Screenshot of Rugby Boss

Rugby Boss

(Alternative Software, 1989)

Can you manage a Division 2 rugby team and take it to the top of Division 1? This management simulation sees you assuming responsibility of a team picked at random from the twenty available, which seems rather unfair to me; why should I not be allowed to choose which team I want to manage? The game itself doesn’t have a lot of options – all the players have just one skill number associated with them, and can play in any position – although some people (including myself) may think that this is not a bad thing. The match highlights progress at a reasonable pace, and you must be careful with your finances; you can’t get a loan, so if you run out of cash, you’re sacked. It’s text only as well, but that doesn’t bother me too much, and speaking as someone who doesn’t like rugby at all, I don’t think this game is too bad.

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Screenshot of Run for Gold

Run for Gold

(Hill MacGibbon, 1986)

There aren’t many running simulations for the CPC, but this is one, and it’s actually rather good. You take on the role of a coach who trains two runners. Your ambitions are to get these runners to win Olympic gold medals and break the world record in the 400m, 800m and 1500m events – but who said this was going to be easy, with 39 other runners sharing your aspirations? You start off by running in local meetings, then hopefully you will qualify for Crystal Palace, the European Championships, the World Championships, and finally, the Olympics. Fortunately, this does not involve lots of joystick waggling (and breaking); instead, you must pace the runners by moving a bar up and down, so that they have sufficient energy to last throughout the run. It works quite well, and the animation and graphics are really good too.

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Screenshot of Run the Gauntlet

Run the Gauntlet

(Ocean, 1989)

In the TV series, contestants from four teams faced gruelling land and sea challenges and assault courses, and it’s the same here. After choosing which country you want to be (Great Britain, the USA, Holland or Australasia), you’re given a random selection of events to tackle. In the land and sea races, it’s a matter of steering your boat or vehicle round the track, but the assault course (also known as ‘the hill’) is an arm-busting, joystick-waggling frenzy. It’s a nice game, although some events (e.g. meteors) will take time to be mastered. The graphics are great as well.

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Screenshot of RUN”CPC


(Ervin Pajor, 2015)

Reviewed by Missas

RUN”CPC is an arcade game in which you must try to fly through gates in your spaceship. To begin with, the graphics are colourful but plain and there is no in-game music, although there are some sound effects. Nevertheless this is understandable because this game has something rarely seen; it plays in a 3D environment and the gates are essentially complex shapes composed of blocks, and they zoom in really smoothly. I really liked the programmer’s effort on this matter. In order to keep the Z80 undistracted, all the effort has been concentrated on maximising the frame rate. The grab factor is not very strong but it is interesting. In general, you really need to play RUN”CPC because games like this do not appear on the CPC very often.

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Screenshot of Runestone


(Firebird, 1986)

Reviewed by Robert Small

It seems that mention of Runestone goes hand in hand with the classic The Lords of Midnight, as they share a good few similarities. Panoramic vistas being one, a large fantasy world to get lost in, and a very similar colour palette. The Lords of Midnight has its famous ‘landscaping’ technique. Well, Runestone is brought to you in ‘Venturescope’. So is Runestone the better game? Not quite, but it’s a very good alternative. The world and cast of characters are familiar but it’s an old tale well told. It plays very nicely and has a good difficulty curve. Graphically it’s not quite as good as its rival, but it’s still of a fair standard. The game offers good value for money due to its large and well inhabited game world. Once you’ve finished The Lords of Midnight and its sequel, chart a course for Runestone next.

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Screenshot of The Running Man

The Running Man

(Grandslam, 1989)

In 2019, the United States of America is a totalitarian state. Ben Richards was convicted for refusing to fire on a group of protesters and has been selected to take part in a deadly TV game show, The Running Man, where contestants must fight a series of armed opponents known as Stalkers – and no contestant has ever emerged alive. You must defeat four Stalkers and then confront the show’s creator, Damon Killian. Once you defeat a Stalker, there is a mini-game where you must match symbols; if you succeed, your health is restored for the next zone. Most of the Stalkers are fairly easy to beat, and there are no other opponents to fight before you reach them. The graphics are disappointing and there are very few sound effects, but arguably the worst aspect of the game is the annoyingly fiddly and unresponsive controls.

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Screenshot of RX 220

RX 220

(Microïds, 1987)

RX 220 is a droid who must explore an enemy complex and retrieve fifteen energy modules. Naturally the complex is filled with all sorts of aliens and traps that will destroy RX 220 on contact. No wonder it was sent in to explore the complex instead of a human! Fortunately the droid is equipped with a laser. This is a run-of-the-mill platform game with fairly basic graphics and sound effects. Annoyingly, there are several screens where it’s possible to become trapped with no way of escaping, forcing you to quit and start over again. Microïds normally set a high standard with the presentation and quality of their games, so it’s difficult to understand why they thought this one was worthy of a release.

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Screenshot of Rygar


(US Gold, 1987)

Rygar is on a mission to defeat an evil tyranny, battling through ten stages in this horizontally scrolling platform game. All the usual assortment of aliens and monsters are there, and most of them can fly. However, you’ll have to jump over waterfalls and chasms a lot as well, although it is possible to bounce on monsters’ heads. Stones also appear out of the ground, and shooting them will reveal one of several types of bonus. The graphics are pretty good although they’re not terribly sophisticated, and during each stage, there’s no time to relax at all – but fortunately, the game isn’t all that difficult. And as for the music, it’s also excellent, and strangely familiar...

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