It’s time to take your vintage car out for a run in the countryside. This one seems to be capable of reaching incredible speeds, however, and there’s no way I would risk driving such a car in real life! This is a very simple game in which you move your vehicle left and right along a road and avoid obstacles. The graphics are colourful, but the screen scrolls so ridiculously fast and the controls are so sensitive that I found it impossible to drive for even ten seconds without crashing. The vehicle accelerates automatically, but you can only use the brake intermittently, as it is prone to overheating, and this is a major flaw in the gameplay. Thankfully a construction kit is included, which is welcome, because the two levels (yes, only two!) that are supplied with the game are very badly designed.
(Rantan Games, 2015)
Reviewed by Missas
Top Top was an entry for the 2015 #CPCRetroDev Game Creation Contest. It is a really original idea; you take control of two cute female magicians and you have to make them cooperate to progress through the levels. The game is displayed in Mode 0 and while the colours are vivid, the sprites appear a little coarse. A catchy tune plays throughout the game and there are also some nice sound effects. The gameplay is really interesting and enjoyable and the grab factor is strong. The level design is smart and challenging. It is essentially a very smartly executed puzzle game that combines some elements of platform games. It is definitely one of the most interesting games I’ve played for some time.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: jgonza.
Torann has to collect 160 gold coins scattered over four levels and deposit them in several safes that can be found on each level. However, there are monsters known as Buguivores that move around the screen, and they will try to trap Torann and steal the coins he is carrying. They can be killed by gates that can be swung around, but they will regenerate quickly. Movement between levels is accomplished by using a teleport, and you don’t have to collect all the coins to go to another level. The gameplay is nothing original and the graphics, while cheerful, look quite dated. Moving Torann around the screen can be frustrating, as the controls are rather unresponsive. It should be noted that Torann is almost identical to another game from Loriciels, Dianne, which was released at the same time.
See also: Dianne.
It’s 1930, and in two hours’ time there will be a total eclipse, bringing about the effects of an ancient curse that will annihilate the Earth. You have to reach the top of a pyramid and destroy the statue there before the eclipse. This is one of the Freescape games and the ‘true’ 3D is quite impressive. Making a map of the pyramid is quite difficult, though! There isn’t much sound – mainly gunshots and the constant beat of your heart – but it seems to make the tension that bit more realistic.
See also: Total Eclipse II: The Sphinx Jinx.
Total Eclipse II: The Sphinx Jinx
There’s going to be another total eclipse soon! Twelve parts of the Sphinx have gone missing somewhere in the catacombs, and you have only one hour to find them. The gameplay, graphics and sound effects are all much the same as the original game, although there are a few new puzzles; try fathoming your way through the Jinx section, for instance! This game was originally only available as a bundle with Total Eclipse through the Home Computer Club, and it would be just as good as the original, but for one incredibly stupid room which contains an invisible maze, which is immensely frustrating to solve (and not surprisingly, I’ve never managed to solve it). You’ll still have fun with the rest of the game, though.
See also: Total Eclipse.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Xyphoe.
Doug Quaid isn’t sure who he really is, and after visiting a company called Rekall Incorporated which can implant memories into people, he goes to Mars to discover his true identity. The game consists of five levels which are based on the film of the same name. Three of them are platform games which also contain puzzles, where you must flick the correct switches to gain access to some areas. There are also some men (armed and unarmed) who you must kill. The other two levels are driving games with a shoot-’em-up element. The graphics are very good, particularly on the platform levels, and the two pieces of music are simply wonderful. However, the gameplay is rather difficult for my liking, particularly on the second level.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: Axelino, ChinnyVision, jgonza.
(ESP Soft, 2012)
This game is a version of the Sega classic Columns with a distinctly Egyptian theme. Columns of three blocks, each engraved with a symbol, fall from the top of the screen, and you must create horizontal, vertical or diagonal lines of three or more matching symbols. It’s a simple concept which is quite similar to Tetris. The graphics are beautifully drawn using the CPC’s four-colour mode, and several playing modes are included – classical, stage mode (achieve a score within a set time limit), time attack (score as many points as possible within three minutes), and a two-player ‘versus’ mode. This is an excellent game and is much better than ESP Soft’s previous version of Columns.
See also: CPC Jewels.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: XeNoMoRPH.
(Topo Soft, 1991)
Take part in a cycling race held over four stages, and try to amass the shortest time possible over all the stages. The first and last stages are viewed from the side and require a lot of joystick waggling to build up and maintain your speed, while the second and third stages are viewed from overhead, and don’t require any joystick waggling. You have to finish within the top six to go to the next stage, although a training mode is also available. The graphics are brilliant and really colourful – I like the animation of the crowd cheering the cyclists – and there’s a jolly tune to accompany all of the action if you have 128K of memory. You don’t have to waggle the joystick really hard, though, and all in all, the game is good fun.
Tour de Force
(Gremlin Graphics, 1987)
Reviewed by Robert Small
This is one game that does not take its subject matter seriously. You take part in a global bicycle race – but this is one with a difference, because cheating is encouraged. You can either kick or nudge your competitors into obstacles that litter the courses. Perhaps the strongest aspect of the game is the courses themselves. They might be stereotypes but they have nice little differences with plenty of obstacles and a nice snippet of music to start off each country’s course. It’s fun weaving back and forth and trying to collect liquid to stay cool and win the race. The big negative is trying to tell your rider apart from the rest of the peloton. It’s also quite easy, and there’s no in-game sound.
(Magnificent 7, 1986)
There are a lot of snooker simulators for the CPC and this is one of the earlier ones, which was later re-released by Code Masters as Professional Snooker Simulator. The first thing you’ll notice about it is that it’s in four colours, which is a bit strange when you need at least eight. Even though it says which ball is which on the screen, it is still confusing, and not only that, the method of aiming is awkward; instead of pointing a cursor at your target ball, you must rotate the cue about the white ball, and the strange controls make this tricky to get right. From all of this, you’d think there wasn’t much reason to rate this game – and you’d be absolutely right.