The Milk Race was a 1,000-mile cycle race across England, and the last one was held in 1993. In the game, you’re competing against 83 other cyclists in the 1987 event, starting in Newcastle upon Tyne and finishing in the streets of London. The competitors are spread out into groups at the start of each stage, and to qualify for the next stage, you must finish ahead of the other members of your group. It sounds like a joystick-waggling game, but thankfully it isn’t; you just have to select the right speed and gears for the terrain, and there’s a box at the top right of the screen which shows the gradient. You can collect milk bottles to boost your energy as well. The graphics aren’t spectacular, but the music is really good. It’s good while it lasts, because ultimately the game is rather easy.
(Ere Informatique, 1985)
Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard
- Knowledge of French is required in order to play this game properly.
You’re a businessman who tries to become a millionaire. I guess that wasn’t the case of the creator of this game... You first have to decide which products you want to sell, and the skill level of your opponent (you may as well play against a human player). Then, you adjust a few parameters (price, quality, etc.) and the computer will tell you how much money you’ve earned... and that’s all! There are no pictures, except a few diagrams. It’s written in BASIC and it shows. Forget this one!
Reviewed by Robert Small
The easiest thing do to with a licensed game is to turn it into a platform game or some other recognisable genre, but DK’Tronics haven’t done that. To their credit, they have taken a TV show about wheeling and dealing and created a trading game. Is this an Arthur Daley con on the CPC or a good deal? Graphically we are in Spectrum territory, but having said that, the graphics have some nice little touches, such as the animated mouths on the characters. The theme tune from the TV series is there as well. If you’re not familiar with it, you will be by the time you’re finished, as it’s ever-present. You can visit multiple locations, meeting many characters who you can try to sell to or purchase from while avoiding the law. Waiting for said characters to show up is a pain but it’s part and parcel of simulating the world of Minder. No con then, but not the deal of the century either.
(Abstract Concepts, 1988)
Southampton, 1988; nuclear bombs have been dropped on the UK, and China has taken control with a totalitarian régime known as The System. A boy called Robin has transported himself to this scenario while his body remains in the present, in 1987. Can he prevent this nuclear holocaust from occurring? This is an intriguing text adventure which is based on a book which also comes with the game; it’s necessary to read it to understand the background to events, and what you need to do. The locations are laid out in an extremely confusing and illogical manner which will frustrate many people, and random events can occur which prevent you from making progress. Despite this, I found the game to be quite gripping, although you will need a lot of patience to play it.
Reviewed by Pug
In Mindshadow, you find yourself stranded upon a desert island with no memory of how you arrived there. Your first task is therefore to find a means of escape making use of the objects scattered around the island. Each location is accompanied by a (quickly rendered) image relative to your positon on the game map, adding an extra sense of realism to the game. Some of the scenery will change once you’ve solved a puzzle – a nice touch. The game also includes an interactive tutorial to help get you started. Mindshadow quickly becomes an addictive challenge, especially after you escape the island and learn more about your past.
(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.
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.
(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!
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.
(Virgin Mastertronic, 1989)
In the year 5044, Earth is under attack from an alien battle fleet, and only you can stop them from destroying Earth’s four remaining cities. This is a Missile Command clone that can only be played using the Magnum Light Phaser lightgun. You must destroy the invading aliens, and the occasional meteorite, by aiming your gun and firing at them. Your supply of ammunition is limited, but it is replenished fairly frequently; just try not to fire like crazy! The graphics are colourful and well animated with nice explosions, and the sound effects are decent. It’s fun to play for a few minutes at a time, but it will become repetitive before too long, as there’s no real variety in the gameplay.