Screenshot of The Real Stunt Experts

The Real Stunt Experts

(Alternative Software, 1989)

Motion Picture Productions are making two new films and require you to play the part of a stuntman in three scenes from these films. In the first part, you must rescue some people trapped in a burning building and defuse some bombs. In the second part, you’re in a car and have to collect rockets dropped by a helicopter while leaping over buses and barrels while dodging other obstacles. You’re in a helicopter for the third and final part in which you just shoot other helicopters and dodge obstacles. It’s pretty average stuff, really, and the graphics aren’t anything special. The tune is good, though.

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Screenshot of Realm

Realm

(Firebird, 1986)

The Solar System’s Planetary Orbiting Co-Ordinator has malfunctioned and all the planets are out of alignment. A droid called XR3 has been sent into the Co-Ordinator, which is actually an enormous maze. You must explore it, find the nine planets, and place them around the Sun. Although there are no enemy aliens or robots in the maze, there are traps which will catch you out if you’re not careful. Signposts will allow you to access new areas, but you will usually need to search the maze thoroughly to find the new passageway. Crowns can also be collected for bonus points. The graphics are simple, and the scrolling is very smooth, but the sheer size and emptiness of the maze makes this a very dull game indeed, even for the most die-hard puzzle fans.

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Screenshot of Realm of Chaos: Village of Lost Souls

Realm of Chaos: Village of Lost Souls

(Robico Software, 1987)

Reviewed by Pug

Village of Lost Souls is the first part of The Realm of Chaos Trilogy. You play a warrior who emerges from the mists of a powerful spell to take on a quest. The words of your master echo in your ears – aid the Lord Talent of Dinham to destroy a portal to the Thirteenth Realm. The adventure starts with a series of obstacles that need to be removed before your main quest can commence. For example, there is a hut that is on fire that contains something important. Solving problems like these instructs you in how to play this adventure. It’s a pretty large text adventure, too, meaning this one will take weeks to crack. Location descriptions are brief and scroll upwards. This can be annoying at times, waiting for it to finish so you can read it. Overall, a bland-looking text adventure that doesn’t offer anything outstanding.

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Screenshot of Rebel Planet

Rebel Planet

(US Gold, 1986)

Reviewed by Pug

You are a member of SAROS (Search And Research Of Space) who greatly opposes the Arcadian Empire’s grip on the galaxy. Your mission is to safely make it to their primary home planet Arcadion and destroy the ‘queen’ computer that networks the aliens’ minds. You start the game inside your spacecraft where you roam around collecting your equipment. After this, you land on the planet Tropos where you mingle among Arcadians while seeking out members of the underground movement. Each location in this text adventure has its own picture, which adds a lot of atmosphere and enjoyment to your experience. Rebel Planet is a little tricky in areas but you can save your progress. A neat little sci-fi adventure is offered here that will keep you coming back for more.

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Screenshot of Rebelstar

Rebelstar

(Firebird, 1987)

There are actually three Rebelstar games, and it’s a real shame that this is the only one that was released for the CPC. The Rebelstar Raiders are planning an ambush on Moonbase Delta to destroy five laser defences and the moonbase’s central computer ISAAC. This is a turn-based strategy game where you must think tactically as to how you are going to move your forces and kill the droid guards, without your own forces being shot and killed. There are eight difficulty levels, and even though there is only one mission (in contrast to Laser Squad, by the same programmer, which has five), you’ll come back to it again and again – especially if you can find a human opponent to play against!

See also: Laser Squad.

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Screenshot of Reckless Rufus

Reckless Rufus

(Alternative Software, 1992)

Rufus has been caught as a stowaway on a spaceship and has been ordered by the captain to collect some diamonds from the nearby planet of Killey. Needless to say, this isn’t easy. Each level consists of a single screen with some blocks and lots of empty space, and Rufus must find some way of bridging the gaps between sections by laying some blocks, while also collecting the diamonds and avoiding the monsters – and it’s mostly the monsters which make this make so annoying. They move unpredictably, and crash into you when you’re not expecting them to, and worse, Rufus can only fire one bullet at a time. The graphics are nothing special and the animation is rather jerky, but it would still be a satisfactory game were it not for the behaviour of the monsters.

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Screenshot of Red Arrows

Red Arrows

(Database Software, 1985)

Reviewed by Robert Small

The Red Arrows are a British institution and the UK’s premier display team who perform at events all over the world. This game attempts to give you a taste of what it’s like to be a part of that team. As this is a game based around an aerobatics display team, there is no combat, but there are plenty of other games on the CPC where you can shoot at things, so this game fills a nice niche. The graphics are functional due to the subject matter, and so too is the sound. It’s got a no-nonsense feel to it on the presentation front. You can practise without the rest of the squadron and can activate assistance to help you fly, but it’s very, very hard to fly in formation due to the poor responsiveness of the controls, and this saps enjoyment from the game.

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Screenshot of Red Heat

Red Heat

(Ocean, 1989)

Ivan Danko is hunting down the Russian drug baron Viktor Rostavili. The film saw Danko (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger) teaming up with the Chicago cop Art Ridzik. In this game, he’s nowhere to be seen; it’s four levels of pure violence as Danko beats up anyone and everyone in his path. You can collect bonus coins along the way, which may give you extra energy or take you into one of several sub-games you can play. Beat-’em-ups aren’t my thing, anyway, and even hardened fans may well be put off by the dull graphics, the tiny screen size that is used, and the game’s agonisingly slow pace.

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Screenshot of Red LED

Red LED

(Starlight Software, 1987)

Three ZMX battle-droids must explore dozens of isometric landscapes which are arranged on a grid in the form of a hexagon. Your aim is to create a link from the left side of the hexagon to the right, by collecting all of the energy pods on certain landscapes. You can choose which battle-droid to send into action on each landscape; each is supposed to have its own characteristics, but in practice, they all behave fairly similarly. There are lots of enemies to battle against, and you must be careful not to fall off the edge of the landscapes, otherwise you’ll lose precious time – and with only 60 minutes to create the link, you’ll need every second! This is a highly challenging and quite engrossing game with colourful graphics. It’s easy to learn but tough to master.

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Screenshot of Red Planet

Red Planet

(Playonretro, 2022)

An abandoned space station has been overrun by evil creatures. You must brave its dangers and destroy it by finding ten canisters containing explosives and placing them deep within the station. Once you have done this, you have to return to the entrance and activate the detonator. As well as the explosives, you will also need to find oxygen cylinders to maintain your supply, ammunition with which to shoot enemies, and key cards to open locked doors. This is a rather nice little platform game, with wonderful Mode 1 graphics, good sound effects and fast-paced music to accompany your journey through the station. It’s not that difficult to complete – it would present more of a challenge if there wasn’t so much ammunition lying around to be collected – but it’s fun to play and moves fluidly.

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