(Coktel Vision, 1986)
Reviewed by Robert Small
Momie Blues is a relatively early 3D maze game, and yet despite this, the graphics are very smooth. There are traps to be avoided and corridor-filling nightmares to be defeated as you explore the maze. I quite liked the in-game sound effects, including the sound you make when you are moving around. There’s not a lot to it but it’s head and shoulders in front of Sultan’s Maze, for example. It goes to show how far Amstrad CPC graphics had advanced in just a couple of years. It’s also a nice change of pace from Coktel Vision’s many other CPC releases.
(Leisure Genius, 1985)
Arguably the world’s best known board game is poorly recreated on the CPC. Up to six players, human or computer, can play as they buy properties and then houses and hotels, and hopefully collect rent when other players land on their properties. There’s also the frustration when you roll the dice and realise that you’re going to land on the ‘go to jail’ square. Unfortunately, the game moves extremely slowly. Messages take ages to appear on the screen, and there are unnecessarily long delays between events. It ruins the thrill of the game entirely. Stick with the real board game; it’s much more fun that way.
(Code Masters, 1989)
This little number is really five games in one; roulette, black jack, poker, craps and the fruit machine all feature, although the fruit machine is rather lacking in extras. You start with $10,000 and have to break the bank by getting a cool one million dollars – and it’s not easy. You can choose any of the five games, and if you’re not having much success at them, you can leave them at any time. The graphics are average, but there are some nice tunes – and at least you can’t lose any money! Then again, you can’t win any, either...
(Gremlin Graphics, 1986)
Reviewed by John Beckett
Monty on the Run is the first Monty Mole game out of three for the CPC, and the story goes that our hero has escaped from jail and is making a bid for freedom, with his aim being to get to France. Strangely, this involves Monty somersaulting around a load of platforms avoiding strange enemies like teapots and giant hands. The graphics are detailed and pretty nice, the sound is good, but the game is way too hard! For example, at the start of the game you select five out of twenty or so items to take with you. Some are vital, some are deadly, some are useless, but choose the wrong ones and you soon find yourself stuck. Add to this the annoying totally random crushers, the teleporters which take you anywhere you don’t want to be, and the split-second timing needed for every jump, and you get one of the hardest games ever made – which is a shame because apart from that, it’s really good.
(Virgin Games, 1990)
And now for something completely different... D. P. Gumby’s brain has split into four pieces which have all wandered off. As Mr Gumby, you must collect all the pieces on each of the four levels of the game. During the game, you will encounter all sorts of Monty Python-related silliness and wackiness. It’s a platform game-cum-shoot-’em-up, but it’s great fun! You also need to shoot pieces of cheese which will reveal food to boost your energy, and tins of spam which are required if you want to collect those pieces of Mr Gumby’s brain (you need 16 in each level). The graphics are spectacularly wonderful, although there isn’t much in the way of sound effects, and even if you’re not a fan of Monty Python, this is still a thoroughly enjoyable, and crazy, game to play.
(Zeppelin Games, 1991)
Somewhere within the ruins of a city lies a monument which you must reach. However, the city is filled with robots and mines, both of which will kill you if you come into contact with them, losing one of your seven lives. Most of the robots don’t shoot at you, but occasionally there are some larger robots which will fire at you and will take several shots to destroy. The graphics are very nicely drawn, and the colours reflect the sombre mood; the silhouettes against the setting sun in the sky are particularly good. On the other hand, there isn’t much in the way of sound, and the gameplay is so frustratingly difficult that you’ll want to throw your keyboard or joystick against the wall.
Every year, a battle takes place on the Three Moons galactic system. Whoever wins the contest obtains the rights to exploit the resources of the moons. Last year, the Cyruls won, so this year, you have been chosen to beat them. Yes, you must take on the might of the Cyruls single-handedly; it’s not a fair contest, is it? The game is really simple; shoot the Cyruls while driving around the arena trying to avoid them, since the Cyrul vehicles are suicidal and try to crash into you, losing you energy. An alarm will sound if you reach the edge of the arena, and if you stray outside it, the game is over. The 3D graphics are very fast, and the music and presentation are very nice as well. The gameplay, however, is limited, and rather difficult.
Drive your moon buggy across the lunar surface, avoiding craters by jumping over them, and shooting rocks that stand in your way, as well as the planes which fly over you and occasionally fire bullets at you. It’s a really simple game which doesn’t stand the test of time any more. The graphics aren’t that good, although the scrolling background featuring volcanoes and craters works well to create an impression of movement, and the sound effects are awful. As for the gameplay, it’s too repetitive and there’s not enough to do.
A space shoot-’em-up based on the coin-op of the same name. Just shoot the waves of aliens and don’t crash into them; that’s easier said than done, though, because by the third wave, there are a lot of aliens to shoot and they fly around the screen very fast indeed! Your spaceship is divided into three parts, and each part represents one of your three lives. The first part only has a single laser, but the second and third parts are more powerful. The graphics are fairly good, and I really like the colourful twinkling stars in the background; it’s a very nice effect. The explosions are noisy, too. However, it’s such a difficult game that you need extremely good reflexes, as well as luck, to get past the fourth wave of aliens.
Your friend, Tamara Lynd, has asked you to come to Tresyllian Castle to investigate a ghost. Arriving at the castle at 7:00pm, you meet Tamara and the occupants of the castle and have dinner with them – but you also have to take part in a treasure hunt while trying to identify the ghost. Where the treasure is, what the treasure is, and who the ghost is changes in each of the four variations of this text adventure, depending on what you enter as your favourite colour (red, yellow, green or blue). Some of the variations are very interesting... This is one of the easiest of Infocom’s text adventures; it’s so easy that even I completed it quickly, and I’m not a big fan of text adventures. As a result, there’s little else to merit the game.