Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard
You’re taking part in the Magma project, a top secret plan to use the heat produced by our planet’s magma to create energy. This endless source of energy could allow a country to dominate the whole world. But several spies have stolen pieces of a very important document and threaten to sell it to federal agents, so you must negotiate with each spy to recover the document. You can travel using a subterranean vehicle, but heat will soon damage it, and during the main part of the game, you’ll be only guided by the sound of your sonar. Each spy talks in his own language (Chinese, French, English, Greek or Egyptian) and the subterranean tunnels are a maze. If you buy or sell the wrong object, you’ll be blocked later in the game so it’s trial and error... It’s a very clever and difficult game.
See also: Hacker II: The Doomsday Papers.
Hacker II: The Doomsday Papers
The CIA wants your help to retrieve the “Doomsday Papers” – a plan to overthrow the government of the United States – from a vault inside a military complex in Siberia. Three robots have been smuggled into the complex. You control one of them at a time, and you must manoeuvre it while avoiding detection by security cameras and guards patrolling the corridors. You also control a device that enables you to monitor, and even tamper with, the camera feeds. However, your hardware is prone to malfunctioning, and eventually you will have to effectively carry out your tasks almost blindfolded! This is an intriguing and clever game that creates an atmosphere of tension, but it requires a lot of patience. You will need to make a map of the complex and note the areas that aren’t under surveillance and the routes that the guards patrol. It is somewhat frustrating at first, but perseverance will pay off eventually.
See also: Hacker.
(Carlos Sevila, 2016)
Reviewed by Missas
Hair Boy is an old-fashioned screen-by-screen platform game in which you control a blond guy who must retrieve his sword in order to progress to the next level. The graphics are basic but nice, and they are drawn in a cartoon style. A catchy tune and some effects accompany what is a very challenging and sometimes frustrating game. You need to plan each jump carefully because it is very easy to be killed. Thankfully, the animation and the collision detection are perfect. Each time you lose a life, you lose time – and patience! Overall, it is certainly worth giving it a few goes, before you decide to break your CPC!
See also: Laser Boy.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Amstrad CPC World.
Halls of Gold
(Ariolasoft/Rainbow Arts, 1986)
Reviewed by Pug
This platform game (which was released in France as Les Mines du Roi Aquantus) has a twist; you cannot jump! Instead, you run, dangle, fall and climb ladders. You possess bombs that allow you to create holes in the floor. Nasties-wise, this one includes lots and lots of running men who look just like you. They home in on your location and the aim is to evade them long enough until you’ve collected all the gold. This is a boring game with primitive Mode 1 graphics and hardly any sound at all. There’s a level editor built in, but I doubt you will find any interest in using it.
Halls of the Things
(Design Design, 1985)
Reviewed by Pug
A creepy and daunting tower full of riches to be taken. You, the hero, venture into this domain with dreams of treasure and all that follows. A very old game that would have carried a lot of interest back then. You have two weapons with which to defend yourself. Sadly there are only keyboard controls, and some of this includes directing your weapon. An easy game at first soon becomes frustrating. Primitive Mode 1 graphics mirror those of the Spectrum original – yes, it’s a port. It’s fun for a few minutes as you take on the challenge, and then you’ll reset your CPC.
This is one of those games which has such a simple concept and which is still great fun; it’s a manic arcade game with four levels, where the aim is to survive for the entire time limit (roughly one minute) without letting any enemies scale the walls of the fortress that you are guarding, or destroying it! You’re constantly being bombarded by the enemy, and you must batter them with your hammer to stop them; if too many of them enter the fortress, they’ll capture the flag and you must start again. It’s a rather short game, and once you get used to it, it’s not that difficult, either. It is very good, however, and both the graphics and music are marvellous.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: Metr81 (part 1), Metr81 (part 2).
This is a slightly weird platform game in which you control a character whose method of killing monsters and enemies is to headbutt them! In each of the nine levels, your character must simply reach the end of the level without running out of energy or time. Along the way, coins can be collected. Some of these will top up your energy or give you a bit more time. Every few levels, there is an end-of-level monster which must be defeated, by headbutting the cannonballs that it fires at you! This is one of the last games that Zigurat released for the CPC and is very little-known indeed. The graphics are reasonable enough, but the game slows down considerably when there is a lot of action on the screen, and the gameplay is rather simplistic and limited.
(Vivid Image Developments, 1990)
Reviewed by Pug
Two worker drones malfunction and suddenly realise that their kind has kept man under control for centuries! They quickly set about changing this to free mankind and stop the other drones. You find yourself in a power room that is locked, and this quickly alerts droids and drones. Clearing the nasties opens the door and leads to the next scene. Each scene requires the careful use of Hammerfist or Metalisis, for each has different abilities. Detailed monochrome graphics with smooth, well animated sprites make this an enjoyable blast. Sadly, there’s no in-game sound!
Hamsters en Folie
(Generation 5, 1989)
- Knowledge of French is required in order to play this game properly.
Games don’t come much sillier than this one, in which your great-aunt has left you her hamster shop and trusts you to take care of them and make a successful business out of breeding and selling them. Ils sont fous, les Français! You need to buy food for the hamsters, and as more hamsters are born, you must also buy cages and open more shops to prevent overcrowding. Other events also occur in which you can make or lose money, including such hilarious things as your prize hamsters winning a beauty contest, being kidnapped by a terrorist (!), and standing for the European elections! There is no real end to the game, but it’s such a laugh that you won’t care.
This golf simulation lets you play either a 9- or 18-hole round of golf on your own or with another player. On each shot, you decide which of fifteen clubs to use and select the direction to strike the ball, taking into account the wind direction and speed. With certain clubs, you are also required to select the power of your shot. This game is written entirely in BASIC and is therefore quite slow. The graphics are very simplistic with some rudimentary animation. Most of the holes are very similar to each other with very few obstacles, and it’s easy to score well under par; I achieved it on my first attempt. If you’re looking for a challenging golf simulation, this isn’t it!