Screenshot of On the Run

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.

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Screenshot of One


(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.

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Screenshot of One Man and His Droid

One Man and His Droid

(Mastertronic, 1985)

You have been flown to the planet Andromadous to round up alien creatures called Ramboids. On each level, seven Ramboids are wandering around a maze, and you control a droid that must herd them into a teleporter where they can be transported to Earth. To progress to the next level, you must herd at least four Ramboids in the correct positions as shown in the top left of the screen. You’ll need to observe the movement patterns of the Ramboids and work out the best way to guide them to the transporter. Your droid can dig tunnels, but be careful where you dig them, or you’ll lose control of the Ramboids! The concept is quite original, although the gameplay is a bit difficult to grasp at first. The music that plays throughout is catchy at first, but it will probably grate after a while, and the graphics look rather dull thanks to a poor choice of colours.

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Screenshot of Operation Alexandra

Operation Alexandra

(4MHz, 2018)

Reviewed by Missas

Operation Alexandra is a mixture of arcade adventure and shoot-’em-up gaming. It is by all means a masterpiece. You take control of Mikhail, who in the frozen USSR of the mid-1970s discovers an abandoned Nazi underground base within the Arctic Circle, only to find out that alien creatures have overrun it! The game features simply everything one would wish: superb, highly detailed graphics, a great variety of sprites, a smooth frame rate, great sound and fantastic, addictive gameplay. The storyline is interesting and the astonishing weather and lighting effects add to the already convincing atmosphere which greatly resembles that of Rick Dangerous 2 and Impossamole and, I dare to say, surpasses them. Overall, an unparalleled experience on the CPC.

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Screenshot of Operation Gunship

Operation Gunship

(Code Masters, 1989)

Eight members of an assault team are trapped on an enemy island, and it’s your job to rescue them in your armoured helicopter. Some of them are easily found, but the rest are hidden in buildings which you must bomb in order to rescue them. Each one has to be lifted into the helicopter and returned to base, one at a time. Of course, there are enemy tanks, boats, guns and helicopters out there to stop you! The graphics are absolutely excellent and the music and sound effects are good too, but it’s the scrolling which slows the game down and spoils things a bit.

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Screenshot of Operation Hanoi

Operation Hanoi

(Players, 1990)

The evil dictator Lee Ho Fook has invaded a neighbouring country. If he is not stopped, he will also take over your country. You are an officer in your country’s army, which recently overthrew the previous dictator who ruled it. From the moment you see and play this game, you will immediately notice that it has been heavily influenced by Operation Wolf. Both the graphics and gameplay are extremely similar indeed, and this game is almost an exact clone of it. Just shoot everything which appears on the screen while trying to conserve your ammunition! The music on the menu is disappointing, but the graphics are colourful and well drawn and the pace is quite hectic. Even though it’s rather easy (if you don’t bother shooting the planes), it’s still a great game.

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Screenshot of Operation Hormuz

Operation Hormuz

(Again Again, 1989)

Reviewed by John Beckett

Tension is mounting in the Middle East and several important oil bases are at risk, so the US Naval Air Force have initialized Operation Hormuz – sending you in your fighter jet to take out several enemy missile bases. It would be a tough job in real life, but it’s even harder here! As soon as you start, you’re bombarded from all sides by enemy fire, and must have the reflexes of Superman to get very far! Your jet has four different weapons to take out enemies on the ground, on the sea and in the air. To be honest, it’s all a bit too much for my little brain to take in, especially at the speed this game plays at! The graphics are good, and the sound effects are also good (there’s an excellent tune on the options screen) but it’s basically just Harrier Attack with knobs on.

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Screenshot of Operation Thunderbolt
Screenshot taken from cartridge version of game

Operation Thunderbolt

(Ocean, 1989)

More hostages have been kidnapped, but this time they’re being held deep in the African jungle. Firstly, you have to travel to the enemy’s ammunition depot before going to the hideout where the hostages are being kept. Next, you must get into your boat and sail to the enemy HQ, where the final confrontation awaits. The game features a novel restarting system, where the number of continues you get depends on how well you’re doing, although I’m not sure this is entirely a good thing. It is a difficult game with more enemies on the screen at once, and worse, you can’t see who you’re firing at! The scrolling isn’t very good either, and the graphics on the normal CPC version are horrible at times. A cartridge version of the game is also available.

See also: Operation Wolf.

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Screenshot of Operation Wolf

Operation Wolf

(Ocean, 1988)

Five hostages are trapped in a concentration camp deep in the jungle, and you must rescue all of them. Your journey starts at the enemy’s headquarters, before going into the jungle to the ammunition dump, and then on to the concentration camp where the hostages are then flown out. The screen scrolls horizontally and you just shoot at all the enemy soldiers, helicopters and tanks, but make sure you don’t run out of ammo! The graphics are brilliant and there’s lots of explosions to be heard, along with a little tune. It’s all action and it’s an excellent game.

See also: Operation Thunderbolt.

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Screenshot of OPQA vs. QAOP: The Final Battle

OPQA vs. QAOP: The Final Battle

(Manuel Sagra de Diego, 2018)

Should the ‘correct’ way to name one of the most popular combinations of keys for playing games be OPQA or QAOP? It’s time to decide the answer once and for all! This puzzle game finished fifth in the 2018 #CPCRetroDev Game Creation Contest. One or two players match coloured tiles labelled Q, A, O and P. Matching four or more tiles of the same colour fills your opponent’s screen with unlabelled blocks, hindering their ability to match tiles. Matching all four letters in the correct order either horizontally or vertically gives you bonus points – although the correct order depends on which team you are in (Team OPQA or Team QAOP)! The computer-controlled players offer a strong challenge, and the game is very well presented, with colourful graphics (including caricatures of well known members of the Spanish retro community) and nice music and sound effects.

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