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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Screenshot of Pro Power Boat Simulator

Pro Power Boat Simulator

(Code Masters, 1989)

Race a catamaran or a speedboat along five levels of action, dodging other speedboats, watching out for mines, and trying not to crash into the scenery! Your boat uses a lot of fuel, so you’ll need to collect extra fuel regularly. You can also collect mines which you can use to blow up other boats, although it’s not necessary to do this at all in order to complete the course; it merely allows you to obtain a few extra points. The first course is very easy indeed and is a simple introduction to the game, but it becomes a bit harder from the second level onwards. There’s also a ‘night level’ in which you can only see part of the course at any one time. The graphics are very good indeed, although there’s no music. Overall, though, this is a great little game.

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Screenshot of Pro Skateboard Simulator

Pro Skateboard Simulator

(Code Masters, 1989)

Skate your way around lots of courses, trying to reach the finishing line before your time runs out. There are two types of game here; the first sees you collecting flags and is viewed from an isometric perspective, while the second is a slalom course in which you move left and right to steer yourself between the flagpoles. In either case, if you run out of time or don’t pass through enough flagpoles, you lose a life. It sounds OK, but the game is mediocre. The graphics are nothing special and lack colour, and there is no music and very few sound effects, so you effectively play the game in silence. It’s a bit difficult as well.

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Screenshot of Pro Tennis Simulator

Pro Tennis Simulator

(Code Masters, 1989)

This is a fairly simple tennis game which is quite tricky to get the hang of. There are relatively few options – the only changes you can make being the ability of your computer opponent, and the length of the match. Your opponent’s ability determines the surface that the game is to be played on – clay for novice opponents, grass for medium opponents, and concrete for expert opponents. The action is fast, but the controls are a little awkward, particularly if you’re using the keyboard, and even the novice opponent is too difficult to beat – or maybe I haven’t had enough practice. The graphics and sound are both of a high standard, but I didn’t find playing against the computer to be much fun.

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Screenshot of Pro Tennis Tour
Screenshot taken from cartridge version of game

Pro Tennis Tour

(Ubi Soft, 1990)

Of all the tennis games that have been released for the CPC, this one (known as Great Courts in France) has to be one of the smoothest and fastest. You start as the bottom-ranked player from a list of 17, and only by playing in tournaments such as the Australian, French and US Open, and of course Wimbledon, can you improve your ranking and become the number one player. The action is very fast indeed, so I reckon it’s one of the most realistic tennis simulations on the CPC as well! However, the game is very playable; all you need to do to return the ball is to position yourself appropriately and press the fire button, and serving is no problem either. The graphics are very good, and they’re even better in the cartridge version, which looks and feels almost like a different game.

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Screenshot of Prodigy

Prodigy

(Electric Dreams, 1986)

The Machine Sorcerer Wardlock has created an organic lifeform in his Mechlab laboratories – but Solo the Syntheman doesn’t want to be experimented on for the rest of his life (and who can blame him?), and he wants to escape from the Mechlabs with baby Nejo, who will need to be fed with milk and have his nappy cleaned occasionally, like all babies. The Mechlabs are divided into four zones and are also filled with Wardlock’s previous experimental creations. Contact with these sends Solo all the way back to the start of the maze. This is no fun whatsoever, and to make matters worse, none of the monsters can be killed. The isometric graphics are reasonable, but I suggest you turn the volume down; the music (if you can call it that) is probably the worst you will ever hear on the CPC!

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Screenshot of Profanation

Profanation

(Chip, 1987)

You’re a treasure hunter, exploring the Egyptian pyramids with no regard for the sanctity of the place (the name of the game means ‘desecration’ in English) and grabbing whatever treasures you can find. Naturally, there are lots of monsters which will kill you if you touch them; mummies, beetles, blobs of slime, and bats which home in on you very quickly. Fortunately, you are armed with a gun to shoot the monsters, but after you’ve shot a monster, another one will appear. In essence, it’s a Gauntlet clone with some very detailed graphics, but it’s too easy and you’ll soon get a sense of déjà vu when the levels soon start to repeat themselves.

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Screenshot of Profanation 2: Escape from Abu Simbel

Johnny Jones has found himself falling down a long shaft into the temple of Abu Simbel, from which he must escape. This platform game is the sequel to Dinamic’s Abu Simbel Profanation, which has a reputation for being very difficult, requiring pixel-perfect jumps and exact timing. Profanation 2 takes this to even more ridiculous extremes, to the point of making it practically unplayable for all but the most expert of players. Even with nine lives, I have only managed to see the first four screens without resorting to cheating! The game finished in second place in the 2017 #CPCRetroDev Game Creation Contest, but while the graphics and music are of a very high standard, the sheer difficulty of the gameplay mars it terribly.

See also: Abu Simbel Profanation.

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Screenshot of Professional BMX Simulator

Professional BMX Simulator

(Code Masters, 1988)

It’s time to get on your bike again, as you race against three other BMX bikers to complete three laps of each course before your time runs out. Believe it or not, up to four players can play against each other. There are three sets of tracks – dirt biking, desert riding and quarry racing – and there’s also a choice of playing in either standard or expert mode (where you have to choose chain and wheel sizes for your bike). It’s tough enough even in standard mode – the first two courses are quite easy, but after that, the time limit becomes far too tight to beat.

See also: BMX Simulator, BMX Simulator 2.

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