(Iván Ávila, 2022)
Here’s a tile-matching game in which 2×2 blocks of tiles fall from the top of the screen and you must create 2×2 blocks of tiles of the same colour. It’s based on the PlayStation Portable console game Lumines, and the concept is fairly similar to Columns, except that instead of forming lines, you need to form large blocks to score points, and there are also only two colours of tile. There are bars at the top and bottom of the playing area that move continuously, and any large blocks that are created only disappear when the bars pass them, so knowing when to group together tiles of the same colour becomes important. The presentation is of a high standard, with colourful graphics and some cute tunes that became annoying to my ears before too long, but the unresponsive controls dampened my enthusiasm for playing the game, and the concept behind it struggled to appeal to me in any case.
We’ve all met those sliding tile puzzle games. In this game, however, the tiles contain bits of railway track that have to be joined together so that a train can get from one side of the screen to the other. Unfortunately, there’s hardly any time for you to make decisions as the train moves too fast, and even the panic button, where the train temporarily stops so you can get on with creating a track, doesn’t last long enough. Simple graphics and very good sound effects can’t cover the fact that this game is far too difficult.
Not a lot of people know this, but this all-time classic game was released for the CPC, albeit much later than its original release back in 1983. I don’t recall it being released in the UK, though. Anyway, you are Jake Peril, and must collect all the treasure on each screen – and there are 150 screens to work your way through! The treasure is guarded by the Mad Monks, who will follow you as you walk along the platforms and climb up and down the ladders. However, after a few goes, you may be able to find out how to avoid them. You can also dig holes so that the monks fall into them, but be careful that you don’t fall into them yourself! The graphics have been enhanced, but they still retain the feel of the original game. The same goes for the gameplay, which still retains all of its charm.
(Audiogenic Software, 1991)
Reviewed by Robert Small
Ascend a tower guarded by enemies, traps and a magic mirror in this fantasy action game. At the start of your quest you are able to assign various skills to assist you, such as healing, invisibility and a kinship with animals (I really like this one as you can summon a wolf!). You’re then dropped into the tower to start your ascent. You’ll start off by avoiding fireballs but soon will be pitched into one-on-one combat, which sees you taking on a reflection of yourself. There’s great music at the start, good graphics with some nice details, and good controls. One of the best CPC fantasy games.
(Audiogenic Software, 1991)
A puzzle game where your aim is, as the name suggests, to create loops out of various shapes – L-, S- and U-shaped wedges and straight lines, big and small. There are three types of game to play; a free-for-all where you can simply create whatever loops you want, another where you must achieve a certain target score to progress to the next level, and one where on each level, you are shown a more complex loop, and have to reconnect some pieces which are removed from it. This latter game is the real test, and after the first ten levels, you’ll need a really good memory to put the loop back together again. Needless to say, if you’re not a fan of puzzle games, this game isn’t going to interest you, but the graphics are fairly good, there are three tunes to listen to, and there’s a password system as well.
Lop Ears is a little bunny who ventured out to play, but he wandered a long way from home. Sadly, the authorities have built a bypass across the land, and poor little Lop Ears has to find another way home – so can you help him? Now, come on, you can’t leave a lovely bunny rabbit all on his own! This is an arcade adventure in which you collect objects and try to find uses for them, much like the Dizzy series. Watch out for other animals, such as dogs, squirrels and weasels, who will deplete your energy – even other rabbits don’t like you. That’s not very nice, is it? The graphics are quite good, although they lack colour, but the animation is marvellous. There is also no sound at all during the game. However, there are enough puzzles to keep you occupied for a while, although there are some annoying situations where you can die instantly.
Reviewed by Robert Small
Did you enjoy Laser Squad? What about Rebelstar? If you did, then there is welcome news. Lords of Chaos is more of the same, but this time in the fantasy realm. The turn-based strategy gameplay will be familiar to players of the aforementioned titles (action points to spend, etc.). You can create your wizard at the start of the game and assign them different experience points. The ability to command creatures is a possibility, and you can even use them to traverse the environment. There are multiple scenarios to play and the game can be played by as many as four players. In single-player mode you’ll be avoiding traps, while in multi-player mode you can indulge in a free-for-all of stealing treasure and killing your rival wizards. Just like Laser Squad, there is also an expansion kit with two additional scenarios. The graphics are simple but atmospheric with basic sound. A wealth of content awaits the player here.
Reviewed by Robert Small
Anyone looking for a highly enjoyable adventure game on the CPC would do well to start with The Lords of Midnight from the acclaimed designer Mike Singleton. It is one of the classics of its genre and the conversion from the Spectrum original has gone quite nicely. A vast world can not only be explored but the many locations have multiple views and the ‘landscaping’ technique used for the graphics shows them off well. The game has a large cast of characters that will be expanded upon throughout your quest to defeat Doomdark (the villain of the piece) and his hordes. Indeed, recruiting these characters is part of the strategy element of the game. The good thing is the game can be played in a multitude of ways, so if strategy isn’t your thing then you can stick to adventuring. It might have been a fairly early release for the CPC but this is well worth checking out.
See also: Doomdark’s Revenge.
(Topo Soft, 1990)
Lorna is a sexy blonde girl who is the creation of the Spanish artist Alfonso Azpiri. She starred in a few Spanish comics, which were certainly not suitable for children! Well, she has huge breasts and wears almost nothing... As Lorna, you have to battle her way through a swamp, a cave and a forest, to reach a temple. Once you enter the temple, you must find the six pieces of Lorna’s robot and then assemble them. On three of these levels, you are armed with a gun. There are a lot of aliens to kill, and you can use either the butt of the gun, or shoot them – although your ammunition is very limited. This makes the game rather difficult. The graphics are colourful, but there is very little sound and the gameplay becomes slightly tedious after a few goes.
(Entertainment USA, 1988)
Reviewed by Pug
You take control of a three-man squad of the LA SWAT team, who have been pressed into action to ease the riots occurring in the streets. Several criminals have taken over the streets and must be stopped. This game was released as a budget title, and a poor one it was. Poor presentation leads to a slow push-scroll affair where you move upwards trying to shoot and avoid the randomly generated criminals. After around two full screens of sluggish scrolling, a stand-off occurs, leading to a new level that looks like the last. Did I mention there’s no sound!