(US Gold, 1986)
Reviewed by Robert Small
Fair play to the developers – value for money seems to be the order of the day. On the one hand you have a futuristic helicopter flight simulator complete with the usual gauges and keypresses for a plethora of functions. Through your on-board computer you can identify whether nearby aircraft are friend or foe, which is quite cool. If you do encounter an enemy then countermeasures and missiles are available. The next part sees you landing the helicopter, exploring the enemy base on foot and attempting to infiltrate the base. The graphics are at their best on board your helicopter, featuring a nice background and a good sense of speed, but I also like the exterior graphics of the base (even if you look like a stick figure). Once you get inside, things aren’t so good. The sound is limited but OK. The gameplay is full of clever touches and it is challenging, but repetition does set in.
Reviewed by Piero Serra
In this lesser-known game from Denton Designs, you control a parcel delivery droid working in a gigantic planet-wide city. You must utilise the futuristic moving platforms – laid out like motorways, with different speed lanes – along with other droids going about their own business. This game is almost really good but is somewhat hobbled by its unique rotating 3D menu system, for selecting deliveries, changing ‘motorways’, and upgrading or fixing your droid. One contemporary reviewer described this menu as “ingenious”, although I would use the words “slow and frustrating”. Once you are on the moving platforms, however, dodging other droids and delivering packages (if you can work out how) is very satisfying. The graphics throughout are slick and the sound effects are excellent. It’s just a shame about the annoying user interface.
Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard
Your aunt, an old eccentric who lived in America, has just died. She has left you her colossal fortune, but she wanted you to do one thing before you can inherit it; you’ve got to win one million dollars in Las Vegas. The story begins in your hotel room, which is miserable. Point-and-click adventure games were rare at the time, so we can be indulgent with this one. The graphics were good on the French Thomson computer from which the game (known as L’Heritage in France) is ported. But the use of Mode 1 produces grainy screens on the CPC and the colours are sometimes awful. It’s rather fun to play, though, for a short while...
(Delta Software, 1990)
Los Inhumanos are a well known pop group in Spain, and this game is apparently based around one of their songs. Zufuru’s beloved Simca 1000 car has been stolen and his girlfriend has been kidnapped by the rival Rokopiedras gang. Zufuru must find the four pieces of the car, then head to New York and enter the Empire State Building where his girlfriend is being held captive. The graphics are very bright and colourful and a fairly jolly tune plays throughout the game, although there are no sound effects. However, the enemies that you encounter frequently are difficult to defeat, and the range of enemies and the landscape are very surreal – since when did one find mailboxes and dustbins in a prehistoric setting?
Reviewed by Robert Small
- Knowledge of French is required in order to play this game properly.
In truth, this game has been made redundant on the CPC by the modern classic The Shadows of Sergoth, but having said that, if you are looking for a first-person dungeon crawler on the CPC then this is worth at least one load. Featuring a plot that would be fit for a foreign animation from the 1980s that melds science fiction and fantasy, this isn’t the easiest of games to play. Your party of four have statistics that can be amended at the start of the game, and then it’s into the dungeon you go. The graphics are in Mode 1 and the palette will change if you can progress. The gameplay is icon-driven and seems OK at first, but it’s difficult to get very far. Working out the gameplay systems is a task in itself with this one, which makes it only recommended for the bravest of explorers.
(Hi-Tec Software, 1991)
Victor Virus and his hordes of minions have invaded the highly sensitive Interchange – a network of interlinked corridors. Each of the 50 levels is laid out like a maze, but some of the walls of the corridors have been jumbled up so that some corridors are cut off from others. You have to rotate the appropriate sections so that all the corridors are once again linked. Of course, Victor Virus’ gang of insects and aliens are also wandering the corridors, and you can either shoot them or rotate a section just as they are approaching you, which crushes and kills them. There are also several types of power-up to collect on each level. This is a cheerful little puzzle game with clear graphics and good sound effects, and with 50 levels, you’ll be occupied for some time.
(The Edge, 1987)
Lady Crutcher’s rich husband died recently, and he hid twelve diamonds within his mansion – but he never told his wife where they were located. Lady Crutcher would like to know where all the diamonds are hidden, so she employs someone to help her find them. You can only carry one diamond at a time, and each diamond has to be brought to Lady Crutcher. Her husband was also a scientist, and some of his creations – giant mice and canaries – roam the rooms and will deplete your energy upon contact with them, although they can be stopped in their tracks if you find the right objects. This game was later re-released as Raffles, and the isometric graphics are absolutely wonderful. Unfortunately, I found it too difficult; the diamonds seem to be too well hidden, and the canaries tend to drain your energy very quickly.
Reviewed by Robert Small
There is a galaxy of space combat games available for the CPC, and Interdictor Pilot is one of the earliest examples of the genre to make an appearance. It’s also probably one of the most in-depth when it comes to its controls. An awful lot of keyboard controls will need to be learnt, so this is heading towards simulation rather than arcade. The gameplay involves identifying craft and blowing the enemy vessels up. The Mode 1 graphics are quite nice for a very early release and are accompanied by some basic sound effects. Will the player have the patience to rise through the ranks, though? I’m not sure.
How about a more surreal form of tennis? The first time I played this, I nearly fell off my seat laughing; it’s so funny to watch two stick men hit a little block about. This game is in full 3D for added realism, although it takes a long time to get used to it. You can choose from four skill levels, and you can play against the computer or a friend, or take part in a tournament, and you can also go for a full season of tennis. The tunes on the menus are quite good, but the game is a bit slow. The impressive 3D graphics are initially appealing, but I think this one’s for the fans.
(Endurance Games, 1986)
Take part in a karate tournament in various locations around the world. Each round takes place in a different country and consists of three bouts. The first fighter to score two points wins a bout. If you hit your opponent, half points or full points are awarded depending on the effectiveness of the blow. If you’re thinking that this sounds extremely similar to The Way of the Exploding Fist, you’re absolutely right. The game comes in two parts, each with a different set of background graphics, and while the backgrounds in the first part are excellent, those in the second part look ugly and messy. A merry tune plays throughout the game and there are some sound effects as well. However, the collision detection is poor and landing a successful blow on your opponent is very frustrating, making this game inferior to The Way of the Exploding Fist.
See also: IK+.