Screenshot of Wind Surf Willy

Wind Surf Willy

(Silmarils, 1989)

Reviewed by Robert Small

A surprisingly good windsurfing game from Silmarils. The game is very nicely presented – from the title screen through to the game options, you can tell they have tried hard. The music and sound effects are both good and the in-game graphics are very colourful with nice backgrounds, and there’s a wide variety of obstacles and good scrolling. The variety continues into the gameplay with you slaloming through buoys, racing and performing tricks (there’s even a panel of judges that award points and they are represented on screen). Hitting an obstacle can be frustrating but considering the topic of the game I think they have done a good job.

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Screenshot of Wings of Fury

Wings of Fury

(Brøderbund, 1990)

Reviewed by Javier Sáez

Imagine a very simple flight simulator with the graphic appearance of a side-scrolling shoot-’em-up, and you have Wings of Fury. The game seemed quite appealing at first, as the simulation touch made me expect an original game. Besides, the action takes place during World War II, which is always a good thing, at least for me. After a few tries, I took off and found that this game, being a sort of toy simulator, lacks the action other games have (just take a look at P47 Thunderbolt), but doesn’t offer anything really interesting in return. As a result, Wings of Fury is simply a curious game with rather dull gameplay.

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Screenshot of Winter Games

Winter Games

(Epyx, 1986)

You and up to three other players can compete in seven winter-themed events – hot dog aerials, biathlon (cross-country skiing and rifle shooting), speed skating, figure skating, the ski jump, free skating, and the bobsled. Understandably, everyone will find some events to be more appealing to them than others. I didn’t like the figure skating or free skating events at all, but the other five events are great fun to play as you try to perfect them and beat the records. The graphics are a mixture of low- and medium-resolution, but in the four events where high-colour, low-resolution Mode 0 graphics are used, they are absolutely stunning – some of the best you’ll see on a CPC.

See also: The Games: Winter Edition.

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Screenshot of Winter Olympics

Winter Olympics

(Tynesoft, 1986)

Reviewed by Robert Small

Cutting straight to the point, this is possibly the worst multi-event game based on the Winter Olympics available for the CPC. Six events are available to play, including speed skating, a variety of skiing events, bobsleigh, and the British favourite of curling. The majority of the events suffer from very poor graphics. The slalom skiing isn’t too bad and at least scrolls reasonably but it does have sprite flicker. The bobsleigh must have one of the smallest gameplay windows seen on the CPC. The sound effects throughout are minimal. There’s a little bit of value with multiple disciplines to try, but Winter Games from Epyx is on a different level to this.

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Screenshot of Winter Sports

Winter Sports

(Electric Dreams, 1985)

Reviewed by Pug

In this early sports game for the CPC, there are eight events to compete in – ice hockey, bobsled, speed skating, downhill skiing, ski jumping, biathlon, slalom and giant slalom. Each one requires practice and can be played in any order, but each carries a different display and method of play. Some of the games look dated and poor in their design, such as the downhill event. Others, such as ice hockey and speed skating, just meet the basic requirements for an entertaining game. A mixed bag of poor to below average Mode 1 graphics and simple audio effects just increase the lack of interest to be found here.

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Screenshot of Wireware

Wireware

(CNGSoft, 2021)

Reviewed by Robert Small

CNGSoft has provided many great games over the years. This one finished in second place overall in the 2021 #CPCRetroDev Game Creation Contest. The first thing you notice is the excellent music. I have a feeling it’s going to be a beloved piece of music for Amstrad CPC fans. With regard to the graphics, it meets the expectations of a CNGSoft release. It’s colourful, scrolls well and has a nice variety of enemies (from pumpkins to scissors!). Your mission is to rescue your fellow spacemen after a crash landing by guiding them to a teleporter. This is all while coming under attack, managing your jetpack and laser heat levels, and running against the clock. Lining up a laser shot and taking out multiple enemies is very satisfying and the game is fast and frantic. In some ways it’s very similar to one of CNGSoft’s previous games, The Adventures of Timothy Gunn.

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Screenshot of Wishbringer

Wishbringer

(Infocom, 1986)

Your nasty boss, Mr Crisp, has asked you to deliver an envelope to the Magick Shoppe in the village of Festeron. But the woman who runs the shop has had her cat kidnapped by The Evil One, and she wants you to find the cat – but when you walk out of the shop again, Festeron has become a totally different place... A glow-in-the-dark stone (Wishbringer itself) was included with the game – very cool! – and you can use Wishbringer with other objects to make up to seven wishes. However, the aim is ultimately to try to complete the game without using any of them. This is intended to be an introductory adventure and experienced players will not find it very taxing, but it’s still a very good, and rather surreal, adventure.

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Screenshot of Witch Hunt

Witch Hunt

(Classic Quests, 1987)

Reviewed by Pug

In this text adventure, you play a rascal named Filbur Apse who enjoys upsetting people. One day he made the mistake of annoying an old man who turned out to be a wizard. This angry wizard cast a spell on Filbur that left him with the appearance of a really nice person. The only person who can lift this spell is the witch in the woods. After meeting her, Filbur is told to find all of the ingredients required to cast a new spell. Witch Hunt is a well written adventure that is packed full of rich and amusing detail. You soon become engrossed in this fictional world and can almost touch, smell and taste your surroundings. Your progress in this game is also rewarded with points; keep an eye on your score. An increase in your score is a sign that something you’ve found is important – and here’s a tip; to unlock the witch’s front door, pretend you’re a postman.

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Screenshot of Wiz Biz

Wiz Biz

(Alternative Software, 1987)

Last night’s drinking session at the Duck and Plunger inn resulted in Ralph’s friend Mike being turned into a salamander as a party trick. Not surprisingly, Mike was not amused by this, and he incarcerated Ralph in the dungeons beneath his castle. You’ll have to call on your familiar spirit to help you out – if you can recall his name... This text adventure has been written using GAC, but it lacks atmosphere. The setting of dungeons and a castle to explore is good enough, but the text isn’t very descriptive, the locations are laid out in a very illogical manner, and little thought seems to have been given to the puzzles, which seem to have been inserted into the game at random with no coherence – a bit like Ralph, come to think of it!

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Screenshot of Wizard Warz

Wizard Warz

(Go!, 1988)

Reviewed by Robert Small

Roam a fantasy landscape and enter into magical battle with all manner of beasts and enemy wizards with a variety of spells. The playing window may be small but the graphics are in Mode 0 and scroll at a good pace. A huge disappointment is the sound, or lack thereof. Was the CPC version rushed, perhaps? Lack of depth is the big problem in the gameplay department. It boils down to blasting away, which is OK for a bit, but wears out its welcome after a little while.

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