(Bubble Bus, 1985)
Pothole Pete was exploring when he came across the mysterious Wizard’s Lair – but in order to escape, he has to find the four pieces of the Golden Lion and reach the top level of the lair. His task is made harder by the many monsters lurking in all the rooms. The range of objects to be found and collected is almost as enormous as the lair itself, and it’s easy to miss a section which might contain part of the Golden Lion. The graphics are good with some very clever use of colour mixing, and the sound effects are average. There’s so much to discover in this game, though, and that’s what I like so much about it. It’s a game you can really keep coming back to.
The wizard Zark has eliminated all colour from Wizworld and left it grey. As Wizball, you and your faithful sidekick Catelite have come to restore colour to the nine levels of Wizworld. This is done by shooting red, green and blue bubbles and collecting the droplets from them and obtaining enough of each to make the right colours. You also have to collect green pearls and use them to give Wizball more power. There are only three types of alien, and it’s extremely frustrating when you get stuck in the scenery and can’t get out. Despite this problem, it’s an original concept for a game and one which is very enjoyable.
(Alternative Software, 1990)
“Underground, overground, wombling free, the Wombles of Wimbledon Common are we...” The Wombles are a bunch of shy creatures who live in their burrow below Wimbledon Common. Great Uncle Bulgaria has sent young Orinoco and Wellington to fetch some items and collect litter. You control Orinoco and must wander around the common, fetching the items before Wellington does, or you will lose a life. The hard mode adds some further dangers such as avoiding humans and the animals which inhabit the common (those squirrels are nasty, you know). The graphics are colourful and appealing, but there’s hardly any variety in the game at all and it will soon become a bit boring.
Reviewed by Chris Lennard
Rescue your girlfriend from the evil monster that has kidnapped her in this somewhat typical platformer. As Wonder Boy you must navigate the local scenery; running and jumping around avoiding traps, collecting fruit bonuses and nobbling off any passing creatures that get in your way. The special power-ups such as the skateboard and the bonus levels up in the clouds are a nice idea, but this fails to distract from what is quite a dull game. The graphics here are also relatively poor, especially when you compare them to examples such as Rodland or Rainbow Islands. One for platformer fans only.
See also: Super Wonder Boy in Monster Land.
This is a cute puzzle game where you must push three multi-coloured balls around the screen so that they form a straight line – but they’re fragile and will smash if you’re not careful. Instead, you must manoeuvre some blue spheres into position and push the balls towards them – but the spheres are fragile as well, so some thinking is required. There are other hazards to watch out for and avoid while you’re trying to do all of this. The graphics are OK, but there are very few sound effects, and while the gameplay is good, it’s a little on the slow side and it can be frustrating at times.
Wordle is a simple word-based puzzle game that has taken the English-speaking world by storm, with millions of people getting their daily fix of trying to guess a five-letter word in six attempts. With each attempt, the player is informed if each letter is in the correct position, if it is in the word but not in the correct position, or if it is not in the word at all. Such is Wordle’s popularity and simplicity that it was inevitable that someone would convert it to the Amstrad CPC, but this version is disappointing. The English dictionary that is supplied is full of very obscure words that will be utterly unfamiliar to the vast majority of people, and the French and Spanish dictionaries are even worse (I don’t understand German so I can’t comment on its dictionary). It takes away a lot of the joy of playing Wordle.
One of the worst football games on the CPC ever. Why? Well, if the terrible graphics haven’t put you off (yes, it’s Spectrum port time again!), the gameplay certainly will. You can take part in the World Cup or a friendly match as one of 24 nations, choosing which players you want to use in each match. There are a multitude of problems with the game, though. Passing and tackling are all but impossible; you can’t seem to select another player to control on your team; the length of matches is far too long and can’t be adjusted; and the game is much, much too easy – just grab the ball during kick-offs in the first half, and run with it all the way to the other team’s goal. This is a truly shambolic excuse for a football game which is best forgotten about.
(US Gold, 1987)
Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard
This is probably the best golf game for the CPC. You must prove your skills through four courses and three difficulty levels (ranging from kids to professional). The graphics are cute and colourful, and they appear rather quickly on the screen. There’s a little loading time between each hole but it’s worth the wait, because the gameplay is excellent. Even with a joystick, it’s really easy to control the pace and the effects of your shots – but beware of the wind and the slope, and choose your club cleverly...
See also: Leader Board.
(Audiogenic Software, 1991)
Reviewed by Robert Small
Considering the limitations of the CPC’s hardware, this is an excellent rugby game. The front end where you select the game mode, teams, etc. is presented in the CPC’s Mode 0, so it has a colourful, if blocky, look. You can select several real world international teams such as New Zealand, England and Wales. When you get to the actual game, the graphics change to resemble a Spectrum game. However, this is to the benefit of the gameplay, as everything runs smoothly and benefits from decent controls for passing, scrums, running and conversions. This is a supremely playable sports game and in my opinion could be described as the best sports game on the Amstrad CPC.
(Artic Computing, 1985)
If this game represented a country in the World Cup, it wouldn’t get past the first round. You, and up to seven other players, can take part in the World Cup and choose from eight (yes, only eight!) countries. Which country you choose affects how well you play. You then get to play a match, which lasts about five minutes. Primitive graphics and jerky scrolling, combined with an irritating tune that plays continuously in the background and frustrating gameplay (such as an apparent inability of your players to tackle and a tendency for control to switch to another player at all the wrong times), make this a game to stay clear of.
See also: World Cup Carnival.