Reviewed by Pug
Another arcade conversion hits the CPC with a silent thud. No one was expecting miracles with the 8-bit versions of this arcade smash, but it could have been done better. This ‘race’ game involves you speeding down twisting tunnels and long expanses of road, shooting the obstacles and collecting bonuses. Upon playing this game you soon wonder, “What am I supposed to do here?” It doesn’t move at any pace that attracts you, each level looks and feels the same, and the game soon becomes boring. The visuals, although colourful, do nothing for something that barely resembles a game.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: ChinnyVision.
Stunt Bike Simulator
Chad Adams wants to be the world’s best motorbike stuntman, and to prove it, he must complete five events. These include dropping from a hang-glider on to his motorbike, riding over logs, jumping through rings of fire, driving on to the back of a moving lorry, and jumping on to a helicopter – don’t try these things at home! You get three attempts to perform each stunt correctly, and if you fail, you must start again from the beginning. Apart from the last stunt, they’re all easy once you work out the correct method. The graphics are fairly simple, and the hang-glider, lorry and helicopter are so blocky that it looks like they’re made from bricks, and strangely, there are no sound effects or music at all. This is a dull game that is best avoided.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Xyphoe.
Stunt Car Racer
(Micro Style, 1990)
Race a stunt car around eight tracks and against eleven other competitors in a league consisting of four divisions. You can practice on all of the tracks, and you’ll certainly need it if you want to stand any chance of completing the required three laps of each race. You are also supplied with turbo boost in each race, but you should use it carefully, as the track takes its toll on your car, and if you land on the track at too high a speed, you will damage your car permanently. What sets this game apart is the graphics; the track is viewed in true 3D and the frame rate is quite fast – well, for a CPC. The sound effects are pretty good, too, and racing around the tracks is great fun – but you will need a lot of practice to master the toughest tracks!
(Gasoline Software, 1987)
Reviewed by CPC4eva
A French game where you play the role of an underwater diver armed with a spear gun. Your objective is to score points by killing seven different waves of underwater species (seahorses, clams, piranhas, sharks, stingrays, swordfish and turtles). Each wave has different score values; the first wave is worth ten points each, the next wave twenty points, and so on. Your energy bar is depleted by being hit by a creature. The gameplay is the same on each level, but each time you finish a level, the next time it becomes harder. The game has good controls and movement with large sprites for the diver and underwater creatures, and the animation of the diver falling into the water between levels is nicely done. It’s a simplistic, easy, repetitive game, although I’m not sure environmentalists would let a game like this be released nowadays.
(Psytronik Software, 2011)
Reviewed by Missas
In order to cover up an experiment gone wrong, the government tries to dispose of the evidence by dumping toxic waste into the sea. However, as a result, swimmers begin to go missing and mutated sea creatures spiral out of control. This is a job for you – Sub Hunter! In this scrolling shoot-’em-up, your task is to save the swimmers and survive in the hostile seas. The graphics are detailed, colourful and well drawn with a fine colour selection, so the visual result is excellent. The intro graphics are hand-drawn and there is parallax scrolling during the gameplay. The in-game music creates a stressful atmosphere. The gameplay is fast-paced with accurate control response of the submarine, while the difficulty level is balanced as levels progress. The grab factor is strong. Overall, what we have here is a new CPC jewel.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: Metr81, Novabug, Xyphoe.
Subbuteo: The Computer Game
(Electronic Zoo, 1990)
Many football fans will remember growing up with Subbuteo, the table football game where you flick the players using your finger. It’s been around since 1947, and this is obviously a computer adaptation of the game – and surprisingly, the concept works rather well. Each player takes it in turn to fire the ball using one of their players; if a player doesn’t hit the ball or fouls another player, play passes to the other team. There are also opportunities for ‘defensive flicks’ and ‘positional flicks’ which allow you to adjust the positions of your players. The graphics are crude, but that’s not a big problem. What is a problem is that even on the novice level, the computer is rather good, and aiming your players correctly is very tricky.
Reviewed by Piero Serra
You are Ed Lines, a reporter for the Seafarer Gazette, assigned to nuclear submarine the Sea-Lion, which is attacked by an enemy power while you are on board. You find a place to hide, but when you emerge, it seems the crew have been captured and the place is deserted. You must escape; the problem is that the submarine is lying on the seabed. This is a rather basic text adventure made using The Quill. What raises this one is the witty prose and the descriptions of the locations, which make it seem as if the authors actually knew something about submarines. The puzzles are logical and have just about the right level of difficulty, although it is possible to get into unwinnable situations. The parser is basic but not too much of a hindrance. Only the very rudimentary graphics and a few glaring typos lower the bar (sorry for the pun!).
See also: Seabase Delta.
Reviewed by Missas
Subtera Puzlo was an entrant in CPCWiki’s 16KB ROM game development competition held in 2013. As the name implies, it is a puzzle/arcade game. You control an insect and you need to avoid the other subterranean insects and collect the coins before the time limit ends. The game begins with a catchy tune which I particularly enjoyed. The graphics are drawn in Mode 1 and are highly detailed and well designed. The on-screen colours change from level to level. The levels are neatly and carefully designed, and there are some nice sound effects. The gameplay is great with perfect collision detection and non-stop action. Thus, the grab factor is very strong. The game has many levels to complete and you will not get bored of it easily. Overall, this is a magnificent game that hides its size (only 16 kilobytes!).
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Amstrad CPC World.
Travel through five levels of a subterranean cave system in your spaceship, rescuing the miners who have been kidnapped by the aliens. Each level contains eight men, several aliens that must be shot, and a lot of other hazards. It’s a bit like Defender in that the game is horizontally scrolling and there’s a scanner at the top of the screen showing a map of the level and the positions of both the men and the aliens. However, the cave passages are very narrow, and there are often moving hazards that block and unblock them, so some very precise positioning and timing is required. The poor collision detection and occasionally flickery graphics spoil the game even more.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Xyphoe.
The London Underground is a dangerous place in this scenario; the stations are filled with muggers and thugs. It’s up to you to clear the stations and make them safe for London’s citizens. From the very start, you are heavily outnumbered as skinheaded, bare-chested fighters close in on you, approaching you from both sides, and beat you up mercilessly. It’s difficult enough to kill the required number of enemies to go to the next level, but to make things worse, when you lose energy, you have to start the level all over again! It’s not a good game anyway, as movement is sluggish and the graphics have been converted straight from the Spectrum. The music is the only positive thing that’s worth mentioning about this poor game.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: ChinnyVision, XeNoMoRPH.