight bases. The playing area is enormous, and you have to shoot (or avoid) soldiers, tanks and mines, among other things. You also have some explosive shells which allow you to enter prisons, which you’ll need to do throughout the game, because the prisons link to other areas. The graphics aren’t bad, but the music quickly becomes irritating – but it can be switched off. I don’t like this game; all the shooting and exploration becomes repetitive, and even with a built-in map, the bases are quite hard to find.

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Screenshot of Feud


(Bulldog, 1987)

Reviewed by Chris Lennard

This is another fine example of how original some CPC games were. You take the role of Learic the wizard and are pitted against your brother Leanoric in a sorcery battle to the death. You have to make your way across the medieval kingdom of Little Dullford collecting ingredients to make a wide range of spells. You then mix these spells in your cauldron and use them against your opponent. The graphics here are very quaint and the main theme tune is an absolute classic.

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Screenshot of Fiendish Freddy’s Big Top o’ Fun

Your Big Top circus has taken out a loan of $10,000, but the bank wants it paid back in full tonight! You must raise the money to ensure that the show will go on, but Fiendish Freddy is determined to stop you. The show consists of six circus events – high diving, juggling, the trapeze, knife throwing, tightrope walking, and the human cannonball. As with nearly all such games, some events are easily mastered, while others (mainly the tightrope walking and human cannonball) are much more tricky, and as a result, are not much fun to play. Despite this, the game overall is still very enjoyable, thanks to the astonishingly colourful graphics and superb animation. There are many humorous touches throughout all of the events, as well as several jolly circus-themed tunes. This is a brilliant game that is full of laughs, especially if you’re playing with one or more friends.

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Screenshot of The Fifth Axis

The Fifth Axis

(Activision/Loriciels, 1985)

Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard

In the early 25th century, a scientist has managed to create a time machine. Unfortunately, it exploded and items belonging to other centuries are scattered all over his laboratory. You must collect them and build a new machine. By the way, there are a lot of cyborgs that have gone mad and who will try to kill you... Although it begins like a role-playing game (you must define the attributes of your character) this game is a pure platform game, in which you must find items, kick monsters and climb stairs. The graphics are rather weak but the music is fine and the animation is really smooth. Reaching the top platforms is hard because your character doesn’t react quickly enough to avoid the numerous holes that will bring you down a few levels. So it’s rather frustrating to play, even though it remains an enjoyable game.

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Screenshot of The Fifth Quadrant

The Fifth Quadrant

(Bubble Bus, 1987)

Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard

Some aliens, the Zimen, have taken control of the space station Orion. You must guide four robots through a maze of rooms to find a way to get rid of them. The plot isn’t very original, as a lot of other games use the same storyline. You can shoot at aliens, but they will quickly spawn again from nowhere and your ammunition is limited! You have to find power sources too, in order to continue your progress. Your four droids are exactly the same and it’s impossible to elaborate some kind of strategy. The graphics are poor and the gameplay is far too irritating to make you want to keep trying to explore the base for more than a few minutes.

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Screenshot of Fighter Bomber

Fighter Bomber

(Activision, 1990)

Every so often, the Strategic Air Command organise the Curtis LeMay trophy (although I don’t know whether this is fact or fiction!). Choosing one of four types of fighter aircraft, you must take part in eight bombing missions, armed with a cannon and Sidewinder and Maverick missiles, which are used on air and ground targets respectively. What makes this flight simulation so good is that you see everything in solid 3D, and as a bonus, you can view your plane from any angle you want; it’s great stuff! Unfortunately, you can’t choose which missions you wish to fly, and of course there are all the keys to learn, but with great graphics like this, and several practice modes, it might just convert some people into liking flight simulators!

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Screenshot of Fighting Soccer

Fighting Soccer

(Activision, 1989)

Ten nations (only ten?) are taking part in a knockout Olympic tournament consisting of four stages. You have to play as the United Kingdom; you can’t choose another team. Each team has only five players, and you initially have three minutes of playing time. If you lose, you’re out of the tournament, but if you are drawing or winning, you can continue to play the match for another three minutes. This seems a rather strange rule to me! The graphics are quite good, and this is one of the few football games that plays music during the game. The game plays reasonably well, although the scrolling is very jerky and the players are very big compared with the size of the pitch, which becomes confusing when there are several players crowding around the ball.

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