(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.
Reviewed by Piero Serra
Paco Suárez is a legendary name in Amstrad gaming, having programmed Roland in the Caves and The Galactic Plague, which almost everyone who had a CPC464 in the UK owned. Robin is another of his titles. You play the titular Robin who has to rescue a lady from the castle, maybe purloining a few jewels along the way, and you start by picking up your sword. The playing area is faux 3D and judging when to strike the ducks, crabs and ghostly things flying around is down to luck more than anything. Losing lives is very easy and you don’t have many of them. When you lose a life, you also drop the sword and have to pick it up again, which is annoying. It’s a shame because otherwise it’s a fun game with a nice sense of exploration, very pleasant graphics and a stirring tune.
(Code Masters, 1993)
Maid Marian has been locked in the Sheriff of Nottingham’s castle, and Robin must rescue her. Hang on, didn’t Code Masters release a game with exactly the same plot already? Indeed they did. This is a different game, although it plays very similarly to the other Robin Hood game, with lots of running around, shooting arrows, collecting keys and treasure, and jumping on to platforms. This was one of the last games that Code Masters released for the CPC, and frankly, one would think that they could have done better than this. The music is good, but it’s a Spectrum port, complete with colour clash. There’s nothing special about the gameplay, either.
See also: Super Robin Hood.
Replace Robin Hood with Sherlock Holmes, add a lot of humour, and you will have some idea of what this text adventure, written using The Quill, is about. There are some strange events going on in Sherwood Forest – Dorothy’s dog, Toto, has been kidnapped; Friar Gorbuchetnik explodes after eating one burger too many; the cabbie’s cab has been stolen; the Three Bears are about to hang Goldilox (!), and the local Smurphs are being turned into garden gnomes. The game is split into three parts, but unlike nearly all other multi-part text adventures, you can travel between these parts. There are a lot of locations, although most of them are very similar (which is humorously exploited by the authors!), and most of the objects that you can collect can’t be examined, which frustrated me. However, it is still a reasonably good adventure overall.
(Adventure International, 1985)
Reviewed by Pug
This adventure is based on the UK TV series from the 1980s. All the characters from the TV series are here, which helps to make the adventure more enjoyable. The adventure begins with Robin and friends held in a prison cell deep inside Nottingham Castle. Once you work out how to escape, you come across Hern the Hunter, who tells you about your mission. The text commands are simple two-word instructions such as GO DOOR or TAKE STAFF. Almost every location has graphics – some of which are well drawn and atmospheric. There’s even animation too; check out the waterfall effect! Adventure fans and arcade gamers alike will find this game an interesting challenge.
(Coktel Vision, 1987)
- Knowledge of French is required in order to play this game properly.
Daniel Defoe’s 1719 novel of the same name remains famous even today, and this is an adventure based on the novel. You must guide Robinson Crusoe as he tries to survive on the island that he has been shipwrecked on. The game consists of seven stages, with a beautiful illustration adorning most of the screen on each one, and some nice animation to accompany them. Throughout the game, you are given a choice of possible actions, and every choice you make affects the outcome of the story. Finding the exact set of choices to make is a frustrating exercise, since the animations and text are displayed very slowly indeed. The music is awful as well, but the game is still playable despite all of these problems.
Detroit police officer Alex Murphy was murdered and reincarnated by the mega-corporation OCP as RoboCop, and now he intends to get his revenge on the gang who murdered him. The first three levels take you out on to the streets on routine patrol, before identifying who was responsible for killing Murphy using a photofit. Once you’ve found a match, you raid a drugs factory. You’ll also meet the robot ED209 at OCP headquarters, and then you must flee from OCP’s clutches before finally confronting Dick Jones, the leader of the gang, who has taken the president of OCP hostage. The difficulty setting is just right, the graphics are beautiful, the music is excellent, and the digitised speech on the 128K version – “serve the public trust; protect the innocent; uphold the law” – is unforgettable. Everything about this game is just perfect!
See also: RoboCop 2.
RoboCop is back to clean up the streets of Detroit again, to close down the facilities that produce the addictive drug Nuke, and ultimately face his nemesis, RoboCop 2. Seven levels of platforming and shoot-’em-up action await you in this game, which was only released on cartridge. First of all, let me say that no game demonstrates the extra features of the Plus and GX4000 machines better than this one; the scrolling is extremely smooth, and hardware sprites and the many extra colours available are used to great effect. It looks and feels like a 16-bit game! However, it is very difficult indeed, although if you persevere and don’t lose your temper, you will eventually learn the full layout of the first level. If it were a bit easier, I would have no hesitation in giving full marks to this game – but it’s not to be.
See also: RoboCop.
(Lachlan Keown, 2009)
Reviewed by Missas
Robotron: 6128 sends us back to the beginning of the video games era with its pure arcade-style gameplay. Your task is crystal clear: be the only one alive on the screen when the level ends. The graphics are simple and blocky (Mode 0), and there is no background. The sprites’ appearance and attributes change from stage to stage. It would be much better if some background screens existed. In-game sound is composed of just the basic effects. However, the music on the options screen is one of the best I have ever heard on the CPC. The gameplay is fast-paced; you need to move and fire fast, and if you can, capture the girls! The brilliant control selection enhances this pure arcade experience and produces an addictive grab factor. Overall, although it is technically obsolete and improvements could have been made on graphics and sound, this is by all means an arcade treasure.