(Gremlin Graphics, 1988)
Reviewed by Pug
Matt Tracker’s son has been kidnapped by VENOM and taken to their moonbase. In this, the final game in the MASK series, you play Matt, who is on a rescue mission to free his son. The game itself is very similar to Exolon where you run and jump from left to right blasting anything that moves. Power-ups come in the form of helmets that give you additional abilities such as levitation, ghost mode and better powered weapons. Bizarrely, they all look like squares with letters written on them. The gameplay is a little repetitive in places and it’s a shame that the well animated visuals lack the vibrant colours of the previous games. Overall, VENOM Strikes Back is an average game and for me is the weakest of the three games in the MASK series.
Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard
Vera Cruz, a pretty young woman, has killed herself. As a police inspector, you inspect her flat and find several clues that make you think it’s a crime rather than a suicide. This is one of the first murder mysteries on computer. The plot and the whole investigation are very realistic (the programmer himself was a policeman!). The first part takes place in Vera’s living room. You must collect clues (e.g. cigarette ends, a gun and a matchbook) that will be decisive in finding the murderer. The second part is in your office, where you can hear witnesses, contact other police officers or examine evidence. The few graphics are really good and though it’s hard to progress, this is a great game for those who like to investigate.
(Topo Soft, 1989)
Reviewed by Javier Sáez
In this three stage game you take a journey to the centre of the Earth. The first stage consists of a puzzle and the third one is a side scrolling arcade game in which you make your way through a prehistoric jungle. The second stage is a game in itself. You take control of three characters at the same time, each with different attributes and objects, in their way down the inside of a volcano. Forget about the first level; go straight to the second level, and enjoy great graphics and gameplay right from the start.
- Knowledge of Spanish is required in order to play this game properly.
It’s the end of the school year, but your teacher has forgotten to give your report to you, and your parents won’t allow you to go with them on holiday unless they see it. The school is in a bit of a mess right now, with objects randomly strewn around the rooms and corridors. You have to retrieve some numbers that represent the marks you received in certain subjects, but some doors can only be opened, and some objects can only be collected, if you are carrying another object that is related in some way to the room it is located in. For example, in order to enter the library, you must be carrying a rubber stamp. The graphics are simple but colourful, but that’s about the only positive thing I can say about this game. An annoying, and very short, ragtime tune plays continuously, your sprite flickers a lot, and moving around the school is slow, tedious and dull.
Reviewed by CPC4eva
It’s hard to believe that Victory Road is the sequel to Ikari Warriors, but unfortunately it is a poor coin-op conversion. You’re a warrior on a mission. Armed with grenades and a rifle, you can tackle the foes along the road to victory by yourself or with a friend. With six lives you should be able to progress quite well, but beware, as not only will you encounter a competing military, but also monsters, which is really strange. The road winds on and on, through tombs containing the bones of former seekers. Collect icons to build up the firepower necessary to fight off your aggressors. The graphics are overhead like Ikari Warriors and there’s limited sound. It really is an uninspiring and boring game. You’ll have more fun playing its predecessor.
See also: Ikari Warriors.
(Blue Ribbon, 1990)
Three card games are on offer here – poker royal, twenty one, and high or low. In each game, you start with 20 credits and must score as many points as you can. Certain combinations of cards score more points than others. In poker royal, five cards are dealt, and you can change any or all of them, hopefully producing a winning combination of cards. In twenty one (better known as blackjack), you must try to score less than or equal to 21 without your opponent beating you. In high and low, five cards are dealt one at a time, and you must guess if the next card will be higher or lower in value than the current one. The graphics are very colourful and well drawn, and all of the games are reasonably entertaining if you want a few quick goes.
Several magazines completely disliked this collection of six Pong-style bat-and-ball games, but I didn’t think it was that bad. The six games are tennis, football, squash, solo squash, 4-bat blip, and Asterbliperoids, and they’re all pretty much the same, with some minor differences. Since the game is supposed to be minimalistic, don’t expect much from the graphics and sound effects. It’s all right for a while, but there isn’t a lot in here to keep you coming back.
Reviewed by John Beckett
The first CPC game based on the adventures of James Bond is a very run-of-the-mill affair indeed, comprising of three levels, based on scenes from the film, each of varying styles of gameplay. There is a reasonably fun platform level where James must escape from a mine before it caves in, an Impossible Mission-style level where James must explore the many floors of the City Hall, searching for objects, collecting door-passes, rescuing the girl and escaping before the place sets on fire, and a very poor driving section set in Paris, which is extremely confusing to navigate around. The graphics are pretty awful, but there is a nice rendition of both the Bond theme and the View To a Kill theme by Duran Duran, and the difficulty is set about right.
(US Gold, 1989)
Reviewed by John Beckett
You’re the Vigilante and it’s your calling in life to beat up the scum on the streets. One day, however, the evil skinheads kidnap your girlfriend Madonna (nice name) and take her to their den. The Vigilante must fight his way through endless gang members before he can destroy their boss and reclaim his girl. I’m a big fan of scrolling beat-’em-ups and the coin-op version was the daddy of them all. But how does the CPC version compare? Well, the graphics are detailed, colourful and downright excellent, but the gameplay is crippled by the slowness of the character, the unresponsiveness of the controls and the sheer difficulty as horde after horde of thugs attack you from all angles! That said, though, it’s quite good fun, and poor Madonna’s plight will keep you playing until she’s safe in the Vigilante’s arms!
(Kele Line, 1987)
Reviewed by John Beckett
In this top-down shoot-’em-up, you play as a lone Viking washed up on a hostile land. Your aim is to explore the vast land and locate the parts of your Viking longboat, before setting sail once more – but first things first, you’re completely weaponless until you find your lost sword. A task that is not made easy by the hordes of enemy warriors intent on putting you in a shallow grave! The graphics are awful and tiny, the music is shrill and repetitive, and although the controls are responsive, the enemies are far too fast and plentiful for you to consider making any serious progress. Akin to Commando or Ikari Warriors in its concept, I don’t want to insult those two great games further by comparing them to this ugly, below average effort.