You have decided to replace your current spacecraft with a new, state of the art one – the Foourd T-Bird. You go to the nearest dealer and ask for a test drive – but you have taken a wrong turning somewhere and ended up in the heat of battle against some nasty aliens! Four levels await you in this space shoot-’em-up. The action is viewed in perspective, with the waves of aliens coming out of the screen towards you. If you shoot all of the aliens in a wave, you can collect a pod which gives you a power-up, or you can ignore it and select another power-up the next time you collect a pod. The graphics are quite good and the scrolling is fast, but there is no music and hardly any sound effects. Overall, it’s a fairly average shoot-’em-up.
Reviewed by Pug
Table Football is a table-top football game for two players. Player one plays the red team and player two controls the blue team. After listening to the pleasant title music, you and a friend begin the match. The controls are simple enough; move up or down and kick to the left or to the right. They respond well as the large football moves along the pitch in what can soon become a nerve-racking game. The graphics are smooth, colourful and a tad slow but overall they work well. Overall, an average but enjoyable two-player challenge that begs for a computer opponent.
Reviewed by Piero Serra
Tai-Pan is a novel by James Clavell about 17th century traders in Hong Kong. It inspired both a film and a 1982 computer trading game called Taipan! in which you must purchase a ship to become a trader in the South China seas. Ocean’s version seems to be a remake of that earlier game, with more graphics and music. It added arcade elements too, such as sea combat and a lot of walking around maze-like streets looking for crew and items to buy. Trading involves finding certain locations to conduct your business in, but the trading interface is clumsy, and asks a lot of questions to which the wrong answer just gets you thrown out of the door. It’s not an especially pretty game either, and the in-game music quickly gets tiring. I didn’t like this much but die-hard fans of trading games might enjoy it more.
(Interceptor Software, 1985)
The evil Sultan of Saladin has captured Prince Imrahil’s sister and taken her to Baghdad, and you must rescue her. Starting on one of the Sultan’s ships, you must collect seven jugs in the correct order, spelling out the word ‘Arabian’, before you can travel along the river Anhil to a cavern, where you encounter some genies and must again collect seven jugs. Once you’ve done that, you fly across the desert to the gates of Baghdad to – you’ve guessed it – collect seven more jugs. This is a mediocre platform game that has dated badly. The graphics and music are fairly primitive, but the collision detection is poor and ruins the game completely, and the second and fourth levels are far too easy.
The Talisman of Osiris is a sacred artefact that bestows magical powers upon whoever possesses it, and secret agent Karl Adrix has been sent to explore the catacombs beneath the pyramids and retrieve it – but in order to enter the room where it is located, he must obtain four jewels and place them next to statues of the gods to appease them. Once all the jewels are placed correctly, he will receive the key to open the chamber where the mythical talisman is located. This is the second in a series of six games starring Karl Adrix, and it looks and plays very similarly to the first one. Even the same music is used; the only significant difference is the Egyptian-themed graphics. It’s just as enjoyable to play as the first game, although there are some rooms where you can fall into a trap and be unable to escape, which is annoying.
Another horizontally scrolling space shoot-’em-up to look at and play. What’s this one like, then? Erm... it’s not that good. Just control your spacecraft and fire at the oncoming waves of aliens, spaceships and rocks, while facing the occasional large alien which will take a lot of shots to kill, and collecting a few power-ups on the way (which seem to have little effect). I’ve seen it all before. The graphics are OK – they’re rather colourful – but the sound effects are rather basic, and the scrolling is relatively slow and jerky.
Reviewed by Pug
Tank is a shoot-’em-up based on the SNK coin-op game. The evil dictator has gone way too far, and it’s up to you to make your way through his defences and put an end to his régime. This entails travelling over (very large) beaches, jungles, villages and military installations while shooting everything that moves. Your tank is initially equipped with machine guns and a cannon, but there are various letters scattered around which power up your armoured vehicle. Enemies come in all shapes and sizes with some very tricky bosses to defeat. The graphics are varied and colourful, with jumpy scrolling that doesn’t spoil the game too much. Apart from the short tune playing on the title screen, the in-game effects are limited to shots and explosion noises. Tank is easy to get into and it gradually gets more and more difficult.
(Design Design, 1985)
You’ve somehow been marooned on another world and have to shoot all the blue objects to escape. However, there are tanks who are out to get you, and each time you shoot one, another will appear. On the screen, you can see a radar map showing the location of the tank and any missiles it fires. Unfortunately, since the graphics are so minimal, finding that last crystal can be frustrating, but in fact you should be able to complete any game in under ten minutes. Despite it being one of the easiest games I’ve played, there’s still something about it which makes me go for it whenever I feel like a quick blast.
Reviewed by Pug
Your mission is to rescue agents stranded within the battle zone. You travel in your tank, crawling over many types of terrain in a 2D map setting. Enemy tanks, trucks and turrets lie in wait, and when sighted, pressing the fire button activates the battle mode. Here the game changes to 3D view where you elevate your gun to the correct angle in order to score a direct hit. The loading screen is well drawn in Mode 1, making good use of colour. Game-wise, the graphics for the map are varied and colourful. The battle mode is also detailed, displaying mountains, hills, fields, etc. Sound effects are limited to shots and explosions. An interesting game that carries just the right difficulty level.
Can you help the bartender serve all the customers as they flow continually into your bar? The bar consists of four long tables, and customers move along the tables. Once any of them reach the bar, you lose a life, and the way to avoid this is to throw a mug of beer along the table to the customer, which hopefully will send them out of the bar altogether; if you completely clear the bar of customers, you go to the next level. You also have to collect empty mugs as the customers throw them back to you. The action is frantic, but the controls are rather unresponsive when there is a lot of action on the screen, and by the third level, the amount of customers becomes so overwhelming that it seems to be impossible to progress any further. Still, it’s an entertaining game with colourful graphics.