Screenshot of Rescate en el Golfo

Rescate en el Golfo

(Opera Soft, 1990)

Iraqi terrorists have hijacked a jumbo jet full of passengers and are threatening to blow it up. One of those passengers happens to be our hero Ricky’s girlfriend – so can Ricky single-handedly fight off all of the terrorists and rescue the hostages on the plane? It may or may not have been a coincidence that this game was released during the Gulf War in 1990 and 1991, when Iraq invaded its neighbour Kuwait. The game is a beat-’em-up divided into two sections. Unusually, the graphics in the first section are in the high-colour, low-resolution mode, but in the second section, everything is drawn in the four-colour, higher-resolution mode. This is a fairly good game overall, although the end-of-level opponent in the first section is far too hard – and if you’re wondering how to use the motorbike, open one of the doors to the plane and grab the key!

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Screenshot of Rescue from Atlantis

Rescue from Atlantis

(Dinamic/Summit, 1988)

Reviewed by Alain Schroetter

Aliens have set up a base in the depths of Earth’s oceans, and you have to locate their base in the lost city of Atlantis and destroy their leader, Korx. The entrance is hidden in an old wreck, and you’ll need to make a hole in the wreck to find it. You’ve also got to explore the vast labyrinth of caves and make gold bars using the mould you’re supplied with – but you’ll need to find a heat source first. The underwater creatures make life difficult for you, too. The graphics and animation are good and the music is excellent, but like most Dinamic games, it’s too difficult, and far too big as well – it’s easy to get lost. It’s a departure from Dinamic’s usual style of game, and it’s not one of their better moments.

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Screenshot of Rescue on Fractalus!

Rescue on Fractalus!

(Activision, 1986)

Reviewed by Robert Small

You’re a rescue pilot on an alien planet, tasked with saving your fellow humans but all the while under alien attack. One of the main selling points of this game is the use of fractal graphics to draw the landscape. They really work well and provide a great sense of immersion as you descend into the valleys and ravines of the mountainous planet. Enemy fire will have you flinching as if you were on board, while landing and collecting your comrades is a tense affair; let’s just say not everything is as it seems! The music is OK and the sound effects are good. If the game ran a little faster it would be even better.

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Screenshot of Retrobloc

Retrobloc

(Krappygamez, 2022)

This puzzle game is best described as a 3D version of Tetris, and it’s inspired by a coin-op arcade game called Blockout. Pieces consisting of two or more cubes joined together fall down a 5×5 well, and you must position them in such a way that when an entire 5×5 layer of cubes is filled, that layer disappears, moving the cubes above it downwards. The trickiest parts are visualising how the pieces will fit among the cubes below, and working out the ways in which the pieces can be rotated, as unlike Tetris, you can rotate them around three axes instead of one. Once you can overcome these hurdles, you should find it’s a rather nice little challenge. It would also have been nice to have a bit more polish to the overall presentation, but with a game of this nature, the gameplay is really all that matters in the end.

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Screenshot of Return of the Jedi

Return of the Jedi

(Domark, 1989)

Reviewed by Chris Lennard

Breaking away from the first two vector-based games, this is an isometric scroller. The first level involves guiding Princess Leia through the forests of Endor on a speederbike avoiding the Stormtroopers and the omnipresent trees. The next stage involves guiding the Millennium Falcon through the incomplete Death Star, avoiding the dangerous protrusions in order to take out the central reactor and then escaping in reverse as it blows up. Stage three involves more of the first but with even more trees and Stormtroopers. Finally, you take control of an AT-ST, avoiding the Ewoks’ logs and boulders in order to reach the shield generator. Nicely presented, but a disappointingly repetitive and difficult game that lacks the fun of the prequels.

See also: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars, Star Wars Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO.

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Screenshot of The Return of Traxtor

The Return of Traxtor

(Juan José Martínez, 2015)

Reviewed by Missas

A thousand years have passed since Traxtor saved us... With his memory long gone, this new game is the story of his legacy. The Return of Traxtor is a very nice puzzle game in the style of Magical Drop. You must match the tiles so they disappear. The graphics are colourful and well drawn with vivid colours. The sound is good with different interesting tunes playing during the game. Where the game excels greatly is the gameplay. This is an incredibly addictive game which requires you to think quickly, and I enjoyed it very much. Overall, while it is not especially advanced in technical terms because of its gameplay, I’ll give it a high rating.

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Screenshot of Return to Eden

Return to Eden

(Level 9, 1984)

Reviewed by Richard Lamond

Kim Kimberley is back in an even more obtuse and difficult text adventure! Despite your heroics in saving Snowball 9, you’ve been cast as a saboteur and forced to flee for your life to the planet Eden. You must find your way through the treacherous jungle into the Robot City before the robots destroy the orbiting Snowball 9 and kill the colonists in the process – who are trying to kill you! This was the first Level 9 game to feature graphics, but they are extremely basic and detract from the location descriptions. Return to Eden cranks up the difficulty level from the very beginning and it makes for an unsatisfactory experience as you find yourself battling with some of the more obscure leaps of logic. The atmosphere of the first game, although not completely lost, is not what it was, and despite some good set-pieces, Return to Eden does not compare well with its predecessor.

See also: Snowball, The Worm in Paradise.

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Screenshot of Return to Oz

Return to Oz

(US Gold, 1986)

Follow the adventures of Dorothy as she leaves her home in Kansas and finds herself in the magical world of Oz again, encountering such bizarre creatures as the Wheelers, the evil Princess Mombi, Jack Pumpkinhead and the Nome King. This is one of those icon-driven adventures where you can only select a limited number of commands – in this case, only eight. It’s mainly aimed at children, and everyone else will find it far too easy; for example, if you select the ‘use’ command, the program will only let you select objects which you can use in the room you’re in. The graphics are mediocre as well and there are no sound effects at all.

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Screenshot of Reveal

Reveal

(Mastertronic, 1988)

Now here is a highly bizarre and original game – map out a 3D landscape which you can’t see! Before attempting each landscape, you’re given a view of it and have about five seconds to memorise it. Then you must control a gyroscope and manoeuvre it over all of the hidden squares, while avoiding the enemies and sticking to the very strict time limit. If you manage this, you then have to move the gyroscope to a flashing square to go to the next landscape. It’s difficult, and it helps if you have a photographic memory, but my goodness, the urge to have another go is there in bucketfuls.

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Screenshot of Revenge of the C5

Revenge of the C5

(Atlantis, 1986)

Take one of Clive Sinclair’s unloved C5 machines out for a drive around the suburban roads, avoiding all the cars, motorcycles and other monsters (it’s dangerous out there in the suburbs!). The game is a flick-screen affair, and if you crash your C5, you are taken back one screen. The problem is that often you’ll be moved to a position where it’s impossible to avoid hitting something, so you’re moved back even further. The roads are too narrow, and even on the easy mode, it’s too difficult; some of the gaps you have to squeeze through are far too small. The graphics and sound effects are appalling, and although the name of the game is amusing, there’s nothing else to laugh about.

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