Screenshot of Star Raiders II

Star Raiders II

(Electric Dreams, 1987)

The Celos IV star range is under attack from the Zylons. You must stop them from destroying all the cities on the four planets of the Celos IV system, and in turn, destroy all of their bases within their own Procyon star range. The action sees you zooming over the planets, blasting Zylon fighters and destroyers, and then travelling to a space station for repairs – and doing it all over again, and again. Your spacecraft also has shields and a Surface Star Burst, or SSB, which is used to destroy Zylon bases. The graphics are fairly simple, although the explosions are spectacular and the scrolling of the planet’s surface produces a great pseudo-3D effect. It’s a game that will appeal to shoot-’em-up fans, although ultimately it is a bit repetitive in the long term.

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Screenshot of Star Ranger

Star Ranger

(Tynesoft, 1986)

This is a version of the classic Lunar Lander with a few bells and whistles added. Firstly, the simple line-drawn graphics of the original have been replaced by much more colourful graphics. The sound effects are decent as well, and there’s the added problem of dodging flying rocks. There’s only one screen, though, in which you have to land your spacecraft on four landing areas – misjudge the landing, though, and you lose one of your six lives. You’ve also got to watch your fuel level! The second level (using the same screen) is harder, as you must also avoid laser beams. Sadly, the difficulty is so high that it’s doubtful that you will complete the second level.

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Screenshot of Star Sabre

Star Sabre

(Cronosoft, 2008)

Fast and furious shoot-’em-up action is what you’ll get in this game. Pilot your spaceship through four levels of mayhem and dodge the waves of aliens and scenery, as well as all the bullets that are fired in your general direction. Every so often, you can collect bonus icons to improve your firepower, and as well as an end-of-level monster, you also have to deal with a similarly powerful alien spaceship halfway through each level. In short, nearly all of the ingredients of a typical shoot-’em-up can be found in this game. Although there is no music to listen to, and there are only four levels, the graphics are beautiful and the scrolling is very smooth, even when there are a lot of aliens on the screen, and it’s definitely a game that is well worth checking out. There is also a 128K edition which contains lots of enhancements to make it even better!

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Screenshot of Star Trap

Star Trap

(Loriciels, 1989)

Reviewed by Robert Small

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

An icon-driven sci-fi adventure game from Loriciels, Star Trap features some impressive graphics as you explore your spaceship’s interior. Using the various icons at your disposal, you can study your environment, examine objects, communicate with other characters and even use your hearing (which is an original touch) in an effort to solve the game’s mystery. A game like this is all about its atmosphere and Star Trap successfully ticks that box. The game’s premise is intriguing (stranded in space with murderous robots). It’s obviously not an action game and does have some gameplay foibles but this is an impressive adventure game on the CPC, especially given its 16-bit origins.

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Screenshot of Star Trooper

Star Trooper

(Players, 1988)

An alien syndicate led by Jabba McGut has stolen the Earth’s only supply of 25 extra-special alloys, and is now threatening life on Earth. Only a Marine Corps Star Trooper such as you will be tough enough for a mission as dangerous as this. It is your aim to recover the alloys and return them to Earth. There are five missions with five alloys of the same colour to recover in each one. You must wander around a labyrinth of corridors and lifts to find the alloys, while shooting the aliens that patrol the labyrinth. You’ll also have to find keys to let you pass through force fields and use the teleportation units. The graphics are colourful and well drawn, and the sound effects are OK, but you only have one life, and all the missions are effectively the same.

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Screenshot of Star Wars

Star Wars

(Domark, 1988)

Reviewed by Chris Lennard

As Luke Skywalker, you must take on the military might of the Imperial Death Star in your X-Wing. Viewed from a first-person perspective, you first engage Darth Vader and his fleet of TIE fighters, shooting them and their fireballs to protect your limited shields. Then on to the military station’s surface dodging and destroying its defensive turrets, and finally into the trench, avoiding the various protrusions and obligatory fireballs until you are finally able to attempt to launch your torpedoes down the exhaust shaft to blow the Empire’s pride and joy to kingdom come. Failure results in a restart – thankfully, the difficulty is configurable. A brilliant, albeit simple looking game that’s a must for every Star Wars fan.

See also: The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Star Wars Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO.

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Screenshot of Star Wars Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO

C-3PO and his companion R2-D2 have been imprisoned and must escape from their captors. The base consists of eight levels, and C-3PO and R2-D2 must work their way up the levels by unlocking the barriers and lifts. You’ll find computer terminals next to them, and if R2-D2 logs on to them, you play a Simon-like memory game where you must memorise two sequences and repeat them correctly if you want to gain access. Of course, there are also a lot of robots and other hazards to impede your progress and reduce your energy. The graphics are very well done with lots of detail, and the tune on the menu is really groovy! However, the gameplay is very monotonous, and the method of selecting icons to perform actions is both awkward and frustrating.

See also: The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Star Wars.

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Screenshot of Star Wreck

Star Wreck

(Alternative Software, 1987)

Reviewed by Robert Small

There isn’t an official Star Trek game available for the CPC. Not sure how that came to be, but fans will have to make do with games inspired by it, or in this case, a parody. No airs and graces, this is another GAC text adventure – which means basic graphics, no sound and little to no effort in the presentation department. The graphics are drawn reasonably quickly here, though, and the colour scheme fits well with the original Star Trek-style locations. As this isn’t to be taken seriously, the big question is, is Star Wreck funny? Sometimes. Your mileage may vary depending on how big a fan you are of Star Trek, and if you are a fan, then this will have you smirking.

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Screenshot of Starboy


(Gasoline Software, 1986)

Can you guide Starboy through ten levels of platform action and rebuild his spaceship so that he can escape? This is a simple platform game which involves climbing ladders, jumping over chasms and avoiding aliens, robots and bullets. Aliens and robots can be shot, but your ammunition is limited, although it can be replenished. The graphics are rather primitive and can be flickery, but the music is absolutely delightful, and although it will take a while to complete the first level, once you’ve overcome this hurdle, you’ll discover a nice little game.

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Screenshot of Starbyte


(Mister Chip, 1987)

Reviewed by Pug

A Spanish flip-screen adventure game. This game is impossible! After so many attempts at navigating the first screen I gave up! For the year it was released, it should have been far better presented. The graphics are simple but colourful and everything that moves jumps in blocks instead of pixel-by-pixel movement, so timing is out of the window with this one. The use of sound for music and effects is basic. A very poor offering indeed; the difficult and sluggish controls make this game one that you will soon forget.

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