Toi Acid Game
(Iber Soft, 1989)
Toi and his girlfriend Zoi were visiting a disco, dancing the night away to 1980s rave music, when the nasty Dr Acid took her away. Obviously, Toi must now rescue her. This is a very dull game consisting of four parts, in which you collect smiley tokens and shoot lots of smileys in order to reach other areas of each level; collect enough of them and you can go to the next one. This game really immerses itself in rave culture and doesn’t take itself too seriously. After leaving the disco, Toi visits a beach, a pirate ship, and a vampire’s castle! However, the levels are very large and Toi walks very slowly, so the game quickly becomes boring. The graphics and colour scheme are truly awful, and this is a game to avoid. Actually, that’s not quite true; the girl on the loading screen is a hot babe!
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: jgonza.
Toki’s beloved girlfriend Miho has been kidnapped, and Toki himself has been turned into an ape. As Toki, you must battle your way through seven levels of frenetic platforming action and rescue Miho. Toki is a Japanese coin-op arcade game that was being converted to the GX4000 console in the early 1990s, but the developer ran into problems and it was never released. Thankfully, GGP came along over thirty years later to bring it to the CPC, and boy, did they do an amazing job! The graphics are beautiful, with great animation and wonderfully detailed background scenery, and the CPC somehow manages to handle it with ease. There are some excellent tunes to accompany the gameplay on each level as well. While it is a fantastic game, it’s also rather tough, and it is to some extent a memory test, but if you persevere with it, you will eventually be rewarded.
Reviewed by John Beckett
You are a member of a Tokyo street gang who has somehow found himself on a strange alien planet full of wandering monsters, undead fiends and other assorted menaces (these things happen, I guess). The aim is simply to travel from left to right (similiar to Vigilante or The Ninja Warriors), jumping over, ducking from and nunchaku-ing anything that comes in your way, until you reach the end of the level, of which there are six. And that’s easier said than done! Just one life, a rapidly disappearing energy bar and a non-stop army of enemies means this is a typically impossible Spanish game! Yet it’s still fun for a while, mainly due to the nice (though not very colourful) graphics and the way that every go takes you that little bit further.
Tom and Jerry 2
(Magic Bytes, 1989)
Tom and Jerry are arguably two of the world’s best known cartoon characters, and in this platform game, you play the role of Jerry, roaming around four levels of a house trying to find cheese to satisfy his hunger, while avoiding falling into Tom’s clutches. If Tom catches you, you’ll lose 30 seconds of time. Between each level there is a short tunnel where Jerry can collect more cheese to gain some extra time. Once you’ve collected all the cheese, you must return to the first level and defuse a bomb that Tom has left for you. Tom and Jerry are both well animated, although some of the backgrounds are garish, and the sound effects are very limited. Jerry moves rather slowly and he can be very awkward to control, and negotiating the furniture is often frustrating, so it’s not much fun to play.
(Digital Integration, 1986)
Reviewed by Robert Small
Yet another quality flight simulator for the Amstrad CPC. Your aircraft of choice is the Apache AH-64 helicopter gunship, which CPC owners can also unleash in Gunship. With this being a flight simulator, you will need patience and a period of acclimatisation to learn the controls. Tomahawk doesn’t have many missions for you to take on, but it features a variety of enemies (tanks and helicopters) and landmarks (buildings, mountains and trees) throughout the vast landscape you fly over. This is all handled reasonably well by the graphics engine – fairly smooth and with good use of vector graphics. The difficulty, weather and time of day can all be configured. Indeed, the night flying is a particular highlight with its eerie black and red colour scheme. The engine and weapon sounds are just about right. Better than Gunship? It’s very hard to choose.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: ChinnyVision.
Reviewed by Robert Small
How many Pyjamarama-type games does a machine need? Quite a few if you happen to own a CPC. Tombstowne is one of many, and it’s OK, if not as good as the other similar games out there. Most of what can be found in the other titles is present in this game. Each screen is a different room within the castle of Tombstowne. There are items that are required to solve puzzles and various enemies lurking within the rooms. The graphics for the locations are all right, but the colour clash and sprite flicker certainly aren’t. Your character also bears a striking resemblance to Mr Smithers from The Simpsons! It’s not him, though. It’s the same character from Deathsville, but they don’t look the same between the two games – odd, that. Special mention to the music which is very good. Worth looking at if you have exhausted all the other alternatives.
See also: Deathsville.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Axelino.
A vertically scrolling shoot-’em-up which sees you flying a fighter jet over four levels, shooting targets in the air and on the ground. The playing area can also be scrolled left or right, since the area that you can see is rather small. Unfortunately it’s annoyingly difficult; the bullets are large red circles which are hard to avoid, especially when they appear without warning from either side of the screen. The collision detection seems to be poor, and so are the graphics. The scrolling is slow and the sound is also lacking. There are better shoot-’em-ups available and it’s best to avoid this one.
Biff and Jet are the Tube Dudes, preparing to go toobin’ down the rapids in their inflatable tubes. The game can be played by one or two players, and the journey takes you through many different types of scenery. Of course, there are the usual assortment of enemies on the banks of the river which you must avoid, but you can also throw beer cans at them. You’ve got a very limited number of them, although more cans can be found along the river. Other obstacles include branches and logs which will burst your tube – and if you’re too slow, the alligator will catch you! This is a reasonably good game, especially with two players; the music is marvellous, but the graphics could have been a lot better – and don’t play the game using the keyboard!
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: ChinnyVision, Xyphoe.
Top Cat Starring in Beverly Hills Cats
(Hi-Tec Software, 1991)
Top Cat has offered Benny the Ball to a wealthy millionairess, but when she dies, her butler realises he can get the money if he can get rid of Benny. Top Cat decides to thwart the butler’s plan. This is a game with three parts. The first part is set in the alleys, where TC (as he’s also known) finds the four gang members and has to get past the dog guarding the exit. The second part is set in a leafy residential area, and you must find a way to get past Officer Dibble, before entering the mansion and finding and rescuing Benny. Like most of Hi-Tec Software’s games, the graphics are colourful, although there are few sound effects. The playing area is quite big, so making a map will be helpful, but the game is hardly exciting and action-packed.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Amstrad CPC World.
Strap yourself into the seat of an F-14 Tomcat fighter jet and fly into the danger zone! Your aim on each mission is to destroy three enemy fighters in a straightforward dogfight. Initially, this is relatively easy, but on subsequent missions, the enemy fighters become more manoeuvrable and will use their missiles against you. The game is a mixture of a flight simulator and a shoot-’em-up, but it lacks some of the necessary elements of both genres. As a flight simulation, the vector graphics are impressive and fast, but that’s because there’s no scenery at all! As a shoot-’em-up, there’s very little variety, as each mission has exactly the same aim as the previous ones. The two-player game may offer more long-term enjoyment, but the one-player game won’t.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: ChinnyVision.