Screenshot of Mindstone


(The Edge, 1986)

One of the King’s sons, Nemesar, has slain his mother, stolen the Mindstone and escaped with it. The King’s other son, Prince Kyle, has been given the task of finding Nemesar and the Mindstone, otherwise a terrible fate will fall upon the realm. In this role-playing game, you control a team of four characters, including Prince Kyle. The graphics are very Spectrum-like and lack colour, there is no sound at all, it has all the usual generic fantasy elements – battles with a range of monsters, objects to be collected and bought, spells to be cast – and yet I found it to be quite enjoyable, although it is strongly recommended that you use direct control mode and take the time to memorise a lot of keys, as the icon-driven control mode is cumbersome to use.

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Screenshot of Mindtrap


(Mastertronic, 1989)

A brain-teasing puzzle game where you must rotate all the dice so that each of the six columns contains the corresponding dice – so the dice showing 1 go into the leftmost column, and the dice showing 6 go into the rightmost column. It’s easy for the first 30 or so levels, but after that, the levels have two or more ‘floors’, and you’ll also need to swap groups of dice between the floors. The game is mostly written in BASIC and is well known for having a million levels! Needless to say, no one is ever going to get anywhere close to that target. There’s not much to say about the graphics – they don’t need to be impressive for this type of game, and they certainly aren’t – and the sound is awful as well.

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Screenshot of Miss Input

Miss Input

(Chupi Games, 2019)

Jonny is trapped inside a mountain, and now he must escape. This game consists of a series of single-screen levels, and as Jonny, you must work out how to reach the exit of each level, while avoiding spikes and various enemies. You have the ability to jump off walls and slide down them slowly, and power-ups can also be collected to increase your jumping distance and reverse gravity. The game was the winner of the 2019 #CPCRetroDev Game Creation Contest. The graphics are basic and the music, if you can call it that, is terrible, although it plays very quietly so it’s not a big distraction, and it can be turned off. What matters is that the game is very playable. The first few levels are easy to complete, but they quickly become a lot more challenging. Thankfully the game supplies you with infinite lives, and you’ll certainly need them!

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Screenshot of Missile Command

Missile Command

(Ayor61, 2022)

A barrage of intercontinental ballistic missiles rains down on your cities. Can you save them from total destruction? This is a conversion of a very well-known arcade game by Atari that was released in 1980, when there was a looming threat of nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union. The enemy missiles leave trails as they hurtle towards Earth, and you must aim your own missiles at them in a bid to prevent your cities from being obliterated. The first level is easy, but the action soon becomes increasingly frantic. While this is a cartridge game, and therefore makes use of the enhanced palette of the GX4000 and Plus machines, the in-game graphics are simplistic, just like the original arcade game – although the menu screen and the music are both excellent and the gameplay is addictive, and it’s difficult to resist having one more go.

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Screenshot of Mission


(Loriciels, 1987)

The agent MALOX has stolen the secret formula for the Megatron bomb and plans to sell it to an enemy power. MALOX is located within a labyrinth of eighty rooms, and you must explore all of the rooms one by one to reach him and kill him. Each room contains a mixture of enemies and obstacles. Most of the enemies will home in on you, and the majority of them can be stunned temporarily with your laser, but some of them are invulnerable. Along the way, you can also collect helmets and body armour to improve your resistance to enemies. The rooms are viewed in an isometric perspective with beautifully detailed graphics (there are even some advertisements for Loriciels and a couple of its other games!). The sound effects are also quite good. The combination of shoot-’em-up action and puzzle elements makes this an interesting and entertaining game to play.

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Screenshot of Mission 2

Mission 2

(Gasoline Software, 1987)

Guide a helicopter through a maze and then fly across a forest landscape. The game begins with your helicopter in a maze, and you must steer it through some narrow passages – it’s basically very similar to Airwolf but less difficult. Once you’ve navigated the four screens of this maze, the second part of the game sees you in the skies flying over a horizontally scrolling landscape of trees and the occasional tank. Every so often a missile flies towards you, which you must avoid, but there are no enemy aircraft to shoot! You have an unlimited supply of bombs, but they have no effect on the tanks. The sound effects are OK, but the graphics are very basic, and once you’ve escaped from the maze, the gameplay is extremely repetitive and dull.

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Screenshot of Mission Elevator

Mission Elevator

(Micropool, 1986)

Reviewed by Pug

There’s a bomb ticking away somewhere high up within a hotel, and you’re the man sent in to defuse it. Enemy agents are everywhere as you explore the lower levels, with a mission to stop you at all costs. Exploring the floors and its contents reveals secrets, information, and more importantly, keys. It’s a clever game requiring a lot of thought as you roam around reaching higher floors, with a lot of humour included too; don’t mess with the fuses! Colourful graphics with decent animation and a few audio effects add to a pleasing and entertaining game.

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Screenshot of Mission Genocide

Mission Genocide

(Firebird, 1987)

Reviewed by Chris Lennard

Take on the alien scum and lay waste to their planets in this amusing top-scrolling shoot-’em-up. Whilst not the most original or best looking of this type of game, the action moves along at a nice pace, and the ability to destroy the planet surface structures below is a pleasant addition to the usual slaughtering of waves of incoming aliens. As the game progresses, it does become somewhat surreal – the flying strawberries on the second level in particular! It’s also notable for its peculiar hardware scrolling effect called Rotovision.

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Screenshot of Mission Jupiter

Mission Jupiter

(Code Masters, 1987)

Aliens have entered our solar system, and your spaceship has landed on one of Jupiter’s moons. You get out of the ship and start blasting the aliens as you walk across the lunar landscape. Yes, this is yet another average, horizontally scrolling shoot-’em-up, and there’s absolutely nothing special about this one. There is just one long level, divided into ten sections. If you lose one of your lives, you resume at the start of the section you’re on. The graphics and sound effects are both mediocre, although the game has the option to save the high score table so you can preserve your scores for posterity – that is, if you can actually achieve a high score, because it’s also a rather difficult game.

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Screenshot of Mission Omega

Mission Omega

(Mind Games, 1986)

Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard

Guess what? You must save the Earth. A spaceship is rushing through space towards our planet. Managing to enter it, you have only one hour to find a way to sabotage the ship and escape. This game is really surprising. Everything is done by clicking on icons (a Windows-like environment on the CPC!). The main interest of the game is the building of your robots (up to eight) that you control to explore the spaceship. The base is really huge and the time you’re given is far too short. To make your mission even harder, you must fight aliens and find the right switches to open the many magnetic gates that block your progress. Fortunately, there is an automap. But the base is never the same twice; rooms are built randomly at the beginning of a new game so it’s impossible to remember your way in this maze!

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