It’s the year 5027, and Brain, the leader of a rebellious teenage gang called the Wanglers, has been captured and is being held on the prison planet of Terminus. The remaining four Wanglers – Mobod, Xann, Spex and Magno – must find him, in a huge maze consisting of 512 screens. Each Wangler behaves in a different way, and you control one Wangler at a time. There are teleport stations that allow you to select another Wangler, and they also act as a restart position if a Wangler is killed. This is a very colourful game with awesome graphics, especially when you consider the year it was released. The sound isn’t all that good, but the gameplay and the urge to explore the maze make up for this. The Wanglers are cute, too!
(Code Masters, 1986)
A group of three mining engineers have been exploring a planet, but now they must escape in their spaceship. This was one of the first games that Code Masters released for the CPC. It’s a vertically scrolling space shoot-’em-up with graphics which are at times horrible, but thankfully the gameplay compensates for this. Steer your spaceship through the obstacle course and avoid walls, force fields, droids, and time shift blocks which will take your ship all the way back to the start – very annoying when you’ve come so far! You also need to collect fuel regularly, and extra lives can also be collected. There’s nothing at all which makes this different from any other space shoot-’em-up, and it can sometimes be hard to distinguish what is a wall and what isn’t, but it’s still fun to play.
Reviewed by Robert Small
Terramex tasks you with searching for a missing scientist in order to save the world. It’s a platform game where you are required to find items to solve puzzles. For example, there may be a gap to cross or an area of the map that is seemingly out of reach. You’re aided by porters (just like a Victorian adventurer!) and this allows you to carry many items at once. The graphics are nicely detailed with great music and good controls. There are five playable characters and the difficulty curve is gentle.
(Ubi Soft, 1989)
- Knowledge of French is required in order to play this game properly.
The name means ‘Lands and Conquerors’ in English, and it’s a huge battle between Eric the Red and Georg the Tyrant and their hordes of armies. This is a turn-based strategy game where you must move your own pieces and attack your opponent’s, using skill, tactics and a bit of luck to defeat your opponent and conquer the land. It’ll take something to beat the computer, since it seems to have a built-in advantage that allows it to inflict more damage on you than you can on it! The graphics are excellent, and the game comes with twelve scenarios, and you can even create your own as well.
Reviewed by Robert Small
Ever wondered what lies beneath the surface of Loch Ness? Time to find out in Terror of the Deep. You take control of a diving bell straight out of Jules Verne and explore the murky depths in first person. Similar to Captain Blood, you’ll even see your hands at work on the controls of your vessel. You’re armed with a harpoon and (a personal favourite) the ability to electrify your hull just in case anything attaches to your craft. You can’t go wrong with the atmosphere this game creates as you scan the portholes looking to see what’s out there. The graphics and presentation are fine for the year it was released, but the gameplay is lacking in excitement.
(Melbourne House, 1985)
You’ve booked a two-week package holiday to the Spanish resort of Terrormolinos with your family – but as you may have guessed, it’s going to be the holiday from hell! You must first dash around the house and pack your suitcase with everything you need before you head to the airport. Once you’re in Spain, you must take ten photographs of your stay to prove to your friends back home that you survived. This is a text adventure which turns out to be fairly easy to progress in, despite the rather limited parser. The pictures that are displayed are quite humorous, but they are very crudely drawn indeed and look like your CPC has become a Spectrum! The numerous game-ending mishaps that can happen to you also become quite frustrating and spoil what could have been a great adventure.
(Melbourne House, 1988)
Reviewed by Pug
The planet Colian is a desolate place that is rich in vital metals, minerals and gemstones. The empire has several bases upon the surface that the Federation is not happy about. Thus, you have been sent to destroy these bases in your Defence Strategy Vehicle. Scattered along the planet’s surface are various buildings; some offer power-ups while others recharge your vehicle. Deadly Terrorpods patrol and defend the area and can be very difficult to destroy. There are a lot of controls to master in this strategy/shoot-’em-up game which will put a lot of people off. The graphics look good and move with a very impressive 3D effect that’s let down by the sluggish frame rate. Targeting is a hit and miss affair that quickly becomes frustrating to the point where you’re no longer bothered about your mission.
Reviewed by Missas
This game sets new standards on how games for the CPC should be. To start with, the graphics are astonishing. There are a great variety of sprites with smooth animation, screens and backgrounds, and the overall atmosphere is excellent. Everything moves smoothly and fast, while the collision detection is perfect. Regarding the sound, a pleasant tune plays throughout the game and there are many effects. The game is very difficult and a lot of attempts will be needed to progress, since jumps have to be made with precision and timing as well as the use of bullets and dynamite. The gameplay poses a variety of challenges – blowing up stones, moving levers and collecting gems. The game itself is of remarkable quality, a real console-worthy gem. It could have been Rick Dangerous III. Don’t you dare miss it!
(Crazy Piri, 2020)
Tetris is widely regarded as one of the most famous video games of all time – such a simple concept and yet very addictive. This is an attempt to program a version of Tetris that mimics the feel of the Game Boy conversion as closely as possible. The graphics remain the same, although a yellow, red and pink palette is used for the main display. Reworked versions of the three tunes that featured in the Game Boy version are used, and in my opinion, they’re not as good as the originals. As for the gameplay, there is a significant pause between a piece landing and the next piece appearing, and it doesn’t feel as smooth or fluid as some of the unofficial versions of Tetris for the CPC, and certainly not the Game Boy version. It’s a reasonably good conversion but it could be better.
It’s the game that helped to sell huge numbers of Nintendo Game Boys, and everyone knows how to play it; make full rows of blocks by slotting together pieces which fall from the top of the screen. Unfortunately, this version doesn’t fare well at all; the graphics are garish, and the striped background is confusing. Add some terrible music and clumsy controls which can’t be redefined, and you don’t get a fun game. Thankfully, there are many other unofficial versions for the CPC in the public domain that are much better than this one.