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.
(Opera Soft, 1991)
Remember Roland in the Caves, where you controlled a flea and had to escape from the cave and avoid the pterodactyl? Did anyone actually manage to reach the exit of the first cave? This is effectively the same game, except that the graphics are much better, and you can score bonus points by eating flies. As well as the pterodactyl, you must also avoid becoming entangled in spider’s webs! So is it a good game? Absolutely not! Although it’s a bit easier to judge the power of your jumps correct, it is extremely frustrating; the pterodactyl seems to have some sort of homing instinct for the flea. Mind you, the loading screen is gorgeous.
See also: Roland in the Caves.
There is quite a story behind this game, at least on the CPC. In 1989, Loriciels released an excellent game called Bumpy. They then handed over the game to Infogrames to convert it to 16-bit machines, which they did, under the name of Pop Up. What Loriciels were not expecting was Infogrames re-releasing the game for the CPC as well! So what are the differences between Bumpy and Pop Up, then? As far as I can tell, the loading screen has changed, and the graphics are also different, with nice background pictures and themes which change every five levels – but the music, sound effects, and gameplay are exactly the same. I’ll still give the game a high mark because it is very enjoyable, but one has to question why Infogrames chose to re-release it for the CPC at all.
See also: Bumpy.
(Macmillan Software, 1986)
The macho Bluto is wooing Olive Oyl again, and to win her back, Popeye has to collect 25 hearts and return them to her. Some of them are in difficult places, though, and to get to them, you’ll need to find the right keys. You also have to avoid straying into Bluto’s path, and there are large numbers of monsters to watch out for, including a giant fly, an exotic bird, a shark and a witch. This game really is strange, as are many of the locations! You’ll need to keep some spinach handy as well. The chunky graphics will appeal to youngsters, but older people might well tire of the slowness of the game.
(Alternative Software, 1990)
Bluto has kidnapped Olive Oyl, and Popeye has to rescue her. No hearts need to be collected this time; the objective here is merely to reach the top of each level and beat up Bluto while eating those cans of spinach for which Popeye is famous. However, this is much easier said than done. Getting Popeye to climb ladders is awkward, and so is jumping across gaps. Barrels and flames also seem to appear without warning, making Popeye lose one of his three lives, and there’s the added problem of bombs, which also have to be defused within a few seconds before they explode. There’s a good rendition of the theme tune, but the graphics are badly drawn and very blocky, and the game is ridiculously difficult and frustrating.