(Zeppelin Games, 1991)
After F1 Tornado comes another shoot-’em-up from Zeppelin Games which sees you in a different type of fighter plane. In addition to firing bullets, you can now drop bombs on tanks and other targets on the ground. There are the usual formations of enemy jets and end-of-level planes to shoot and destroy, but in this game, there are also some medium-sized helicopters and planes which you can shoot in order to collect a power-up to give you extra firepower. The difficulty level has also been increased. The graphics remain excellent and colourful, and there are now some pieces of music at the start of each level. There are still only four of them, though, but it’s a challenge to reach the fourth and final one.
See also: F1 Tornado.
Tell me – did anyone ever understand how to play this stupid game? I’ve never been able to fathom it. You’re an aspiring acolyte who wishes to travel through the paths of the Tree of Life and achieve true enlightenment. Erm, OK. You’re supposed to collect ten spheres, and to do that, you have to collect some objects too. However, they’re all hidden from view, and after spending a while walking around in a vain attempt to find them, I (and everyone else who played the game) gave up. The graphics are reasonable, and indeed, it only deserves marks because of the little 15-second tune that plays continuously on the menu – I could listen to it for ages.
Reviewed by John Beckett
In this game, you play a duck, and must make your way across a tiled floor, avoiding cooking pots and moving bad guys, and collect treasure (for points) and ‘terraductile’ eggs. Collect enough eggs to progress to the next level. It’s all very simple stuff, but it’s actually quite addictive and fun, and gets quite hectic on later levels as the bad guys (the usual wacky type – things like giant burgers, prawns and noses) get faster and faster, and the fact that the tiles disappear as you step on them adds a bit of strategy to the proceedings. This is a very old game, so the sound and graphics aren’t too good (though there is some nice use of colours), but nevertheless this is a fun, simple, undemanding game.
Go quad biking across the desert. This is, as usual, a race against the clock, and you must reach the next checkpoint before your time runs out. The track is strewn with hazards such as boulders, cacti and skulls, that will make your quad bike fly into the air or crash. For some reason, there are also helicopters which fire missiles at you, and they’re impossible to avoid. Your fuel also needs to be topped up at times, or you’ll be forced to drive very slowly. The graphics and animation are fairly good, even if the scrolling is a bit jerky, but the controls are very sensitive and it’s difficult to go around corners. You’ll also find yourself crashing a lot, and even though you get extra lives regularly, making any progress is tricky.
Puzzle games – you either love them or hate them, and if you hate them, this is not going to make you change your mind! It’s a curious type of board game based on the four colour theorem, which states that any map can be filled in using only four colours, without any two adjacent areas having the same colour. In this game, the ‘maps’ are boards made up of squares and rectangles, and you have to paint them using the principles of the four colour theorem. If this sounds confusing, just try playing the game and it will make sense. There are fifteen boards to colour in, and you can play in a variety of ways, either on your own or against the computer. Unfortunately, the computer is very hard to beat, even on the easy difficulty level, but it’s a well presented game, and the music is good as well.
A space colony has been overrun by terrorists. Who are you going to call? The Quartet! Lee, Joe, Mary and Edgar are the four members of the Quartet, and each one has their own special ability, although it seems to make little difference which one you choose. This is a platform game consisting of one hundred levels, but frankly, there’s almost no incentive to make you want to play that far. The graphics and sound effects are poor, the scrolling is jerky, and there is no variety in the gameplay at all. You also get so much energy that completing each level is really unchallenging, and the end-of-level monsters are all the same. This is definitely not a game that I recommend!
Having been knocked down by a Sinclair C5, you die and end up in heaven to meet God. One of His servants has stolen His Golden Eggcup, and He has reincarnated you so that you can return to Earth, recover the eggcup, and bring it back to Him. Right from the beginning of this quirky but endearing text adventure, you know that your quest is going to be full of humour and strange goings-on. There are a lot of objects to be collected, but in a very clever twist, you may discover that many of the objects which appear to be useless do in fact have a use. It is also very surprising how so many pictures have been crammed into the game! Veteran adventure players will find this game to be too easy for their tastes, but I thoroughly recommend it to less experienced adventurers.
(Leisure Genius, 1987)
Your morals are tested in this computer version of the board game. The players take it in turns to ask someone else what they would do in certain situations, and they have to answer “yes”, “no” or “depends”. If their answer doesn’t match the answer card that the player owns, that player gets a new question card. However, the other players can make a challenge if they thought the player answering the question was untruthful... The first player to get rid of all his/her question cards wins. It’s not easy to explain the rules in such a short space, but you should get the hang of it after a few goes. Unfortunately, playing against the computer isn’t as exciting as playing the actual board game with your friends.
Unsurprisingly, this is a quiz game where all the questions are about sport, and it’s based on the long-running BBC TV series of the same name. There are six rounds of a varying nature, including “What happened next?”, which is quite interesting. Each of the two teams takes turns to answer questions, and if a team doesn’t get the answer right, the other team may answer it correctly for a bonus point. There are usually six questions in each round, with one for each member of the two teams. There are some nice digitised pictures of sports stars, and some music as well, but you can’t change the skill level of the computer, and unless you’re a big fan of sport in general (and I’m not), this game won’t be of interest to you.
(Cascade Games, 1986)
The daughter of the Nawab is being held prisoner in the Catacombs of Garr, and you must explore the catacombs and find a key that will free her so that your kingdom may be saved. You have a magic carpet that enables you to fly around the catacombs. There are many objects to be found; some of them are used to open locked doors, while others can be used to defeat enemies. This arcade adventure is poor. The graphics are nothing special and the sound effects are fairly basic. The worst aspect is that controlling your character is awkward. You can’t hover above the ground; instead you will drift to the left or right, which makes trying to avoid certain enemies infuriatingly difficult – and a lot of them will kill you instantly on contact.