Reviewed by Robert Small
Konami is a legendary name in the world of Japanese game developers and they also know how to make good sports games. Hopefully that means Amstrad CPC owners get a great golf game. What they actually get is an average one. Simple graphics that almost look like a child’s drawing won’t impress many, but they do the job. There are only nine holes and not a huge amount of options. The controls are fine and the game is easy to pick up and play. There are, however, better golf games available out there.
Kong Strikes Back
Confusingly, Ocean released this game before Donkey Kong on the CPC. Like the aforementioned game, Kong the giant gorilla has captured a beautiful princess, but this time he has climbed on to a rollercoaster track. You don’t play Mario, but whatever the name of the man you control is, you have to reach the princess while dodging all of the cars, by climbing ladders which are strategically placed around the track. There are also money and letters scattered about, and you can use bombs to destroy the cars – but you only have a limited number of them. The graphics are rather simple, but the music is a brilliant little piece which I could hum along to all day! The levels are generally well designed, and it’s a nice, enjoyable little game to play.
See also: Donkey Kong.
Kong has returned to New York to seek revenge and has captured Mike’s girlfriend. To save her, Mike has to defeat five other gorillas who are loyal to Kong, by climbing the scaffolding of five skyscrapers and knocking each gorilla off the top. Only then will he be able to confront the mighty Kong face to face! Like many Spanish games, this game is played in two parts. The first part is an unashamed clone of Donkey Kong, while in the second part, you run left and right along the top of a skyscraper, shooting at Kong’s head when you see him. The graphics and animation are of a high standard, although there’s no music. However, it’s let down by the first part being incredibly frustrating to play, as some very precise positioning is required in order to make any progress at all.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Xyphoe.
Reviewed by Pug
It’s 2049, and you have found the Koronis Rift. Great treasures lie in wait for the brave, and danger for the foolish. Aeons ago, the Ancients abandoned the planet, leaving behind many marvels of super-advanced technology. You deploy a droid to search, locate and collect objects scattered around this barren landscape. You then have to work out what they are. UFOs hover around, too, and seem intent on stopping you. The terrain you fly along is drawn using fractal graphics, which are amazing – you start to actually think you’re there! A complex game that becomes more addictive once you get to grips with all the controls.
(Gremlin Graphics, 1987)
It’s Breakout time once again! This version really doesn’t offer anything different to the others, and it’s hard to see how I can recommend it. Unlike most other bat and ball games, the bricks are situated at the left of the screen with the bat on the right (although you can swap them round). You can also customise the game, with six different speeds for the ball and nine for the bat. This is welcome, because the default speeds make the game very hard indeed. Add that to a small playing area, jolly title music that becomes irritating after a few listens, and rather average graphics, and you’ve got a pretty standard game.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Novabug.
You have been transported to a strange world where you must negotiate a series of platforms while dodging four enemies – a giant insect, a fireball, an axe and a snowman. Yes, it really is a strange world! The platforms contain lots of identical objects which you must get rid of. Touching one of the objects throws it off the platform; hitting one of the enemies with it scores bonus points. At the top of the screen is a blue crystal, and once you’ve collected all the objects, it glows red and you must stand below it to go to the next level. This is a very basic arcade game with simple graphics and sound effects, but nonetheless it is quite appealing to play, although it is slightly too easy and doesn’t provide much of a challenge in the long term.
The Krypton Factor
(TV Games, 1987)
Reviewed by Piero Serra
The Krypton Factor was a UK television game show that ran from the 1970s to the 1990s. It was a test of mental and physical prowess, with games played in the studio or outside on an assault course, and was famed for how tough it was. The CPC version starts well with a nice tune and digitised faces for the contestants. The first test is a number puzzle, which gets hard very quickly. The next event is a spot-the-differences affair, in which a very long and boring story scrolls slowly by twice, while you look at two pictures. It’s not much fun and extremely difficult. Later games include joystick waggling events to test your ‘physical agility’. The presentation throughout is stylish but, compared to similar brain-training games which became popular in later years, The Krypton Factor is too dry and unforgiving.
(Futur Antérieur, 2013)
Reviewed by Missas
Kubmic is a puzzle game where you have to slide coloured tiles on a 5×5 grid to recreate the pattern shown. It is an interesting idea and it is quite popular on many websites. Thanks to Crackers Velus it has arrived on the CPC. To begin with, the graphics are in Mode 0 and include vividly coloured squares, but the background is just a black void. They could have added some interesting pictures instead. The in-game music is really good and atmospheric and you will not get bored of it. The gameplay is really interesting as it should be for a good puzzle game. This is not a surprise because this game is being played by a lot of people on the Internet. Thus the grab factor is very strong. Overall, another great puzzle game for the CPC.
(Amstrad Action/Ocean, 1986)
Reviewed by Pug
This is a kung fu simulator of sorts where you develop your skill and thus earn the appropriate belt. The actual moves available appear limited and collision detection is often hit and miss. The martial artists on the screen look crude but they move and animate in a smooth manner. All of the surrounding graphics look a little bland, but a pleasant tune does play throughout. This isn’t a game you would want to show off to your friends, especially when there are better games of this genre available.
(US Gold, 1986)
Reviewed by Chris Lennard
In this all out action beat-’em-up, you have to rescue your woman from some evil swine’s clutches. Kick and punch your way up through five floors of his base confronted by numerous minions. These range from simple henchmen, to killer bees, dragons, knifemen and cunning midgets. You also have to defeat ever tougher guardians before you can progress to the next level. Despite its appearence, this is no simple game and it requires a fair amount of skill and luck to get near the finish which is almost nigh-on impossible. It’s also less faithful to the arcade game than other 8-bit versions, but it remains a highly enjoyable romp.