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.
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.
In the 22nd century, stations orbit the Earth and harness the Sun’s energy to grow crystals that are used for interstellar travel. However, things have gone wrong; the disrupter pulses have gone awry, and your task is to shoot them and collect ten crystals on each station before warping to the next one. Each station consists of a 30×30 grid, and you can only move horizontally or vertically. It’s difficult to know what to say about the graphics, since your view of the grid is represented using coloured tiles – it’s certainly unusual, if rather primitive. The constant noise of your engine is annoying, and the game itself is a bit repetitive.
(Gremlin Graphics, 1990)
In this game, you’re battling it out with other cars in the race to win the championship. There are three stages, nine tracks and the hazards increase as you progress. If things are getting tough, though, you can buy some add-ons for your car, or if you have the money, you can get yourself a new, faster car – and in the later stages of the game, you’re going to need to! The graphics are basic but do their job, although the sound effects are useless. This is compensated for by the excellent music, which is only available if you have 128K. The game is made better by passwords which mean you don’t have to restart the first and second stages each time you play.
Reviewed by Pug
Super Cauldron places you as Zmira, a good witch who respects nature. Her powers have been weakened by a curse that has been cast everywhere by a demon. Your task is to regain your powers and remove both the curse and also the evil demon responsible. Along the way, you collect spells that are stored in your book for later use, some of which allow access to otherwise unreachable areas. This game is a multi-scrolling platformer that pushes the humble CPC to its limits in terms of graphics and effects. It looks, feels and performs like a console game!