The Federation is planning a pre-emptive strike on the Outsiders, using their new generation Starstrike II spaceship. This will not be an easy task, as there are 22 Outsider planets to be penetrated, and they are spread across five solar systems. Each planet is either agricultural, industrial or military, which determines how heavily defended it is and what types of gameplay you will be playing. Your fuel and shields are limited, although fuel can be used to replenish your shields. Fortunately you can replenish both by returning to your support module. This shoot-’em-up is a big advancement on its predecessor, with significantly improved 3D graphics and a greater variety in the gameplay – definitely a game that is not to be missed!
See also: 3D Starstrike.
(Coktel Vision, 1988)
Five events are bundled into this game; the 400m sprint, parachuting, the 50m swim, the ski jump, and track cycling. For a game that fills up nearly an entire disc, that’s not a lot! Four of the events involve some furious joystick waggling, although thankfully the keyboard can also be used. The parachuting event involves positioning yourself to land on a target, while the ski jump requires both joystick waggling and ensuring that you land correctly. You can practice the events, or play all five at once, competing as either Africa, America, Europe, or Asia and Oceania. The game as a whole isn’t bad, although the combination of events seems rather strange. The graphics are fairly good in most of the events and the music at the start of the game is also nice.
After your heroic mission in Planetfall, you are now a Lieutenant First Class on the Stellar Patrol Ship Duffy, but your latest assignment is ridiculously mundane – go to a nearby space station to pick up a supply of forms. When you get there (accompanied by your robotic friend Floyd), the station is completely deserted, most of the machinery is going crazy, and an alien ship has brought something rather nasty with it. Of course, you’ve got to save the station from being taken over by it. The sense of foreboding and isolation pervades this text adventure, which increases the difficulty level considerably with respect to its predecessor – and this is the main reason why I don’t like it as much. It’s still very good, though.
See also: Planetfall.
Ho-hum – another cheap, horizontally scrolling shoot-’em-up. This one has the added bonus of making your CPC pretend it’s a Spectrum, and that is never a good thing. You can collect up to five different power-ups, all of which add some extra weaponry to your spacecraft. Unfortunately, if you aren’t able to collect these power-ups, you’ll have great difficulty getting far, and that’s the main problem with this game. The scrolling is reasonably fast, and I can put up with monochrome graphics, but there are too many enemies and not enough room to dodge them.
Steg the Slug
(Code Masters, 1992)
It’s a tough life looking after your family. Steg is a slug, and his little slugs, the T’yungunz, are hungry and want their favourite food – grubs. On each of the ten levels, Steg must blow bubbles to trap the grubs which are to be found crawling around. The bubbles float upwards, and hopefully they will find their way to the T’yungunz at the top of the level. On the first two or three levels, this isn’t a problem, but on later levels, you’ll need to intervene by blowing more bubbles or gently blowing on to them to make them move. The concept behind this game is quite original and is fairly similar to Lemmings. However, the game crawls sluggishly (pun intended), and as a result, each level takes ages to complete and things become boring. If this wasn’t a Spectrum port, it could have been a lot better. The music is good, though.
Steve Davis Snooker
Reviewed by Pug
A decent snooker game for one or two players. There’s no computer opponent, so playing on your own means you clear the table and then your score is taken into consideration. Fouls generate a score of their own which is subtracted from the number of successful pots, so once you finish the game, you may be surprised by your score. You use a cursor to aim your cue and then select power and spin. Once you pot a red, you are asked to select a colour. The visuals are adequate and the sound comprises of a few basic effects. It’s just a shame that you can’t play against the computer.
See also: Pool.
Steve McQueen Westphaser
Despite using his name, the legendary actor doesn’t make an appearance within the game. In fact, it’s a re-release of a game that was originally bundled with Loriciel’s Westphaser lightgun. Six criminals are roaming the Wild West, and there’s a reward for shooting them. Three of the shoot-outs take place in a saloon, while the other three take place in a town square. The shoot-outs can be rather chaotic and you’ll need to have a good aim as well as quick reflexes. What’s bizarre, though, is that in the saloons, the innocent people who you mustn’t shoot (which includes a very young child) carry on their normal business while there’s a gunfight going on! However, it’s great fun, and the game captures the Wild West atmosphere marvellously, with graphics and sound effects which have to be seen and heard to be believed.
Stifflip and Co.
Reviewed by Robert Small
From Palace Software, the creators of some of the CPC’s best games (the awesome Barbarian: The Ultimate Warrior being a great example) comes a change of pace. Stifflip and Co. is reminiscent of an interactive comic book. It’s an icon-driven adventure game featuring four playable characters, set in a world of jolly japes and “what ho, chaps!” There are a good number of commands to issue through the icon control method and some tough puzzles. Graphically it’s got the atmosphere of the time period down to a T. Stifflip and Co. is a well drawn game with nice little details, let down a touch by a lack of colour (but is that a deliberate choice to create a newspaper comic strip effect?). Music is included, and it’s good as well. Not Palace Software’s best work but still interesting.
Play the risky world of the stock market as you (and up to five other players if you want) buy and sell shares in four mining companies who mine lead, zinc, tin and gold respectively. Shares will go up and down and other events will occur as you attempt to make a million pounds; companies are taken over or go bankrupt, bonus payments are made to shareholders, and bonus shares can be handed out. However, the taxman will soon be after you, and when you buy a lot of shares, they will grab money from your bank account! There are four difficulty levels to try out, and having only four companies means that things are kept simple. It’s a nice enough simulation for wannabe stockbrokers, but the real thing isn’t for me!
Run around a grid, dodging monsters, collecting flags and stomping dynamite before it blows up. If you stomp enough dynamite, you can go to the next stage. However, there are two problems. The first and most important is that once you step on a square, it disappears, and you can’t step on it again, so you must be careful where you walk, or you may end up trapped! The second is a pair of shoes that moves around the screen very fast and which will squash you if you cross its path. The game has a very simple concept but is unfortunately very frustrating, mostly thanks to the aforementioned shoes. Most players will give up and play something else after a few goes.