Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard
You’re a cosmo-policer and you must shoot everyhing that stands in your way – that’s the plot to this game, which is very often incorrectly spelt as Galvan. The graphics are colourful, but the playing window is really tiny and you don’t have time to prepare for the waves of incoming aliens that arrive from the edge of the screen. Add extremely irritating scrolling, dull sound effects, weird controls, and you get a nearly unplayable game!
An enemy swarm of aliens has taken over the planet Galletron (which can also be spelt as Gallitron), and you’ve been sent down in your tank to destroy their communications satellites. Galletron is divided into several zones, each with its own sentries to shoot and/or avoid, and its own scenery. You also have to keep a close eye on both your ammunition and fuel; they can run out very quickly. The graphics are OK but the shadows make for an odd sense of perspective, while the sound effects are very mediocre. It’s also slightly easy, and there are a lot of extra lives lying about.
Reviewed by Javier Sáez
Five planet federations have fallen under Gremla’s dominion and the only hope of freeing them is Arkos, a ‘megaterminator’. Game Over is divided in two parts. On the first one you just have to rush through the screens, while the second part has some adventure elements. The graphics are quite good, with some really big sprites. The sound is only average because while the sound effects are pretty good, there’s no music. Now, one thing I could never understand is why Arkos wants to defeat Gremla. On the loading screen they seem to be quite good friends.
See also: Game Over II, Siemb Chronicles: Arkos the Traitor.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: Amstrad CPC World, jgonza (part 1), jgonza (part 2), Metr81 (part 1), Metr81 (part 2), Retro Danuart.
Game Over II
This was released in Spain as Phantis, where it also had a completely different loading screen featuring a very sexy woman. As for the game... well, I was amazed! It’s a Dinamic game that’s actually a bit too easy! The first part (in which you enter the planet of Phantis in your spacecraft) is a standard space shoot-’em-up, while the second part (in which you must free your companion Gremla) involves some good old platform action and a lot of blasting. The reason why it’s too easy is that extra lives are available in abundance, although you’re really going to need them later on in the second part! The graphics and music are absolutely brilliant, and while there’s nothing original about the game, it’s still great fun.
See also: Game Over.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: Amstrad CPC World (Phantis), jgonza (Phantis – part 1), jgonza (Phantis – part 2), Metr81 (Game Over II – part 1), Metr81 (Game Over II – part 2), Metr81 (Phantis – part 1), Metr81 (Phantis – part 2), Retro Danuart (Phantis).
The Games: Summer Edition
Based on the 1988 Olympics in Seoul (although it’s not an official Olympics game), you can compete in eight events – diving, cycling, uneven parallel bars, rings, the hammer throw, hurdles, the pole vault, and archery. Some events, such as cycling and the hammer throw, require the usual joystick waggling that is associated with most athletics games. Other events, such as diving, require a combination of the correct joystick movements, as well as accurate timing. In fact, the available movements for the two gymnastics events are so complex that a flow chart was provided with the game to explain them, which takes all the fun away from them. However, most of the other events are fairly playable, although the standard of the graphics and animation varies widely between events, making the game feel slightly incoherent overall.
See also: Summer Games, Summer Games II.
The Games: Winter Edition
Reviewed by Piero Serra
In 1988 the Winter Olympics were held in Calgary, so we’re off to Canada to relive the spectacle of snow-based sporting excellence. After the nicely done opening ceremony it’s time to start practising. There are seven different skiing, skating and luge events to take part in. I had intended to review each in turn, but it’s not really worth it as they’re all fairly mediocre. The gameplay is mostly about timing keypresses but I think the programmers worked too hard switching views and being clever, and this has lessened the sense of interaction and excitement. The graphics are wintry but bland and not a patch on Epyx’s own Winter Games (a different game with almost the same name). Sound effects are decent but the renditions of national anthems are quite nice. My favourite event was the speed skating, but it’s not enough on its own to save my disappointment.
See also: Winter Games.
(Free Game Blot, 1987)
Reviewed by Robert Small
Ah... Free Game Blot. Despite a few of their games appearing in 1987, they always look and feel as if they were made a couple of years earlier. That’s no bad thing if you’re a fan of chunky, colourful graphics that take you back right to the beginning of the CPC’s life. It seems to be a hallmark of the developer. Garden Party is a sweet little game all told. Your garden looks nice in Mode 0 as you’re tasked with seeding and nurturing your plants and defending them from garden invaders. What isn’t so nice is the sprite flickering and very basic sound. If this game had been nurtured a little bit more then it would have been really good. As it is, it’s OK but not one to regularly come back to. It is a nice change from the norm, though.
Garfield: “Big, Fat, Hairy Deal”
(The Edge, 1988)
Arlene has been taken to the city pound, so Garfield has a plan to rescue her. After collecting some objects in Jon’s house, it’s time to set off to search the town. You’ll also have to enter the sewers at some stage in the game. However, you must be careful that Garfield doesn’t become hungry, or he’ll have a ‘snack attack’ and eat an object that he’s carrying! Like most cats, Garfield is sleepy, and if he falls asleep, the game is over. Odie can also be a great nuisance, but you can kick him out of the way. The graphics are quite good, but some of the locations use dull colours, and you’re often left wandering about, trying hard to avoid a snack attack.
See also: Garfield: Winter’s Tail.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: jgonza.
Garfield: Winter’s Tail
(The Edge, 1990)
Garfield is asleep and is dreaming about a chicken somewhere in Switzerland which lays chocolate eggs. The game is divided into three parts; the first sees Garfield skiing, the second sees him in the chocolate factory attempting to connect pipes together so that the chocolate reaches the egg-laying chickens, and in the third, he’s on a frozen lake and has to find the other side. The game is slow, monotonous and boring, with monochrome graphics. There is also only one sound effect used throughout the game – now, is that awful or what?
See also: Garfield: “Big, Fat, Hairy Deal”.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: jgonza.
Gary Lineker’s Hot-Shot!
(Gremlin Graphics, 1988)
Gary Lineker was one of the best known names in English football in the 1980s and early 1990s, although he doesn’t actually feature within this game – Gremlin Graphics merely used his name to make it sell. What you get is an average football game which is rather fast, but unfortunately sacrifices playability and smoothness. The scrolling is very jerky and it’s difficult to understand what’s going on. Dribbling in particular is annoyingly frustrating to achieve. The graphics aren’t that bad once you’re on the pitch, and the music on the menu is good. However, it’s not the best football game out there, and it didn’t interest me for long.
See also: Gary Lineker’s Superskills.