Saint and Greavsie
Ian St. John and Jimmy Greaves used to host a football show on TV which was apparently rather popular, and these two personalities appear on this quiz game which will suit football anoraks nicely, but leave everyone else (myself included) bored. Up to four players take turns to answer three types of question – home questions are about more recent football, away questions relate to 60s and 70s football, and the rare derby questions are based on trivial facts. To liven things up a little, you get to see a footballer scoring a goal, which lets you know if you were right or wrong. There are other nice bits of animation to see and the graphics are lovely, as is the music, but answering question after question about football just isn’t my thing.
Reviewed by Chris Lennard
Deep in the heart of space, evil forces have gathered, and it is your task to destroy them in this clone of Nemesis. There are two main sections; firstly a side-scrolling flight through the innards of the beast at breakneck speed in which you have to work hard to avoid the shifting scenery and relentless roving worm monsters, and a second top-scrolling journey through a decidedly packed asteroid field. A variety of power-ups are available, but considering the degree of difficulty here they tend not to be kept for long. The worst aspect of this game though, has to be the sheer lack of effort on the part of the programmers who quite clearly dragged the Spectrum version over (which actually has more colours!) without any due thought or consideration for the Amstrad’s superior capabilities.
See also: Nemesis.
Samantha Fox Strip Poker
Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard
Remembering those early teen years when the hope of seeing an awfully digitised picture of a big-breasted pop star could keep me two hours in front of my screen, I’m really glad to have grown older. But, well, that was a way to practice poker. The graphics are ridiculously bad, the computer’s strategy is rather strange, and you must have a great imagination to distinguish anything erotic on the few Mode 2 screens that you’ll see. Keep this game if you’re a collector, or if you’re a fan of Samantha...
(Gremlin Graphics, 1987)
You are an aspiring warrior hoping to attain the title of Samurai War Lord, under the guidance of your master, Chu Yu. You must fight against other warriors in two disciplines – karate and kendo (fencing) – before duelling with four of the best samurai warriors. Before each fight, you must select a strategy to adopt, and you must also select three of twelve types of training to improve your prowess. Then you must choose your attack and defence tactics; choose wrongly and your opponent could have a big advantage over you. All these tactical decisions that need to be made detract from the actual fighting, and it’s difficult to know how your decisions affect you and your opponent. The graphics are fairly good with some splendid backgrounds, and the music is suitably Oriental, but the game itself is poorly executed.
Usagi Yojimbo is a samurai warrior with a difference; he’s a rabbit. Lord Hikiji has captured Lord Noriyuki, a young panda, who is being held somewhere, and Usagi sets off to rescue him. Along the way, he meets various characters, and you must show respect by bowing to friendly characters, and only sheath your sword when you encounter enemies such as ninjas. You can also enter shops and gamble some of your coins, or ryo, or use them to restore some of your energy. The graphics are very good indeed and a suitably Oriental tune plays constantly, although there are no other sound effects. Overall, it’s a rather good game, and the idea of respect and honour is a clever touch.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Metr81.
Santa’s Xmas Caper
(Zeppelin Games, 1990)
Those naughty elves have spiked Santa’s Christmas pudding, so for one day only, you have to take over as Santa and deliver presents to all the children around the world. There are three levels, taking Santa over Lapland and then across the Atlantic Ocean, before heading over the houses and dropping the presents he has collected on the way. While flying the sleigh, you must dodge or shoot all the Christmas presents coming at you (!) by firing snowballs at them. It’s a pretty appalling game, and far too difficult for the young children that this game would be aimed at. Overall, the graphics are mediocre, and the only good thing about the game is the excellent rendition of various Christmas carols.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: ChinnyVision, GameHammer Classic Gaming, Novabug.
Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard
When it was published in France, in 1986, Sapiens was really out of the mainstream. It was the first CPC game to introduce fractal graphics – I’d never seen a game with so many trees and bushes in it before! And its plot (your main objective is hunting to survive) was very refreshing. The playing area is really huge, and you’ll never see the same landscapes twice every time you start a new game (remember, they’re mathematically generated!). But the screens all look the same, which quickly becomes boring. That’s a pity, because the control panel is handy – once you’ve worked out how to use it – and there are many things to do, such as making a spear, carving a flintstone, and killing a bear. But most players won’t have the patience to discover all the joys of the prehistoric era.
Play Ilan the Crusader as he battles against the Saracen hordes. On each of the 40 levels, you must look for the Saracen chief and blow him up with a hand grenade. You will need arrows to do this, and to shoot some wooden walls and other moving enemies (crosses with flashing coloured balls on each end – bizarre!), but each arrow can only be fired in one direction, although there is a plentiful supply. The graphics and music are absolutely dire, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that the game is written in BASIC (it isn’t, though). There is also no option for starting from a particular level, and after playing only a few levels, I became bored. Take my advice; don’t play it!
Reviewed by Missas
This is a remake of Iber Soft’s game Sabrina that was released 24 years earlier. It was said that the previous game was not as complete as it could be, so this time we may have the opportunity to see it as it should be. The graphics are nothing great. They are just average, but the sprites are cartoonish and look funny. Sabrina still looks great! A catchy tune plays throughout the game. The gameplay is repetitive and poses no challenge. It is probably more a demo than a game; it is a funny, short promo of Sabrina Salerno herself! The grab factor is weak. Once you complete it (in less than ten minutes) you probably won’t bother to do it again. Overall, a funny, short demo/game.
See also: Sabrina.
SAS Assault Course
The aim of this game is simple – complete 22 screens of an assault course in the fastest time possible. Unlike a lot of other similar games, this doesn’t involve any joystick waggling. Instead, there are six icons at the top of the screen, and you need to select the right one to use at various points in each screen. Selecting the wrong icon will result in a loss of stamina, and falling to the ground results in a loss of bravery. Your endurance also depletes slowly as you progress. Bizarrely, falling into the water ends the game instantly, as it seems that the would-be SAS recruit that you control can’t swim! The overall presentation of the game is quite basic and there are a few sound effects, but the game is played mostly in silence. Although you won’t destroy your joystick, it plays at a leisurely pace and it lacks atmosphere.