Screenshot of P47 Thunderbolt

P47 Thunderbolt

(Firebird, 1990)

The P47 Thunderbolt was one of the most famous fighter planes of World War II, and now you’re on a bombing mission in one of them. In each level, you fly from left to right and take out waves of enemy fighters, before coming face to face with an end-of-level guardian – usually a train, a large plane, or even a battleship! Shooting helicopters also reveals either additional weaponry or an extra life. This game has some terrific graphics; check out the background for the second level and you’ll see what I mean. The sound effects are excellent, too, and with so much action going on, this is a game you’ll certainly like.

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Screenshot of Pac-Land

Pac-Land

(Grandslam, 1989)

A fairy has been kidnapped, so Pac-Man has to journey through Pac-Land to rescue her and send her back to Fairyland. The ghosts are also out to stop him, though; one of them has a plane to drop bombs on Pac-Man, and another has a car. However, if Pac-Man finds any power pills, then he can kill them. There are also lots of cherries to collect along the way for bonus points. The power pills also enable you to jump higher, although this won’t help you when getting past the lakes; you must waggle the joystick instead. The graphics are really colourful and really appealing to children. The same goes for the cheerful tune which gets irritating after listening to it often – although the jingle that plays when you lose a life is sublime. The game is relatively easy but it’s still good.

See also: Pac-Man Emulator, Pac-Mania.

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Screenshot of Pac-Man Emulator

Pac-Man Emulator

(SyX/TotO, 2012)

Ever since its release in 1980, Pac-Man has remained enduringly popular and is one of the best known video games of all time – but thanks to this emulator, it is possible to play the original coin-op game on your CPC! There are obviously some limitations; the graphics are drawn in medium-resolution Mode 1, so stippling has been used to colour in some of the ghosts, and the sound emulation isn’t perfect, although the tune at the beginning of each game is instantly recognisable. The game also plays noticeably more slowly than the original, but despite this, it’s not detrimental to the gameplay and it remains very enjoyable. Pac-Man never gets old – and as this is an emulator, it’s possible to play the many unofficial bootleg and hacked versions of the coin-op game as well!

See also: Pac-Land, Pac-Mania.

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Screenshot of Pac-Mania

Pac-Mania

(Grandslam, 1988)

It’s another Pac-Man game, but this one’s in isometric 3D and it’s absolutely fantastic, although the graphics are in boring monochrome. Still, you’ll find that it’s a great game. Each section of mazes has a different theme depending on the difficulty level, and there are three amazing tunes which will have you humming away in no time. There are also lots of bonuses to collect. It’s a shame about the graphics, as they could have been much better with some colour, but this game still rocks.

See also: Pac-Land, Pac-Man Emulator.

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Screenshot of Pacific

Pacific

(Ere Informatique/PSS, 1987)

Deep at the bottom of the Pacific ocean, you must search for the lost treasure of Atlantis. Now, the Pacific ocean covers an absolutely massive area, and that’s also the case in this exploration game. Close to the surface, there are few hazards, but as you dive deeper, you will encounter lots of coral reefs which bar your way, and sea creatures that must be avoided. You also need to top up your oxygen supply regularly. The graphics are stunning, but to be honest, the playing area is so phenomenally large, and the screens are so similar to each other, that it’s not worth your while trying to find Atlantis. Sadly, this is another occasion in which the programmers concentrated on creating beautiful graphics, but forgot to include a proper game.

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Screenshot of Le Pacte

Le Pacte

(Loriciels, 1986)

Reviewed by Robert Small

  • Knowledge of French is required in order to play this game properly.

Le Pacte is a horror-themed graphic adventure that has clearly been inspired by classic 1970s and 80s horror films. The game is made by the renowned game developer Éric Chahi. Graphically the game is of a very good standard featuring high quality images of locations. There’s even the odd bit of animation so they are not always static. The music is very good and has been chosen well to create a chilling atmosphere. There are some nice original features involving a supernatural camera and the horror genre staple of a séance. The one big negative is the means of entering verb/noun commands to interact with the game. It can be laborious searching for the correct response in order to progress. Apart from that, this is a well made game.

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Screenshot of Paladin

Paladin

(Blue Ribbon, 1987)

Princess Grizelda has been kidnapped and is being held inside the caverns of Kraal. Our fearless hero Prince Paladin’s mission is to enter the caverns and rescue the beautiful princess. Well, there’s nothing original about the plot, and there’s nothing original about the rest of the game either. It’s another run-of-the-mill platform game where you have to jump over deadly hazards, shoot enemies and climb ropes. First impressions are OK – colourful, cartoony graphics and a jolly tune – but once you start playing, it’s a different story. Just climbing on to the very first rope is an ordeal, and jumping involves holding down the fire button, letting go, and then moving left or right as you jump upwards. The controls are very sensitive and the gameplay is ludicrously difficult, even with the ability to obtain extra lives in exchange for points.

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Screenshot of Paleto Jones

Paleto Jones

(Mananuk, 2022)

Your uncle Ramón has been kidnapped by an indigenous jungle tribe and you must rescue him. However, you won’t be able to enter their temple until you find and return ten pieces of gold. This is a simple and unremarkable platform game that is effectively divided into two rather short parts – finding the gold, and exploring the temple to find your uncle. Each screen has a selection of enemies to avoid or obstacles to dodge, such as spikes and pits. Shooting an enemy three times makes it disappear, but your ammunition is limited, so you’ll have to be judicious in using it. The game features colourful but rather basic graphics, and the music will become annoying before long. It may be a rather small game, but it offers a nice challenge, and gaining entry to the temple with most of your energy intact isn’t easy.

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Screenshot of Palitron

Palitron

(The Edge, 1986)

All traces of biological life have disappeared from Palitron City due to the presence of crystal formations. Clearly it’s much too dangerous to send a human to the city, so instead a robot has been dispatched to locate the crystals and destroy them using the appropriate objects – although finding these objects is a matter of trial and error. To aid you, there are other robots within the city that you can program to follow a series of instructions. The game features colourful isometric graphics, but the sound is limited to a few simple effects. Unfortunately the game often slows down significantly when there is a lot of activity on the screen, and there are so many lethal obstacles to try to avoid that making any progress is very difficult. It looks pretty but a lot of the rooms are badly designed.

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Screenshot of Pang

Pang

(Ocean, 1991)

Travel across 17 nations and burst balloons as you go! There’s not much of a plot to this game, but each level is divided into three screens, and you have to use a harpoon to blast the balloons. However, they will divide into two smaller balloons, and the same thing happens if you burst these balloons! If you’re not careful, you’ll have dozens of tiny balloons bouncing about and you’ll lose one of your six lives. This is a really simple and addictive game, and it’s one of the very few games around that makes full use of the extra facilities of the GX4000 console and Plus machines. If it was a little bit easier, I would probably have given this game the full ten marks.

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