(Ultimate Play the Game, 1986)
Sheriff Quickdraw has come into town to clear it of the gunslingers that are roaming about – and earn a lot of money as well. Each one has to be found first, though, and this Wild West town is rather big. You must avoid bumping into any of the townfolk, although some of them may be able to point in the direction of the criminal and help you in locating him. When you have found him, you must shoot at him to grab his attention, before taking part in a showdown, in true Wild West fashion. Make sure your gun is fully loaded, though! This is a very good game with lots of excitement and some great sound effects, although it would be better if you had more than three lives.
Reviewed by Robert Small
Gunship sees you taking command of an Apache AH-64 helicopter. At the start of the game there are many options to choose from, including the ability to save/load, train, select a mission, and the ability to alter various difficulty settings for flying, landing and weather, which is a really good feature to make the game more accessible. You are given intelligence and a briefing and then you start your selected mission. The 3D graphics are OK with some good topography, and I like the wireframe pictures of enemy tanks that appear on your cockpit display. There is no music, but the helicopter, gun and explosion sounds are good. This is an accessible flight simulation for those new to the genre.
(Topo Soft/US Gold, 1987)
Angel Face and four of his henchmen have entered a Wild West town, and as the sheriff of the town, you’ve got to track them down and shoot them. This is a vertically scrolling shoot-’em-up in which you simply shoot all the cowboys and Mexicans which come towards you. However, the odds are stacked against you; you can’t turn around or move backwards, so if there are any enemies behind you, it’s usually difficult to avoid them and their bullets. You can also collect stars which give you extra lives or points – or a bomb! This Spanish game (which is known as Desperado over there) has colourful graphics and great music and presentation – the loading screen and the end credits when you complete the game are brilliant – but the gameplay isn’t as good.
See also: Desperado 2.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: Retro Danuart (Desperado), Xyphoe (Gunsmoke).
Another below average space shoot-’em-up. In this one, there are five stages, seeing you controlling one of three Gunstar pilots and blasting aliens large and small, and flying through asteroid fields. It’s all in a day’s work when you’re a Gunstar. On the fifth and final stage, you must dock with your mothership, and if you succeed in doing that, you go back to the first stage to do it all over again! The game itself is pretty difficult; if you lose a life, you must restart on the first stage. While the graphics are nicely done, both the scrolling and animation are a bit slow, and alien bullets are often too easy to miss in all the chaos. There’s nothing original at all and there are much better games like it.
(Ere Informatique, 1985)
Control a ball running along a gutter, and move it left and right to hit the kings, queens and jesters, while avoiding the axemen and monks. You’ll lose one of your three lives if you touch an axeman, while touching a monk sends you all the way back to the start of the gutter, which is not funny when you’ve progressed so far. There’s a guide on the right of the screen which shows you how far along the gutter you are. The concept is really simple, but despite the colourful graphics and jolly tune, the game soon becomes very repetitive.
Greedy Guzzler, the rodent with a large appetite, has to eat all the fruit in a maze while avoiding the Frobblies. Where the game differs from Pac-Man is that you need to get keys to reach the fruit. When you’ve eaten the fruit, though, Guzzler will become rather fat and will be unable to reach other sections of the maze. The only way to make him slim again is to touch Deflator Dennis who zooms around the outside of the maze – but don’t touch him if you’re thin! You can also use bombs to temporarily stun the Frobblies. The game is fun at first, but you quickly realise that it’s just another average sort of game with unspectacular graphics, sound and music. It’s still worth the occasional go, mind you.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: Amstrad CPC World, ChinnyVision.
(Melbourne House, 1986)
Guide your gyroscope through an obstacle course of hills and narrow platforms, without falling off the edges or colliding with any of the aliens. The gyroscope is quite tricky to control, and the design of some of the seven levels means that getting anywhere can sometimes be a matter of luck. The graphics are all right and do their job, although the tune that plays throughout the game is annoying. Frustration may well set in quickly for most players, though – and why do you have to wait so long for the menu screen to fade away before the game starts?