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 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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Screenshot of Peter Pack Rat

Peter Pack Rat

(Silverbird, 1989)

Almost everyone thinks that rats are dirty creatures, but Peter is different. He’s a tidy rat who likes to clear up rubbish. On each level, Peter must collect a certain number of objects and bring them back to the starting location. However, watch out for Riff Rat and other birds and insects; they can be stunned by throwing things at them, but if you stun a bird, you can fly around the level and transport yourself to another location quickly. Unfortunately, the time limit is rather tight, and the game is a blatant Spectrum port with everything in monochrome. The music is OK, though.

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Screenshot of Peter Shilton’s Handball Maradona!

Diego Maradona’s “hand of God” goal in the Argentina vs. England 1986 World Cup game was certainly controversial. This game was an unashamed attempt to cash in quickly on the hysteria at the time, and boy, it shows. Rather than being a proper football game, the only thing you get to do in it is play as the goalkeeper and save a few shots from your opponent. Moreover, your team scores goals without any input from you, although their chances can be increased by improving your skill, which involves more goal saving. Terrible graphics, terrible sound, and hardly any gameplay make this a game to avoid.

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Screenshot of Peur sur Amityville

Peur sur Amityville

(Ubi Soft, 1987)

Reviewed by Robert Small

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

One of two graphic adventure games for the CPC that takes the Amityville hauntings as its inspiration, with the other being Le Pacte. Unlike Loriciels’ game, Ubi Soft has opted for Mode 1 graphics rather than Mode 0, but this isn’t a negative. The graphics are detailed and feature a nice variety of locations. It might be an idea to supervise younger players because of the occasional graphic image, though. The game is viewed as if reading from a book, which is original, and the game features a nice intro sequence complete with lightning, good music and a really well rendered skull, so the presentation is top notch. Navigating the environment is easy. As ever, the combining of verbs and nouns is used to interact and progress, but the process is less laborious than in Le Pacte. Make sure to play the disc version as it offers the best experience (a full intro sequence and a larger game).

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Screenshot of Phantis Legacy

Phantis Legacy

(Kukulcan, 2017)

You are on the planet of Phantis, and you must manoeuvre your vehicle around twenty levels and capture flags in order to save the planet. Each level consists of a single screen, and you have to place tiles which command your vehicle to do something, such as changing the direction of movement, firing bullets, or activating its shield temporarily. You have a limited amount of fuel with which to reach the flag, and you must also dodge hazards such as water, walls, missiles and turrets. The graphics are colourful, but the music is not really to my liking, although it can be turned off. The game was an entrant in the 2017 #CPCRetroDev Game Creation Contest, which awarded bonus points to games that included a reference to Dinamic’s game Phantis – and this game certainly does. It ultimately finished in eighth place, but in my opinion, it deserved to finish higher than that.

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