Screenshot of Spellbound


(Mastertronic, 1986)

Gimbal the wizard has managed to mess up his spells again and has trapped himself, as well as you and several other people in a castle! You have to release Gimbal and return everyone to the correct zones in the castle. Lots of objects are scattered over seven floors, and while many of them are useful, a lot of them are not. You’ll also need to interact with the characters, make sure they eat and drink, keep them happy, and get them to help you. This is the second of four games featuring Magic Knight, and it’s rather good, too, although the style of the game is very different from Finders Keepers. The graphics aren’t that good, although the music isn’t bad.

See also: Finders Keepers, Knight Tyme, Stormbringer.

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Screenshot of Spellbound Dizzy
Screenshot taken from 128K version of game

Spellbound Dizzy

(Code Masters, 1991)

The fifth Dizzy adventure is also by far the largest – in fact, it’s too large! Dizzy has been looking at Theo the wizard’s spell book and has managed to send the Yolkfolk somewhere else, so now he has to send them all back again. There are a large amount of extra features in this game which make it better than the other Dizzy adventures – for instance, Dizzy can hurt himself if he falls too far – but that is outweighed by the sheer size of the game. It’s far too much to sit through in one go, and the bit where you have to collect rocks each time you want to go down the wind shaft is extremely wearisome. The tune quickly becomes annoying, too.

See also: Bubble Dizzy, Crystal Kingdom Dizzy, Dizzy, Dizzy Down the Rapids, Dizzy Panic, Dizzy: Prince of the Yolkfolk, Fantasy World Dizzy, Fast Food, Kwik Snax, Magicland Dizzy, Treasure Island Dizzy.

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Screenshot of Spellbreaker


(Infocom, 1986)

The final instalment of Infocom’s Enchanter trilogy sees you as the master of the Circle of Enchanters, but now magic itself is failing, and spells just aren’t working properly any more. The journey involves collecting white cubes that are central to the use of magic, and you’ll soon find that they have some very special properties indeed... The author, Dave Lebling, said that it “was intended to be a nasty, vicious and cruel, hard game and it succeeded in that.” You rely on spells a lot more than the previous two adventures, and many of the puzzles are extremely difficult. Infocom meant this to be their toughest ever adventure, and I can agree with that. However, it’s probably too tough for most people, and I didn’t like it as much as some of their other adventures.

See also: Enchanter, Sorcerer.

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Screenshot of Sphaira


(Ubi Soft, 1989)

  • Knowledge of French is required in order to play this game properly.

You are an archaeologist who is looking for a lost civilisation which lies underneath the Atlantic Ocean. After entering some magic caves in a remote part of Peru, you emerge somewhere else, and your quest begins... This is an adventure which uses icons to select actions, instead of requiring you to enter them. A lot of puzzles rely on you knowing a magic word; you will need to use them either as passwords or when casting spells (and if you want to know one, ask for help at the cottage and the big tree). The graphics are fairly good, but the game relies too much on magic words, and there are very few objects to pick up and make use of. The procedure used for casting spells is also annoying and unnecessarily complicated.

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Screenshot of Spherical


(Rainbow Arts, 1989)

Wuron the dwarf magician must guide the Starball – a sphere with magical powers – through the rooms of the castle of the evil dragon Mirgal. In each room, Wuron must construct a path to allow the sphere to reach the block marked ‘IN’, before the sphere starts rolling. Wuron is able to create blocks out of thin air, but watch out for the ghosts and sorcerers who will drain your energy! There are plenty of objects and power-ups to collect, although you’ll have to work out what they all do, and use them wisely! The graphics are breathtaking, although there aren’t many sound effects, but with dozens of levels to play and four opportunities in the game to restart a level, the thinkers among you will love this.

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Screenshot of Spike in Transylvania

Spike in Transylvania

(Code Masters, 1991)

Spike has been shipwrecked in Transylvania, along with several of his Viking mates, who are now locked up in the dungeons of the King’s castle. Fortunately, Spike hasn’t been captured, but he now has to rescue all of his comrades. This is an arcade adventure in which you must find the right objects to solve puzzles and progress further in the game, as well as dodging the guards, rats and bats who will drain your energy. It’s all rather easy, though, and it shouldn’t take you too long to complete the game. However, I still think the game is a good one while it lasts, despite the monochrome graphics. The music is fairly good as well, and so is the animated sequence when you lose all your lives!

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Screenshot of Spiky Harold

Spiky Harold

(Firebird, 1986)

Winter is closing in, and Harold the hedgehog has to find food for him to last through his hibernation. Starting above the ground, you have to venture underground into a network of tunnels full of other wildlife, and you will lose a life if you touch any of them. Believe it or not, you get twenty lives, but you’re going to need every one of them! Squeezing past many of the monsters requires the utmost precision, and it is very frustrating to lose several lives in this way. I don’t mind the game too much – Harold is really cute – but most people will find it too difficult.

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Screenshot of Spindizzy


(Electric Dreams, 1986)

GERALD is on Hangworld, and he has to explore all 386 locations and collect more than 200 jewels in his mission. There are all sorts of puzzles to solve – you’ll need to hunt for the right switches to open doors and cross chasms, for instance – and tricky terrain to negotiate, and you’re battling against the clock, too! What makes this game so truly irresistible is that urge to explore a little more of Hangworld with each go. It’s one of the all-time classics, and yes, I think it is one of the best games ever to be released for the CPC.

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Screenshot of Spindrone


(Atlantis, 1988)

The planet Fungii 7 contains lots of barrels of plutonium, and it’s your job to guard them. However, the green alien Kermatoids are intent on getting their hands on it and have launched an invasion. You must shoot them and prevent them from stealing the barrels – once they’ve got them, it’s too late! If all 27 barrels are stolen, then the game is over. There are three screens, and while you’re guarding one screen, the Kermatoids are taking advantage on the other two, so it’s quite difficult, although you have a radar to show you where the aliens are. Basically, it’s a mediocre space shoot-’em-up which won’t interest you for long, although the graphics are brilliant and the Kermatoids are quite cute!

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Screenshot of Spirits


(Topo Soft, 1987)

Reviewed by Robert Small

There’s a really nice touch at the beginning of Spirits where the credits fade in just like you’re about to start watching a film. There’s some nice music as well. Then the game begins and you notice colour clash and slowdown – never mind. The game at least has a unique concept of splitting the screen in two, which allows you to see the location of the items you need to obtain in this arcade adventure. The graphics are nicely drawn but the gameplay is only accompanied by the slightest of sound effects. There are quite a few arcade adventures on the CPC, to say the least, and this is a solid example.

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