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.
(Dro Soft, 1988)
One of those games which has a very simple concept which proves to be enjoyable – in the short term, at least. It’s a bat and ball game with two different styles of gameplay which alternate on each screen. Firstly, you must manoeuvre your bat so that a ball remains in the air at all times. If it lands on the ground, a counter will decrease, and when it reaches zero, the game ends. On the following screen, you must touch several tiles while avoiding all the balls; touch any of the balls and the game ends instantly. Subsequent screens add more blocks and eventually, more balls, to make things harder. It gets repetitive after a while – and why does the game have to have such awful Spectrum-like graphics?
Princess Corinne has been kidnapped by Una Cum, who is searching for a box called The Fear which will cause chaos should he obtain it. You must explore the dungeons in Una Cum’s lair and collect three snake brooches to unlock the door where Corinne is trapped, but there are lots of monsters waiting for you in every room! You take the role of Agravain, with another player (if there is one) taking control of Storm if necessary. The graphics are colourful but not very good, and there are well written descriptions of each room which scroll near the top of the screen. The sound effects are useless, though! A lot of exploring and mapping is required, and this game will keep you occupied.
See also: The Fear: Storm II.
The evil Witch Queen has summoned a huge thunderstorm which is set to last for a hundred years and wreak havoc upon the kingdom. But as usual, only one person can stop her – the Prince of the Kingdom, who you control in this platform game. You must travel through the land and enter the Witch Queen’s castle, and stop the Witch Queen from carrying out her plans. Throughout your travels, you encounter warriors with swords, and you have to fight them. For some reason, the number of hits it takes for you to kill them with your sword is entirely random! The graphics are beautiful, although the hardware techniques used may cause a few problems, and all the warriors look just like you; there are no other types of enemy other than a few gargoyles.
After returning from the 25th century in Knight Tyme, Magic Knight returns to the quiet village of Cornhamp-on-Marsh, which has been taken over by the Off-White Knight, who is in fact the evil personality of Magic Knight. To free the village from his clutches, Magic Knight has to merge with him. This is the final game starring Magic Knight and it’s much like the others, but with more characters, more rooms, and more features. The graphics are reasonable, but I think it’s a little trickier than the other games – and if you’re wondering where the music is, try wearing the personal stereo!
Rescue the fairies on each of the four levels before the night comes in. It’s a tricky little game and no mistake – in fact, it’s much too tricky, and completing the first level is an enormous feat in itself. It’s colourful, and the fairies are rather sexy (and Amstrad Action laughably censored them when it appeared on their covertape). The wolf-whistles you hear when you walk past the large fairies are amusing, too. The music is also extremely good (although it doesn’t play during the game itself), but even though you’ve got nine lives, the game is still too difficult, and a tight time limit only makes things worse.
See also: Deliverance.
Can you help Moosh to close the bridge between his world and the world that the evil Tsych inhabits, thus saving his people from doom? This is a puzzle game consisting of 32 deviously designed levels made up of tiles, most of which will disappear after Moosh moves to another tile. The aim is to guide Moosh from his starting position to the purple tile that marks the exit, and to remove all the tiles that can be removed. The first few levels are fairly easy, but it becomes quite difficult surprisingly quickly, although you are given passwords which enable you to skip earlier levels. This is the first totally new game on the CPC to see a commercial release for at least ten years, and I certainly welcome it. Although there is very little sound, the graphics are colourful and the game as a whole is very challenging.
(Virgin Games, 1985)
Reviewed by Robert Small
Only you can liberate the robot factory from alien occupation. There are several games like Strangeloop on the CPC and yet Strangeloop does enough to carve out its own niche. It has a brilliant feature where if you die you can position yourself to avoid instant deaths on your next life, for example. There is a vehicle to ride that makes the game easier, as being on foot at first is quite cumbersome. This, however, ties into the game’s narrative (lack of gravity). There are many locations to explore and items to find that have been strategically placed. The graphics are colourful and your character moves briskly around the screen. The further you get the more there is to see. The sound effects are slim, though. There is an enhanced version (Strangeloop+) which even includes a Sorcery-themed level (a great idea; if only more games offered bonuses like this). Indeed, if you liked Sorcery then you’ll enjoy this.
You’re in a shopping centre with no clothes on (yes!), and have to find all your clothes before you can leave again. However, there are thieves about who will steal your clothes and other objects you’re carrying, although you can prevent this by giving them the correct object. You’ll also need to sneak into some of the shops when they’re closed. This is a strange game, but when you try to play it, you will scream. The game is slower than an arthritic tortoise, the graphics are worse than terrible, and what sound there is is rubbish. It really is an absolutely useless game!
The West Siders have threatened to take over Joe’s gym, so Joe hires six men to see if they can beat the stuffing out of them. Before they can set out on to the streets, the six men have to undergo training to see if they’re up to standard. The first part is a joystick-waggling session where you must get your men to qualify by punching the bag as much as they can within eight seconds. The second part is where you fight the West Siders, although there’s not much you can do to prevent them slaughtering you, and the moves are limited. The tune is quite good, although the graphics are much better on the first part than the second; it’s a shame that there’s not much of a game in there.