Screenshot of Sabian Island

Sabian Island

(Skyslip Software, 1988)

Reviewed by Pug

You’re deep behind enemy lines with a mission to retrieve a stolen timing mechanism for a nuclear bomb. If you fail, New York City will be dust! Armed with your machine gun and grenades, you pace along, taking out guards and navigating the harsh terrain. Along the way, power-ups appear that aid in your mission. This game is a Commando clone that wasn’t thought out too well. For a start, the sprites are big and the playing area is too small. You soon find yourself stuck trying to find a way through whilst avoiding the enemy. Loss of life occurs quickly, ruining a good-looking game.

More information on CPCSOFTS


Screenshot of Sabotage


(Zeppelin Games, 1988)

You have been hired as a mercenary to gain access to an alien mothership. To do this, you must fight through eight levels containing several waves of aliens, and a big end-of-level alien. On completing each level, you then enter a maze where you must pick up a key and a blueprint of the mothership; you’ll also be given a password so you don’t have to complete previous levels in future games. The aliens are very mean and you’ll need some skill to dodge them, although you can collect power-ups which make you invulnerable for a while or make you go faster. If the game consisted only of the space shoot-’em-up section it would be just about OK, but the maze section is so frustratingly difficult that you’ll give up on the entire game after a few goes.

More information on CPCSOFTS


Screenshot of Saboteur


(Durell, 1986)

Reviewed by John Beckett

A rare example of a stealth-’em-up on the CPC, you are cast as a ninja sent into an enemy stronghold via a rubber dinghy, with your mission to retrieve stolen computer discs and make your escape via a convenient helicopter on the roof. There are many guards roaming the corridors, guard dogs running around, and security cameras that will shoot you if they see you. However, anything you find on the floor (rocks, shuriken, etc.) can be a deadly weapon! Anyway, the graphics are fine – dark and suitably moody though very lacking in colour – and the playing area is large, though not too large. As for the music – well, there isn’t really any, and what sound effects there are aren’t very good. But still, a really good game. Ninja fans will love it; just don’t get too attached to the main character because he dies in Saboteur II!

See also: Saboteur II.

More information on CPCSOFTS


Screenshot of Saboteur II

Saboteur II

(Durell, 1987)

Reviewed by Missas

In this thrilling game, you return as the sister ninja of the original Saboteur who is now dead. She must break into the dictator’s high-security compound to alter the course of a nuclear missile and then escape. Saboteur II is at least five times bigger than the first game, with an increased challenge level, more complicated missions and more intelligent enemies. The graphics are Mode 1 with four colours, directly ported from the ZX Spectrum version. When many enemies appear on screen, the pace slows considerably. This, along with the graphics, is the game’s biggest drawback. The sound is good, with a great tune and some effects. The grab factor is strong and the missions will keep you occupied for a long time; it is really challenging and the difficulty level is just right. Load it and become the Avenging Angel!

See also: Saboteur.

More information on CPCSOFTS


Screenshot of Sabre Wulf

Sabre Wulf

(Ultimate Play the Game, 1985)

Reviewed by Chris Lennard

Guide the intrepid explorer around a jungle maze in this delightful game. You can only escape by collecting the four pieces of the lost amulet that are scattered in the labyrinth environment. Armed with only your trusty sword, you have to make your way through a mass of marauding wild creatures that appear on all sides from the undergrowth. The graphics here are cute, whereas the music and the sound effects, like the game itself, are simple yet effective.

See also: Knight Lore.

More information on CPCSOFTS


Screenshot of Sabrina


(Iber Soft, 1989)

The famously large-breasted Italian pop singer Sabrina Salerno stars in this incredibly tedious beat-’em-up. Sabrina is at the airport and has to go to a concert where she is due to perform, but there is a transport strike, so she has to walk to the venue instead. However, not everyone approves of her activities, and along the way, she will have to fend off various citizens, and even a few bombs, using three methods – punching, kicking, or hitting them with her breasts. The only skill involved in playing this game is remembering which method to use on each type of citizen. The graphics are drawn entirely in black and white, there are almost no sound effects, and the gameplay is slow and monotonous.

See also: Sardina Forever.

More information on CPCSOFTS


Screenshot of The Sacred Armour of Antiriad

The Sacred Armour of Antiriad

(Palace, 1986)

Reviewed by Chris Lennard

You are Tal, the last hope for mankind’s successors in a post-apocalyptic world which has been destroyed by the invasion of a hostile alien race. The legendary sacred armour of Antiriad, an advanced anti-radiation suit, is the only weapon available to overthrow them. You have to find the suit and its components that are strewn about the landscape and then to use it to free your people. This is one of the most lavish games ever to be produced on any 8-bit machine, let alone the CPC – the graphics are simply brilliant. The sound effects are adequate, whereas the opening music is excellent. If anything, the only problem with this game is that it’s far too hard to complete without cheating!

More information on CPCSOFTS


Screenshot of Sai Combat

Sai Combat

(Mirrorsoft, 1986)

This is a fighting game based on an ancient martial art known as sai karate, in which you face one opponent at a time. As well as being able to kick your opponent karate-style, you also have a long stick to hit your opponent with, as well as blocking your opponent’s moves. You start with a white belt and try to work through the ranks, up to a black belt, and then working through the eight dan levels. There is a wide variety of moves you can execute, and you’ll soon find out which are the most effective ones. The colourful and well animated graphics are accompanied by some suitably Oriental jingles, and there’s a different background for each level. It’s a good game that will appeal to beat-’em-up fans.

More information on CPCSOFTS


Screenshot of Saigon Combat Unit

Saigon Combat Unit

(Players, 1989)

The Viet Cong launched a suicide mission on the US Marine Corps headquarters and have captured your commanding officer. Now you must penetrate the Viet Cong’s base and rescue him from their clutches. This is a two-part platform game in which you must jump over chasms, avoid hidden mines, shoot Viet Cong soldiers, and blow up the occasional jeep, tank and helicopter. You’re armed with a gun, a supply of ammunition and a limited number of bombs, and you can buy extra weaponry at shops, which also act as restart points when you lose a life. The graphics and sound effects are very good (lots of explosions!), but it’s too difficult for my liking, especially since there are too few restart points.

More information on CPCSOFTS


Screenshot of Sailing


(Activision, 1987)

Reviewed by Robert Small

Sailing gives you the opportunity to take part in an international sailing competition. As befitting of an international race, there are many different countries to represent or compete against. At the beginning of the competition, you get to design and name your boat. Graphically the game has a nice bobbing effect. The water looks a little grainy but the other boats and instruments are well represented. The music attempts to increase the tempo but you may want to turn it down after playing for a while. The gameplay is quite simple (a race against another boat around a set of three buoys) but it’s also realistic (wind speed and direction are important). It’s maybe not for everyone but it’s worth a try as an experiment.

More information on CPCSOFTS