(Easter Egg, 2012)
Reviewed by Missas
Easter Egg writes its letters with gold on the CPC scene, delivering this outstanding remake of one of the most legendary shoot-’em-ups of the 1980s. The game is not just an enhancement of the previous Spectrum port, but a brand new game. The game starts with a fantastic cinematographic introduction along with an atmospheric tune. The graphics are fantastic, with precise colour selection, excellent sprite design and effects, while the scrolling is very good. Everything moves smoothly and fast. There are plenty of sound effects and the music changes from level to level. The gameplay is fast-paced and the game is challenging. Collision detection has also improved. The grab factor is very high. Overall, a state of the art CPC experience.
See also: R-Type (Electric Dreams).
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: jgonza, Metr81, Novabug, Xyphoe, ZEUSDAZ (gameplay with commentary), ZEUSDAZ (longplay).
(Electric Dreams, 1988)
Reviewed by Chris Lennard
Lead mankind’s fight against the evil Bydo Empire in this conversion of the greatest side-scrolling shoot-’em-up of all time from Irem Corporation. Fly the elite R-9 fighter destroying all manner of weird alien creatures using the variety of power-ups available at your disposal, including the all-important special weapon – The Force. Often imitated, R-Type redefined the genre when it was released with its faultless gameplay. Sadly, this is probably the worst conversion of all, as the graphics are clearly ported from the Spectrum and there’s no sound to speak of.
See also: R-Type (Easter Egg).
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: ChinnyVision, jgonza, Novabug (gameplay), Novabug (longplay).
Race your high-speed sports car along six long tracks and reach the finish before the clock runs out. The track is full of obstacles, and although there are arrows to tell you which direction to go, you’ll still need quick reflexes, and memorising the course is essential if you want to reach the later tracks, as the time limit is quite tight. You can also use some turbo boost to increase your speed, although your supply is limited on each track. The graphics are OK, although the backgrounds can be garish, and the chequered background on the third track is sore on the eyes. The music is mediocre as well. Despite this, it’s not a bad game, although it is lacking in originality.
The Race Against Time
(Code Masters, 1988)
Released to coincide with the Sport Aid ’88 charity event, this arcade adventure sees you controlling Sudanese athlete Omer Khalifa and attempting to light six cauldrons and raise six flags in each of the world’s continents. Once this is achieved, you must go to the United Nations building to light the final flame. You really are in a race against time, as the clock is ticking constantly, and if your time runs out, the game ends. You will need to find objects to pass some obstacles, and you must also avoid getting wet! This is a reasonably good game with well drawn graphics, and it also includes a rendition of Peter Gabriel’s Games Without Frontiers. However, it’s too easy to die accidentally, and the inclusion of a few ‘mazes’ with a mass of interlinked exits can make it a rather frustrating game to play.
Rad Ramp Racer
This was one of many games to be released at a time when both BMX riding and skateboarding were popular, but this combines both activities. You can either play against the computer or a friend as you perform stunts on three courses and attempt to score as many points as you can within two minutes. And, erm, that’s it. Actually, it isn’t – there’s a course designer included as well, but it’s really awkward to use. You’ll see all of the game within ten minutes, but at least there’s some brilliant high-energy music to listen to as a bonus.
There are plenty of horizontally scrolling space shoot-’em-ups around, and this is not one of the better ones. Pilot your spacecraft through moons, rocks and space dust to reach the other side of the galaxy, shooting and dodging the waves of aliens on your way. There’s little to be said about the graphics and the sound effects, but three things let this game down; the slow scrolling, the ineffectiveness of your laser (which means that there’s less shooting and more dodging) and the total lack of power-ups to make things a bit more interesting.
Some time ago, a nuclear reactor on a colony on another planet exploded and contaminated the entire landscape with radioactive material. You have been sent to clear the mess and turn each sector into a ‘safe zone’ by collecting tokens. This game features some very odd mutated creatures and a wide variety of puzzles, as most of the tokens are in fairly inaccessible places on each sector. Despite the nice graphics and some stonking music, the game is difficult and the character you control can be quite awkward to get him to do what you want.
Show your talent as a matador as you chase Alfonso the bull around the ring, then coax him towards you by waving your red cloak. Then, when he’s close, pull the cloak away. If you manage to do this enough times without being gored by Alfonso, a loop will be thrown into the ring, which you have to place around the bull’s neck. If you do this, you then repeat the exercise, but Alfonso will be angrier. This game certainly got me into a rage. The controls are extremely unresponsive and getting the matador to move in the direction you want is annoying. There’s hardly any variety in the game, either; you just perform the same moves over and over again.
(US Gold, 1985)
Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard
The Soviets have launched several nuclear missiles, aimed at major US cities. As Squadron Commander of the US Defense Space Station, your goal is to reach and destroy the launch sites, then infiltrate and sabotage the Soviet Defense Center. This early wargame features average sound and graphics but several different action scenes. As in Beach-Head, you mustn’t lose too many lives in the first mission or your chances of completing the game will fade away. The game is rather difficult, even on the easiest level. The first screen, in which you have to take the planes off the space station, is really frustrating and will cost you many lives. However, the following missions are great.
Raid sur Ténéré
(Coktel Vision, 1985)
- Knowledge of French is required in order to play this game properly.
You are taking part in a rally across the African desert, but first you’ll need to obtain money. You must select three sponsors and answer various questions, most of which require some quick mental arithmetic. If you obtain enough money, you must then buy a vehicle, fuel and supplies to keep you going. Once you’re off, you drive across the desert, steering your vehicle left and right to dodge the obstacles and stopping every so often to rest. During the journey, random events can occur which will delay you or cost you money – and be careful not to wander too far off course! The game is written in BASIC and it really shows. The graphics and overall presentation are ugly, the driving section is very slow and dull, and the questions the sponsors pose at the beginning of the game are very difficult indeed, making it all the harder to buy a decent vehicle.