SAS Combat Simulator
(Code Masters, 1988)
The SAS are the elite fighting force, able to tackle the roughest terrain and the toughest missions, and this is a really tough mission. You’re on your own as you race through desert, jungle and swampland to destroy four enemy bases. There are four levels consisting of two parts; the first is a shoot-’em-up where you go berserk with your gun and grenades, avoiding enemy fire, while the second sees you armed only with a knife, stabbing the oncoming enemy soldiers (who are all unarmed, thankfully). The graphics, sound and music are all excellent, but as luck would have it, the game is too difficult, particularly the second part of each level – maybe the SAS could use it in their recruitment training!
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: ChinnyVision, Xyphoe.
The forces of evil are taking over the universe, and the wizards which once ruled the world have fallen under its spell. As a warrior, you must first become a wizard by gathering three scrolls guarded by the fearsome Tam Lin beasts, and then you must free the wizards who have been captured in the Palace of the Clouds. The graphics in this game are some of the most breathtaking I have seen on the CPC, and have to be seen to be believed! There’s no music, but the sound effects are good. It’s a great game, too, with lots of enemies to kill, although there’s a lot of jumping around, as the warrior moves somewhat gracefully through the air.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Retro Danuart.
(Ubi Soft, 1990)
- Knowledge of French is required in order to play this game properly.
You and your friend Yurk, a dragon who was rescued in a previous adventure called Orphée (released several years before this one), have entered another world and must escape from it by collecting some magic crystals. Not a very original story, is it? This is a rather nice text adventure in which you select commands by clicking on icons instead of typing them. It makes the game more accessible to those who are new to text adventures, and you aren’t left struggling to find the correct words. The graphics are beautifully drawn in the high-colour, low-resolution Mode 0 – a change from most French text adventures – but the font is rather difficult to read. There’s also some delightful music to accompany this very agreeable game.
See also: Orphée.
Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard
The first time I played this game, I was really baffled. Even my friends who owned a Commodore 64 stopped giggling at my CPC when they saw these graphics! The sprites are huge and colourful, and the animation is as fast as it can be. Remember Trantor: The Last Stormtrooper? Well, this game is even better! Okay, the action is sometimes a little confusing, and the game is rather difficult. But there are three totally different stages, each of which you can access by a code. The last one, in which you’re an eagle, is really amazing. I really think this is the most gorgeous game for the CPC, and one of the very best; programmers had (at last) mastered the machine!
(Leisure Genius, 1987)
The slot-car hobby that many of us spent our childhoods with is somewhat badly recreated here. Either a computer or a friend can race on a track. There are lots of pre-designed tracks available, or you can create your own. However, the racing itself is dull; the track is too narrow and overtaking is therefore extremely difficult, and if you crash into your opponent, the race is over instantly. The graphics are average, but there’s hardly any scenery on the track edges. The sound effects are very limited as well, and the drone of the engines becomes irritating. Indeed, creating your own tracks is probably the best part of this game!
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: ChinnyVision, GameHammer Classic Gaming.
(Level 9, 1989)
Alan Chance was falsely accused of bungling a police raid on a drug gang which led to his death, and as his ghost, you have three days to clear your name. This is a three-part text adventure, starting in the graveyard as you witness your own funeral, and then moving on to gather evidence at the scene of your death in order to locate the gang at their new hideaway and allow the police to arrest them. This was Level 9’s last text adventure and a great way to end their legacy. The 28 pictures are wonderful and really add to the atmosphere. Some rather elaborate commands can be understood, too, and the plot is also highly original. This is one of the best text adventures I’ve played.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: GameHammer Classic Gaming.
(Dro Soft, 1986)
Reviewed by Robert Small
One of the most atmospheric games available for the CPC. It starts with a delightful intro sequence of your astronaut landing in a pod accompanied by his fearless dog. The doors of an unknown structure slowly open, then close, leaving you inside. Once inside you view things from a first-person perspective, cautiously navigating the maze-like structure accompanied by the sound of your breathing from within your helmet. There are puzzles to solve, hieroglyphs to find and enemies to avoid. Every time you find a new hieroglyph, you’re even treated to a cutscene. The 3D graphics are very good for such an early game and I was really impressed by the sound design.
Two completely different types of game – a quiz, and a Centipede clone – are mixed together to produce one rather awful game. You control a spaceship that can only move left and right, and you must shoot all of the blobs that move from left to right, and gradually down the screen towards you. However, every few seconds, and after completing a level, play is interrupted and you are asked a question or two about maths or history. If you don’t get it right, either you lose a life, or you have to restart the level. These interruptions are frankly annoying and make the game very irritating to play. Why should anyone be asked such questions while playing an arcade game, anyway?
Scooby’s friends are being held in a haunted castle belonging to a mad scientist, so Scooby enters the castle to rescue them. Originally, this was meant to be an interactive cartoon adventure, but this proved to be too ambitious for 8-bit machines and a completely different game was released, after a very long wait. You must explore the castle, climbing stairs and jumping over holes and skulls lying on the floor, while punching the ghosts and other strange creatures. Extra lives can be obtained by collecting Scooby Snacks, and you’ll certainly need them. The graphics are Spectrum-like, and there’s no music or theme tune to sing along to! The game itself is very repetitive and quite frustrating, particularly when you reach the third level.
See also: Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo.
Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo
(Hi-Tec Software, 1991)
Scooby and Shaggy have been captured and are being held in a castle cell, so Scrappy must rescue them. This is a platform game with four levels, lots of ghosts and other nasty creatures, and bonuses to collect. The monsters can be killed by using some ‘puppy power’ (i.e. punching them), although this requires some practice; time it wrongly and you will lose one of your three lives (and they are easy to lose). The graphics are really colourful and excellent, but there are few sound effects and no music, which is a shame. The game itself is enjoyable to play but suffers by being rather difficult, and you really need more lives to make the game a bit fairer.
See also: Scooby-Doo.