(Central Solutions, 1986)
You have been invited to a party within a large house, but first of all, you must search the house and find five letters which make up a code. The house has one hundred rooms, and there are dangers lurking in most of them. This is an absolutely terrible game – that much is obvious from the moment you load it. From the loading screen consisting of random lines and flashing colours, to the extremely crude graphics, to the extremely irritating random beeps which play throughout the game, to the snail-like movement of your character, this game has ‘awful’ written all over it. Even then, I might have felt generous enough to give it at least one mark out of ten, but alas, no – you only have one life! And did I mention that it only works properly on a CPC464 and not on the other models?
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Xyphoe.
Reviewed by Pug
You are stuck in a maze-like arena full of endlessly generating robots and monsters. Your mission is to collect all of the treasures scattered around. All contact with the nasties drains your energy bar, but there are potions that boost this. This game shows its age; it was one of the first to be released for the CPC464. An aged game idea with primitive methods of gameplay, simple, blocky graphics and basic effects.
(Topo Soft/US Gold, 1987)
On board a spaceship, you are the sole remaining example of a creature that has evolved over one million years. Your aim is to ensure the survival of your race by placing ten pods in the incubators that can be found around the spaceship. Of course, there are other inhabitants and machines on board who will drain your energy, although it can be replenished when you place a pod, or by chasing and eating one of the tiny engineers that wander around – which is both gruesome and hilarious to watch! The graphics are very colourful indeed, and while the game can occasionally be awkward – jumping correctly from platform to platform is often frustrating – there is a wide enough variety of locations to keep fans of exploration games interested for some time.
Nuclear war has taken place, but the occupants of seven bunkers are trapped inside them, and three droids have been sent to rescue them. This game is quite similar to Boulder Dash, but the difference is that each droid performs different functions – the blue one can dig the earth, the yellow one can rescue the inhabitants, and the red one can push boulders. You must use each droid carefully or you’ll be stuck! Despite the simple graphics, this is a great game if you have the ability to think laterally, but the levels are too big for most people to complete.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Amstrad CPC World.
- Knowledge of French is required in order to play this game properly.
You’re a lion cub, roaming the savannah. One morning, you realise that your mother has disappeared, and now you have to face life without her... This is a multiple choice adventure game where you must choose one of several possible actions, but many of them will take you down false paths. Along the way, you’ll encounter many different types of animal – a hippopotamus, a hyena, an antelope, and even a jackal who can play chess (yes!). This game wasn’t released on its own and was only available on one of Lankhor’s Black Soft compilations. Excellent full-screen graphics accompany each location, and there are lots of suitably atmospheric tunes as well. Overall, it’s a nice adventure (although all the text is in French), and at times you feel sorry for the poor lion cub as you’re playing the game.
A disaster is taking place on the planet of Contra, and you have been woken up so that you can alter the settings of the Filtering Computers that maintain the planet’s systems. However, you do not actually control yourself; instead, you control six robots, each of whom perceives the world around them differently and has their own capabilities and limitations. While chaos reigns on the planet above, you must use all six of the robots to fix everything. This is a text adventure like no other, and it’s one that takes a lot of getting used to. It is one of Infocom’s most difficult games, and to do well, you must remember where all the robots are and make sure they’re in the right places at the right times. The plot is highly original, but its difficulty level and other general quirks will put a lot of people off.
Puzzle games don’t come much harder than this one! You’re given a board of several colours of either squares, triangles or hexagons, and you have to clear all of them from the board by swapping them and matching the colours up. The difficulty depends on how many colours there are, the shape of the tiles, and whether or not there is a time limit. How well you complete one level determines which level you’ll go on to next, so it’s never the same game twice! The whole game is extremely well presented, and the icon-based menu system looks stunning. You’ll get frustrated, but with the option to save and load the game as well as a multiple undo system, this is a great game for all of us intellectuals.
(Gargoyle Games, 1986)
Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard
Don’t ask me what the plot of this game is, I never understood it. All you have to do is find your way through a maze filled with tin boxes, rotten fruit, chocolate geese (!), and brownies (that you must collect). It is funny, anyway, despite the four-colour graphics (which are very good, though). The animation of your creature is fluid, even if it slows a lot when there are other characters on the screen. Well, it is a strange game, and really addictive because you want to explore this silly world further – and understand the meaning of it all!
See also: Hydrofool.
(Gremlin Graphics, 1990)
Reviewed by Chris Wraight
As Hiro, last of the Blade Knights, your task is to find the lost pieces of the mystical Fireblade and free the world from the tyranny of the evil Havok. What could be a fairly dreary task is enlivened by the superb implementation of an otherwise fairly standard platform format. Whether using your fists or one of the many weapons lying around the dungeon, the sliding power bar makes performing different moves simple and elegant. The difficulty is also pitched just right. Graphically, things are spot-on; the detailed Mode 1 graphics provide a suitably gloomy ambience. A great tune plays throughout too – a relatively rare thing in CPC games. There are a couple of niggles (Hiro’s jumping can be slightly clumsy at times), but generally this is one of the most professional titles ever released for the CPC, and a cartridge version is also available for Plus machines.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: Axelino, ChinnyVision, Xyphoe (cartridge version).
Reviewed by Chris Lennard
Vertically scrolling shoot-’em-up action in this unofficial sequel to Silkworm (its name could be interpreted as Silkworm IV). Once again you must stop everything getting past; waves of helicopters, tanks, rockets, and numerous other deadly foes on land and air as you fly past a barren landscape, all of which can be obliterated by the weapons at your disposal. You have a choice of craft between a helicopter or a jeep, both of which have their advantages and disadvantages, and killing the large bosses enables you to pick up power-ups that increase your firepower. The graphics are highly detailed, the sounds of exploding units and installations are effective and it’s enjoyable enough, but the fact remains that this is a bad Spectrum port. Considering the year this was released it should have looked better.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: ChinnyVision, jgonza.