Roland’s latest adventure sees him journeying through various time zones to collect some crystals, taking him right through from the Egyptian era to well into the future. There are a total of ten time zones to visit, and you can warp to any of them, in any order, in your phone box (I wonder where that idea was borrowed from?). The two tunes used in the game are terrible and the graphics are abysmal, and the game is much too difficult, even with ten lives.
An intrepid adventurer named Roland – or Fred if you’re playing the original Spanish release of this game – is exploring some dungeons in Egypt, and he has to acquire as much treasure as he can, head towards the top of the dungeon, find the exit, and escape. On the first level, your main enemies are ghosts and rats, but later on, you’ll encounter mummies and bats, and if you somehow manage to reach the fourth level, skeletons. However, there is no map available to you, so you may well find a lot of dead ends. It’s one of the earliest games for the CPC, but it is fondly remembered by many people, mainly because it was included with many CPC464 machines in the United Kingdom, and it was one of the few good games that you received with it! To this day, it still retains all of its simplistic charm, although it’s a bit difficult.
Reviewed by John Beckett
Roland is one of gaming’s oldest mascots and yet has never achieved the levels of fame of other veteran mascots such as Pac-Man or Frogger. Why? Well, games like this can’t have helped his cause! In my opinion, the worst of all the Roland games, this one-screen affair works a bit like Frogger in reverse, in that you have to jump from a train at the top of the screen on to the back of two lanes of passing trucks, before jumping into your hideout at the bottom. And the game’s about as interesting as that concept sounds. Somehow losing any of the magic that Frogger had, it’s unbelievably boring, and has sound effects that make white noise sound like a beautiful melody. All I can say in its favour is that its one screen is very colourful.
An entertaining little game where you control a ball and have to wipe markers off coloured tiles by rolling over them. Of course, there are various nasties to impede your progress, and chasms will have to be crossed to reach some otherwise inaccessible parts on each level. Then there are some markers that will only appear if you touch a square with a special symbol on it... and don’t wipe too many markers of the same colour! The graphics are very colourful indeed and suit the game perfectly, and while it’s maddeningly frustrating to start with, it quickly becomes addictive, and you have a generous supply of lives as well.
(US Gold, 1988)
Reviewed by John Beckett
Rolling Thunder has you playing secret agent extraordinaire Agent Albatross, who must infiltrate a secret gang of masked bad guys and put them out of business. The first level sees you doing this by walking from left to right, jumping from the bottom of the screen to the walkway in the middle, shooting an endless stream of baddies, and hiding in doors to replenish your bullets and escape from the endless torrent of bad guys. You’ll also find that – should you get that far – the second and third levels (and no doubt beyond) are almost identical to the first one. The graphics are good and fluid – Albatross moves quite realistically – and the sound effects are serviceable. It’s just that the game is so repetitive and boring that you’ll soon be turning it off.
(Virgin Mastertronic, 1989)
You’re a new recruit in the army, and you have been assigned to target practice sessions at one of their training camps. The playing area consists of eight screens. Numbered targets pop up on each screen, and you have to shoot as many of them as you can within the time limit. Once twenty targets have been shot on a screen, you can obtain more bullets before moving to another screen. If you run out of bullets, or the timer reaches zero, the game is over. Shoot enough targets and the process repeats itself, except that you need to shoot more of them – and that’s the major problem with this game, which can only be played using the Magnum Light Phaser lightgun. The graphics and sound effects are OK, but every level has exactly the same scenery, and playing it over and over again soon becomes rather boring.
The Galcorp Leisure Corporation has devised many games which can be played on low-gravity moons and asteroids. One of these games is glyding, in which two players bounce a ball around a court using a bat. If a player manages to aim the ball so that it hits the wall behind the other player, he scores five points. The first player to score 35 points wins the game. In fact, glyding is nothing more than a 3D version of one of the very first computer games, Pong – and it’s actually rather good, although I recommend that you change the default speed setting to something faster, as the game will otherwise be rather boring. You can also change the computer’s skill level if you’re playing against it, but the game is a lot more fun if you play against a human opponent.
You’ve no doubt heard many jokes asking why the chicken crossed the road. Now you have to help a rooster do just that. Basically, this is a clone of the classic coin-op game Frogger, although unlike that game, instead of jumping on to logs to cross the river, you have to move across the water and avoid the logs, as well as ships. You’ll be doing really well if you manage to cross the river, because the controls are very sluggish and unresponsive, and getting the rooster to move is very frustrating. The awful collision detection makes matters even worse. This is definitely a game to be avoided at all costs!
(Gremlin Graphics, 1988)
Reviewed by CPC4eva
Quite an unusual football game, this one, as it is split into two sections – an adventure-style game and an arcade 5-a-side soccer match. As Roy Race, you must rescue the other members of your football team, Melchester Rovers, who have all been kidnapped. You scamper around the town to find as many members of your team as you can before the 7:30pm kick-off of a vital fundraising match; the number of team members you find is how many you will play with in the match. You can play both sections or just the football match. I found the football match to be ridiculously hard as the player selection is rather frustrating. On a funny note, I think it’s the only CPC football game with no throw-ins, as the ball bounces off when it should be a throw-in! Graphically it’s nothing special, and the actual gameplay is quite poor as well.
(Hi-Tec Software, 1990)
Ruff and Reddy have landed on another planet which is inhabited by small beings called Lilli-Punies. They are holding Reddy captive and have ordered Ruff to find some missing Lilli-Punies before the pair are allowed to leave the planet. As Ruff, you have to rescue all the Lilli-Punies on each level. It’s a simple platform game with the usual mix of monsters to avoid. Unfortunately you can’t kill any of them, which makes the game frustratingly difficult to play. Some of the Lilli-Punies are in awkward places, and it’s seemingly impossible to reach them without being hit by a monster and losing one of your three lives. The graphics are nice and colourful, but the difficulty of the game lets it down.