Race your Mustang Cobra around eight tracks. Each track is divided into four stages, although you don’t have to reach every stage within a certain time; your time limit is for all four stages. To help you along, you’ve also got a supply of turbos, although it’s best to use them cautiously or you’ll crash off the circuit and lose time. The graphics are simple and colourful, and the colours change when you reach a new stage. However, the scenery stays more or less the same on each level. It’s just a rather average driving game, really.
Craps is a casino game with an extremely complex betting system. Several players gather around a craps table, throw dice and bet on the outcome. If a player rolls 7 or 11 (a natural) on his first roll, he wins; if he rolls 2, 3 or 12 (craps), he loses. Any other number rolled is a point, and the player rolls again until he rolls the same point (meaning that he wins) or a 7 (meaning that he loses). If that wasn’t complex enough, there are all sorts of bets you can place – pass line bets, don’t pass line bets, come bets, don’t come bets, place bets, field bets, big 6 and big 8 bets, and proposition bets. The graphics are very good and the characters are wonderfully animated, and the music is entertaining as well, but unless you can make sense of the betting system (and I can’t), you won’t enjoy this game.
Reviewed by John Beckett
Based around the 1980s cop show of the same name, this game is split into two very different parts. You start off the game driving around Miami in your fancy car, avoiding other traffic and shooting out the window at other cars, but pull up outside one of the many trouble hot-spots (places like Joe’s Café) and the game goes into shoot-’em-up mode as you wander through the building, taking out the bad guys or interrogating them. It’s a good idea, but it doesn’t really work, as the driving bits are really difficult, and nine times out of ten, you’ll enter a building to find the bad guys have just left, leading to a lot of aimless driving. The graphics, particularly in the driving parts, are really bland and uninspired, and the sound is little better. A disappointing cash-in on a great TV show.
(Gremlin Graphics, 1988)
Reviewed by Chris Lennard
Four nasty witches in the pay of the evil Ogre King have broken Merlin the Magician’s magic wand in four pieces and cast an evil spell over Disneyland. Mickey Mouse has come to the rescue. Each piece is hidden at the top of the four towers of Disney Castle, each of which are divided into platforms connected by ladders. Patrolling these are the minions of the Ogre King: trolls and ghosts that the world’s favourite talking rodent can dispatch with his hammer and water pistol. Most platforms contain a door to varying sub-games which all have to be completed to finish a tower. Nice colourful graphics in a pleasant enough puzzle/platform game done in the style of Disney.
Microscopic robots are wreaking havoc within a computer circuit, and you have to repair the damage they leave behind. The robots scrub the metal off the tracks, and you have to go to one of the red crosses marked on the board to pick up the correct piece to fix the damaged part. If everything’s all right, you can make your escape to bottom of the circuit and on to the next level. They’re all pretty much the same, though, and you can often complete a level within a minute or two if you’re quick. The graphics are nice, albeit garish at times, but the game soon becomes repetitive.
(Ere Informatique, 1985)
- Knowledge of French is required in order to play this game properly.
Test your knowledge of French vocabulary in this game for up to four players. In each round, one player moves an alien around the screen collecting letters, while being chased by a tentacled monster. Each letter is worth a certain number of points, just like the Scrabble board game. Once eight letters are collected, or the monster eats the alien, the letters are presented and all the players have a limited amount of time to combine them to form a word. When the time runs out, each player enters their word, and the player with the highest scoring word earns points. The game is written mostly in BASIC and it shows, particularly during the section in which you collect letters. The graphics and sound effects are very primitive, and the computer’s vocabulary seems quite limited and doesn’t recognise many common French words.
(Alternative Software, 1988)
Here’s a colourful, exciting and fun pinball game. Up to four players can play and see who gets the highest score. As with all pinball tables, it’s got the usual bells and whistles, and it’s got that crucial factor; it’s fast and furious. The disadvantages are that there’s only one table and you can’t tilt the table, but in my opinion, these are minor drawbacks. The graphics, while relatively simple, suit the game well, and the sound effects are good too. In short, it’s good.
Reviewed by CPC4eva
Barring the small screen size and poor Spectrum-like colour scheme, sprites and graphics, MicroProse Soccer has all the elements of a fun football game. There are plenty of options such as whether to play a 6-a-side or 11-a-side tournament or take part in the World Cup. Some nice tunes play on the menu screens on 128K machines, but unfortunately there are only a few beeps during the game. A really well laid out and presented set of menus and tables adds to the enjoyment as you watch how all the teams are progressing. MicroProse Soccer has a lot of fun elements, such as the adjustable banana curve meter allowing you to score miraculous goals, and you can change the length of each game and add weather such as rain; the lightning effect is pretty cool. I found myself playing this over and over again.
Reviewed by Chris Lennard
An enemy group has kidnapped your entire family in order to blackmail you so that you can be coerced to their whim. However you decide to arm yourself to the teeth, commando-style, and with a friend’s attempt to rescue them from their captors in this action shoot-’em-up. You guide our intrepid hero through side scrolling screens of pretty much shooting anything or anyone that stands in your way. Special weapon upgrades can be bought from shops via the tokens collected from your dead enemies. These prove most useful, as your defences are limited to one hit only. Graphics are detailed, but are of Spectrum quality. However, they don’t detract from a faithful arcade conversion with bags of gameplay.
Take to the skies in your F-16 Fighting Falcon and shoot down Russian MiG fighters. This is a fairly easy shoot-’em-up, but I rather like it, actually. You view the back of the plane as it flies ‘into’ the screen, shooting away at the planes and helicopters as they fly towards you. You’ll need to replenish your ammunition regularly by flying into the boxes on the ground – hmmm! After each of the six levels, your plane is upgraded, and you do notice the difference. The graphics are reasonable, even if the scenery is rather lacking, and the sound effects are reasonable. As I’ve already said, it is easy but enjoyable.