Flight Path 737
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.
(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.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Axelino.
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!.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: ChinnyVision, jgonza.
It’s time to use the grey matter, to solve 105 brain-busting puzzles. Each puzzle consists of a pattern on a square grid, and you have to click on certain squares to produce the pattern shown at the bottom right of the screen. Clicking on squares changes the state of other squares in the grid, but you will need to experiment to find out exactly which squares are affected when you click on a particular square. The first few levels are easy, as one might expect, but it quickly becomes more difficult. Thankfully, you can start on any level. The graphics are unspectacular and the game is written in BASIC, but most puzzle game fans should like it. For the rest of us, it’s not really a game that will keep you enthralled for long.
(Radical Software, 1994)
Fluff is the CPC’s answer to Sonic the Hedgehog – so said Amstrad Action, and the similarities are there. Fluff has to rescue her four children on each level, negotiating platforms and lifts and avoiding insects, weeds and nasty pits of slime. This is one of the very few games that makes maximum use of the Plus’ facilities, and it was also one of the last commercial games to be released for the CPC range. The graphics are nothing less than stunning and there’s a cool tune as well. It’s also an excellent game, although the scrolling is a bit jerky.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Xyphoe.
Have you ever wondered what it might be like to be a servant at Buckingham Palace, catering to the Royal Family’s every whim? As a flunky, your ambition is to get the autograph of five members of the Royal Family by helping them out. For instance, Prince Charles wants his polo balls back, Sarah Ferguson wants you to paint freckles on her face, Prince Andrew wants a boat to play with, and Princess Di can’t find her wig! The graphics are very blocky but are bright and cartoony, and most of the tasks are difficult to complete, with some very obscure objects required.
Pilot a World War II biplane, the Flying Shark, over enemy territory, shooting planes, tanks and gun turrets. So there’s nothing original about the plot of the game, which is another vertically scrolling shoot-’em-up that you’ve seen many times before. There are five levels, but you will need some seriously nifty reflexes, not to mention good eyesight, to make it that far. Yes, it’s a rather difficult game, partly because there are so many planes on the screen at once, but mostly because the bullets are very difficult to see since they blend in with the background. The graphics are OK, but the music could be better, and so could the gameplay.
Another one of those bizarre games! In this one, you must locate the brain within a maze and destroy it with a bomb. You control a little helicopter and you can pick up objects to use in certain sections of the maze. There’s a lot of teleporting to be done and it’s easy to get trapped, and you’ll also need a pen and paper to note the codes for the teleport stations. The graphics are great, the music and sound effects are both wonderful, and it’s a lot of fun to play as well, too, especially with all the silly messages that the programmer (who was only 15 years old when he wrote the game) has left in the maze!
You have just been appointed as manager of a 3rd Division football team, and your aim is to become the manager of a top team and win the 1st Division. Unlike most other football management games, you won’t be managing the same team for the entire game; if you perform well enough, you’ll attract the attention of other teams and can join them instead. The game is entirely text-based with no graphics whatsoever, but thankfully, there are no extended match highlights; instead, the results of every match are listed on the screen, one at a time. Unfortunately you can’t choose tactics, and although there is a training option, it’s really difficult to judge its effectiveness, thanks to a lack of detailed statistics for your players. This is a below average football management simulation.
(Alternative Software, 1987)
Grimesditch Rangers, a small and struggling football club, has somehow beaten many of the best teams and reached the final of the FA Cup. As the manager, this is your moment of glory – but with three days to go until the final match, everything that can go wrong does. Bills need to be paid; the kit needs to be washed and Ma Wallis at the laundry won’t do it; there won’t be a coach available to take the players to the match; your star player quits the team... and so it goes on. This is actually a text adventure created using GAC, and apparently it sold quite well. Unfortunately, it’s a nightmare to play, thanks to an extremely unforgiving parser that demands you type an exact combination of several words, yet won’t accept more obvious combinations.