It’s time to go canoeing down the rapids. Navigate the four courses and try to beat the record time on each one, manoeuvring your canoe through the pairs of flags and pitting your wits against the fast-flowing river. On some courses, you’ll even have to go through some of the flags backwards! Time penalties are given to you if you miss any of the flags or fall into the river. Unfortunately it’s not really all that good – the graphics are rather basic and very flickery, and there’s not all that much challenge involved. If you’ve got the patience, though, there is a course editor included with the game.
The oil rigs are under attack from enemy submarines, and you must shoot them in your helicopter. Unfortunately, they are equipped with long-range missiles, while you only have short-range bombs, so you’ll need to fly close to the sea to hit them successfully, which obviously leaves you exposed to enemy fire. Flying this low also means you might fly into the oil rigs if you’re not careful. The graphics are nothing special, although the multi-coloured border is used to good effect. The sound effects are sparse, while the actual game is just too hard; it’s too difficult to hit the submarines, and they move too fast for you to hit them accurately and get out of their way.
The colony of Rigel V is at war. You are Harper, a journalist who has been told that the rebel fighters, the Rigellians, have a doomsday device that is capable of devastating the entire planet. When you arrive in the city, you meet Elliot, the man who told you about the device, but he is badly injured and dies. You must find the rebels’ headquarters and disable the doomsday device – but you’ll need to find your night goggles first... This is a text adventure which has a lot of atmosphere and describes the starkness of the city quite vividly. Harper has to watch his step at every turn, encountering booby traps, mines, bombs and snipers. This is a great adventure with some neat humour as well, but be aware that some copies of the game contain a bug which makes the second part unplayable!
(Alternative Software, 1988)
It’s a great life being a roadie, isn’t it? Driving down motorways at more than 100mph to your concerts, lugging equipment around, and making sure it all works. This is where you get a taster of what it’s like. In the first part, you drive your purple van down the motorway, avoiding the traffic. The second part is where you have to shift the equipment to the concert hall, and the third part involves getting the volume levels correct without blowing the fuses. This game appeared on the Amstrad Action covertape and its readers unanimously considered it to be tosh – and I agree with them entirely.
Reviewed by Robert Small
You know that old adage of never judging a book by its cover? Well, that applies to The Ring of Darkness. It might look old-fashioned (indeed, it started life on the Dragon 32 computer) but what was good enough for the Dragon is good enough for the CPC. Create a character by naming, assigning skill points and picking a class, then get dropped straight in at the deep end! You’re in the middle of nowhere and enemies seem to pop out from all over the place. Initially it’s very overwhelming; the graphics are crude and the sound – yeah... – but then you discover that the map is huge, there are settlements to visit, quests to undertake, and even 3D sections. There really is quite a bit packed into this game. Its inspirations might be shameless (it liberally pinches from a more famous game and a work of fiction) but adventure fans will enjoy it.
(US Gold, 1988)
This is what rallying in the future is like – 50 stages to complete, all laden with hazards such as mines and gun turrets, as well as other cars and motorbikes which you can shoot. You also need to collect blobs of fuel or you’ll run out, and on some stages, a helicopter comes along to give you a power-up such as a U2 cannon, cruise missiles, or nitro injectors. The graphics are pretty impressive and the music is good, but all the stages are too long, the whine of your car’s engine is irritating in the extreme, and provided you do well in the early stages, the game becomes a bit easy.
(US Gold, 1987)
Beep-beep! Road Runner must escape the clutches of the nasty Wile E. Coyote once again. Each level consists of a horizontally-scrolling landscape in which Road Runner must eat as much bird seed as possible. However, Wile E. Coyote is never far behind, and as soon as Road Runner outruns him, he always comes straight back. The aim on each level is simply to get to the end. I used to love watching the antics of these two cartoon characters, but this game doesn’t do the cartoon justice at all. The graphics are good, but it’s a boring game where you repeat the same thing again and again in each level, and the almost total lack of sound effects only adds to the boredom.
See also: Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote.
(Hi-Tec Software, 1991)
They’re back! While the first game re-enacted the same scene over and over again, this sequel sees you playing Road Runner again, but this time alternating between two scenes. The first one is a single-screen affair where you must dodge all the objects that Wile E. Coyote drops on you, the aim being to survive for 90 seconds. The second one is a horizontally scrolling level where you are being chased by Wile E. Coyote and must jump over obstacles to avoid losing energy – but if you jump too often, you’ll be caught! These two scenes repeat themselves again and again. The graphics are pretty good and there’s a nice tune as well, and although it’s fun for a while, it probably won’t hold your interest for too long.
See also: Road Runner.
(Ere Informatique, 1986)
You are flying a rocket when it is forced to land on a nearby planet due to a shortage of fuel. Fortunately you have detected that this planet contains reserves of energy, but you have decided to assign three robots – Xor, Rho and Sam – to explore underground and find these reserves. Each robot has a different function. Xor is designed to collect the energy reserves, Sam can repair the other robots if they break down (although it can’t repair itself), and Rho transmits communications from the other two robots back to you, so all three robots must stay close together. Graphically, the game is excellent, but apart from exploring, there’s little to see and do, and it is immensely frustrating when you crash any of the robots after playing the game for so long.
Reviewed by Missas
Robbie Strikes Back is a smart idea transmuted into a pleasant game. You control a small armoured robot who uses different kinds of cans in order to eliminate worms, aphids and wasps before they reach the centre of the screen, where they will attack and eat a flower that is growing and trying to bloom. The graphics are nice and vivid and they move quite smoothly. A tune plays during the game and the difficulty increases level by level. The gameplay is terrific, but the major drawback is that it is very short – more like a preview of a game! This is very sad considering the fact that it is one of the most pleasant games I have played for some time. If it was bigger, it would definitely receive a higher rating.