Screenshot of Peasant’s Tale

Peasant’s Tale

(Crysys, 1988)

Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard

You must rescue your maiden and find a time machine to escape from a Middle Age hell. Well, that’s easy to say... The action is seen from above, from a bird’s eye view. You must fight a bunch of soldiers, and bushes that fire at you (!). Once you’ve found your beloved, rush outside the castle and try to stay alive. Well, neither the graphics nor the overall realisation of this game are very appealing. However, it is a lot of fun to play because the difficulty level isn’t too high and it’s one of the very few games that you can complete without cheating!

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Screenshot of Penalty Soccer

Penalty Soccer

(Gamebusters, 1990)

Releasing a game which is devoted entirely to saving penalties is, in my opinion, ridiculous – and if you really want to release such a game, at least make it a bit challenging. That’s not the case here, as you may have guessed. You can choose to start on any one of eight difficulty levels (which are represented by eight different footballers), and on each level, you must save ten penalties before the footballer you are facing scores ten penalties. It’s really easy to complete, and I managed to do so on my first go. The graphics are OK, but there are no sound effects other than a whistle at the start of the game. Avoid this game totally!

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Screenshot of Penggy


(Chip, 1986)

Take control of Penggy as he tries to push the three diamonds in each level together while avoiding the green monsters that roam around the screen pursuing him. Penggy can push the ice cubes on the screen towards the monsters, which kills them, but some of the ice cubes contain eggs which allow more monsters to be generated. If you do kill all the monsters, you will go to the next level, but to score extra points, you’ll have to push the three diamonds into a horizontal or vertical row. This is a Pengo clone which is rather mediocre. The graphics are colourful, albeit simple and flickery at times, and the game is easy to get into. However, it is quite slow, and the music can soon become very irritating.

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Screenshot of Penguin Attack

Penguin Attack

(Pat Morita Team, 2022)

Pinwi is a penguin whose girlfriend Ninwina has been captured by a gang of nasty penguins called the Black Pingus. Pinwi has to travel across Pinwiland and confront them in order to rescue his girlfriend. On each stage, you move along the bottom of the screen and must aim and throw snowballs at the enemy penguins and other creatures that appear. They in turn will hurl snowballs at you, but you can dodge them by sliding along the ground. You can catch bonus items that are thrown into the air, and if you don’t let any of them fall to the ground, you can score valuable bonus points and extra lives at the end of each stage. This game finished in second place in the #CPCRetroDev 2022 contest, although it was very close to winning. It’s great fun to play, the graphics and animation are wonderful, and there are several jaunty little tunes to listen to.

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Screenshot of Pentomino


(Shining, 2017)

Pentominoes are shapes that are formed by joining five square tiles together, much like Tetris uses shapes consisting of four squares, known as tetrominoes. This puzzle game features 464 brainteasers, in which you must fit two, three or four shapes together in the correct manner. You have an unlimited amount of time to complete each puzzle, although if you want more of a challenge, there is a ‘survival mode’ where you start with 90 seconds on the clock and gain a few seconds on completing each puzzle. The graphics feature a variety of backgrounds to liven things up (there’s only so much you can do with blocks, after all), and there is a large range of tunes to listen to as you play. It would have been nice if passwords or codes were provided so you don’t have to slog through dozens and dozens of puzzles you’ve already solved, but puzzle fans will enjoy this game nonetheless.

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Screenshot of Pépé Béquilles

Pépé Béquilles

(SoftHawk, 1987)

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

Marcel Dugland, also known as Pépé Béquilles, is a very old man who has had his crutches stolen by some of the patients in the hospital where he has been residing for over a year. However, the patients are a crazy bunch, and you will need to perform some favours for them in order to gain access to restricted areas of the hospital and make your wheelchair go faster, but finding your hearing aid, and a trolley to carry things in, is your first priority, and you need to be injected every two hours. This is a humorous French text adventure with some lovely graphics. Commands are selected using a menu system, and although most of the puzzles are not difficult to solve, timing is crucial to success, as some rooms in the hospital are only open at certain times, and you must be careful where you go at night...

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Screenshot of The Pepsi Challenge Mad Mix Game

The Pepsi Challenge Mad Mix Game

(US Gold/Topo Soft, 1988)

Originally released by Topo Soft in Spain as Mad Mix Game, US Gold joined forces with drinks company Pepsi to release this Pac-Man clone as part of their Pepsi Challenge advertising campaign, although there’s nothing related to Pepsi in the game itself. However, there are several unusual power-ups, such as the ability to transform into a hippopotamus, allowing you to crush ghosts. There are also tiles and barriers which force you to travel in one way only, and runways which turn you into a jet fighter and let you shoot at the ghosts and other nasties! The graphics are colourful, although the music is terrible. It’s a bit easy and slow-paced, but I enjoyed it, and I think the game is aimed at younger players anyway.

See also: Mad Mix 2.

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Screenshot of Perico Delgado Maillot Amarillo

The Spanish cyclist Pedro ‘Perico’ Deldago won the 1988 Tour de France, albeit in controversial circumstances, and this game sees you taking part in four stages – a race on flat terrain, an uphill time trial, a downhill race, and the final race through city streets to the finish line. The controls vary on each stage; some require you merely to move your bike left and right, while others require rhythmic waggling left and right or repeated pressing of the fire button – although thankfully you don’t need to waggle very fast. The graphics also vary widely, although they are quite impressive throughout all the stages. There’s no time limit on any of the stages, so you can always play all four of them without any pressure. Despite the other competitors having an annoying tendency to run into you and slow you down, this is still a very good game.

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Screenshot of Periscope Up

Periscope Up

(Atlantis, 1989)

A supercomputer within Britain’s secret nuclear missile base has malfunctioned, and unless it can be fixed, a barrage of missiles will be launched, triggering a nuclear war. The base lies below the sea, and you must guide a submarine through a network of tunnels and collect all eight digits of the code that will shut down the computer. Your submarine is equipped with smaller scout craft that can collect fuel and keys for opening locked gates, and you’ll also need to use them to locate and destroy six flashing pods that are hidden behind moving barriers. This is a very simple game with basic graphics and hardly any sound effects. There are no moving enemies to dodge, so you’re not under too much pressure. However, many of the obstacles require some very precise positioning indeed, and it’s too easy to needlessly lose lives.

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Screenshot of Peter Beardsley’s International Football

Peter Beardsley was a highly regarded footballer who played for England during the second half of the 1980s, but he doesn’t feature anywhere in this mediocre, lousy game based on the European Championship. Eight teams are divided into two groups, and you play three matches with the other teams in your group before progressing to the semi-finals and then the final. The matches are really easy to win, because your opponent’s players don’t seem to know how to attack or defend properly, and the goalkeeper hasn’t a clue where to go in order to save the ball! I managed to win the tournament easily on my first attempt. The game is an ugly Spectrum port and there is hardly any sound, apart from a merry rendition of the “Here We Go” football chant, which is the only positive thing I can say about it.

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