(Amsoft/Mr Micro, 1985)
Can you tame the Tribbles? Although it’s not related to Star Trek, this game is almost certainly inspired by the furry creatures that featured in one episode. The Tribbles are continually running around the screen, and you must capture them before they reach a shower unit that will spray deadly acid over them and kill them as a result. There is a cage at the top left of the screen, which you can use to capture the Tribbles one at a time by manoeuvring a set of crosshairs and dragging the cage into the Tribble’s path. Naturally, additional hazards appear to make life harder for you as the game progresses, and once ten Tribbles are lost, the game is over. Initially, it’s an appealing game and easy to get into, but the sound effects are very annoying, and there is no variety in the gameplay, so it soon becomes boring to play.
(Opera Soft, 1989)
Welcome to Crazy Park – home to all sorts of gangsters, gunmen and thugs. This is a target shooting game that can only be played with MHT’s Gunstick; unfortunately, you can’t play it with a keyboard or joystick. The screen scrolls horizontally, alternating between right and left and revealing a little more of Crazy Park. Throughout the game, you are faced with a barrage of bullets, bombs and knives being thrown and fired at you. The park is certainly aptly named; you’ll even encounter the occasional armed helicopter! The graphics are quite detailed, if lacking a little colour, and there’s a jolly tune on the menu. Although it offers nothing new over other target shooting games, the difficulty level has been judged well, and it’s arguably the best game that you can get for the Gunstick.
(Red Shift, 1984)
Reviewed by Piero Serra
In 1984 the BBC televised the excellent Tripods children’s books, written by John Christopher. In this licensed graphic adventure, you are negotiating post-alien invasion Europe on your way to a base in the White Mountains. En route you encounter friends, foes, and the looming three-legged aliens the surviving humans have named Tripods. Movement is made using the numeric keypad as a compass, and your options, like attacking or running, are dictated by the current situation. Interactions are very limited, though, and they soon become repetitive; even being seen by a Tripod has little effect on progress. The graphics are quite detailed and semi-3D (like The Lords of Midnight) but they lack variety and redraw slowly. Although some effort obviously went into making this game, it feels dated now and you’d be better off reading the books.
If your brain is filled with knowledge of TV, films, geography, history, literature, science and sport, then you might like this trivia quiz game. Then again, you might not. There is only one aim in this ‘ultimate quest’, and that is to accumulate as many points as possible. Each question you are given has three possible answers, and you must choose correctly before the time limit. If your choice is correct, you get a token, and if you collect 21 tokens, you score bonus points and start collecting tokens again. However, the clock becomes faster as you get more tokens, and the game is over if you answer three questions wrongly. Normally, I like quiz games, but this one looks appallingly ugly, which doesn’t make me want to play it any more than other quiz games. (The answer to the question in the screenshot is “solid carbon dioxide”, by the way.)
The ever-popular board game makes its way on to the CPC, featuring guest star TP. Up to six players can play, answering questions and attempting to collect wedges in all six categories. Instead of typing in the answer to each question, TP shows the answer, and you choose whether you got it right or not – no cheating, now! The graphics are a real treat and TP is cute and fun to watch and listen to; he talks in a really strange way! It’s as much fun as the board game, and some questions also contain diagrams and music – things that aren’t really possible in the board game. There are lots of extra questions with the game as well, and if you still can’t get enough questions, you might also want to try the Baby Boomer Edition, the Young Players Edition, and for French players, the Edition Révolution. (The answer to the question in the screenshot is “hearing”, by the way.)
See also: Trivial Pursuit: A New Beginning.
A bunch of aliens want to colonise a planet called Genus II. However, its inhabitants aren’t very welcoming, and have set them a tough test, in the form of lots of questions. Like the board game, you have to collect six wedges before the final test, but instead of rolling a die, you can choose any of dozens of planets, each with its own scenery and category. It’s hard to remember which planets you should re-visit, though, and you also don’t know when you’re going to get the chance to collect a wedge. Despite all this randomness, the game is still fun, with cute and colourful aliens and scenery all adding to the appeal – but it’s not as good as the original. (The answer to the question in the screenshot is “Sweden”, by the way.)
See also: Trivial Pursuit Genus Edition.
Reviewed by John Beckett
You take control of cute troglodyte Troglo, and must slide the rocks in your cave to squash the invading critters. That’s right, it’s another Pengo clone, albeit a Spanish attempt this time. The levels are randomly generated, the pace is quite hectic (more so than a similiar CPC game, Penggy, which is a tad slow at times), and you gain extra points depending on how quickly you clear a level. However, the graphics – though cute – aren’t very interesting, and the whole thing gets very monotonous very quickly. There is a very catchy little ditty on the title screen, and it’s fun for a quick blast, but apart from that, it doesn’t have very much going for it, sadly.
Humgruffin the troll has been transported to a mysterious world called Narc – a strange land of crystal caverns populated by goblins. His only means of escape is to collect crystals. Each cavern has a floor and a ceiling, and by stepping on a pyramid, you will be transported between them. There are also magic holes which will transport you to another cavern; you can also create these holes yourself, and stepping on a toadstool allows you to change their behaviour. The first few times I played this game, I didn’t know what I was doing. Eventually I began to understand it – and soon realised that it’s not much fun to play. The music is very jolly indeed, but you seem to have little or no control over which cavern to go to when you step on a hole, so you find yourself revisiting the same ones again and again. The game is also very confusing to play when you are upside down on the ceiling of a cavern.
Wallie has popped down to the supermarket to collect his groceries. There are forty items on the list, but he can only carry five at a time, and has to stop at the cash desk several times to pay for his items. The supermarket consists of platforms, ladders, escalators, and lots of nasty flying creatures – it’s certainly not your average shop! Sadly, the graphics are horrible and clash with each other, and it’s slow and difficult to play, and you’ll lose your five lives quickly. The music (a version of the classic synthesiser tune Popcorn) is well worth listening to, though.
(Digital Integration, 1987)
Reviewed by Pug
A cheerful tune awaits you once this simulation has loaded. Navigating quickly to the main menu, you find lots of flashing options. Here you can do just about everything from customising your bike, tuning its performance, to choosing the track to race on. Your first attempts will always end with close studies of grass as you struggle to stay on the road, but with practice, skill and serious consideration of track conditions, etc., you will start to get the hang of things and catch up with your opponents. Once you master your bike, the adequate visuals and effects sit second fiddle to your newly developed biking skills.