Psycho Pigs UXB
(US Gold, 1988)
This outrageously wacky game caused some controversy when it was released, thanks to an advertising campaign featuring a topless model which had nothing to do with the game itself. A group of pigs (including a friend if you wish) engage in a fight for survival by hurling bombs at each other, and the last one standing wins. This continues for up to twelve rounds, with a bonus level after every three rounds. It’s as silly as it sounds, yet it’s actually really good fun with pigs and bombs whizzing around the screen! There is an element of luck involved in your progression through the rounds, and the graphics are cute and colourful, if rather basic, but it’s an excellent game if you’re looking for a few minutes of entertainment, and the music is utterly delightful.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: Amstrad CPC World, jgonza, Retro Danuart, Xyphoe.
Reviewed by Pug
The Greek goddess Athena has decided to find adventure and challenge in the mortal world. She finds herself in a post-apocalyptic world full of criminals, mutants and destruction. So off she goes on a mission to clear away the evil that is destroying the Earth. This is a flip-screen platform shoot-’em-up with power-ups. The game is a little slow and the graphics look blocky and garish. Sound-wise, a basic tune plays on the options screen with a few effects during the game. There’s nothing special here in this game to keep you interested.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: XeNoMoRPH.
Seven favourite pub games – darts, billiards, dominoes, table soccer, pontoon, poker and skittles – are brought to you on the CPC. All of the games require you to play with a friend; you might want to take control of both players, but it’s nowhere near as much fun. As for the games themselves, they’re mostly average, with darts and skittles being the best ones to play. The graphics vary considerably, but sound effects are mostly absent, although there’s a nice little tune on the menu. If you have someone else to play against, it’s fun for a while.
Pub Trivia Simulator
(Code Masters, 1989)
If your brain is full of useless facts and you feel like learning some more, then try this game. Up to four players can test their knowledge of music, sport, showbiz and trivia. Each round consists of answering five questions where you score points, followed by the ‘money maze’ where you can score both points and money (allowing you to continue if you get a question wrong). This pattern continues until you become bored. Eventually, after seeing the same questions many times, you will get past the first round, but with only three sets of questions that can be used, and not enough variety, it’s not a game to become enthusiastic about. (The answer to the question in the screenshot is “March”, by the way.)
(Ubi Soft, 1989)
Reviewed by Pug
In this game, you play either Puffy or Pufyn, who must make their way through 34 dungeons filled with traps, monsters and treasure. The game itself resembles a mixture of Gauntlet (monsters, keys and magic items) and Pac-Man (collect all the dots to exit). There are larger blue dots to be found that assist your quest; the more you collect, the better the bonus or power-up you will receive. Graphically, Puffy’s Saga looks very nice, with no flicker and acceptable scrolling. Music plays on the informative title screen with a few in-game sound effects, including digitised sounds on 128K machines.
Reviewed by Pug
Pulsator is a puzzle game in which you travel around a flip-screen maze looking for the exit. Certain parts of the maze are blocked by locked gates; each one is numbered between 1 and 6. To open these gates, you have to look for and travel over a numbered tile found within the maze. Retracing your steps over the same numbered tile closes the gate. Certain parts of the maze are one-way routes and many instant death tiles act as walls in places. Several nasties occupy the maze and drain your energy if touched, but thankfully you can shoot them down. Colourful and smooth graphics, simple effects and a nice tune add to a very challenging game.
It’s Breakout time once again, although I have to say that I actually like this one a bit. Instead of a ball, though, there is some sort of laser pulse which bounces about the screen, and if it collides with one of the creatures that roam at the top of the screen, it splits into two pulses, and if there are lots of creatures, there are going to be a lot of pulses, and things get quite hectic! Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities to get extra lives, and you’ll need them. The graphics are nothing special, but the gameplay makes up for it, and you must listen to the music... it is truly excellent!
Punch and Judy
(Alternative Software, 1989)
Punch’s stall has been dismantled and the pieces are scattered all over the seaside resort of Bridlington, with all its tacky cafés, shops and amusement arcades. You’ve got to find all the pieces and then find the cast who are also wandering the streets, before the tide comes in. Don’t run into Mr Policeman, though, or you’ll be arrested! When you’ve done this, the show starts and you have to hit each of the cast repeatedly, again avoiding Mr Policeman. The graphics aren’t bad at all, but there are very few sound effects, and it becomes very boring as you wander the streets looking for the cast members.
Reviewed by John Beckett
A total rip-off of the 1983 arcade game Hunchback, the aim of Punchy is to get to the left of the screen to the right, avoiding boulders and holes on the way. Once Punchy achieves his aim, it’s on to the next level. And... that’s it – really! Zero marks for the storyline! Anyway, the graphics are, to be honest, appalling (it was an early game, but still...), the sound is nothing special, and the difficulty veers crazily from absurdly easy to impossible (I mean this literally, as the level I’m stuck on has a huge pit, two ghosts and no way of getting across). Still, for all its negative points, it is still quite a lot of fun and is also quite addictive. Just don’t expect to be blown away by it!
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: Amstrad CPC World, Axelino.
(Iber Soft, 1988)
Reviewed by Robert Small
From the off you just can’t take this game seriously. Let’s start with the sampled speech. It’s certainly a “What the...?!” moment. What type of game is Punk Star? Well it’s a flick-screen platform shoot-’em-up. There aren’t many colours on display but it features unusually large sprites, both for you and the various enemies which are nicely animated. I’m not sure what your method of attack is supposed to be – spit bubbles? You can use a giant bubble to float through the levels, though. There is a little bit of sprite flicker at times and the controls could feel better – and for a punk-themed game, it’s eerily silent!
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Metr81.