(The Mojon Twins, 2009)
Mari Stormbringer is a bored supermarket cashier. She grabs a packet of n&n sweets, not realising that they are contaminated, and she is transported to another world. Can you help her return to the real world? Behind the surreal story is a cute and very colourful, albeit rather linear, platform game. You start the game with 20 lives, but you will need all of them, as it’s a rather difficult game. The graphics are bright and cheerful, and background images are used on each screen to great effect, and it will take you many attempts to reach the final screen.
Reviewed by Chris Lennard
The first casualty of war is innocence – or perhaps it’s being forced to play this. Engage the Viet Cong in this supposed adaptation of the movie to which it bears little resemblance. The most part of the game involves having your soldier wandering around the deadly labyrinth that constitutes the Vietnamese jungle, collecting objects in order to complete your mission. From all corners of the screen you are almost constantly assailed by enemy troops that appear from nowhere, or alternatively you are suffering at the hands of nearly invisible snipers and troops. The 3D sections in the underground tunnels are more impressive, but are frankly not worth getting to in a game that is ultimately frustrating, annoying and extremely difficult.
(Britannia Software, 1986)
The late Sir Bruce Forsyth hosted a popular TV game show in the 1980s, but this computer adaptation of it doesn’t do it justice at all. You and a computer or a friend take it in turns to guess the percentage of a certain group of people who said yes or no as to what they would do in a particular situation, then you turn over playing cards one at a time, guessing whether the next one will be higher or lower; if you successfully turn over five cards, you score a point. The first player to score two points goes on to the final round where you can gamble to earn more points – although unlike the TV show, you don’t win any prizes, and you don’t hear the crowd shouting “Higher!” or “Lower!” at you all the time. Playing this game is entirely a matter of luck instead of skill and it quickly becomes boring.
- Knowledge of French is required in order to play this game properly.
A selection of seven games is offered here – morpion (try to place five counters in a row on a grid before the computer does), Hold-Up (find eight gold bars hidden in a grid in as few moves as possible), poker, poker patience (place playing cards on a 5×5 grid and try to obtain as many winning combinations of cards as possible), Awari (a board game played against the computer in which you try to collect as many counters as possible), Jackpot (a fruit machine), and Master Mind (the classic code-breaking game). All of them are written in BASIC, and they’re the sort of games you would find published as listings in magazines in the 1980s. Despite the poor presentation in some of the games, it’s not a bad collection overall (with the exception of Jackpot), and most of them will provide an interesting diversion.
In 1605, Guy Fawkes tried and failed to blow up the Houses of Parliament. This is your chance to rewrite history and succeed where Guy failed – or else you’ll be hung at dawn! You have to search the Houses of Parliament for sticks of dynamite and other objects, but you’ll also need the dynamite for blowing up the bats and other creatures that fly about. The graphics aren’t bad, but the music is irritating (although it can be switched off), and entering doors and climbing ladders is very awkward; it took me ages to work out how to do it.
Here’s a cute puzzle game which was only released on cartridge. On each level, you have to clear a pile of blocks from the screen by matching blocks together. You control an egg-like creature that can only move vertically and which can be positioned to allow the block to bounce off the walls of the screen, and hit the appropriate blocks in the pile. It’s not easy to explain the rules, but if you have a few goes, you’ll learn them quickly. You don’t have to clear all the blocks, though; when you’ve cleared enough, you can qualify for the next level. The game exploits the extra graphical facilities of the Plus machines, the music is really good as well, and there’s also a two-player option which allows both players to play simultaneously.
A gold mine is being threatened by landslides because the handle that turns off the piledrivers has broken – but the only way you can obtain one is to cast it from the gold that the mine is producing. The building next to the mine consists of five rooms which can be reached using the lifts. The problem is working out exactly what it is that you are supposed to do! The instructions that come with the game are brief and very unhelpful. Actually, I’m not entirely sure if there is a game in here. I certainly can’t be bothered to waste time trying to find out where and what it is.
Reviewed by Javier Sáez
A mysterious and terrible ‘Dark Power’ is the leading force of the aliens that have invaded the planet Siros. You’ve called for help but, by the time reinforcements arrive, it’ll be too late. Your task is to activate a huge power generator to destroy the power that literally erases the screens of the game as you play. To do this you control a huge robot, but you can also leave the robot in a spacecraft when necessary and even fight your way on foot in very narrow places. Despite it sounding quite interesting, this game isn’t that funny. There are too many objects to collect, the time limit is too strict and your character is quite a good pilot, but just an average trooper. By the way, there is a nice intro sequence at the beginning of the game.
You’ve just got to laugh at such a ridiculous concept! The Pogostick Olympics consists of five events – balloon popping (in an Olympics!), hurdles, triple jump, target shooting, and the obstacle course – which you must complete while bouncing on your pogostick. You have three attempts at each to score some points, otherwise the game is over. They’re all pretty easy, though, and I completed the game on my first go! Once you do that, all you can do is try to beat your previous score, which is pretty boring. The graphics are superb and very colourful, and the music is good, too, but they don’t deserve to be used on a mediocre game like this.
(Opera Sport, 1990)
Reviewed by Robert Small
Poli Díaz is a famous Spanish boxer and the game that carries his name is quite decent. There is a great rendition of the Rocky theme song to start with. The action in the ring is isometric with some great details including judges, a referee, a ring girl who holds up a card displaying the number of the next round, and a bell to signal the start and end of rounds. You start off sparring and then progress through various title shots. Both attack and defence are key to success. It’s good fun in two-player mode, though some training mini-games would have been good.