Marcus of Massina is a Roman gladiator who seeks freedom, but it will come at a price – he must win fourteen fights in the arena against other gladiators and become the Emperor’s Champion. Even then you won’t have enough money to buy your freedom, so you must gamble your earnings on the outcomes of other fights. Before each fight, you must select three weapons out of a total of 45, one of which must be a dagger; however, there is no information on how effective each weapon is. Your opponents are also extremely difficult to defeat. Maybe there is a certain combination of weapons that make it easier to defeat them, but with 45 weapons to choose from, hardly anyone is going to search for it. The graphics are very poor, the sound effects are limited to a few beeps, and the controls are awkward, particularly if you’re using the keyboard.
The planet of Hygon has been run over by aliens who have built three cities on the surface, so you have been sent there to kill as many aliens as you can and blow up the cities with nuclear weapons. The game consists of several timed stages in which you do one of three things – shoot aliens, shoot bits off alien spaceships, or negotiate a 3D obstacle course of tower blocks that come towards you. You have to repeat these stages dozens of times (or so it seems), with slightly different aliens each time, until you reach even the first city. There is hardly any skill involved in this game at all, and the vast majority of players will go and play something else when they quickly realise just how incredibly repetitive this game is.
Amsoft couldn’t even spell Glenn’s name correctly – tsk! Anyway, Glenn Hoddle was a very well known footballer in the 1980s, and then became a manager, and eventually, the coach for the England team. You don’t get to play him in this terrible game, however. Why is it terrible? The main reason is because of the ridiculous method of controlling your players. You press the fire button to select a player close to the ball, but the wrong player is nearly always chosen, and he will often walk (not run) towards the ball in the wrong direction and allow the computer-controlled team to take it. It’s really difficult for you to take the ball, and you can only watch as the computer scores a goal every ten seconds – yes, really! This is one football game that’s at the bottom of the league.
The Abraxas Corporation has created a very heavily fortified artifical island. Your mission is to bomb ten nuclear reactors on the island within half an hour. Initially, you use a motorbike to get around, but by running down a slope, it’s possible to change to a hang-glider and bomb the reactors. However, they’re heavily guarded by lasers; running into pylons will confuse them for a while, though. The graphics are in dull monochrome and I think it’s too difficult; the lasers drain your energy very rapidly if they shoot you, and there’s nowhere to replenish it. In fact, this game is more famous for its music, which is excellent – if you haven’t heard it, then listen to it now!
(Futur Antérieur, 2014)
Reviewed by Missas
Gliece Security is a very interesting puzzle game in which you have to match the proper coloured keys to their corresponding locks. Sounds easy? Well, it isn’t. This mind-boggling game requires precision and patience to be completed. The game begins with a well drawn image. The graphics are basic and not too detailed. A nice tune plays throughout the game, but there are no sound effects. The gameplay is challenging, interesting and addictive. There is definitely a very strong grab factor. The CPC has great puzzle games and this is no exception. Overall, a fine piece of art and a must for puzzle game lovers. For the rest of you, just make sure you try it at least once.
(Level 9, 1987)
Ingrid Bottomlow has returned from her studies at the Institute of Gnome Economics to her family’s home, Gnettlefield Farm. However, in her efforts to apply her new knowledge, she causes chaos, and the family banish her using a magic scroll – which is not very nice! Can you help Ingrid find her way back to Gnettlefield Farm? This is a three-part text adventure which contains lots of humour and gnome-like spelling – for instance, changing ‘north’ into ‘gnorth’. Many of the locations in all three parts are very similar to each other, which reflects badly on the game as a whole. The pictures are very nice indeed, but the first part is lacklustre and only uses one picture. Once you’ve completed it, you’ll find the other two parts to be rather better.
(Ervin Pajor, 2020)
Goatfish loves to eat, and you control her as she swims her way around, eating whatever she can find – apples, bananas, eggs, cupcakes, you name it. This game was an entrant in the 2020 #CPCRetroDev Game Creation Contest and it finished in 17th place. The most interesting aspect of the game is the scrolling effect that simulates a fisheye lens, and the graphics are also quite appealing. Other than that, there’s very little else to the game other than swimming around and collecting as much food as possible to maintain Goatfish’s energy, while avoiding the sea urchins. The author himself admits that the gameplay could have been a lot better if he had more time to work on it.
See also: Goatfish 2.
(Ervin Pajor, 2022)
Goatfish is diving into the depths of the ocean in her quest to eat as much delicious food as she can. This particular ocean contains lots of platforms on which food can be found. As she dives, she loses energy, and the various items of food restore different amounts of energy – one unit for an apple, to eight units for a pizza (so much for encouraging healthy eating!). You must also avoid sea urchins; contact with these also costs energy. This game was an entrant in the #CPCRetroDev 2022 contest and it finished in sixth place. What is particularly striking is its use of real-time sprite scaling – a technique that is difficult to implement on the humble CPC, but the author has pulled it off admirably. The sprites are colourful and the relatively sedate pace of the gameplay is quite relaxing – and as a bonus, look out for the names of classic games while you play!
See also: Goatfish.
(Classic Quests, 1987)
Reviewed by Pug
Somewhere deep within the forest lies an old castle that is rumoured to contain vast amounts of gold and jewels. Many adventurers have set off in search of the castle and never found it. Those who did find it were never seen again. Goblin Towers is a short text adventure that’s better suited for beginners. The game world isn’t too large with location descriptions that are mostly brief. There are some intense battles though – so it may take many sword commands to slay your foes! The adventure does offer a small collection of puzzles that you will soon solve without much difficulty. So, if you’re a novice to text adventuring, Goblin Towers is a good place to start.
Reviewed by Pug
A strange creature called Gogly needs to collect keys in order to unlock doors. This moves him to the next screen. Each screen becomes more maze-like, while bouncing projectiles aim to hinder your progress. This is a hard game that sends you back to the beginning each time you die! The graphics are colourful and well drawn with some good sound effects included.