Joe Blade II
The second instalment in the Joe Blade series is set in 1995, in a crime-ridden city, where muggers rule the streets. Only Joe Blade can clean up the city! This game is much like the original; you wander around the maze-like streets to track down sixteen citizens – men in raincoats (oo-er!) who will give you one of four puzzles. These must be solved in 60 seconds, or the game’s over. The gameplay is really limited; all the screens look the same, and it’s easy to lose track of where you are. The graphics and sound are both poor as well.
See also: Joe Blade, Joe Blade III.
Joe Blade III
Reviewed by Chris Lennard
Joe Blade is back – again! After his previously more musclebound antics, this represents more of a return to the first in the trilogy. Once again you are rescuing hostages, collecting objects and setting off bombs. This time, the environment is a large office tower comprised of several levels navigated by a lift, all filled with various nefarious terrorists, thugs, mines, and somewhat lethal robots. As with its predecessors, this is quite a challenging game, but you can’t help but think that by the third instalment they would have come up with something better, as there seems to be very little advancement in terms of sound, graphics and playability.
See also: Joe Blade, Joe Blade II.
John Elway’s Quarterback
(Virgin Games, 1990)
Reviewed by Robert Small
It’s a case of what might have been with this American football game. The graphics are colourful if a bit blocky. On the other hand the game scrolls very slowly. Despite being endorsed by John Elway the game does not feature the full names of actual NFL teams. Experimenting with different plays is fun, though, and despite the slow speed it plays reasonably well. It isn’t the most accurate of American football interpretations either, but it does have a two player mode. An average sports game.
Jonah Barrington’s Squash
(Virgin Games, 1987)
Reviewed by Robert Small
There are loads of tennis games on the CPC, but what if you fancy trying a different racquet sport? Well, Virgin Games has you covered with the officially licensed Jonah Barrington squash game. Wait! Don’t run! This is actually rather good once you get past the bargain basement presentation, lack of options and alarmingly basic graphics. It’s a bad start, but anyone familiar with the game of squash will be pleasantly surprised by the faithful gameplay on offer. The lack of bells and whistles in the graphics department seem to have done the trick for the gameplay as you nip about the court executing various shots. Not as good as the best CPC tennis games, but not bad either.
(Hi-Tec Software, 1991)
Reviewed by John Beckett
Another excellent game by Hi-Tec Software based on a popular Hanna-Barbera cartoon character, Jonny Quest has you in the role of the schoolboy supersleuth as you roam the fortress of the evil Dr Zin, rescuing your kidnapped comrades – your mystic Indian friend Hadji, your dog Bandit, your bodyguard, and finally, your inventor father. The game itself – a nice blend of platform action and Dizzy-style puzzles – is fairly big, but also quite linear, so you never get lost, and little surprises are thrown in along the way, like the enjoyable scuba-diving section, so you never get bored. The graphics are good and well animated, while the sound effects are sparse but serviceable. Also, the difficulty level is perfect; it’s a challenging game, but not impossible. Overall, one of my favourite games!
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Axelino.
El Juego de la Oca
The name means ‘the game of the goose’ in English, and it’s much like snakes and ladders. Get up to three friends to play (you can’t play it on your own, unless you want to take control of all the players) and roll the dice to progress along the board. Landing on the geese lets you jump some of the squares, although there are some squares that cause you to miss some turns – and don’t land on the skull! Younger players will enjoy the bright colours and pictures, but the scrolling is extremely slow and anyone else will find the game very tedious.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: jgonza.
Plenty of simulators exist for racing cars, but have you ever fancied having a go at driving an articulated lorry? You’ve started work with a haulage company and have to transport goods around town. Your lorry can only store so much, so several trips will be needed, and you’ll have to watch your fuel gauge as well, and make sure you don’t speed in built-up areas! There is a practice mode to help you get used to driving the lorry, but I never got used to parking the lorry in a loading bay, which you must learn how to do. It’s fun driving around town like a maniac at first, but if you can’t park, you’ll get nowhere. The graphics and sound effects aren’t convincing, either.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: ChinnyVision.
A cross between Breakout and Space Invaders is perhaps the best way to describe this Spanish arcade game. You control an alien who can walk along the top of a long wall consisting of bricks. Instead of shooting at the monsters, you must kill them by jumping on the wall, which results in a brick being dislodged. Hopefully the brick will hit a monster and kill it. However, if you dislodge too many bricks, there will be gaps in the wall that you may be unable to jump across! The graphics are brilliant and really detailed, although there are few sound effects. It’s also a rather difficult game, but persevere with it and you may well end up liking it.
Reviewed by Robert Small
There can’t be many people who grew up in the 1980s and were not aware of the Harrier Jump Jet with its vertical take-off and landing capability. Unlike the more famous Harrier Attack, this is a simulation. It’s a very early one as well, so it doesn’t come with a lot of modes or variety of missions. There are a wealth of keyboard controls you will need to learn, but that is par for the course. Graphically it’s a bit dull in the colour department but fairly well drawn with a clear instrument display. I like the way take-off is handled with multiple external views before switching to a first-person view. Unusually for a flight simulation, there is a really nice piece of music on the options screen, and the engine noise is unobtrusive. It’s not for everyone due to the time-intensive nature of the genre, but if you like flight simulations then give it a try.
Jack wants to recite a poem to you, but he will only reveal it if you can help him climb his way to the top of twenty screens. This is a very simple platform game that was originally released for the ZX Spectrum and has been emulated on the CPC. The graphics are minimal, matching the simple nature of the gameplay. Each screen contains eight platforms with moving gaps, and Jack must jump through the gaps and try to avoid the enemies. Hitting a platform while jumping causes Jack to temporarily lose consciousness, which could result in him falling through a gap and down to a lower platform. As you progress, more gaps appear, and this makes the game increasingly difficult and frustrating. You’ll often find yourself nearing the top of a screen, only to fall all the way back towards the bottom again.