(Adventure International, 1985)
The town of Kingston Falls has been overrun by Gremlins. You are Billy, who was responsible for introducing them in the first place, and you must now rid the town of the Gremlins by any means possible. This is a text adventure with illustrated graphics for several of the locations. A nice touch is that the pictures change based on events; for instance, if you have killed a Gremlin, the picture will show the Gremlin’s corpse. However, all of these graphics may be the reason why the parser is fairly limited, though if you have seen the film that the game is based on, you will recognise a lot of the puzzles and have an easier time solving them.
See also: Gremlins 2: The New Batch.
(Elite/Topo Soft, 1990)
Reviewed by John Beckett
Gremlins 2 has, in my opinion, some of the best graphics on the CPC. You’re Billy Peltzer, from the film of the same name, and you have to battle through the Gremlin-infested TV studios where you work. It doesn’t sound like much, but the game is seriously fun! Characters from the film are instantly recognisable, and the Gremlins come in all sorts of different guises. The sound is pretty good, too, but this game is all about the graphics! Giant Gremlin faces appear on huge TV sets as you pass, and the spider boss is one of the best-looking bosses ever! A truly great film licence. Be warned though, it is quite easy, and shouldn’t pose too much of a problem to a seasoned gamer. Not that it matters, because you’ll be coming back to finish this again and again!
See also: Gremlins.
(Starlight Software, 1987)
Enjoying a few drinks at the local pub, a cat named Norman the Wise learns that Mauron the Evil One has stolen the Orb of Life. It must be retrieved and returned to the Cup of Sorrows, so that peace and love will reign once more across the land of Greyfell. The problem is finding the Orb, and for that, you will need to find some of your friends, who will provide you with some very cryptic clues. If you can work out their meaning, you will know which object to collect and give to them so that they can help you a bit more. It sounds like a promising adventure game, but it is appallingly slow. It takes ages for Norman to go anywhere, and most of the locations are drab and dull. The mostly monochrome graphics and awful sound effects make things even worse.
(Alternative Software, 1989)
Reviewed by Richard Lamond
Go for Super Bowl glory in this American football management game. Offering a choice of sixteen of the top NFL teams, you are in charge of finances, team selection and player transfers. Unfortunately this is an extremely shallow simulation of the real sport. There are no player positions, players can literally play anywhere, there are only eleven guys who apparently play the entire match (offence and defence), and there are no tactical options in the slightest. For a game that is built on plays and movements, this is a shocking omission. The game simply revolves around you moving players in and out of your reserves as they inexplicably lose energy, before watching the slow and crudely drawn match highlights from a distance. This seems like it’s been designed as a rugby game and re-skinned to take advantage of the American football craze of the 1980s; a shocking waste of time.
(LiveWire Software, 1985)
Reviewed by Robert Small
Grid Trap is a single-screen arcade puzzle game. It’s never going to set the world alight with its graphics or sound. The aim of the game is to defuse the bombs on the screen as quickly as possible and collect flags for bonus points while not landing on a skull tile and avoiding a roving boot. You will need to plan your route as the tiles disappear, but you’re helped out by being able to move tiles to create new routes and being able to appear and reappear on the opposite side of the screen. A simple but honest game.
(Binary Sciences, 2007)
Reviewed by Missas
Groops! is an addictive puzzle game; make combinations of specific boxes and see them explode! To begin with, the graphics are magnificent. There are sixteen colours on the screen with highly detailed boxes and backgrounds, and the explosions are impressive as well. The choice of colours used is so precise that one might think that it is a game for the Plus machines. The sound is state of the art; there are many themes, all of them composed with care and imagination. The gameplay is fast-paced, enjoyable, challenging and entertaining. There is a variety of game modes, further boosting the playability. The grab factor is nothing less than addictive; this game can easily become an everyday habit. To conclude, this is definitely one of the best CPC games ever and a brilliant masterpiece in general.
A team of deranged scientists has planted a nuclear bomb in the town of Foggly, in an attempt to demonstrate the horrors of nuclear war – yes, you read that correctly. You have to disarm the bomb – but you’ve only got 30 minutes in which to do it and save countless thousands of lives! You must explore Foggly and pick up and use objects that are lying around. Your energy is depleted by walking around, but resting will restore it. You also have to be careful not expose yourself to too much radiation. The graphics are colourful but very basic, there is no sound at all, and the puzzles are really easy to solve and there are few of them; I managed to complete the game on my third attempt. It could be regarded as a gentle introduction to the genre of arcade adventures, despite the doom-laden scenario, but it won’t hold your interest for long.
(Virgin Games, 1986)
This is the second of the two Adrian Mole games and it’s extremely similar to the first. It’s so similar, in fact, that you might as well go and read the review for The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾! The garish graphics are still here, as are the well written entries and the lack of interaction, where all you do is make the occasional decision from three possible options, which affects your score (again starting at 40%). Er... is there anything else I can say?
See also: The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾.
(Gremlin Graphics, 1985)
Reviewed by Piero Serra
Back in the early days, computer games tended to feature amorphous blobs or starships as their main characters, or maybe pixelated adventurers. Games that weren’t about pure fantasy were on the rare side, so a title featuring a ‘geriatric’ security guard trying to prove his worth and hold on to his job in a department store must have sounded crazy in 1985. Despite this, Grumpy Gumphrey Supersleuth proved a hit, with players perhaps seeing something in Gumphrey’s plight that rang true with the times. Although the game now looks and sounds dated, it doesn’t lack charm. The tasks are amusing, and the large department store and its clientele have a Monty Python-esque surreal quality, similar to Jet Set Willy’s mansion. Gumphrey may have long since stopped claiming his pension by now, but his memory lives on here.
Reviewed by Chris Lennard
Lance and Bill have to rid the Earth of the very H. R. Giger aliens that have invaded it in this excellent conversion of the arcade coin-op Contra. This game boasts superb graphics and really shows off the graphic capabilities of the CPC. Along with some great sound effects the gameplay is also just right and it’s a really enjoyable challenge. The 3D sections are quite impressive and it’s well worth completing as the ending is hilarious.