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.
You have been sent by the Terran Confederation Star Commandos on a mission to the Bombyx Moons to defeat the evil Necrons, who are mining the moons to obtain the valuable mineral Talanite. Your Death Scorpion is equipped with several types of weapon and has four different visual modes, each of which allows you to see certain objects that would otherwise be hidden. You must also be careful not to shoot civilian Bombyx targets, otherwise you will be charged with war crimes! What could have been a fairly straightforward 3D shoot-’em-up is instead a slow and overly complex affair. There are lots of keypresses to be memorised, and the system for destroying incoming Necron missiles (where you must find the correct wave pattern in order to destroy them) is very cumbersome and detracts from the action.
(ESP Soft, 2020)
Takeshi’s sister Sakura has been kidnapped by the Red Hand. Fortunately Takeshi’s grandfather is an aerospace engineer, so Takeshi jumps into one of his grandfather’s ships to fly to the Red Hand’s headquarters and rescue Sakura. The game consists of three vertically scrolling levels in which you must shoot and dodge various enemies in the air and on the ground. Some of these waves of enemies are ‘delta squads’, and if you destroy the entire formation, you can collect a bonus – either a temporary shield, an extra bomb, or additional firepower. The graphics are beautiful, the scrolling is very smooth and the music is excellent. It can be tricky to see the enemy bullets against the very colourful backgrounds, which makes the gameplay rather difficult, but this is still a brilliant game.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: jgonza, Saberman, XeNoMoRPH.
(Melbourne House, 1986)
Kevin Oliver awakes to find himself in hospital, but he has no idea how he got there. All he remembers is the word “Kwah”, and when he says it, he turns into his superhero alter ego Redhawk. A gang of four supervillains has planted a bomb at the power station and it will detonate in a few hours’ time. Redhawk must defuse the bomb and save his city! This is a text adventure with a clever innovation; the action is presented in the form of a comic book and takes place in real time. The game’s vocabulary is rather limited, and you aren’t given any explanation of what you’re supposed to do in the early part of the game in order to help develop the story. It takes a long time to draw each picture, and as there’s a lot of toing and froing around the city to be done, you will soon find your patience being tested.
See also: Kwah!.
A Breakout clone with 50 zones but a difficulty level that’s so high that it’s more than likely that you will only see the first three. Become a Reflex Rider and destroy all the bricks (or ‘grid components’ as the game calls them) in each zone. Alternatively, you can collect the exit bonus if it appears, and there are other bonus icons which can be collected. Your reflex capsule (otherwise known as the bat) has a limited amount of power which also acts as the number of lives you have; using the turbo on your capsule, or the laser, if you’ve collected the appropriate bonus icon, decreases your power. The graphics are colourful and the music on the menu is nice, but the gameplay is just too difficult.
(Psytronik Software, 2013)
Reviewed by Missas
Relentless was the winner of CPCWiki’s 16KB ROM game development competition held in 2013. As its name implies, get ready for the most relentless 16 kilobytes of action you will ever get. The game begins with a great tune. Straight away, you are plunged into relentless, non-stop shoot-’em-up action with smooth 50fps scrolling. The graphics are very detailed with a great colour selection that does not tire out the eyes. The sprites are creatively designed. The sound is as good as it could be for a 16K game, with numerous effects. The gameplay is really good but sometimes it gets very difficult. Thankfully, you can adjust the difficulty level if you like. The grab factor is strong until you complete it – something that will not take a lot of time since this game is not lengthy. Overall, this is a good shoot-’em-up, but the other entries in the competition are, in my opinion, just as good.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Xyphoe.
- Knowledge of French is required in order to play this game properly.
A laboratory assistant on the NMI spaceship accidentally created a monster which has massacred the entire crew. You are the only survivor, having entered one of the cryogenic chambers before it was too late. Now you must find the shuttle and escape. The ship consists of about 50 rooms and corridors, and you’ll find objects which will allow you to access some parts of the ship. Fans of the Freescape games will feel right at home with this game (provided you can understand French); everything takes place in a full 3D environment, and if you can find a pair of 3D glasses, you can use them to enhance the 3D effect even further – quite a nice innovation! There’s no sound, but it only increases the tension as you walk the empty corridors of the spaceship, hoping that the monster isn’t around the next corner...
(Blaby Computer Games, 1986)
A Remote Excavation Module has been sent into some underground caverns, to collect radioactive deposits – the sort of task which is certainly not recommended for humans. However, the caverns contain lots of boulders which are lying on unstable soil, so be careful where you move the robot. You’ve guessed it; this is a Boulder Dash clone, but it’s not very good, really. I suppose it would be OK if the graphics were better and the scrolling wasn’t jerky. At least there are passwords to allow you to skip levels you’ve already completed.
Reviewed by John Beckett
By far one of the greatest scrolling beat-’em-ups on the CPC, if not the greatest, Renegade has you playing a vigilante who must go and meet his girlfriend on the other side of town. But instead of catching the tube (the first level is set in a tube station, for crying out loud!), he decides to walk there, disposing of various gangs and their leaders on the way. The difficulty level is just right, the graphics are great – detailed, fluid and colourful – and the game has some of the catchiest tunes to come out of the CPC’s speakers. The levels are all suitably different, each populated by its own gang (the junkyard’s motorbike gang is a particular favourite of mine), and the Renegade himself has an impressive arsenal of moves available to him – punches, back kicks, headbutts, flying kicks etc. To be honest, I can’t find fault with this game; it’s a classic!
See also: Renegade III: The Final Chapter, Target; Renegade.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: jgonza, Metr81, Novabug, Xyphoe, ZEUSDAZ.
Reviewed by Robert Small
Blasting aliens is fun, and that should make this game exactly that, but unfortunately it isn’t. Played from an isometric perspective, you explore your maze-like environment and blast away at an assortment of enemies. The poorly defined graphics are one thing and the amateurish sound is another, but an even worse mistake has been made, and that’s the controls. Rotational control is what’s been implemented, and while it’s different, it makes a simple game awkward to play. Kuma Computers released much better than this, so don’t hold it against them. Fruity Frank shows them on fine form.