Screenshot of Rainbow Islands

Rainbow Islands

(Ocean, 1989)

Bub and Bob are exploring the Rainbow Islands and must defeat the guardians on each one, before encountering Doh on the seventh and final island. You use rainbows to kill monsters and also to climb on, to reach the top of each level before the tide comes in! Lots of bonuses are to be found, and if you collect all seven gems, you’ll get a mega bonus. This game is everything a platform game should be. With amazingly colourful and cheerful graphics and oh-so-cute sound effects and music, and the sheer amount of power-ups and bonuses scattered on each level, you won’t forget this one in a hurry.

See also: Bubble Bobble, Puzzle Bobble.

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Screenshot of Rally Cross Challenge

Rally Cross Challenge

(Anco, 1989)

This is an overhead racing game which can be played by one or two players. Four rally cars race each other around six tracks, and you must complete eight laps before the other competitors; failure to do this means you don’t qualify for the next track and the game is over. In fact, it’s quite likely that you will never qualify for the next track without cheating. Your car is extremely difficult to control, even at moderate speeds; it behaves as if it was driving on ice! Meanwhile, the other competitors drive perfectly without ever crashing once. It’s a shame, because the graphics are quite impressive (although all four cars are the same colour) – but there are many games of this type, and this is certainly not one of the best of the bunch.

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Screenshot of Rally Driver

Rally Driver

(Hill MacGibbon, 1986)

In this simulation, you are taking part in a rally which consists of three stages. You’ll have to act as both pilot and navigator, and read the supplied map carefully in order to plan the shortest route. Each stage has several time controls, where you must stop and enter two letters correctly. These letters are marked on boards which appear on the side of the road just before the time control, and you’ll need to slow down to read them. You’ll also need to watch out for various other hazards. The navigational aspect of this game is nice, but controlling the car is a nightmare, particularly in wet conditions (which is often the case). You’ll crash your car and receive time penalties with monotonous regularity, so qualifying for the next stage is just too difficult.

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Screenshot of Rally Simulator

Rally Simulator

(Zeppelin Games, 1988)

Don’t be misled by the word ‘simulator’ in this title – this game is about as far removed from reality as it can be. The aim is to complete five laps of the track, but you’re racing against four other cars, and if you finish last on any of the laps, you’ll have to start all over again. The game is viewed from overhead, and the cars look more like toys – and they behave as if they were driving on ice! Initially, it’s great fun as you try to get used to the controls and screech around the tight corners, but you’ll probably lose interest when you realise that completing more than two laps of the track without coming last is too difficult.

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Screenshot of RAM

RAM

(Topo Soft, 1990)

A spy who was carrying out a mission in the city of Chernovska has gone missing. His last transmission was “RAM”, which is believed to be a codename for a secret operation that threatens world peace. As agent FOX, your mission is to enter Chernovska and steal a prototype aircraft that the enemy has developed. You are armed with a machine gun and a supply of grenades, and you must battle hordes of enemy soldiers and artillery. You begin with ten lives, but you’ll lose them quickly. It can be tricky to kill some of the soldiers; grenades strangely don’t seem to have much effect on them! Jumping on to platforms is also annoyingly difficult and you can fall off easily if you’re not placed in exactly the right position. The graphics are beautifully rendered and very colourful, but the game plays at a very slow pace and the difficulty level is too high.

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Screenshot of Rambo: First Blood Part II

Rambo: First Blood Part II

(Ocean, 1986)

Reviewed by Chris Lennard

Rescue the American POWs from Vietnamese slave camps in this cash-in of the very mid-80s Cold War, gung-ho, highly nationalistic and violent Stallone-vehicle film of extremely dubious morals. Run around the jungle using the selection of weapons at your disposal killing the swarms of foreign soldiers intent on killing you, in what is a multi-scrolling top view shoot-’em-up. Bonus weapons can be picked up and used to amusing effect to devastate the local scenery and enemy encampments. It’s basically a poor relative of superior examples of the same genre such as Commando and Ikari Warriors, lacking their originality and gameplay. Music and graphics are nice enough but it’s only worth playing if you like this type of game.

See also: Rambo III.

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Screenshot of Rambo III

Rambo III

(Ocean, 1988)

Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard

After having freed the last GIs jailed in Vietnam, Rambo decides to make a little trip to Afghanistan. The film was relatively good (provided you like action and you don’t want to use your brain) but the game is better! First, you have to find several items in a base full of soldiers. Be careful not to trigger mines or alarms. This part is a classical adventure/action game, which involves much killing and a good hand-drawn map to find the way out. The graphics here are really good, though they lack colour. But once you’re out, you can play a great Operation Wolf-like game, in which you must shoot soldiers, helicopters and tanks. Two great games in one; it’s nearly too much!

See also: Rambo: First Blood Part II.

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Screenshot of Ramiro el Vampiro III

Ramiro el Vampiro III

(The Mojon Twins, 2022)

Ramire the vampire’s daughter has invited some friends around for a party, but they are hungry, so Ramire has to forage for so-called bloody mushrooms in the forest. However, Ramire has learnt that a special type of mushroom can be found in the crypts beneath the forest, so he decides to search for them as well. This is a platform game with an innovative gameplay mechanic – because you are playing as a vampire, you can only spend a short amount of time in daylight, so while you’re in the forest, you have to move from cave to cave as quickly as you can while trying to gather mushrooms and avoid the on-screen enemies. The game features The Mojon Twins’ hallmark of cute and brightly coloured graphics, and there are some suitably atmospheric tunes too. It may be short (it can be completed in under ten minutes), but it’s an enjoyable little game.

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Screenshot of Rampage

Rampage

(Activision, 1988)

Ralph, George and Liz have been eating contaminated hamburgers and have turned into giant hairy monsters (I hope BSE won’t have the same effects), and they’re on the rampage. Up to three players can take part as they attempt to demolish 50 American cities and raze skyscrapers to the ground, terrifying the inhabitants. However, the police and the army are out to stop you! This game is wonderful, with colourful graphics and excellent sound effects, and it’s so much fun to ease your stress. It’s even better with three players, although the controls are a bit awkward, and the tune is irritating.

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Screenshot of Ramparts

Ramparts

(Go!, 1987)

Reviewed by Chris Lennard

A rehash of the more popular classic Rampage which was released at about the same time as this game; you aren’t faced with the choice of mutant monsters, but in its place the duller one of ugly looking medieval knights. Set in the Middle Ages, you must proceed to destroy stone castles of various shapes, colours and sizes by climbing up their towers and using your knight in shining armour to knock them down with his fists. Naturally, the castle’s inhabitants don’t take kindly to your demolition derby and sap your energy by attacking you. Food bonuses boost your health, while rescuing various damsels in distress boosts your score. A second player can also join in on the action. An unoriginal game that pales in comparison with its more illustrious counterpart.

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