Screenshot of The Fourth Protocol: The Game

The Fourth Protocol: The Game

(Century Communications, 1986)

The Soviet Union has planted a nuclear device somewhere in the United Kingdom and is intending to detonate it before the General Election to bring about a totalitarian British state. You are John Preston, an investigator at MI5, and you have to stop the Russians’ dastardly plans. This game is based on Frederick Forsyth’s novel of the same name and is in three parts. In the first part, you have to find out who is leaking some secret NATO documents to the Russians, but you’ll need to keep your eye on other events. The second and third parts concentrate on the hunt for the bomb. The plot is certainly thrilling, but sadly, the game is let down by the awkward menu and control system.

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Screenshot of Frank ’n’ Stein

Frank ’n’ Stein

(Amsoft, 1985)

Help Frank build his monster, Stein, together and bring him to life in fifty screens of this platform game. You must collect the seven parts that make up Stein’s skeleton, but they have to be collected in the right order. Furthermore, you cannot jump up to higher platforms by yourself; you must use the springs instead. There are other surprises in store, such as ice, slime and teleporters, and of course, an array of monsters. Therefore, getting all the parts requires you to use your brain. When you’ve completed each screen, you are faced with a Donkey Kong-style screen to tackle. The graphics are simple, with a nice effect used to add extra colours. Overall, it’s a rather average game, although the first screen is a lot harder than the ones following it.

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Screenshot of Frank Bruno’s Boxing

Frank Bruno’s Boxing

(Elite, 1985)

Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard

Those who are fond of that virile sport have surely heard of Frank Bruno, former heavyweight World Boxing Council champion. Well, the game itself isn’t very appealing. The graphics are blocky and it’s really hard to be accurate during the fights. It’s definitely arcade-oriented, for the behaviour of your opponents isn’t realistic at all. For instance, just after having been knocked down, they will deliver an uppercut that knocks you out! So all you have to do is hit them as fast as possible, which quickly becomes boring.

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Screenshot of Frankenstein

Frankenstein

(CRL, 1987)

Four years after the creation of Frankenstein’s monster, Dr Victor Frankenstein has come to his father’s house in Switzerland to track down the monster and destroy him. This is a three-part text adventure based on Mary Shelley’s novel, and each part is filled with lengthy, dramatic prose that creates an atmosphere of tension. However, the descriptions of each location rarely mention objects of interest, and you frequently have to resort to looking around (typing ‘look’ on its own often won’t reveal anything). Examining objects rarely produces any useful response, and the parser is quite limited. Perhaps if the amount of text had been reduced slightly, the parser could have been improved and the game would be less frustrating to play.

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Screenshot of Frankie Crashed on Jupiter

Frankie Crashed on Jupiter

(Kingsoft, 1985)

Reviewed by Robert Small

Can you crash on Jupiter? Apparently you can in this very light-hearted text adventure complete with some nice, colourful graphics. The gameplay consists of finding items in order to progress in the game. Sometimes it’s hard to know if you’ve done the correct thing at the right time, leaving you guessing as to whether or not progress is being made. It’s not the most exciting adventure game to appear on the CPC, but the location graphics are quite nice, which makes at least one play of this game worthwhile.

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Screenshot of Frankie Goes to Hollywood

Frankie Goes to Hollywood

(Ocean, 1986)

Reviewed by CPC4eva

A strange concept of basing a computer game on a pop group of the 1980s. They had several hits and I enjoyed their music but the game is rather original and different in all respects. You start in Mundanesville where everything is mundane – or is it? You travel the streets and explore the terraced houses in your goal to become a real person. It’s an adventure-style game with a number of arcade elements that will keep you playing for a very long time. There are some nice touches like leaving milk for the cat and being required to solve a murder mystery by analysing the clues you are given. The graphics are on the poor side and an annoying version of one of the group’s biggest hits, Two Tribes, plays throughout. It is definitely well worth playing, though, and it has an addictive quality about it.

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Screenshot of Freddy Hardest

Freddy Hardest

(Dinamic, 1987)

Freddy Hardest, the intergalactic playboy, was flying home from another party when he crashed his spaceship on the planet of Ternat – remember, never drink and drive! The ship is damaged beyond repair, so he must enter the alien base on the planet and steal one of their four spaceships. Once inside the base, he has to collect a nuclear fuel cell for the ship and log on to the computer terminals scattered around the base to find out how to launch the four ships. The graphics are stupendous, particularly inside the base, which is quite big; you’ll need to make a map to find your way around it. Although the first part of the game seems difficult initially, practice makes perfect, and once you complete it, you can always go straight to the second part.

See also: Guardian Angel.

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Screenshot of Freedom Fighter

Freedom Fighter

(The Power House, 1987)

The aliens are invading your home planet. Can you fly in the Freedom Fighter and destroy them all? Yes, this is yet another space shoot-’em-up, and it’s not very good at all. The aliens appear at the top of the screen and move steadily downwards, firing bullets and releasing concussion bombs. If a bullet hits you, or a bomb hits the bottom of the screen, you lose a life. Fortunately the bombs can be defused by picking them up (!). The graphics may be cute and colourful, but they are also very flickery indeed. The programmer may only have been 14 years old when he developed this game, but a poor game is a poor game. At least the digitised speech that says, “Get ready!” before each level is fairly clear.

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Screenshot of Fres Fighter II Turbo

Fres Fighter II Turbo

(Bollaware, 1999)

Reviewed by Missas

Fres Fighter II Turbo, as its name implies, is a Street Fighter II-style fighting game and perhaps the most advanced of its kind on the CPC. It is a huge game spanning four disc sides, with very detailed Mode 1 graphics and a nice soundtrack along with nice special effects. The colours used change from stage to stage, and because of the ultra-detailed graphics, they look great! The game intro is one of the best I have witnessed on the CPC. The gameplay speed can be adjusted and the controls are easy to learn. There are also special moves for each of the six selectable contestants. Moreover, there are several game modes, including one for 16 players! On the whole, this is by all means a masterpiece for the CPC, from start to finish.

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Screenshot of Friday the 13th: The Computer Game

Friday the 13th: The Computer Game

(Domark, 1986)

Reviewed by CPC4eva

Based on the movie of the same name, this is a graphic adventure game. The loading screen is quite gory for the time and you hear a bellowing scream which I thought was quite well adapted. You play the role of one of the movie characters and you must find Jason before he kills off your friends. The grounds of the playing area are graphically quite basic-looking but do the job in its own sort of way. You do get the feeling it’s a bad place, especially with the atmospheric type of tunes that play throughout and change with the screen, as well as the bellowing screams you hear as Jason attacks your friends. To stop Jason and save your friends from a gruesome death you must find objects and then find Jason, who is identified by being dressed in black, and kill him before he kills you.

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