Screenshot of Firelord

Firelord

(Hewson, 1986)

The kingdom of Torot has been cursed and only Sir Galaheart can return it to normality again by seeking the sacred Firestone, which is in the hands of the Evil Queen. Torot covers a large area, and to get anywhere, you’re going to have to collect the objects which are scattered around and trade them with other folk. You’ll also have to make a map and note some teleport codes! It has the look of a Spectrum port and the graphics aren’t all that impressive, and there isn’t much sound either, but it’s a good game, if a little too large for me!

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Screenshot of Fireman Sam

Fireman Sam

(Alternative Software, 1992)

Fireman Sam and his crew have to go round the streets of town and get to the scene of emergencies quickly. Among the many tasks that Sam is asked to complete are fires (of course), getting objects off a roof, and freeing kids who have got their heads stuck in the railings. However, most of Sam’s time seems to be spent looking for lost objects. I’m sure the fire service have better things to do than that! If you don’t complete a task properly, you’ll receive a warning letter; if Sam gets three of these, he’s sacked. The game is obviously aimed at children – after all, it is based on a TV cartoon series – and the colourful graphics will appeal to them. For more mature players, though, that’s not enough.

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Screenshot of Firetrap

Firetrap

(Electric Dreams, 1988)

A large fire has started inside a huge skyscraper. Soon, it is completely ablaze and has spread to neighbouring skyscrapers. The city requires a daring hero to climb the walls of the skyscrapers and rescue the people inside; that’s you, naturally. Starting at the bottom, you must work your way to the top and put out any fires that block your way and avoid the falling objects. In fact, you don’t have to rescue all the people (that’s not very nice at all!); your main aim is to reach the top, where a damsel in distress is waiting for you. However, the graphics show that the game is obviously a Spectrum port, and unless you keep moving quickly, you will become frustrated at the difficulty of the gameplay.

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Screenshot of First Past the Post

First Past the Post

(Cult, 1991)

There are a few horse racing games for the CPC, but in this game, you actually manage your own horses and enter them for race meetings, as well as betting on other horses and competing with three other trainers. You can enter up to two horses in each race, and study their recent form before you do so. Watching the race itself is relatively amusing as you watch the eight cartoon horses gallop to the finish. However, the graphics are rather poor, and if you’re not a fan of horse racing (like me), it’s likely that you won’t find this game interesting.

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Screenshot of Five-a-Side Soccer

Five-a-Side Soccer

(Mastertronic, 1986)

Oh, no! Don’t talk to me about this one! This is a pitifully poor football game which is simply far too easy. It’s not just the graphics, which look like a five-year-old drew them and which feature colour clash; nor the awful sound effects which pass for the crowd cheering and the ball being kicked; it’s that the opposition are easy meat, and in some instances you can walk straight through them and into the goalmouth without any bother. The animation is dire as well. Avoid this game!

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Screenshot of Flash

Flash

(Loriciels, 1987)

Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard

The Earth has been invaded by aliens and you must clear it! You’re a kind of bionic soldier who can transform at will into a jeep, a tank or a helicopter (!). Well, there isn’t much more to tell you about this game. The graphics are dull, the action is boring and the sound is awful. All you can do is try to stay awake as long as possible. I hate those games that haven’t got an ending; when all the aliens have been killed, the colours change and... it’s back to the beginning!

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Screenshot of Flash Gordon

Flash Gordon

(Mastertronic, 1988)

Reviewed by Pug

If you’re seeking a challenge for a few quid... whoops, we’re not back in the 1980s. Flash Gordon consists of three stages which are very difficult but a worthy challenge in their distinct ways. The first stage involves a platform affair seeking out Lord Barin, who is hidden beyond the jungle where you first find yourself. There’s only one way through this jungle, where you must keep your weapon topped up and try not to run out of time. It took me ages to find the route without cheating. The second stage involves meeting Lord Barin and having to fight him in a Street Fighter II-style game – quite impressive for its time. I never reached the third stage. Overall, good, colourful graphics with average sound effects depicting a game where you have to think in order to win.

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Screenshot of Flight Path 737

Flight Path 737

(Anirog, 1984)

Reviewed by Piero Serra

For many young microcomputer owners in the 1980s, finding money for new software was often a struggle. Luckily Beau-Jolly came to the rescue in 1985 offering 10 Computer Hits, one of the first games compilations for the CPC. It was very popular even though they included some strange choices, like Flight Path 737, hence a lot of us ended up with this very early flight simulator in our collections! The game is quite technical and rewards practice and dedication from trainee pilots. You must follow the flight guidelines carefully to get yourself in the air, and there is a feeling of satisfaction when you finally manage to gain altitude without stalling and cross the grand mountain range. Landing is very tricky too. Despite its rudimentary graphics, horrible music, and supremely awkward controls, if you are up for the challenge, Flight Path 737 offers a fairly gratifying if unforgiving 8-bit flight simulation experience.

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Screenshot of Flimbo’s Quest

Flimbo’s Quest

(System 3, 1990)

Professor Franz Dandruff has kidnapped Pearly the princess from Dewdropland, and Flimbo must rescue her. There are seven levels to complete, and on each one, you must collect a number of scrolls by shooting the Professor’s Genetically Undesirable Mutants (GUMs). There is a picture at the bottom of the status screen which shows you what type of GUM to look out for – the mutant to shoot flashes to let you know that it has the next scroll. Some GUMs leave money behind them, which you can use to buy some power-ups at Dazz Bazian’s shop. The game has ‘cute’ written all over it, with colourful and cheerful graphics and fairly simple gameplay. However, every level consists almost solely of shooting random monsters repeatedly, which is not enthralling at all.

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Screenshot of The Flintstones

The Flintstones

(Grandslam, 1988)

Reviewed by Robert Small

What were they thinking of with this one? I’d like to have been in the meeting when someone suggested the first level should consist of painting a wall! So, after watching paint dry, it’s onto the next ‘level’ which for the most part involves changing a Stone Age wheel on your car. Next it’s on to a spot of bowling followed by a bit of traditional platforming. In all fairness you can see what they were trying to do – make an interactive episode of the classic cartoon with all the trials and tribulations that you’d expect. The graphics are very Spectrum-like, but there are some nice details. A rendition of the theme music is also present (just about). The game is terribly slow and should have been better.

See also: Yabba Dabba Doo!.

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