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.
(Volcano Bytes, 2023)
The evil sorcerer Mutamin was thought to have been defeated, but now he has taken revenge and the village of Trasmoz has fallen under his malign influence again. You (and another player if you can find one) must clear each of the twelve levels of zombies and skeletons. Touching an enemy with your sword causes it to disappear and release an orb of fire that you must collect and use to light one of the candles. When all four candles are lit, you can progress to the next level. What’s clever about this game is that you can wander off all four edges of the screen and reappear on the opposite edge. It’s a technique that you will need to master, as there is only a short amount of time before Mutamin appears and chases you around the screen! This is a brilliant, fast-paced game with cute and colourful graphics, pleasant music and sound effects.
(US Gold, 1986)
This is an ingenious puzzle game in which you control a bouncing ball. There are eight levels, each containing four puzzles which are selected at random each time you play. Each of the 32 puzzles contains two red blocks, and to solve the puzzle, you must first hit one of the blocks with the ball to turn it white, then do the same to the other block quickly, otherwise the first block will turn red again. If you succeed, both blocks disappear. Controlling the ball is initially difficult, but it’s essential that you master it. The concept of the game is simple, but the puzzles are cleverly designed, and once you master the controls, solving each puzzle brings a real feeling of satisfaction.
(Alternative Software, 1988)
Dirty Dick and his rotten bunch of cowboys have invaded the town of Smallsville, and since the Sheriff and his Deputy have been thrown out by Dirty Dick, the townsfolk have asked you to help clean the town. Each room is laid out in an isometric manner and contains a certain number of gunslingers to shoot. Of course, they’re also looking for you, and you only have five units of energy before you die. However, collecting enough reward money for shooting gunslingers allows you to collect more energy. The graphics are OK, but there’s very little sound, and while it’s possible for two players to play, the game is still a bit dull.
Reviewed by Javier Sáez
This time you won’t have to kill a single alien. In this game, you are the alien slaughtering poor humans. Rex, a ‘rhino sapiens’ specimen, is bent on plundering the Zenith tower, where humans keep countless treasures. This is a platform game with some arcade elements. That is, you have weapons to use against most enemies, but your best defence is knowing where and when you should jump to. The graphics are cute, although very small. There is no music, just a few sound effects. Regarding difficulty, Rex is quite hard at first, but becomes a bit easier after some practice.
(Mister Chip, 1987)
Reviewed by Robert Small
Everyone loves Indiana Jones and this game is clearly inspired by the classic films – maybe King Solomon’s Mines as well. The problem this game has is some stiff competition when it comes to isometric 3D games on the CPC. Graphically the game features some nicely detailed locations that are undone by poor scrolling. The natives are relentless and will pursue you at every opportunity, making for a frustrating gameplay experience. It’s such a shame as exploring would otherwise be quite fun and the game captures the classic adventure vibe quite well.
Our intrepid explorer Rick has crash-landed his plane in an Amazonian rainforest and has to escape the nasty Goolu tribe. This won’t be easy, and right from the word ‘go’, there are various nasty traps lying to catch you out – as well as those Goolus. From there, Rick moves on to an Egyptian pyramid where he must recover the stolen jewel of Ankhel, and then it’s on to a castle to rescue some prisoners, before blowing up the missile silo where the enemy is based – it’s all in a day’s work. The excellent cartoon graphics are what makes this game appealing, and although there are traps at every turn, it’s not frustrating – it has that “one more go” factor.
Reviewed by CPC4eva
Rick Dangerous, the original CPC game released by Firebird in 1989, was a much loved and very fun as well as frustratingly addictive game. Amstrad Action awarded it a Rave with an overall score of 83%. So as a tribute to the original, 20 years later Fano, BDCIron and MacDeath got together and produced a stunning remake for 6128 Plus machines. There is a cool new loading screen, and the addition of an options menu to configure the game is great. Other extras included in this remake include the famous digitised “Whhhaaa!” sample at 15kHz, full levels from the 16-bit versions, cool cutscenes with graphics from the Amiga version, music from the Atari ST version, redrawn tiles and sprites, and additional artwork. A fantastic job and still as fun and frustratingly addictive as the original.
(Micro Style, 1990)
The first thing I must mention about this game is that it has the honour of being awarded 97% by Amstrad Action, which is the highest rating they have ever given – and it definitely deserves it. Rick now faces a new challenge from aliens who have landed their UFO in Hyde Park. After that, he visits the ice caverns of Freezia, the forests of Vegetablia, and finally the Atomic Mud Mines. Unlike the original, you can complete these levels in any order you want, although in order to play the fifth and final level, you will need to complete all of the first four levels. The graphics are just as cute, and there’s some great music this time, too! It’s got everything that the original had and more, and it’s well worth playing.
(Blaby Computer Games, 1986)
This is based on air hockey, except that you shoot at the puck to make it move. The goalmouth is quite narrow, and your finger will probably become sore as you frantically unleash a hail of bullets at the puck. The first person to score a set number of goals wins the game. There are several features that can be customised, and you should definitely change the collision mode to 5, otherwise it’s impossible to score goals. Unfortunately the other collision modes make the game either too easy or too hard, and the appeal is somewhat limited. The music is surprisingly good, though.