(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.
Reviewed by Piero Serra
Pool is an early sports simulation game for the CPC. Like its bigger brother Steve Davis Snooker, which came from the same programmer and publisher (hence why this game is often erroneously titled Steve Davis Pool), there are limited options and no computer opponent, so you can either play against a friend or yourself. You position a pointer, which crawls painfully across the table, to line up your shot and then select how much power and spin you want to impart before striking the ball. The graphics are basic and blocky but the ball physics seem to be fairly realistic. There is a horrible beeping noise as you move the pointer, but this can be turned off. It’s actually not a bad little pool game, but play is unfortunately impeded by the slow pointer movement.
See also: Steve Davis Snooker.
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.
(Alternative Software, 1992)
Popeye has been chosen to represent Earth in the 7th Intergalactic Olympiad, and he’s taking part in a wrestling contest against five of the best wrestlers from across the galaxy. A lot of joystick (or keyboard) waggling is required here; when the two of you lock into battle with each other, you must waggle as much as you can to slam your opponent down to the floor and reduce his energy. When you’ve reduced it enough, you have to try to pin him down for four seconds. This was an attempt to cash in on the wrestling craze of the early 1990s, and younger players will like the colourful graphics (I think the aliens are cute as well!). Everyone else might well find it too easy, and I managed to complete it on my second go.
(Alternative Software, 1988)
Hooray! It’s Postman Pat and his black and white cat! You get to drive around the twisty lanes of Greendale and deliver letters and parcels to the village folk – but Pat has to do more than that. Along the way, you’ll have to get Miss Hubbard’s prescription and round up Peter Fogg’s sheep. It’s a tough life being a postman! This game has ‘cute’ written all over it. It’s wonderful, albeit rather easy. The graphics are bright and jolly, and you have to play the game just to listen to the excellently rendered theme tune.
(Alternative Software, 1989)
Pat’s van has broken down so he has to deliver his letters on foot. He’s going to need some refreshment along the way, though, so you must make sure Pat doesn’t run out of tea. He can get more tea by performing errands for the local people of Greendale and finding things they’ve lost. Some things may be broken, though, so you’ll have to find Ted the farmer to fix it. Watch out for the birds who might steal your letters! It’s unfortunate, then, that this game is nowhere near as good as the original. The theme tune is only played once, right at the start of the game, there are few sound effects, and the dull, monochrome graphics give the impression that it’s going to rain at any time.
(Alternative Software, 1992)
In the last of the Postman Pat series of games, Pat takes to his van again to deliver some letters. Mind you, he’s got to dodge all those roadworks, not to mention reckless nutters driving at 60mph and on the wrong side of the road. You’ll also need to stop at the garage on each level to fill up the van with petrol. On the easy mode, all the hazards are in the same place and it’s just a question of memorising when they occur. On the hard mode, things become more taxing. The graphics are colourful, but the tune isn’t up to the same standard as the one in the original Postman Pat, and since the game moves at a rather slow pace, it’s likely that interest will soon wane.
Reviewed by Missas
In this arcade adventure, you must take Amy to rescue her favorite pet potato. Now Amy must move quickly to save him from becoming lunch! The game features fast-paced gameplay, with vivid colours, nicely drawn graphics and very interestingly designed screens. It somehow resembles Zelda for the NES. Music plays throughout the game, changing as you progress. There are also sound effects. The collision detection is great. The sprites are also very well designed. Overall, it is a remarkable yet small game. If it was bigger I would give it a straight ten out of ten.