Screenshot of Popeye 2

Popeye 2

(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.

See also: Popeye, Popeye 3: Wrestle Crazy.

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Screenshot of Popeye 3: Wrestle Crazy

Popeye 3: Wrestle Crazy

(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.

See also: Popeye, Popeye 2.

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Screenshot of Postman Pat

Postman Pat

(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.

See also: Postman Pat 2, Postman Pat 3: To the Rescue!.

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Screenshot of Postman Pat 2

Postman Pat 2

(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.

See also: Postman Pat, Postman Pat 3: To the Rescue!.

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Screenshot of Postman Pat 3: To the Rescue!

Postman Pat 3: To the Rescue!

(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.

See also: Postman Pat, Postman Pat 2.

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Screenshot of Potato Rescue

Potato Rescue

(EgoTrip, 2013)

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.

See also: Chaos Rising, Concave, Ice Slider, Jewel Warehouse, A Prelude to Chaos.

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Screenshot of Potsworth and Co.

Potsworth and Co.

(Hi-Tec Software, 1992)

When they are asleep, Potsworth the dog and his friends – Rosie, Nick, Carter and Keiko – become the Midnight Patrol and enter a dream world, but to stay there, the Grand Dozer must be asleep, and the Nightmare Prince is trying to wake him. The gang must find objects on each of the five levels and stop the Nightmare Prince. You control one of the characters on each level, and each character has different powers. As well as collecting objects, you also have to activate lifts by pushing heavy objects on to the appropriate buttons. The graphics are cute and colourful, and the music on the menu is a joy to listen to. Unfortunately the levels are very big and take a long time to complete, which makes the game rather tedious to play.

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Screenshot of Power Drift

Power Drift

(Activision, 1989)

Reviewed by Chris Lennard

Choose from twelve wacky drivers, and rev through some stomach-churning circuits. Watch the dust fly and the wheels spin as you screech over a rollercoaster track and wave goodbye to your opponents. Roar over mounds of mud, drive through the desert, slip and slide on snow-covered tarmac and race your way through the night to face the final lap and take the chequered flag. Your choice of driver affects your sprite’s look and a nice display shows your position by shifting the characters’ portraits. It possesses nice, colourful sprites, pretty backgrounds, and some detailed scrolling landscapes and competent gameplay to boot; the tracks become exponentially trickier while you dodge your opponents. A better conversion than Sega’s more famous Out Run.

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Screenshot of Power Magic

Power Magic

(Zigurat, 1990)

Nimiane, the treacherous lady of the lake, has captured Merlin the magician. You play his son Gareth, and you must cross plains and forests to reach your father and rescue him. However, Nimiane has sent various warriors and demons that you must fight. As well as using your fists or a sword, you also have five types of offensive spell at your disposal which are more powerful than using physical weapons. If you lose all your energy, it may also be possible to resurrect yourself, if you have sufficient magic remaining. The graphics are very colourful and the sprites are huge – but the disadvantage is that the game moves quite slowly. It also doesn’t help that the controls can be unresponsive and awkward, especially when you’re trying to select a spell when there’s a lot of action on the screen.

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Screenshot of Powerplay: The Game of the Gods

This is a mixture of a board game and a quiz game for between two and four players; unfortunately, the computer can’t control any of them. Each player has four men, and they move them around the board and answer questions; which category depends on the colours of the tiles. If a man can answer enough questions correctly, he mutates into a monster and becomes more powerful, which is useful when you move on to the same tile as an opponent and challenge him. If you succeed, your opponent will lose some of his power, or disappear altogether! The aim is to eliminate all four of your opponent’s men. The graphics are absolutely wonderful, although a game can go on for a really long time. There are four banks of questions, and you can also create your own if you wish. (The answer to the question in the screenshot is “November”, by the way.)

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