Reviewed by Robert Small
Irem made some great arcade games. CPC owners will be familiar with R-Type and Mr Heli. Ninja Spirit is one of theirs. So how is the CPC version? Good but not great. Graphically it uses Mode 0 which is always nice to see. The scrolling could be better but there are worse examples. There are different weapons to try and the ability to summon a shadow which gives you twice the firepower, which you will definitely need as the game is not easy. The bosses are a strong point but reusing the player’s sprite for enemies is not. The music and sound effects are good. Overall a good effort which could have been even better.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Metr81.
The Ninja Warriors
(Virgin Games, 1989)
Reviewed by John Beckett
In the near future, the city is controlled by the evil dictator Bangler. Unable to live under his corrupt rule any longer, the people band together and build two robotic ninjas to go against Bangler’s empire and bring it crashing down. As the blue Ninja Warrior (and the red one, if you’ve got a friend), you must traverse the six horizontally scrolling levels and dispose of any bad guy that comes your way using your twin blades and your limited supply of shurikens, and ultimately destroy Bangler in his lair. Despite good, colourful graphics and a nice title screen tune, this Vigilante clone is let down by being far too difficult. On top of that, it’s quite monotonous, as all the levels are very long, look the same, and scroll very slowly. A disappointing ninja game.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: ChinnyVision.
Reviewed by CPC4eva
Fight your way through a dark and gloomy city, armed with only three attacking and three defensive moves. The game itself is quite difficult and the controls and moves are hard to master. You must defeat your opponent by kicking or punching him and draining his energy bar, and when it reaches zero the fighter explodes; quite a deadly, graphic death! You need to get your settings right and weigh up what balance of attributes you wish to give your fighter, such as strength and resistance. There are six levels, each opponent harder than the previous one. The cartridge version features better presentation and makes good use of the capabilities of the GX4000 and Plus machines. The backgrounds change as you progress and you can temporarily turn into a monster, which is quite fun, but the overall gameplay is frustrating.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Xyphoe (cartridge version).
(Alpha Omega, 1986)
One night, while riding your bicycle on your way home, you are kidnapped by aliens and you now find yourself on a spaceship, inside a metal room. When you escape from the room, you discover that the spaceship’s mission is to collect animal specimens from Earth, but your mission is to return home. I don’t like this GAC text adventure at all. It’s very hard to know what puzzles you’re supposed to solve, and the game’s vocabulary seems to be quite small. Even getting out of the first room is a problem – you are supposed to bash or kick the wall and then get the sunglasses from the man that appears, but hitting the wall doesn’t work. The inability to examine any objects is also annoying, and most adventurers will find this game frustrating.
Nodes of Yesod
(Odin Computer Graphics, 1986)
Reviewed by Robert Small
Journey to the moon as a portly spaceman in this flick-screen platform/exploration game. The first thing you’ll notice is the haunting in-game music which is superb. As you descend into the caverns below the lunar surface, some enemies will kill you, while others will cause you to bounce around, and falling from a great height will cause death. In your quest you’re aided by a lunar mole (cute!) who will help you access new areas by munching through walls. It would have been great to see more colour, and things can get frustrating when judging jumps, but this is still a good game.
A giant artificial asteroid called Talos, controlled by Cyrus T. Gross, is wreaking havoc across the galaxy, and the Nemesis Organisation has hired a droid to penetrate the asteroid and destroy Gross. The asteroid consists of long, tortuous mazes filled with guns and missiles – a tricky combination, made even more so by the control method used to move your droid; getting it to go where you want is irritating. The graphics are good, but the sound effects are just white noise and the game is too difficult; you need more than three lives.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: GameHammer Classic Gaming.
Reviewed by Javier Sáez
Becoming a knight has never been an easy task in computer games. In this one, you have to find your way out of a castle packed with monsters, carrying no weapons at all. Your character moves through long corridors and rooms, getting to other floors helped by ropes scattered around the castle. The problem is that your character movements are a bit slow and jerky, and the enemies seem to come up from nowhere. Nevertheless, Nonamed has nice and colourful graphics, although they are a bit simple and small. This means that, although the game is reasonably enjoyable at first, it’s too difficult to keep the player interested.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: jgonza, Metr81, Retro Danuart.
That’s a difficult word to spell (it means ‘neither of the earth nor the sea’), and the game is even more so. The citizens of the planet Nonterraqueous have sent a robotic seeker to destroy a computer which is currently in control. Getting started requires you to convert your seeker into something that can shoot lasers, and you also have to blow up a barrier with a bomb to enter the main complex. However, if you touch any of the photon thrusters, you die instantly – and since they’re usually tricky to avoid, this ruins the game. The maze is also far too big; I think there are over 500 locations!
See also: Into Oblivion, Soul of a Robot.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Metr81.
North and South
If you’re French, you may know of a cartoon called Les Tuniques Bleues. This game is based on the cartoon and it re-enacts the American Civil War. You can start from any year from 1861 to 1864, and this affects the amount of units and territory you own. The aim is to gain as much territory as possible and to wipe out all the enemy units by going into battle with them, where you and the enemy fight it out with cannons, infantry and horsemen! The graphics are nothing short of excellent and there’s a great introduction sequence with an amazingly catchy tune. The fort and train attack sequences are a bit slow, but it doesn’t stop the rest of the game being fun, especially with a friend.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: ChinnyVision, jgonza, Xyphoe.
(Gremlin Graphics, 1988)
The North Star project involved building a gigantic food factory, orbiting above Earth and feeding its population. However, just as the project was nearly complete, aliens took over the factory – typical, huh? You have seen sent to the factory to kill the aliens and restore the life support systems. The action takes place over nine horizontally scrolling levels, each filled with platforms and aliens. It’s standard fare, really, and the levels are rather short, but the aliens are just too hard to avoid, and the merest contact with any of them costs you one of your four lives. The graphics and music are spectacular, but the difficulty level severely mars what could have been a rather good game.