Screenshot of Panza Kick Boxing
Screenshot taken from cartridge version of game

Panza Kick Boxing

(Futura, 1990)

Reviewed by CPC4eva

Do you want to be the best prize fighting Thai boxing champion ever? Great, because here’s your chance to take them all on in the ring in this game, which has been endorsed by André Panza. The fighting is quite smooth and the controls are very easy to pick up and learn. There are lots of different moves, and each time you make a good hit on your opponent, a yellow flash appears on the screen. You can choose from a number of different fighters and different opponents. As you win bouts, you get more money and are able to fight the better fighters and win trophies. The referee is quite good and keeps an eye on the game when you or your opponent’s energy runs out, indicating that the match is won or lost. The cartridge version has greatly improved graphics and colour over the normal CPC version.

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Screenshot of Panzadrome

Panzadrome

(Ariolasoft, 1986)

The Panzadrome is a heavily fortified island guarded by robot tanks, and your aim is to destroy it completely. You begin with a poorly equipped tank, but there are factories on the island where you can upgrade it. However, you will have to get past armies of robot tanks and turrets and avoid any mines in your path in order to reach a factory – but achieving this is practically impossible. Moreover, all this destruction leaves craters in your way which your tank cannot drive over, and you could easily find your path blocked, unless you have some Polycrete to fill in the crater – but to obtain it, you must find the correct factory first! The graphics and sound effects are very poor and the game is far too difficult.

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Screenshot of Paperboy

Paperboy

(Elite, 1987)

If you were ever a paperboy when you were young, you’ll know how ungrateful your customers can be. You’ve got to deliver your papers to all the houses on your street by firing them into the mailboxes and avoiding people, objects and cars. You also have to make sure you don’t run out of newspapers, but more can be picked up on the way. If you don’t deliver newspapers to any of the houses, they’ll cancel their subscription. It’s a very original game and fun to play, too, although it is slightly difficult. The graphics are quite good, but amazingly, there’s no sound at all; apparently the programmer ran out of memory!

See also: Paperboy 2.

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Screenshot of Paperboy 2

Paperboy 2

(Mindscape, 1991)

Paperboy is back to deliver some more papers. However, this time, you can also play as Papergirl (so as not to be seen as being sexist). The neighbourhoods are a little strange, though; all the streets have castles in them! You’ll also have to dodge the likes of skateboarders, bouncing balls, ghosts (!), and the obligatory workmen carrying furniture or glass. The game has better graphics and is much faster than its predecessor – in fact, I think it’s too fast. It also makes crashing into things a frequent occurrence, and your six lives will quickly run out. In addition, you’ll only hear any sound if you have 128K of memory.

See also: Paperboy.

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Screenshot of Para Academy

Para Academy

(Zeppelin Games, 1990)

Have you got what it takes to join the Parachute Regiment? Your strength and stamina will be tested to the limit in six events – the 100m sprint and 100m freestyle, the tug of war, weightlifting, target shooting, and rope climbing. Completing all six events wins you promotion, and if you fail three events, the game is over. If you haven’t already guessed, this is a joystick waggling game, and I hate this sort of game. You can be promoted easily enough, but further promotion is much harder, especially if you have to use the keyboard.

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Screenshot of Para Assault Course

Para Assault Course

(Zeppelin Games, 1988)

As you may have guessed, this is a joystick waggling frenzy in which you try to complete some gruelling assault courses as quickly as possible. After a few goes, you’ll probably have built up your muscles sufficiently to attempt the real thing! Among the obstacles you will face are walls, ramps, rivers, monkey bars and logs, and you’ll also have to swim through a water-filled pipe and crawl through barbed wire – and unlike the other obstacles, if you get these ones wrong, the game is over. You can use the keyboard, but it doesn’t work very well and makes the game a bit tougher. The graphics are OK, but there are no sound effects or music to accompany the game at all, and I dislike joystick waggling games anyway.

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Screenshot of Parabola

Parabola

(Firebird, 1987)

Bruce is a springy creature who has to bounce his way across a grid, starting from one corner and attempting to reach the opposite corner. Each square on the grid represents one stage, in which you must bounce around a screen full of moving guardians, collecting some spinning discs. As well as avoiding the guardians, some of the squares are booby-trapped and will cause Bruce to fly into the air and come back to earth with a bang, losing a life. This is a nice and simple isometric arcade-cum-puzzle game, and the graphics are well presented, although movement can be slow, and the sound is fairly limited. If you like puzzle games, though, this is worth a look.

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Screenshot of Paragliding

Paragliding

(Loriciel, 1991)

Reviewed by Robert Small

The CPC wasn’t short of some niche sports games over the years. There’s water-skiing and windsurfing, for example, and paragliding, courtesy of this game from Loriciel. This title was a later release on the CPC and thankfully that has translated into a very good-looking game. Colourful graphics combine with some nice little animations like the windsock and paragliding wing. The screen can get busy with air traffic that needs to be avoided, and while the scrolling isn’t totally smooth, it’s reasonable. The goal of the game is to travel the greatest distance and hit your landing points. Training and multiple locations are on offer. It captures the essence of the sport quite well – all you can ask for, really.

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Screenshot of París-Dakar

París-Dakar

(Zigurat, 1988)

Reviewed by Robert Small

From a time when the Paris-Dakar Rally really did include Dakar and not South America as it does now. The game is played from a top-down perspective and it’s clearly a Spectrum port, but there are plenty of roadside details across the different stages, such as buildings, trees, jumps and road markings, and the scrolling is OK. The first stage reminds me of the toy car play mat I had as a child. Depth is provided by choosing your own route through the stage, selecting the appropriate gears so as not to spin out, and consumables. It can be frustrating clipping something and going into a wild spin, and for some reason if you hit another car they explode! The engine noise is very annoying so be warned. You have to respect this game for offering something a little different, though.

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Screenshot of Park Patrol

Park Patrol

(Firebird, 1987)

As a ranger in a national park in America, you have to patrol your area of the park in your canoe and clear it of litter. You must avoid the local wildlife and dodge the logs and swimmers while paddling your canoe. You can also return to your hut to replenish your energy – that is, if the ants haven’t taken your food away! There are five levels, and unusually, you can customise the difficulty of each level – nice. The graphics are nothing special, and some of the tunes are irritating, but I think it’s an enjoyable little game despite these faults.

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