Screenshot of Summer Games II

Summer Games II

(Epyx, 1988)

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.

See also: The Games: Summer Edition, Summer Games.

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Screenshot of Sun Star

Sun Star

(CRL, 1987)

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.

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Screenshot of Super Cars

Super Cars

(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.

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Screenshot of Super Cauldron

Super Cauldron

(Titus, 1993)

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!

See also: Cauldron, Cauldron II: The Pumpkin Strikes Back.

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Screenshot of Super Cycle

Super Cycle

(Epyx, 1987)

Get on a motorbike and race around twelve tracks, and reach the chequered flag before your time runs out. The first few tracks are relatively easy, but on later tracks, you’ll encounter obstacles which you must dodge. Watch out for the other riders, who have a nasty tendency to try to bump you off the road or crash into you! Three of the tracks contain flags which you can collect to gain bonus points. This is a very enjoyable game indeed. The graphics are colourful, and you really get a feeling of speed as you fly past the scenery and the other riders. There are also three difficulty levels, although the lowest one is much too easy! Thankfully that’s not the case with the other two difficulty levels.

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Screenshot of Super Flippard

Super Flippard

(Free Game Blot, 1987)

Reviewed by Robert Small

The idea of Super Flippard is to make the player experience what it’s like to be a ball in a pinball machine. The problem is you’re not in a pinball machine; you’re actually on a conveyor belt in what seems to be a factory. Perhaps this is how pinballs are put to the test? Who knows? You manoeuvre your ball left and right avoiding holes, water and mines. You can also fall off the edge of the conveyor. You can collect certain items to increase your score, and the further you go the more kilometres are covered. Flippers can push you forward and knock you back, and bumpers are present as well. It’s a colourful game but it chugs along and the sound of the conveyor becomes draining. Chasing a high score is fun in short bursts though.

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Screenshot of Super Gran

Super Gran

(Tynesoft, 1985)

Reviewed by Pug

Based on a 1980s children’s TV series, this offering sees you playing the mighty Super Gran – an elderly lady with super powers! Sadly, this game doesn’t quite portray her too well. Some very large and crude graphics flicker along as you sit in your single-coloured flying bike taking out clones. If you play this any further, you no longer need this bike and see Super Gran in all her glory – a large, flickery sprite. The TV soundtrack plays during the game and even this is laughable. I feel sorry for anyone who owned this!

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Screenshot of Super Hang-On

Super Hang-On

(Electric Dreams, 1988)

Race across four continents, each divided into several stages, and make it to the final stage before your time runs out. You can choose which of the four races to compete in. Each one is located on a different continent, with Africa being the easiest course and Europe the hardest. Your motorbike has a turbo booster which you can only use when it has reached its normal maximum speed of 280km/h – you’d better hang on when you use it! Unfortunately it’s not a good game. The graphics are ugly and colour is used poorly. The music which briefly accompanies each race is tinny, and the time limits are so tight that if you make the slightest mistake, you have very little chance of reaching the next checkpoint. This is not one of the better motorbike racing games.

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Screenshot of Super Hero

Super Hero

(Code Masters, 1988)

It’s not easy being a god, and to prove your worthiness, your fellow gods have set you a challenge. The aim is to defeat five Guardians roaming inside a large labyrinth – but you do this by destroying their spirits, and they aren’t located in the same rooms as the Guardians. Before looking for the Guardians, it’s necessary to find four items – a pair of shoes, a bag, a hammer and a helmet – which enable certain actions such as jumping and carrying objects. It’s an isometric exploration game, and if you’re a fan of the genre, you’ll instantly recognise the inspiration for this game. The graphics are very detailed, although the size of the screen is a bit small. However, although it’s good, it seems to lack something in comparison with other games like it.

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Screenshot of Super Monaco GP

Super Monaco GP

(US Gold, 1991)

Another coin-op conversion makes its way on to the CPC. You’re racing around the Grand Prix circuits of the world, but first you must qualify, and then you must reach a certain position after three laps if you want to go on to the next race. In addition, the track may also be wet, making things trickier for you. The graphics are good, especially the digitised pictures, and the girl in the yellow swimsuit! However, the scrolling is too slow and it doesn’t feel as if you’re doing 200mph at all.

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