Screenshot of Prehistorik 2
Screenshot taken from Plus version of game

Prehistorik 2

(Titus, 1993)

One of the last commercial games to be released for the CPC range and also one of the best. You control a caveman looking for food, and among the many monsters you’ll face are bears, spiders, wasps, dinosaurs, and a huge ape halfway through the game. There are also lots of bonuses to collect. What makes this game stand out from other platform games is the graphics, which are truly awesome, especially on the Plus version, which features extra colours and parallax scrolling. The music is also terrific, and it’s the only commercial game I know of that exploits the Plus’ enhanced DMA sound facilities. Thankfully, the gameplay on the normal CPC version doesn’t suffer, and it’s a hugely enjoyable game to play.

See also: Prehistorik.

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Screenshot of A Prelude to Chaos

A Prelude to Chaos

(EgoTrip, 2016)

Reviewed by Missas

A Prelude to Chaos is directly inspired by the Zelda series on the NES console. In this fantastic role-playing game, you need to guide Amy through 70 screens and help her collect crystals and open doors as well as gaining experience and routing ferocious enemies! The graphics are in Mode 1 with four colours and they are quite detailed. The sprites move fast and smoothly. There is a fantastic tune playing on the menu and during the game there are some effects, but they are nothing special. In terms of gameplay this game excels; there are many interesting puzzles to solve, the difficulty is correctly set and you won’t get bored of exploring. Overall, a fantastic and interesting game. Oh, there is more good news: at the end, we are promised that Amy’s adventures will continue...

See also: Chaos Rising, Concave, Ice Slider, Jewel Warehouse, Potato Rescue.

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Screenshot of President

President

(Addictive, 1987)

Reviewed by Robert Small

Time to step into the shoes of El Presidente in this early strategy game. The objective is to stay in power by balancing feeding your people, managing resources and building tanks – because, as we all know, world leaders love their tanks. You can select the wealth of your country at the beginning of a game, and as well as your internal popularity, you will need to be aware of how you are viewed in the eyes of the international community. The graphics are very simple with lots of statistics to read on the screen, although the tanks and game map are quite cute. Is being the President fun, though? For a while, certainly, but perhaps not a game to come back to.

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Screenshot of Prince Dastan: Sokoban Within

Prince Dastan: Sokoban Within

(Euphoria Design, 2020)

Prince Dastan is being held prisoner in the Grand Vizier’s dungeons. Can he rescue the Sultan’s beautiful daughter before it’s too late? If you’re familiar with Prince of Persia, you’ll recognise this background story. This game finished in eighth place in the 2020 #CPCRetroDev Game Creation Contest, which awarded bonus points for including a reference to Prince of Persia. If you haven’t guessed already from the title, it’s a clone of the famous puzzle game Sokoban, in which you push crates around rooms and work out how to place them in their correct positions. There are 179 levels to complete, and it will take a lot of thought to solve them all. The presentation is of a very high standard, although the controls feel quite clunky when you’re moving your character around, which mars the gameplay a bit.

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Screenshot of Prince of Persia

Prince of Persia

(Brøderbund/Domark, 1990)

The Grand Vizier has captured the Sultan’s daughter and has given her an ultimatum; either marry him, or die! You have one hour in which to get out of the dungeons and rescue her from her cell before the Grand Vizier kills her. Each level sees you fighting guardians and finding the way out, and there are potions to be drunk, too. This was also one of the first games to feature real animation, where the characters really do move properly, and the number of actions you can perform are astonishing. The graphics are incredible, especially the intro sequence, and really, the only bad thing about this game is the awful ‘music’, which thankfully isn’t present in the main game.

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Screenshot of Prison Riot

Prison Riot

(Players, 1990)

The inmates are running riot in a high security prison, and you have been sent in to find their leaders and restore order. You must explore the prison (which is very large), collecting food, ammunition, and keys to enter the cells. Some of the cells will have their windows broken, where a leader will be waiting on the rooftop for you to negotiate his surrender – but you’ll have to solve a puzzle (one of those sliding tile games) within 60 seconds. This game looks and plays very similarly to the Joe Blade series, but like those games, it’s got dull, monochrome graphics, a mediocre tune, and poor gameplay.

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Screenshot of The Prize

The Prize

(Amsoft, 1985)

Within the Chamber of Midas lies an ancient secret – but what exactly is it? In order to find out, you must fly through several mazes. Each maze contains four code pods which you must collect in the correct order. When you’ve got all four, you must then fly to the base to take you to the next maze. Of course, there are aliens in each room which you must shoot – but your supply of laser bolts is limited, although it can be replenished. This is a monotonous exploration game with very poor graphics and sound. There’s just not enough excitement in the game to make you want to collect the code pods.

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Screenshot of Pro Golf

Pro Golf

(Atlantis, 1987)

Reviewed by Robert Small

Atlantis throws its hat into the ring when it comes to golf games on the Amstrad CPC. This one is played from a top-down perspective and it isn’t pretty. The graphics are very basic Mode 1. There are a couple of courses to play on (Sunningdale in England and Pebble Beach in California), a fair smattering of options, and gameplay that is a bit frustrating at first due to the way the ball is struck. Similarly to Nick Faldo Plays the Open, a little golfer is depicted on the screen, but due to the poor graphics it just doesn’t look anywhere near as good as that game. Indeed Pro Golf Simulator from Code Masters offers a better-looking round of top-down golf than this.

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Screenshot of Pro Golf Simulator

Pro Golf Simulator

(Code Masters, 1990)

Play a round of golf on an 18-hole course, ranging from easy 3-par holes to much trickier 5-par holes surrounded by water and sand bunkers. You can practice any of the holes, and you can also perfect your putting skills. Taking shots is easy enough; select a suitable club and the direction to hit the ball, and judge the strength of your shot and whether you want the ball to veer to the left (hook) or right (slice), taking into account the wind direction. The course is viewed from a top-down perspective, which is annoying when your ball lands underneath a bush or a tree. The graphics are good, as is the music (yes, music in a golf game!), and while it’s not the most realistic golf simulation for the CPC, it’s still pretty good. It even comes with an editor to let you design your own courses.

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Screenshot of Pro Mountain Bike Simulator

Pro Mountain Bike Simulator

(Alternative Software, 1989)

Reviewed by Richard Lamond

One or two players can take part in this challenging mountain bike racer. Never mind having to avoid the boulders and pitfalls on the courses, your first real obstacle will be getting to grips with a clunky set of controls. Once you work out how to move through the gears you’ll start to make some progress, but it’s still a long, uphill battle to get to grips with the game, as there’s no way to control the trajectory of your bike when you make leaps from ramps; you will crash and crash often! The graphics are blocky and undefined but clear enough for you to see what you’re doing. One gripe, though, is the flick-screen scrolling that makes careering into the occasional unseen object at the edge of a screen both unavoidable and frustrating. The game has a decent title tune and overall, it’s a fun distraction that rewards perseverance.

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