Legend of Kage
Princess Kiri was walking in the forest with a young ninja called Kage when she was kidnapped by the evil Dragon King. Now Kage must journey to the Dragon King’s palace and rescue her. Your quest begins in the forest, where you must kill twenty ninjas and face the Dragon King himself several times. Then you travel to the palace and must defeat ten more ninjas before you can scale the walls and confront the Dragon King for the final time. First impressions of this game are quite good; the screen scrolls smoothly, Kage jumps from tree to tree with gravity-defying ease, there’s a nice lightning effect that lights up the sky, and the music suits the game well. However, if you lose a life, you have to restart the level all over again, which is very annoying indeed. The difficulty of the first level will put a lot of players off.
Legend of Steel
(TOD Studios, 2018)
For centuries, demons known as Delorians have terrorised humanity, and a young warrior named Darkin has been assigned the task of venturing into their lair and finding the secret of their power. You will encounter a variety of creatures, and you can engage in combat with them, although even the powerful sword that you wield will only stun, rather than kill, some types of enemy. There is plenty of treasure to be collected, and you’ll also need to find keys in order to progress through the Delorians’ lair. This game finished third in the 2018 #CPCRetroDev Game Creation Contest, and it’s an excellent effort. The graphics and music are both of a high standard, and the game, while perhaps being slightly small, is nonetheless challenging and fun to play, and there are checkpoints so you don’t have to restart the entire game if you lose all your energy.
Everyone has heard of this game, which came out on nearly every computer that was available at the time. It also scored 97% in Amstrad Action – their highest rating ever. In hindsight, it doesn’t deserve that much. In each of the 60 levels, lemmings fall out of a box and just walk around until you tell them to do something. You have to get a certain number of lemmings to the exit to complete the level. It’s fun to play, although it does move at a rather leisurely pace, and even though the lemmings themselves are extremely blocky, the graphics are great, and if you have 128K of memory, there are over a dozen excellent tunes to hum along to.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: ChinnyVision, Xyphoe.
Reviewed by Missas
Let’s Go! is a very original idea that has been translated into a smart and addictive game. You control a cute sprite whose mission is to reach the flag in a non-scrolling, single-screen level. Nevertheless, it is not as easy as it may sound because once your hero starts running he doesn’t want to stop! The player can only stop him temporarily and hold him there as long as the SPACE bar or joystick fire button is held down. All the other actions are performed by the sprite. Fortunately, the collision detection is perfect. The graphics are colourful Mode 0 and cartoonish, while the sound consists of basic effects. It is better this way because from time to time it can be really frustrating to progress to the next level. The grab factor is very strong. Overall, I rate it more highly than its technical aspects deserve, because of its originality.
(English Software, 1987)
This isometric space shoot-’em-up was apparently inspired by the music video for ZZ Top’s song Rough Boy – though it’s difficult to see what inspiration the authors drew from it. You control the Leviathan spaceship, and you must shoot waves of aliens as they appear on the screen. You are also armed with a small number of smart bombs which destroy all the aliens on the screen. You’ll also need to replenish your fuel by shooting spinning cubes. To add a little variety, you can choose one of three landscapes to fly around – Moonscape, Cityscape and Greekscape. However, there just isn’t enough in this game to keep you interested; it can often seem like ages before another wave of aliens appears, and your spaceship is incredibly awkward to handle, making it difficult to fire at, and avoid, the aliens. The only good aspect of this game is the excellent music (which doesn’t sound remotely like ZZ Top!).
(Proein Soft Line, 1989)
Once again, Earth has been invaded by an alien army who have somehow arrived undetected – until now. Armed with an automatic machine gun that you managed to wrestle from one of the alien soldiers, you must reach their underground control centre and destroy it. This horizontally scrolling shoot-’em-up takes place over three levels, and right from the start, a relentless stream of aliens will attack you from both sides. The sheer number of them severely hinders your progress as you are continually turning around to fire at them. There are power-ups available, but you’ll be concentrating so much on firing at the aliens that they’ll disappear before you can collect them! It’s a shame that the difficulty level is so high, because the graphics are quite colourful, albeit cartoon-like.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: XeNoMoRPH.
Licence to Kill
James Bond is on the trail of the drugs baron Franz Sanchez, after his friend Felix Leiter is kidnapped at his own wedding. In doing so, M, the head of MI6, revokes his Licence to Kill. The game consists of five levels, each based on a scene from the film. Among the scenes are a helicopter chase where you blow up Sanchez’s jeep while dodging bullets, a shoot-’em-up section in the grounds of a warehouse in which you try to scare off Sanchez’s henchmen (the best bit of the game, which requires some strategic thinking), and the tanker chase in which you must ram the tankers transporting Sanchez’s drugs. This is the best of the five James Bond games that were released for the CPC, with great graphics and music, and a wide variety of action-packed gameplay, although the first level is a bit too tough.
See also: Live and Let Die, The Living Daylights, The Spy Who Loved Me, A View to a Kill: The Computer Game.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: Retro Danuart, Xyphoe.
Life Expectancy Zero
(Blaby Computer Games, 1985)
Tron has always been a classic game, but this is an uninspiring version of it. You have to play against the computer light cycles and try to trap them and cause them to crash into their own trails. The first level contains only one light cycle, with another being added until there are five; after that, you play the five levels again, but at a slightly faster pace. The graphics are good when you consider other versions of this game, but it’s much too easy, since the computer-controlled light cycles are quite stupid and will trap themselves without you having to do it for them.
(Alternative Software, 1987)
In the year 3147, Jake Stalin was sent to the planetoid of Souzel to serve a life sentence for murder, and he now wants to escape... but how is he going to do it? This is a text adventure created using GAC, and let’s just say that it’s not very good at all. The locations are laid out in a very illogical manner and it’s easy to get lost, and the first few commands that you need to type to make any progress are really obscure (the answers are to send an SOS, lock the pilot in the store, and send the droid to the ship – so now you know). The graphics are OK but it’s very hard to know what you should do.
The Light Corridor
Breakout gets a twist here as you bounce a ball down a never-ending corridor full of barriers and obstacles. Along the way, there are several types of power-ups to collect, and every four levels, there’s a task to be solved, such as aiming the ball at a target, or hitting it several times; only when you complete it within the time limit can you progress to the next set of corridors. The graphics are impressive, and if you have 128K of memory, there are several excellent tunes, and you even get some digitised speech. In addition, there’s a facility to design your own corridors, and a code for each corridor means that you won’t have to play the ones you’ve completed over again. One other thing – select ‘fast control’ from the options menu; the game is much easier if you use this.