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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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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