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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Screenshot of Phantom Club

Phantom Club

(Ocean, 1988)

The Phantom Club’s members are all superheroes – but they weren’t super enough to resist the evil influence of their overlord Zarg. Plutus is the sole remaining good member, and you play him in this game as he tries to defeat Zarg and his minions. Starting at the rank of Zelator, Plutus must explore the Phantom Club building, which consists of more than 550 rooms. To move up a rank, you must complete the mission associated with it – but to do that, you must find the right movie screen and collect 40,000 points, which is achieved by shooting globes, or psychic balls as they’re also known. The action is viewed from an isometric viewpoint, although many of the colour schemes are horrendous. The balls are difficult to find, and there are so many rooms that the game quickly becomes rather boring.

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Screenshot of Phantomas 2.0

Phantomas 2.0

(Pakete Soft, 2019)

The android Phantomas is on a mission to destroy Count Dracula and rid the land of his malign influence. You must explore his castle and find the three items – a cross, a stake and a hammer – that must be used in order to slay him. You will also need to open six windows within the castle, to let sunlight enter and weaken the Count. Various other objects can also be collected, which will ultimately enable you to gain access to other areas of the castle. This is a remake of the Dinamic game Phantomas 2, which Code Masters also published as Vampire, and it’s a worthy effort. It features music (which was lacking in the original game), much better and more colourful graphics, and a slightly different control method that makes jumping more intuitive. One thing that hasn’t changed is that it’s still just as difficult to complete as the original game!

See also: Vampire.

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Screenshot of Phantomas Saga: Infinity

Phantomas Saga: Infinity

(CEZ Games Studio, 2006)

Reviewed by Missas

In this colourful arcade adventure, you control Phantomas, a cartoon-styled character who is a burglar! Unfortunately, his latest break-in doesn’t go as planned and he finds himself trapped. Now it’s your job to guide him to freedom! The graphics are very well drawn and are colourful, happy and detailed. The sound is very nice too; there are both effects and a cheerful tune. The gameplay is fast-paced, but the controls do not help a lot because the jumps are often difficult to execute with accuracy and the player’s energy is easily depleted. Besides that, there are some dead ends, and when you walk into them you are 100% dead. As a result, the player may become frustrated. However, because the game itself is well designed, the grab factor does not suffer, and it is probable that most players will insist on completing it. In general, although there are some drawbacks, this game is worth playing and completing.

See also: Phantomas Tales #1: Marsport.

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Screenshot of Phantomas Tales #1: Marsport

Phantomas Tales #1: Marsport

(The Mojon Twins, 2009)

Reviewed by Missas

Phantomas returns in a new arcade adventure game. This time his quest will be much more dangerous; it is a much bigger game than the first one. The graphics are more colourful compared to Phantomas Saga: Infinity and overall, they are very nice and detailed. The loading screen is wonderful. The sound is also improved, both in terms of effects and in-game music. However, the greatest improvement is in the controls. Phantomas now jumps with accuracy. This boosts the gameplay and grab factor, since inaccurate jumping was the major drawback of the first game. As a whole, this is a game worth exploring and completing. It would be very nice if Phantomas’ adventures continue on the CPC!

See also: Phantomas Saga: Infinity.

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Screenshot of Pharaon

Pharaon

(Loriciels, 1987)

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

You are an eminent professor of archaeology at Washington University who has just discovered the secret of Acktheon, an ancient Egyptian god. You travel to Cairo in order to retrieve the formula for antimatter. However, a Bulgarian colleague, Yvan Skival, is also searching for the formula and is extremely determined to find it before you do... This is a French text adventure containing many rather nice digitised pictures. Commands can either be entered using the keyboard or selecting an icon with the cursor keys. There are also a couple of arcade-based sub-games that you can play, which adds a little variety to the game. Overall, it’s fairly good and not too difficult, although a lot of the objects that you can use are hard to spot in the pictures, and being killed randomly by Yvan is annoying.

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Screenshot of Phileas Fogg’s Balloon Battles

Phileas Fogg’s Balloon Battles

(Zeppelin Games, 1991)

Phileas Fogg has volunteered to undertake a dangerous mission and enter a battlefield in his hot air balloon. While flying above the battlefield, you must drop bombs on the cannons, shacks and towns. However, your supply of bombs is limited, as is your supply of hydrogen gas and sandbags which are used to control the balloon’s height – but if you can find a shack belonging to the allies, you can replenish your supplies. The main problem with this game is that your control of the balloon is severely limited; you have to let the balloon go in the direction the wind is blowing. There is also little variety in the scenery and the gameplay. Both of these flaws make the game quite dull and not something you’ll play for very long.

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Screenshot of PHM Pegasus

PHM Pegasus

(Electronic Arts, 1988)

Reviewed by Robert Small

There’s such a wide variety of games on the CPC that allow you to control all sorts of military hardware. This game is original because you get to command a hydrofoil for the most part. Like a lot of other games available at the time, it’s more of an arcade game masquerading as an all-out simulation. It’s a good thing because when you actually get down to playing it, the game is accessible. There are eight missions, including training, and the missions themselves offer the odd bit of variety. Sometimes there’s a bit of waiting around for things to get started, but the ability to speed up time is useful for the impatient players among us. The graphics are in Mode 0 and move fairly nicely with clear instruments, and they are accompanied by OK sound effects. If you’re looking for something different to command from your usual tanks, planes, etc., then this is recommended.

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Screenshot of Phoenix
Screenshot taken from Mode 0 version of game

Phoenix

(Norbert Kehrer, 2016)

The arcade game from 1980 is recreated fairly faithfully on the CPC. The first two levels play very similarly to Galaxian; you must destroy a wave of spaceships which fire missiles and divebomb towards you. In the third and fourth levels, you must blast a wave of fast-moving alien birds. The fifth and final level is a battle with a huge alien mothership, where you must fire at the underside of the ship and attempt to penetrate the cockpit in order to destroy the entire ship. Phoenix was one of the first games to introduce a ‘boss’ to be defeated, and this is a good conversion. Although there is no music or background graphics, it’s enjoyable to play and a good choice if you’re looking for a quick blast, and there is also the option to play with either Mode 0 graphics (colourful but blocky) or Mode 1 graphics (less colourful but more authentic).

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