Reviewed by CPC4eva
An apt name for a game of baseball. Another of those Amstrad CPC sports games that looked great but failed to deliver in the gameplay stakes, and having to press the space bar every time just to continue playing is bonkers – well, it is to me, especially when you’re playing with a joystick. I was really hoping this was going to be fun to play and I would be smashing home runs out of the stadium, but I am rather disappointed with it. I can’t fault the appearance as it is definitely well presented and looks rather polished in the graphics and sprite departments, but it just has something missing and I can’t figure it out. Maybe it’s got too much realism, as I have watched many a baseball game on TV, only to become completely bored out of my brain.
This game made a great coin-op and was quite realistic – for its time. There are two tracks – the speed track and the stunt track – for you to race around in your high-speed road car. However, there are other vehicles on the track, so don’t crash into them! Initially, you’ll be impressed by the true 3D graphics, and it’s also fun at first to watch replays of your many crashes. Unfortunately the game is really slow and the engine noises are terrible, but the worst thing of all is the steering system, which makes negotiating the tracks a nightmare. You’re constantly fighting to keep the car on the road.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: ChinnyVision, Xyphoe.
Hard Hat Mack
Mack is working on a construction site and has to complete work on three sections of the site. On the first level, you have to collect beams and place them in the gaps in the platforms, then collect the rivet gun to secure them. On the second level, you have to collect all the toolboxes, and on the third level, you must collect all the steel blocks. Transport between platforms is accomplished by using elevators and springboards. Watch out for Vandals and representatives of OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration); touch either of them and you lose one of your three lives. This is a conversion of an American game that was released in 1983, and it shows. Three levels is not a lot, the graphics are and sound effects are very basic. and even on the easiest difficulty level, jumping over some of the obstacles without hitting them is very frustrating.
This game was released in the same year as the inaugural Harricana event – a snowmobile endurance race across the frozen landscape of Quebec in Canada. Loriciel even entered a team for that event! The game consists of eleven stages with twenty competitors taking part, and one competitor is eliminated at the end of each stage. The boundaries of the course are marked with posts, and it can be difficult to see which direction the course goes. Fortunately, you can stray off-course, but you may crash into a tree or a log. The game is relatively easy – I reached the ninth stage without any major problems – and the graphics are detailed, although some horrendous colour schemes are used. There’s some nice music on the introduction as well.
Piloting a Harrier Jump Jet, you launch from an aircraft carrier and fly over an island towards the city, bombing everything as you go along. Enemy planes fly towards you and can fire missiles at you, as can the tanks and launchers on the ground. Once you’ve returned to your aircraft carrier, it’s the same thing again, but faster – and any game which is as repetitive as this will not grab your attention for long. Both the graphics and the sound effects are poor and this is one game which really shows its age.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: ChinnyVision, Xyphoe.
Harvey Headbanger and Hamish Highball like nothing better than to fight with each other, and this game sees you and either a computer or a friend taking control of these two characters. When they collide, both of them bounce around the screen uncontrollably for a while, but if you collect some cocktails, this will enable them to recover more quickly. When Harvey and Hamish move, they paint the tiles on the screen to their own colour, and cocktails will magically appear if you can draw a circle in your colour. To win, you will need to do the same thing to your opponent. You’ll be addicted for quite a while, especially if you can find a friend to play against, and there are five skill levels if you’re playing the computer, but ultimately the game is fairly limited.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: ChinnyVision.
(Gremlin Graphics, 1989)
Reviewed by Chris Lennard
This is an isometric shoot-’em-up in a similiar vein to Zaxxon. You have two vehicles at your disposal; a jet plane and tank which you use alternately between stages. You start with no shields, so it’s imperative you increase your armour by blowing up any enemy defences in between destroying the alien ships that come at you. The gameplay is excellent as the scenery and enemies scroll past quickly, so you really have to have your wits about you. The graphics are relatively good for Mode 1, but it’s the music that really stands out.
Another one of those very early Amsoft games which hasn’t stood the test of time. This one’s a Pac-Man clone set in a hedge maze, where you, as the gardener, have to pick up all the coins left in the maze. The power pills are replaced by axes, and they don’t last very long. It’s both slow and unchallenging, and the poor sound effects and crude graphics and presentation are enough to put you off almost right away.
Reviewed by Pug
Part of Incentive’s Double Gold series, this text adventure sees you taking on the role of a poor old gentleman of the road who just wants a cosy room for the night. Rifling through bins isn’t a career move that brings big rewards, so you end up looking for somewhere dark and quiet. You find a stunning building and no one seems to be in! What luck! The adventure begins with you stuck inside the house with only your trusty torch as a guide within the gloom. Exploring this old building reveals many daunting things that send shivers down your scruffy spine. An easy-to-understand parser and interesting puzzles with good graphics for most locations.
As the Cold War neared its end, the Soviet Union developed their own equivalent of the American AH-64 Apache helicopter gunship – the Mi-28 Havoc. You can fly either one of these aircraft in this somewhat lacklustre shoot-’em-up. There are three missions, all containing large amounts of enemy firepower on the ground and in the air. You have three types of weapon available for you to destroy the targets. If you make it to the end, you still have a huge aeroplane to shoot down within a limited amount of time before it flies away; failure to do this ends the game. The graphics are clear and detailed, but the sound effects are poor, the landscape scrolls very slowly, and the game is slightly too difficult.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: XeNoMoRPH.