The planet of Regulus is under attack by alien forces, so the GEM council sends out their entire army, which consists of exactly one Lightforce fighter, to destroy the aliens. Guess who the pilot of this fighter is? This is a vertically scrolling space shoot-’em-up which is full of action from start to finish. There is a wide variety of aliens which approach in waves, and thankfully it’s easy to learn their formations and the best way to defeat them. Control centres also appear every so often, and shooting them all gives you extra lives at the end of each of the four levels. The graphics and sound effects are both excellent, and it’s a challenging game, whether you’re a novice or a hardened shoot-’em-up fan.
(ESP Soft, 2017)
King Abner has died and the coronation of his successor is due to take place in three days’ time – but his son and heir Ernor is far away, and if he does not make it to the coronation ceremony in time, his evil stepbrother Devilus will be crowned king instead. This is a platform game and the story develops over five levels. As Ernor, you must travel through forests, caverns and dungeons and across lakes, on foot, horseback and boat, until you eventually reach the castle, where you must confront Devilus. The graphics are colourful and nicely drawn, although the scenery has a rather blocky look to it, and the music is pleasant to listen to. The game is played at a fairly sedate pace, but it is let down somewhat by the need to negotiate some quite unfair jumps between platforms, and the layout of the second level is needlessly confusing.
(US Gold, 1990)
You’ve infiltrated enemy lines and captured their secret, high-power machine gun unit – but now you’re going to need to use the weapon to fight your way out, as you enter the line of fire. The game uses a perspective view, and enemy soldiers and vehicles come towards you. You must simply shoot them, or use smart bombs to kill everything on the screen, although you only have two of these available at the start of the game. However, more can be collected by shooting caskets, and shooting first aid kits allows you to recover some of your energy. The graphics are poor and very messy, and the scrolling is slow and jerky. The few sound effects that exist are also bad (although the music on the menu is good), and all of this makes the game dull and unexciting.
There are bizarre games, and then there’s this one – but can you call it a game at all? When you first run the game, you are assigned your own Little Computer Person (it’s always male), and you watch him and his dog move into his house and settle in. Then, in subsequent sessions, you just leave the computer switched on as he goes about life, doing exercises, watching TV, playing the piano, using the telephone (who does he talk to?), and so on. You’ll also have to watch his food and water supply, and you can also type in commands to get him to play games or write a letter to you. It is fun to watch him at first, but the novelty will wear off sooner or later.
(Code Masters, 1989)
Little Puff went to explore Dragonland, but he has become lost and wants to go home. However, two guards won’t let him home unless he finds four pieces of a pass and pays a toll. This is an arcade adventure which is similar to the Dizzy series – but it’s not as good. Working out what objects are needed isn’t difficult, although there are several objects which have no use. The ugly, Spectrum-like graphics are a bit off-putting, despite some clever techniques being used to display extra colours on the screen. The main reason why the game isn’t that good, however, is that you only have one life, and it is so easy for Puff to be killed – a mistimed jump, or a fall into one of the many traps. It would be much better if you were given three lives.
See also: DJ Puff.
A drugs baron called Dr Kananga has killed three British agents, and it’s up to James Bond to find him and destroy his drug processing plant. The only real link to the film in this game is the use of a speedboat. You can choose one of three missions in the Arctic, the Sahara or New Orleans, although it might be best to start with the practice level in which you fire at targets. Each of the missions sees you piloting the speedboat along a river, firing at enemy speedboats and planes, and dodging rocks and mines. You also need to collect fuel canisters regularly. The graphics are good and the scrolling is fast and smooth, but for some reason, the gameplay seems to be fairly average and lacks something.
Liverpool FC is one of the most famous football clubs in England, so it would seem appropriate to license their name for a computer game. Sadly, the result is nothing short of an insult to the club’s name. Obviously, you always play as Liverpool, and can play a friendly with another team, or participate in a league with several other teams. The graphics are poor and very blocky, and the animation of the players is awful; the goalkeeper can only move up and down, and as you’re traversing the pitch, most of the other players seem to be frozen. Aiming the ball and scoring goals is very difficult as well, but the worst aspect of the game is that it is really slow. It’s likely that you’ll switch off and play something else before the match reaches full time.
James Bond is hunting Brad Whittaker, an arms dealer who is supplying the Russian defector General Georgi Koskov. The game involves running and shooting your way through eight levels. As James Bond, you travel around the world in pursuit of Whittaker, starting in Gibraltar and then going to Russia, the United Kingdom, Morocco and Afghanistan. Before each level (except the first and last ones), you must choose another weapon to use, and during the game, you can change your weapon by pointing your crosshairs at the bottom of the screen. The graphics are very good indeed, with some nice trickery used to provide extra colours, and the music and sound are also excellent. However, the levels are all very similar, and some of them are very short as well.
(Opera Soft/Alligata, 1986)
Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard
You’re Stanley, the famous explorer, and you must find Dr Livingstone in a jungle full of traps. Snakes, coconut-throwing monkeys, and pits are part of the joys of your trip. You can use a knife, a pole, grenades and a boomerang to clear your way. Well, this is a nice, colourful and funny game. Of course, it is much too hard (like any Spanish game), because every time you’re struck by a coconut, an eagle catches you and brings you back to the beginning of the level. There are also creatures that appear randomly in the caves, and you can’t avoid them, which is rather despairing. It’s a funny game, anyway...
See also: Livingstone II Supongo.
(Opera Soft, 1989)
Reviewed by Javier Sáez
Morton Stanley is back in the jungle – this time geared with a whip, grenades, a boomerang and of course, a pole. The game has two parts which load separately. On the first one, you have to collect several sacred stones. Then, you’ll have to meet the sorcerer of a tribe. The graphics of this game are just great – large, colourful, well animated and featuring multi-directional scrolling. The music is almost the same that played in the first game, and the sound effects are quite good. However, keep in mind who released this game (the same guys who programmed Mutan Zone, Sol Negro and Ulises), and be prepared to lose your temper when a monkey suddenly steals your pole, or when you lose all your lives trying to jump on to the back of a hippopotamus.
See also: Livingstone ...I Presume?.