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!).
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.
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.
Reviewed by Missas
Sudoku arrives on the CPC thanks to Kevin Thacker. In this puzzle game, the objective is to fill a 9×9 grid with digits so that each column and row, and each of the nine 3×3 sub-grids that compose the grid, contain all of the digits from 1 to 9. The puzzle setter provides a partially completed grid, which typically has a unique solution. There are only four colours, but there is no need for more. Furthermore, an Oriental-style tune plays during the game. There are three game modes, one of which gives the player the opportunity to create a sudoku puzzle as he or she may like. This automatically gives infinite depth to the gameplay, thus the grab factor is really strong. If you like sudoku, simply do not miss this game.
(Binary Sciences, 2009)
Everyone should know about sudoku – the puzzle game in which you must fill a 9×9 grid, ensuring that each number from 1 to 9 appears only once in each row, column and 3×3 block. You can choose to play either a randomly generated puzzle from one of four difficulty levels, or attempt the “128 level challenge” – and if you somehow manage to solve all 128 levels, you really can crown yourself a Sudoku Master! The game is very well presented indeed, which isn’t surprising, as the programmer was involved in the French demo scene for many years. Some of the colour schemes are horrible, though – but thankfully, you can change them easily. The music that plays during the game is quite relaxing and not distracting. Fans of sudoku will certainly enjoy it.
In Sugar City, sugar has become so scarce that gangs of criminals control its supply. Sarah and her family have emigrated from Colombia to live in Sugar City and try to control as much of the market for sugar as possible – but the gangs are ruthless and won’t hesitate to use violence. This attempt to bring Grand Theft Auto to the CPC finished second in the 2023 #CPCRetroDev Game Creation Contest. You can steal various vehicles and drive them around Sugar City to various destinations in order to undertake missions. The game uses some clever techniques in an attempt to make the scrolling smooth, but it doesn’t always work very well and it can be jerky at times. The sprites also flicker annoyingly when there’s a lot of action on the screen. Despite these flaws, and the occasional bug, it’s fun to play, and it’s impressive to see how much it crams into 64K of memory.
Six rubies belonging to the Sultan of Baghdad are hidden inside Hampton Court maze. However, the ghost of the Sultan’s bodyguard still roams the maze and is waiting to catch any intruders! Your task is to collect all six of these rubies. Unfortunately, the game is written entirely in BASIC, and it takes ages to draw your view each time you move. Your energy decreases quickly as well, and it’s only possible to rescue one ruby at a time before re-entering the maze; in summary, it’s extremely boring.
This Olympics-inspired game was originally released in 1984, but it wasn’t until four years later that it was released for the CPC on US Gold’s Gold, Silver, Bronze compilation. There are seven events to compete in – the pole vault, diving, the 4×400-metre relay, the 100-metre sprint, the freestyle relay, the 100-metre freestyle, and skeet shooting. Most of the events are quite good and thankfully don’t involve a lot of manic joystick waggling, although obtaining a good result in the pole vault and diving events seems to be mostly down to luck. It’s also very difficult to beat the computer’s default records in most of the events. Despite these flaws, there is a very varied mixture of events to play which will keep you entertained.
Reviewed by CPC4eva
Challenge your sporting skills in eight different events – the triple jump, rowing, the javelin, show jumping, the high jump, fencing, cycling and kayaking. You can practice an event, compete in some events or play all the events consecutively. Once you have entered your name you can choose from sixteen different countries, and your objective is to get the gold medal and set new world records. The opening and closing ceremonies are nice touches but the game itself is unfortunately a poor Spectrum port, with a small screen size, not the best choice of colours and graphics used, and poor in-game sound effects. There are many events, but the gameplay could be better, and there isn’t enough staying power with this one.