(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.
(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).
(Ubi Soft, 1990)
Pick balls of the same colour and pile them on top of each other to blow them up! You have to remove all of the balls on each level within the time limit. Extra points can be gained by using the multipliers and points blocks, and you get enough in one go, you’ll get a gem, and once you’ve built up a bit of a collection, you’ll get a huge bonus. Watch out for the monsters, though, who will eat away at your time limit if they touch the floor! It’s easy on the first few levels, but later on, it becomes pretty difficult. With excellent graphics and a bouncy theme tune, this game is one of my favourites.
Reviewed by Robert Small
There are a good few board game adaptations available on the CPC, such as Scrabble, Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit. Domark did a good job with Trivial Pursuit, so hopes are reasonably high for Pictionary, the famous drawing game. The game is in high-resolution Mode 1, which is disappointing at first, but you can see why it was chosen. No pen and paper are needed here as we are supplied with an art package of sorts, and it’s quite a nifty little one at that. The only problem is that the immediacy of the pen and paper part of the board game isn’t there. Quick scribblings are replaced with remembering how to get the art package to draw what you want and then being quite jealous of the computer’s efforts. Trying and failing to turn words into pictures with friends or the computer is always going to be fun, but it’s better to go the old school route with this one and play the low-tech original.
(BG Games, 2019)
Reviewed by Missas
BG Games rewrites the history of 8-bit hardware power by unleashing this extraordinary, astonishing pinball game. Beginning with the graphics, they are really close to the Amiga version. The colours are bright, the resolution is at its best, and the tables are inspiringly drawn. The physics of the ball motion is excellent, while the frame rate is very high. The animation is excellent too. The sound is really cool with effects and music when the action gets heated! The gameplay is nothing less than perfect; it is like being in front of an actual pinball machine. The grab factor is simply addictive! Overall, a blast from the BG Games team who kept their promise to show us the strength of the CPC!
Pinball seems to be more a matter of luck than skill for me, and the same is true of this game. There are twelve tables, and to complete a table, you must light up all the letters and then aim the ball at the exit hole. It’s a pretty good simulation; the ball whizzes and zooms almost too fast for you to follow it! Unfortunately, the normal CPC version, while possessing some very detailed and well drawn graphics, is much too difficult for me; although the first screen is easy enough, the second screen is ridiculously tough to complete. The cartridge version has musical effects, is much more colourful and makes use of the Plus’ extra facilities, and it’s a bit easier than the normal CPC version as well. Not surprisingly, I think the cartridge version is the better one.
(CP Software, 1985)
Reviewed by Pug
Pinball Wizard is a conversion of the original ZX Spectrum 16K title. Before the game begins, you’re asked to choose a speed setting from 1 to 5. The gameplay delivers an acceptable challenge which includes all of the usual hazards and bonuses. The controls respond well too, with a smoothly moving ball in play at all times. Graphically, it’s a port, so the visuals pretty much match those of the original (with more than four colours used). Some dated sound effects work well and complete a game that’s worth a few goes.
Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard
Since the famous Pong, in the earlier days of video game history, few attempts were made to adapt this sport on our favourite computer. And then came this excellent game. Well, the graphics are rather poor (the crowd is ridiculous) and the sound effects are extremely irritating, but the gameplay is excellent. You begin at level 0 and each victory makes the game harder (at least until level 5). You must reach 11 points to win, which is a little too short (21-point matches would have been more interesting). Don’t expect much realism – you only have three or four different ways to hit the ball – but it is fast and extremely fun to play.
Reviewed by Missas
Pingu Soccer is an unusual game where two penguins try to score goals on a frozen ice rink! It is without doubt an original idea. The game features practice, tournament and multi-player modes. You will definitely need to practice before beginning the tournament because the artificial intelligence of the computer opponents is unusually capable and the computer will demean you! The graphics are basic and could be better. Nevertheless, the frame rate is fast and smooth. A tune plays throughout the game without any additional effects. The gameplay is highly challenging and interesting. Your computer opponents will let no opportunities go to waste, and they employ many different strategies. The two-player mode is very entertaining! Overall, an original and engaging idea.
(Magic Bytes, 1988)
Reviewed by Robert Small
The main thing this game gets right is the graphics. If the Pink Panther was going to appear on the CPC then Mode 0 would have to be used and that’s what’s been done. Pink is instantly recognisable. On the music front it’s a shame the theme tune isn’t there, but what music is included suits the game. The Pink Panther is in need of a job, so he takes on a role as a butler – but this is only a scheme to steal from his wealthy clients who end up being sleepwalkers! You guide the Pink Panther around mansions taking loot, but you also need to ensure that your client doesn’t wake, by placing items and guiding them away from accidents. It’s a nice idea and feels ahead of its time but it’s ruined by awkward controls.