Bullfighting has long been a Spanish tradition, and you are a matador who must complete all the stages of six corridas (bullfights) without being gored by any of the bulls – as in reality, you only have one life. There are four stages, consisting of waving a cloak at the bull, prodding it with a lance while on horseback, planting banderillas (darts) into its shoulders, and finally, slaying it by thrusting a sword into its heart. The graphics are detailed with well animated sprites, but the music that plays throughout the game becomes grating rather quickly. The gameplay consists simply of performing the correct movements and getting the timing right, but I feel rather uncomfortable playing a game that attempts to simulate such a gruesome, barbaric form of entertainment, and I suspect (and hope) that other people feel the same way.
Olli and Lissa
Reviewed by John Beckett
Round blob Olli and his girlfriend Lissa are being held captive in a spooky castle by the ghost of Sir Humphrey. To become invisible (and thus scarier), Sir Humphrey needs eight ingredients to make a special potion. The ingredients are scattered all over Shilmoore Castle and Lissa is busy stirring the cauldron. So this leaves you, as Olli, to search the castle for the ingredients. Man, is this game difficult! Each room has ghosts floating around that you have to jump over to proceed, or it’s back to the entrance of the room with you. Believe me when I say these jumps have to timed exactly to make it over the bad guys! On top of this you have a very strict timer which depletes whenever you touch an enemy – which is often! It’s a shame, really, because the difficulty spoils what is basically a fun game.
See also: Olli and Lissa 3.
Olli and Lissa 3
(Code Masters, 1989)
Olli needs to fix his car, but all the pieces are lost and he needs to find them. First you must find a magnifying glass to search for the pieces, and then you must find a spanner, before taking each piece to the basement where the car is to be assembled. The graphics are nice, especially the cute animations of Olli, and you can also choose what type of car Olli wants to build. On the other hand, the controls are tricky, and it doesn’t take much of a fall for him to lose energy. In addition, to go back to a room that you’ve just left, you have to enter the door on the other side of the room, which is very confusing. Finally, if you’re wondering about the second of the three Olli and Lissa games, it was never released for the CPC!
See also: Olli and Lissa.
Compete in five Olympic events – weightlifting, canoeing, the 100m sprint, shooting and discus throwing. No joystick waggling is required here; instead, for three of the five events, you have to select your speed or power by stopping a rapidly spinning dial at the correct moment. Canoeing involves negotiating your canoe through a course of randomly placed rocks, while the shooting event is very easy indeed, and requires you to move your crosshair at the slowly moving skeets that are flung into the air. The graphics are very basic indeed, the animation is poor and very flickery, and the gameplay is ridiculously simple. After playing this game for a few minutes, you’ll want to play something else instead.
Professor Locaten and Cosmic Sister Omega are trying to find a door that unites the earthly dimension and the Omega Dimension, but they will have to travel through the ruins of the Immaculate Garden and the Balunga caverns to reach it. This is a platform game in which you must dodge all manner of nasty creatures and jump over various obstacles. You can switch characters at will, allowing you to use one character’s abilities over the other in order to overcome certain situations. However, the first part of the game is much too difficult; most of the creatures are very tricky to kill, and avoiding them while jumping over a large hole or river is more a matter of luck than skill. The game is also a Spectrum port, so the graphics lack colour, and the sound effects and music are terrible.
(Ubi Soft, 1989)
Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard
- Knowledge of French is required in order to play this game properly.
This text and graphic adventure takes place in medieval Arabia. You’re Saad, an inhabitant of Omeyad City. You must meet several characters who will give you missions to complete. Of course, there are many useful items to find around the city and many places to explore (which means a lot of loading from disc, too!). The graphics are really good, and the face of your character in a window shows his health and feelings. Each time you meet someone, their face appears on the screen. There are too few sound effects but the game is interesting, with characters who seem to live a life of their own in the city. You’ll sometimes feel lost, but the plot is deep enough to keep you trying to progress.
Both snooker and pool are on offer in this game. You can play either the computer or a friend, and it’s also possible to practice on your own. The computer can play at one of three skill levels – novice, average and expert – but even on the novice level, you’ll probably have some trouble beating it. Aiming the white ball correctly is tricky, and if you’re playing snooker, inaccurate. Of course, the computer’s aim is a lot better, although it makes the occasional foul as well. The graphics are reasonably good for this sort of game, although the pool balls are very blocky indeed. It’s a shame that it’s rather difficult to play a proper game of snooker or pool.
On the Oché
(Artic Computing, 1984)
Darts fans will instantly recognise what this game is about – the oche is the line on the floor from where the players throw their darts. This is one of the earliest darts games for the CPC, and it certainly shows. It’s written entirely in BASIC, complete with crude graphics and sound effects. Most darts games use an erratically moving hand to aim your darts with, but in this game, you move two pointers at the bottom and right of the board in order to aim. To make things less predictable, the dart will often land some way off where you intended it to go. The problem with this approach is that winning the game becomes almost entirely a matter of luck rather than skill. You also can’t play against the computer; you have to find a human opponent to play against. This is definitely a game to be avoided.
On the Run
(Design Design, 1985)
Within a huge maze lurks six flasks containing toxic chemicals. You have to find all the flasks within one hour, but there are mutant monsters which are also out to get you! Unfortunately, the flasks are in different places in each game, which makes things even worse, and they drain your energy very quickly if you touch them. There are various other things which can be collected, such as mushrooms, smart bombs and bonuses, and while the graphics are colourful, the game is too difficult to warrant any long-term interest.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: Amstrad CPC World, GameHammer Classic Gaming.
(D3M Software, 1986)
Reviewed by Robert Small
This game gives you the chance to let out your inner Dennis the Menace. You take on the role of a small child who loves nothing more than setting up classic traps for unsuspecting adults. You know the type – a bucket of water above a door, for example. You will spend your time searching rooms for items and the best place to set up your trap. The graphics are colourful on the one hand but blocky on the other. You do move quickly through the environment, though. There isn’t anything noteworthy about the audio in this one. Once you’ve experimented with the various items on offer for a couple of times, things become tiresome. The game is a bit of a one-trick pony.