Fruit Machine Simulator
(Code Masters, 1988)
There aren’t exactly many great fruit machine games about – after all, you can’t win any money from them! Then again, you can’t lose any, either... This one is crammed with extra games with enticing names such as ‘Skill Climb’ and ‘Winning Streak’, to win (or more likely, lose) some more money, and there’s lots of digitised speech which you can actually make out. You can also decide to stop at any time if you think you’ve won enough money, which is nice. The graphics are a feast of colour and the music is seriously funky.
See also: Fruit Machine Simulator 2.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: ChinnyVision, The Oliver Twins.
Fruit Machine Simulator 2
(Code Masters, 1990)
There really is little difference between this game and its predecessor – it’s just that the array of extra money-making features is so great as to be bewildering. However, there’s something about the game that doesn’t make it just as appealing. Perhaps it’s the absence of any digitised speech, although some may consider that a good thing. Perhaps it’s that the graphics aren’t quite as colourful. Perhaps it’s the tune, which is jolly but nowhere near as good as that in the original game. I don’t know, but I prefer the original Fruit Machine Simulator to this sequel.
See also: Fruit Machine Simulator.
Although I never got to play this game when I was a kid, I remember reading stories in CPC magazines about how kids loved this game – and it’s not hard to understand why. It’s such a simple game and yet it’s addictive. Frank has to collect all the fruit on each level, while avoiding the enemies that run around. You have to dig tunnels to reach the fruit, and you can also use apples as boulders to crush the enemies. With simple, colourful graphics and jolly tunes, this is a game that almost anyone will enjoy, no matter what age they are!
Fu-Kung in Las Vegas
Fu-Kung is a Chinaman who is inspecting all the casinos in Las Vegas to ensure that they are honest. Why he is doing this is a mystery... On each level, Fu-Kung must collect four playing cards, then head for the exit sign. This is a very poor platform game with blocky graphics and abysmal sound effects. It’s certainly not fun to play either. Fu-Kung walks very slowly, and some very precise positioning is required to jump over some of the gaps between platforms – and if you fail, you must start the level all over again. This is definitely a game you should avoid playing.
- Knowledge of French is required in order to play this game properly.
A man named Xocann plans to destroy the entire Akronn planetary system. You play Jack Bludfield, a former agent of the Foundation, half human and half machine, and you must stop Xocann from carrying out his plan. Your journey starts in New York, where one of his companions still lives. This is a graphic adventure with around 70 amazing pictures in full colour, yet using the CPC’s higher resolution, four-colour Mode 1; they really have to be seen to be appreciated. In fact, there are so many pictures that the game occupies two whole discs. Unfortunately, playing the game itself is not so amazing. You execute commands by selecting icons, but it’s hard to know what to do most of the time, and the unhelpful responses when you use the wrong commands – “Impossible” or “There is nothing special” – make this a somewhat frustrating adventure to play.
Reviewed by Robert Small
Visually this is a great example of an early CPC game – very colourful with some crazy sprites for the enemies, from giant wobbly bacteria to various monsters that look as if they were drawn on a textbook in school. There’s some lovely variety in the enemies. It’s an early game so the best thing you can say about the sound is it’s functional. You control a little spaceman complete with rocket pack. You’re armed (which is good), but you only have a limited amount of ammunition, and you also have an oxygen supply to worry about. You navigate various rooms collecting items and shooting anything that moves. The enemies are aggressive, though, and their placement is unfair. The controls are also difficult in such confined spaces.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Novabug.
Reviewed by CPC4eva
Martech has a go at space racing and to be completely honest, it’s at the same low standard as its other gaming ventures. It starts off with the most diabolical cursor movement I have seen on a CPC menu; you have to align a vertical and horizontal line to select the function you want. Then when the game starts, you’re not sure what is really going on; you press left to go forward, and all these other cars zip past you. From what I understand, you have three race types – speed run, killing and tag – but they are chosen at random and you can’t select the type of race you want to play. The graphics are Spectrum-looking Mode 1 and all the cars are the same colour, and the in-game sound consists mostly of a poor droning noise representing your engine. You’re likely to load it, have a few goes and get annoyed and switch it off.
Reviewed by Robert Small
Explore an alien base and take out the enemy robots, security systems and computers. To its credit, Fusion 2 is a good-looking game, with plenty of colour and large sprites. You’re equipped with a laser and jet pack. Both drain energy when used but they will also recharge over time. You can also crawl through narrow gaps and utilise a teleporter. Your jet pack is used to ascend and descend through the base. Interestingly the game opts for two different methods when transitioning between screens – scrolling horizontally but not vertically. The sound effects are pretty standard but the locations are a bit samey. A nice little game at the end of the day, though. I wonder if there was ever an original Fusion?
Future Bike Simulator
(Hi-Tec Software, 1990)
This is a shoot-’em-up which is set in a future where motorcycles are banned. But someone has developed an alternative mode of transport to replace it – the future bike. You race your future bike along five tracks, shooting other bikers and collecting money which you can use to buy power-ups to improve your bike, such as shields, smart bombs, extra energy and lives, and a radar to show the route the track takes ahead of you. The radar is very useful because the game is remarkably fast, and if you crash into the side of the track (which is easy to do), you lose a lot of energy. The graphics are reasonably good, but it’s a standard shoot-’em-up, and the speed of the game will put a few people off.
(Gremlin Graphics, 1986)
Reviewed by John Beckett
After crashlanding on an alien planet, you, as the Future Knight, must escape your massive ship, fight your way along the planet’s surface, and ultimately rescue some woman who was stolen from your ship. The first half of the game is undoubtedly the best, as you wander your ships corridors looking for the way out, using your ray-gun to blast the huge Transformer-like robot enemies into atoms. When you eventually reach the planet’s surface, the pace lessens somewhat, and the difficulty level rises quite a lot, but not enough to render the game unplayable. The graphics are gorgeous (I love those huge robots!), there are some nice futuristic tunes and sound effects, and the game is hugely addictive. Another triumph by Gremlin Graphics! Oh, one more thing, leave Future Knight standing still for a while and see what happens...
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Axelino.