(Code Masters, 1992)
Play a game or tournament of darts with seven wacky characters, including Nigel the Ninja, Jeff the Archer, Baza the War Machine, and Jocky Pilsner. Each character has their own method of playing, and some even use arrows, shurikens and bullets instead of darts – now that is wacky! You can play either the normal 501 game or a round-the-clock game where you must hit each of the numbers in sequence, from 20 to 1. This game first appeared on the CPC on the Quattro Fantastic compilation, and the novelty is fun at first. However, the collision detection is poor (e.g. scoring a treble 1 when a dart clearly landed in the treble 20 zone), and aiming the dart accurately is extremely difficult. The almost total lack of sound effects is another thing to note.
(Hi-Tec Software, 1992)
Race the Mean Machine, piloted by Dick Dastardly and his dog Mutley from the cartoon series, across five long and hazard-filled tracks. You’ve got to finish either first or second to be allowed to go to the next level, and to do this, you must use the Mean Machine’s weaponry to bump the other racers off the track, in true Dick Dastardly style. Worms and beetles also have to be killed using the same weapons. If you finish in the top two, there’s a sub-game where you, as Mutley, must find four bombs for the next level within the time limit. The graphics are clear and well drawn, but there are very few sound effects. The game is a lot of fun initially, and the first level is fairly easy, but by the second level, it becomes much harder and consequently more frustrating.
Reviewed by Missas
The Walking Mummies is a smart idea that has been translated into an original and interesting game. You take control of a pyramid explorer who enters mazes with the objective of finding and grabbing treasure chests, which proves to be a very challenging task. This is a strategy game where you take control of the explorer and you need to carefully plan your moves. You get only three steps per round, and after you make your moves, your enemies (cobras and mummies) take their turns to move. You can fire a limited number of arrows, but they won’t help you much. The graphics are cute but blocky and there is no sound at all. However, since the idea is original it definitely deserves attention, but beware; once the mummies attack, you will need nerves of steel and the virtue of precognition to survive!
A system of ten planets has been taken over by the evil Vadd. You must eradicate Vadd in order to liberate the planets, but you’ll need to obtain 8,000 Megs to buy a Mega Disrupter before you can visit Vadd’s planet in the centre of the system. To do this, you must trade Disrupter units with the planets. Each planet has five units, which are represented as symbols, and if you can provide a planet with several units that are the same, you will earn more Megs – think of it as a variation of poker. You can also fly through black holes and collect variable Disrupters which can be traded for about 2,000 Megs. There is also a lot of shooting to be done while travelling between the planets. Overall, this mixture of shoot-’em-up and trading is rather repetitive and lacklustre.
Reviewed by Pug
I remember buying this one with my pocket money one weekend. Loading the game gives the promise of a good-looking shoot-’em-up. An impressive Mode 1 screen appears as a title screen and options are displayed... then your heart sinks as the small options menu is slowly replaced by the game background. In this so-called game, you play within a small window moving your ship around and hoping to hit the approaching ships which wrap around the edges of the screen as they move downwards. The colour scheme, while fetching for the rest of the screen, does no favours to the small area used for the game. Each time you die – and that’s always – you return to the menu, losing a life. Avoid!
Reviewed by CPC4eva
Before the mighty Super Cars from Gremlin Graphics came War Cars Construction Set. Based on the simulation of slot car racing, viewed from an overhead perspective, you must race against a computer opponent to collect flags for points, which may also allow you to perform special moves such as crashing into your opponent’s car without losing a life. An added bonus is that the game contains a construction set where you can build your own tracks. The Mode 1 four-colour scheme is very poor, reminding me of a Spectrum colour scheme. While the speedway arena playing area is big, it is also confusing as the side-by-side split screen is very small and the on-screen map is very poor to read. It seems like you’re driving around in circles and not achieving much.
(Melbourne House, 1989)
Reviewed by Robert Small
“Potential” is the word that sums up War in Middle Earth best. The game definitely looks the part. If you like the maps as seen in The Lord of the Rings then this game replicates that pretty well. There are even battles on screen with multiple combatants going hell for leather. The game is an action strategy game with you scanning the map via a cross and moving units around in an effort to protect the bearer of the One Ring. Statistics can be viewed and compared and the ring can have both positive and negative effects on the wearer. A bit like the story itself, all the good is almost undone by the powers of evil – bugs. There are quite a few of them, from vanishing characters to battles not loading. The movement of the cross could be better and sound is almost non-existent. Perhaps the CPC version was rushed or maybe it’s just struggling to run the game.
Reviewed by Alain Schroetter
Sometimes budget games can match the best full price productions. War Machine provides you with full colour graphics and remarkable playability. The game is neither too easy nor too hard, and there is a peculiar atmosphere that makes it easy for you to become identified to the hero and take part in his quest. The game would have deserved a little tune, for the sound, although convincing, is a bit bare. For real arcade lovers, to try War Machine is to adopt it.
Pilot the advanced Warhawk spaceship through an asteroid belt, shooting the enemy bases and the swarms of aliens that advance towards you. You’ll also need to avoid asteroids. Contact with them, or with aliens and their bullets, loses energy. Unfortunately, while it’s not a problem to avoid alien spacecraft or asteroids, the bullets follow you all around the screen and are a lot more difficult to evade. Thankfully, your energy is restored fully at the start of every level. The music is brilliant, but the graphics are less so (although the screen area used is large), and the gameplay lacks variety; basically, it’s just another space shoot-’em-up, and there aren’t even any power-ups to collect.
(The Edge, 1987)
Explore the castle and collect as much treasure as you can, while avoiding or slaying the warriors and minions that roam the castle. The castle is large, and as well as doors, there are trapdoors and stars on the floors of many rooms, which take you to other levels of the castle. Of course, you must also keep an eye on your energy, and you can collect objects to restore it. I must say that this isn’t a bad game, and the graphics are really good (although it’s sometimes difficult to see what’s going on), but the game slows down dramatically when there are a lot of enemies on the screen, and it’s really Gauntlet in isometric 3D with less variety.