(Bubble Bus, 1987)
The Slime Rats are the coolest skateboarding gang in town, although I don’t know why they call themselves the Slime Rats – the name doesn’t sound very cool to me! To join the gang, you must tackle a series of courses, collecting eight flags in each. The graphics are appalling, there are no sound effects (although you have to listen to some irritating tunes before and after each course), and the gameplay is just as bad. The scrolling between screens is annoying and the collision detection is suspect as well. Maybe it’s not quite as bad as it sounds, but it could have been a lot better.
(Ubi Soft, 1989)
Reviewed by Robert Small
While the CPC didn’t get a conversion of Speedball or its legendary sequel, it did get a couple of futuristic sports games to call its own. This one (known as Skateball in France) is OK. You start by assembling your team. Each player has their own attributes and character portraits, which is a nice touch. The game is played on an ice rink. It’s two-on-two with you controlling the outfield player. To begin with the rink is bare and matches consist of barging your opponent off the ball and trying to force the ball past the opposition keeper. Things step up a notch as obstacles and hazards are added to the rink. This allows you to kill other players so your replacements come into play. It’s not always about scoring the most goals. The graphics are detailed and scroll pretty well. However this is a better game with two players.
A mediocre and very simple single-screen arcade game in which you move around the screen on your flying skateboard, using it to kill the monsters which float around the screen in a particular formation. There are four monsters to kill on each level – two waves, with two monsters in each wave. Bonus icons can also be collected when they appear. The graphics and sound effects are rather primitive and there’s no appeal to the gameplay at all; it’s the sort of game that you’ll play a few times and then forget about.
Skate around a city landscape, performing jumps and collecting all five letters of the word SKATE in order to obtain pieces of bronze, silver and gold skateboards. If you want to acquire bonus points, you can collect litter and either give it to the elderly ladies standing about, or put it in the nearest litter bin. You also have to dodge various moving obstacles such as remote-controlled planes and cars. The graphics are awful and the scenery is very drab with little colour used, which is strange considering that they’re drawn in low-resolution Mode 0. There is also practically no sound, and the skateboarder moves at a very slow pace. Because of this, the game has no atmosphere or appeal.
Tom Essex woke up one morning and found that all of his super powers had now disappeared, and he was no longer Superkid – but he continues his mission to clear the streets of criminals. Armed with his skateboard and catapult, Tom has to skate around six stages and collect nine banknotes on each one, while avoiding the muggers or firing at them. Contact with the muggers loses energy, and if you lose too much, the game is over. After completing a stage, there is a bonus stage which allows you to collect more points. The music is very good, and the graphics are OK as well, and Tom zooms around each stage at some speed. However, the muggers are hard to avoid and appear randomly on each screen, and progressing to subsequent stages is more a matter of luck than skill.
Take part in a skeet shooting contest across six countries, starting in Germany and ending in Sydney Harbour in Australia. This game was only released on cartridge for the GX4000 and Plus machines, and it can only be played with the Trojan Phazer lightgun. You must shoot as many clay skeets as you can within the time limit. Every so often, a goose will fly from right to left, and shooting it causes it to release a coloured egg; shooting the egg gives you a bonus depending on its colour. If you shoot enough skeets, you can continue to the next round. The concept is simple, but what sets this game apart is its excellent use of the extra facilities of the GX4000 and Plus machines – stunning landscapes using the enhanced palette to great effect, and hardware sprites to provide some higher resolution graphics. It’s just a shame that so few people got to play this when it was originally released.
(Amsware Systems, 2015)
Reviewed by Missas
The legendary Skool Daze arrives on the CPC with a slight delay of only 31 years! In this original game, you take control of Eric, who must steal his report card by accomplishing various tasks. Four teachers and three pupils play a major role, while there are many other unnamed pupils wandering around. Eric must try not to be punished because of his or other students’ actions. If he receives 10,000 lines, he is expelled and the game is over. This is a direct Spectrum port, so everything is faithful to the original release. What I mostly enjoyed about this game is its atmosphere and the tricks that Eric must do to achieve his objective. The sound is negligible but the grab factor is strong and the overall game is very entertaining although it clearly shows its age.
The Evil Sorcerer has captured several beautiful women, and your mission is to rescue them and defeat the Sorcerer, who adopts various disguises throughout the eight levels of this platform game. One Eye (and Red Dog if two people are playing) must board pirate ships, explore a variety of lands, kill a lot of the Sorcerer’s henchmen, and collect lots of treasure in the process. Sword fighting techniques will not take long to master, although finding the right methods for dealing with some of the tougher henchmen will be a bit more tricky. The graphics are colourful, although the music doesn’t fit in well with the pirate theme – and if you only have 64K of memory, you will only hear silence! Overall, this is a fairly satisfactory game, although the scrolling is very jerky, and the controls are slightly awkward.
(US Gold/Loriciels, 1989)
Many years ago, Skweek’s planet was contaminated with a blue skweekicide by aliens. Now you’re going to change all 99 continents back to their original colour – pink! Each level consists of a board of tiles, and there are all sorts of hazards – monsters, arrow tiles, ice, and crumbling tiles are just some of them, but there are also a large range of bonuses. The graphics are extremely cute, and Skweek is so small and furry! There are two tunes to select, but they’re rather too cute for my liking. You can switch them off, though. All in all, this game is so amazingly excellent that there’s no way you can’t like it.
(Ere Informatique, 1988)
The Emperor’s son has been kidnapped by the ruler of a faraway planet and you have been sent to rescue him. However, the sword that symbolises his power has been broken up into six pieces. Firstly, you will need to locate and break into the ruler’s lair and meet him face to face. Then you must find six rebels who hold the pieces of the sword and give them an object in exchange. In this icon-driven adventure, you explore the planet in a tank, and during your hunt you’ll frequently encounter other aliens that you must shoot before you can continue. Your ammunition, shield and fuel are all limited, so it’s important to conserve your resources. The game is beautifully presented, with excellent graphics accompanying each location. However there isn’t a lot of depth to the gameplay, but despite this it’s still a decent game overall.