At my suggestion, Novabug has recorded and uploaded a YouTube video of Ere Informatique’s game Contamination, which was released in the UK by PSS. Given what is currently happening with the COVID-19 pandemic, it seemed an appropriate game to draw to people’s attention. The game sees you fighting deadly pandemics that threaten the Earth’s population and trying to develop antidotes to combat the spread of viruses.

YouTube video: 5-10 minutes of gameplay - Contamination

Cheril en el Bosque en Otro Bosque


Screenshot of Cheril en el Bosque en Otro Bosque
Screenshot of Cheril en el Bosque en Otro Bosque
The Mojon Twins released another new game called Cheril of the Bosque en Otro Bosque, which is a sequel to their 2010 game Cheril of the Bosque that was rated 9 out of 10 on this site. After escaping from the Badajoz jungle, she now finds herself in another forest, and in order to escape from this forest, she has to collect objects and find several characters from The Mojon Twins’ other games and speak to them in the correct order, which is determined randomly in each game. You can download Cheril of the Bosque en Otro Bosque from The Mojon Twins’ site, although be aware that at the time of writing, the loading screen is missing from the disc version and the game will only load if you type RUN”QUICK”.

The Curse of Rabenstein


Screenshot of The Curse of Rabenstein
Screenshot of The Curse of Rabenstein
While most of Europe (and indeed, the world) goes into lockdown over the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, Stefan Vogt has decided to release his text adventure The Curse of Rabenstein now, so you can dedicate some time to playing and trying to solve it while you’re stuck in your house! The year is 1862, and you are travelling through the Black Forest on your way to Strasbourg when the coachman becomes lost and he tells you to go to a nearby village while he watches his horses – but when you return to the coach, he has disappeared, leaving behind only a crucifix and a bloodstained scrap of cloth...

The game contains some astonishingly beautiful pictures to accompany each location, which have been drawn by Dylan Barry (aka Railslave). You can download The Curse of Rabenstein and offer a donation as well. If you haven’t already done so, please also consider ordering a boxed collector’s edition through poly.play. The cost is €29.00, excluding shipping costs.

Sir Ababol NES-OM Edition


Screenshot of Sir Ababol NES-OM Edition
Screenshot of Sir Ababol NES-OM Edition
The Mojon Twins have released a new version of their 2010 platform game Sir Ababol. This remake is entitled Sir Ababol NES-OM Edition and it was actually completed in 2018. It features Mode 0 graphics, new music and different gameplay mechanics (you can now jump on enemies to kill them, which you couldn’t do in the original game, and instead of energy, you have lives). The aim of the game is to collect all 24 of the red ababol flowers that are scattered throughout the land. You can download Sir Ababol NES-OM Edition from The Mojon Twins’ site.

Space Moves


Two tweets have been posted by Toni Ramírez of Retrobytes Productions and Pedro Aznar of a new version of Space Moves – an arcade game that you may recall won the 2015 #CPCRetroDev Game Creation Contest. That version consisted of two parts, but Retrobytes Productions intended to release another version with more parts, and the aforementioned tweets show how the graphics have been improved and at least one new part has been introduced, which looks like it has been inspired by Dinamic’s Freddy Hardest.

Retrobytes’ original plan was to premiere the new version at Amstrad Eterno in Barcelona later in March, but that event has now been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic in Spain. The latest news is that physical copies will be on sale from Matranet at some point in the future.

For the first time in over a year, I have reviewed some old games – four of them:


I have also replaced my review of Epimetheus with one for the slightly enhanced version, Epimetheus+, that was released a couple of months after the 2019 #CPCRetroDev Game Creation Contest.

BZHGames logo
One thing I forgot to state in yesterday’s update was that Mickael Lucas asked me to mention his site BZH Games, which hosts many games that you can play in your browser – including dozens of Amstrad CPC games. The games are played via the CPCBox JavaScript CPC emulator, albeit without sound, and you can submit screenshots to the site and have your name added to high score tables for your favourite games. Anyone fancy trying to beat 270,100 on Chuckie Egg?

It’s still difficult for me to comprehend that a new decade has begun! Since my last update, a lot of new games have been announced or released.


Toki


A French development team called GGP are working on a conversion of the arcade game Toki – a platform game in which you control an ape and kill enemies by spitting at them. DJL Software were working on a conversion to the GX4000 console and Plus machines, but in the end, it proved to be too ambitious and development was abandoned (although the game was released for the Commodore 64).

GGP’s version is being developed for the old CPC range, although it will require 128KB of memory. It has very colourful graphics and great music. You can download a beta version of Toki from GGP’s site.

Hexavirus v0


Kevin Thacker released a puzzle game called Hexavirus v0 at the end of December 2019. The game is played on a board made of coloured hexagons, and you have to ‘infect’ the entire board by changing all the hexagons to the same colour in as few turns as possible. Kevin started development of the game in 2011, but decided to release this version as he couldn’t find a way to make the gameplay more interesting and varied. You can find more information and download Hexavirus v0 from Kevin’s site. It’s still a reasonably entertaining way to spend a few minutes, but as Kevin himself acknowledges, it has rather limited replay value.

The Curse of Rabenstein


Stefan Vogt is working on two text adventures at the moment – Hibernated 2 (which has unfortunately been delayed for a while), and The Curse of Rabenstein, which should be ready for release fairly soon. Stefan has shared some screenshots of the Amstrad CPC version on his Twitter feed, and the artwork (courtesy of Dylan Barry) is probably the best I’ve ever seen in any CPC text adventure!

Unhallowed


Stefan has also helped to convert Blerkotron’s acclaimed text adventure Unhallowed from the ZX Spectrum to the Amstrad CPC, thanks to DAAD and a suite of conversion tools. Unhallowed is a Halloween-themed adventure that takes place in your own house, after you’ve arrived back from a tiring day at work – but there is something evil lurking in your home... You can download Unhallowed from Blerkotron’s site.

The Sword of Ianna


Retroworks announced at the end of December 2019 that they are converting their ZX Spectrum and MSX2 game The Sword of Ianna to the Amstrad CPC. It’s an epic hack-and-slash platform game in which you play a barbarian called Jarkum. Evil has returned to your land, and you must travel to the fortress of Kashgar and reclaim the Sword of Ianna – the only weapon that will defeat the evil. There is a preview video available on YouTube (which you can also watch below), and RetroManiac magazine has also published an article with several screenshots. Unusually for a ‘modern’ CPC game, the in-game graphics are drawn in four-colour MODE 1 rather than the more commonly used MODE 0, which offers sixteen colours.

Preview of The Sword of Ianna on YouTube

Galactic Tomb


Cover of Galactic Tomb
Cover of Galactic Tomb
OK, Galactic Tomb isn’t a new game (it was released in 2018 and I reviewed it and gave it 9 out of 10), but Bitmap Soft is releasing a physical cassette edition of this fantastic game. You can now order a copy for £10.00 excluding shipping, and copies should be sent to customers in the first week of February 2020.

New reviews


I have reviewed four games, including the top three entrants in the recent 2019 #CPCRetroDev Game Creation Contest:


Saberman’s YouTube channel added


I’ve added links to videos on Saberman’s YouTube channel on my site. Although his avatar suggests that he focuses on ZX Spectrum games, his channel features videos of ‘modern’ games for various 8-bit systems, including the Amstrad CPC, of course!

#CPCRetroDev 2019


#CPCRetroDev logo
The 2019 edition of the annual #CPCRetroDev game development competition saw 35 entries. There were noticeably fewer submissions from what I call ‘professional’ development teams such as 4MHz, Retrobytes Productions and CPC-POWER, which I personally thought was a bit disappointing, but this is to the benefit of the students of the University of Alicante, who had a much better chance of winning prizes for their efforts. Here are the winners:

PRO category


  • Best game: Miss Input (ChupiGames) – €300 prize
  • 2nd best game: Ludic Break the Loop (Osmobit Games) – €220 prize
  • 3rd best game: Epimeteo (CNGSoft) – €150 prize
  • 4th best game: Cobra (Carlos Pérezgrín & Ricardo Oyón) – €100 prize
  • 5th best game: Hey Sailor! (Marine Developers) – €70 prize

UA category (for games developed by students of the University of Alicante)


  • Best UA student game: Bike Masters (S.I.L.O. Industries) – €100 prize
  • 2nd best UA student game: Super Tongue Dino (Peanut Games) – €50 prize

Special mentions


  • Best soundtrack (awarded by Gominolas): Ludic Break the Loop – €150
  • Most entertaining game (awarded by Carlos Abril): Miss Input – €150
  • Best technical development and AI (awarded by Pablo Ariza): Epimeteo – €150
  • Best arcade game (awarded by Arcade Vintage): Epimeteo – €150
  • Best artificial intelligence and technical quality (awarded by RiDiVi and Cátedra Estratégica): MANPAC – €150
  • Best “Opera Prima” (awarded by Blast Annual): Bike Masters – €50

Congratulations to all the winners!

SonicGX


BG Games set a new standard for extracting the maximum potential from the Amstrad CPC’s hardware with last month’s release of Pinball Dreams, and now another group called Condense is converting Sonic the Hedgehog to the GX4000 and Plus machines! A preview of the game, which is currently titled SonicGX, was demonstrated at the Alchimie 13 event in France. It looks utterly stunning and amazingly similar to the Sega Master System and Game Gear versions, and screenshots are available on the CPCWiki forum. However, don’t expect to see a final version any time soon; you’ll have to wait until the end of 2020 before it’s released.

You can watch a preview on YouTube below, and if you’re not convinced that it’s running on real hardware, NoRecess has published another YouTube video that shows SonicGX being played on a real Plus machine!

Preview of SonicGX on YouTube

Hibernated 2


Box artwork of Hibernated 2
Box artwork of Hibernated 2
Stefan Vogt has revealed the box artwork for his forthcoming text adventure Hibernated 2 in a recent tweet. Hibernated 2 is a two-part sequel to the highly acclaimed Hibernated 1: This Place Is Death, which was reviewed on this site and received a rating of 8 out of 10. poly.play will be handling the physical release of the game, which is planned for release before the end of the year. If it’s anything like the first game, it’ll be well worth the wait.

Screenshot of Cheman
Screenshot of Cheman
Spanish developer The Mojon Twins have released a new platform game for the Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum and NES called Cheman. A rock concert is due to be held tonight, but another group has organised a batukada festival that is being held at the same time (batukada is a type of samba music). Your objectives are to collect medallions and get rid of the batukada fans by jumping on them. The game is rather short – there are only two levels – but it features colourful MODE 0 graphics and music and is fun to play. You can download Cheman from The Mojon Twins’ site.

Title screen of The Curse of Rabenstein
Title screen of The Curse of Rabenstein
Stefan Vogt has tweeted that he is developing a Halloween-themed text adventure called The Curse of Rabenstein, which should be ready for release by the end of October on the Adventuron platform, with other platforms (including the Amstrad CPC) following later. The beautiful title screen (see the image on the right) has been drawn by Railslave.

Meanwhile, another of Stefan’s text adventures, Hibernated 2, should be released by the end of the year, and he has also released Eight Feet Under as a free download. This is a bonus adventure that was previously only available to people who had purchased physical copies of Hibernated 1: This Place Is Death, and it reveals some of the events that aren’t explained in that game.