Crazy Blaster and Rodmän are two relatively new games from
Mika Keränen, and both games have also been released for several other
8-bit machines. You can buy physical copies from
The Future Was
8 Bit for £4.99 each (excluding shipping costs), or you can download
them digitally from itch.io and pay
whatever you want.
Ingo Werstler has released his first Amstrad CPC game. It's called The
Enchanted Stones of Cameronne and it's based on a puzzle game from 1990
called Ishido: The Way of Stones. There are 72 tiles with different
colours and symbols, and you must place them on the board so that neighbouring
tiles have either the same colour or symbol. For the highest scores you'll need
to get a "four-way match", where two neighbouring tiles have the same colour and
another two have the same symbol.
Last Saturday, Novabug
held a charity fundraising event for Macmillan Cancer Support
on YouTube. Normally each Saturday he tests five or six cassettes from his
extensive collection of Amstrad CPC games, while people watching the stream will
chat about the games being loaded and played, and other things as well. However,
last Saturday, he tested 20 (yes, twenty) copies of Bridge-It in his
collection and auctioned all of them off for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Bridge-It is widely regarded as one of the worst games to be released
for the Amstrad CPC (scoring 0 out of 10
on this site – it really is that bad). It is incredibly easy to find on
auction sites like eBay (there are nearly 25 copies of the game on sale on the
site as I write this!), and because of this, and the fact that its reputation is
so poor, it's worth very little, if anything.
I wasn't expecting much from Novabug's fundraiser, but thanks to the amazing
generosity of CPC fans, his initial target of £464 was smashed and all
twenty copies of Bridge-It were sold and a staggering
£1,130.35 was raised! Congratulations to Novabug and thanks to
everyone who donated to such a worthwhile cause. (I was one of the people who
bought a cassette, for the normally ludicrous sum of £20.50 – but
it's for charity, of course.) You can watch a
replay of the YouTube stream
below, and you can still
make a donation via JustGiving.
Novabug's Bridge-It for Macmillan fundraiser on YouTube
has uploaded a video to YouTube showcasing 40 of the best 'modern' Amstrad CPC
games to be released for the machine in the last 15 years or so. If you're not
familiar with the CPC, or you haven't played CPC games for many years and want
to rediscover what this excellent machine has to offer, you can watch the video
below or on YouTube
and see if you agree or disagree with his rankings.
Amstrad CPC Top 40 New Games on YouTube
14th January 2021
Screenshot of Chaos Rising Part 2
Chaos Rising Part 2
EgoTrip has released a new game called Chaos Rising Part 2. It's
intended to be a continuation of the first Chaos Rising game and not a
sequel. Amy has awoken on an island that has been overrun by machines, and its
inhabitants want her to destroy the five Chaos Chips that control the machines.
You can download Chaos Rising Part 2
from the CPCWiki forum.
Happy New Year everyone! 2020 was a terrible year with the ongoing COVID-19
pandemic, but it was a great year for CPC releases, which helped me to pass the
time stuck at home and get through it all – and I also wrote over 50
reviews of CPC games during 2020, which is the most I have done for many years.
Thanks must also go to the other contributors – Robert Small, Shaun Neary,
neepheid and Missas – who also provided reviews during 2020.
Screenshot of Atic Atac
John Ward released Atic Atac just before the end of 2020. It's an
unofficial conversion of Ultimate Play the Game's classic ZX Spectrum game from
1983. You are locked inside a castle and must explore it to find the key to open
the door that will let you escape. You can choose one of three characters
– a wizard, a knight or a serf – and each of which has their own set
of secret passages that only they can use. It plays just like the Spectrum
version, but the graphics are much more colourful and beautiful thanks to the
work of Steven Day.
Merry Christmas to all CPC fans! There are two more new CPC releases to
announce, although one of them is a preview and not a full release.
Screenshot of Wonder Boy Remake
Wonder Boy Remake
Benjamin Yoris has been working all year on a remake of the Activision game
Wonder Boy. It's fair to say that the original CPC version of the game is
mediocre at best, and it was rated only 4 out of 10
on this site. The remake features much better and more colourful graphics,
better music and smooth scrolling. Benjamin has released a playable preview
version of the first stage, which you can
from the CPCWiki forum.
Screenshot of Ninja Carnage
A group called Resistance has released a new game called Ninja
Carnage. You are a ninja and your aim is to kill a female rival called
Nure-onna who is hiding in a temple. It plays similarly to a point-and-click
adventure, but instead of exploring and trying to solve puzzles, you move in a
linear manner throughout the game and you have to use a process of trial and
error to work out which areas of each panel you need to click in the correct
sequence. If you make a mistake, you have to restart the current panel. The
graphics are beautiful and the music is excellent, and it's a style of game that
hasn't been seen on the CPC before, to the best of my knowledge.
An early version of Ninja Carnage finished in second place in a
contest that was organised earlier this year, and you can now
download it from Resistance's site.
It has been translated into six languages – English, French, German,
Greek, Italian and Spanish – but be aware that it contains very strong
language throughout and is certainly not suitable for people who are easily
The coin-op game Slap Fight was converted to the Amstrad CPC and other
8-bit machines in 1987, but Spanish CPC user Abalore thought that, as with
Bubble Bobble and R-Type, it could be done better on the CPC. Now,
after four years of work, it has been released just in time for Christmas! You
can see how fantastic it plays and looks in the YouTube video below:
Video of Alcon 2020 on YouTube
Alcon 2020 can be downloaded from
Abalore's site. One thing to
bear in mind is that if you want to play it on an emulator, you will need an
emulator that emulates either the GX4000 console or the X-MEM memory expansion
device. WinAPE and
CPCEC are two emulators
that emulate the GX4000 console, and
Retro Virtual Machine
can emulate the X-MEM device. I advise you to download the cartridge version
(the CPR file), as it's much easier to use than the X-MEM version, which has to
be installed on the X-MEM first, which can take a while.
Personally, I'm against the idea of developing Amstrad CPC games that require
additional hardware expansion devices, as it goes against the spirit of the
CPC's "golden era" of the 1980s and early 1990s when games had to run on an
unexpanded machine – but that's just my opinion, and Alcon 2020 is
a marvellous game.
Shaun Neary is back, and as he's a big fan of Slap Fight, he wasted
little time in writing a review of Alcon 2020.
Please note that Buccaneers is currently only available for
downloading as a one-level playable demo. The full version is only available by
a physical copy from Matranet, and if you like fancy, shiny packaging, then
it is worth purchasing! If you want to see the game in action, Xyphoe played
(and completed) Buccaneers on one of his live streams on YouTube, which
you can watch here.
In November 2019, it was announced that Sonic the Hedgehog was being
converted to the GX4000 console and Plus machines, under the name of
SonicGX. It was expected that it would be released by the end of 2020,
but the programmer, NoRecess, has posted a news update
to say that it won't be ready until at least 2022. So far, levels 1 and 2 have
been completed, and NoRecess has been busy improving and optimising the graphics
and adding new music, courtesy of Targhan, but nine screenshots have also been
posted, and it's looking rather nice indeed.
2nd best UA student game: Raven Squad (Raven Games) – €75 prize
Best arcade game (awarded by Arcade Vintage): Ánima – €150
Best multiplayer game (awarded by Gee-k.net): Sorcerers – €100
Best music (awarded by IndieGameMusic): Sorcerers – €75
Best newcomer game (awarded by Ready and Play): Poisoned Escape (Cracktime Studios) – €70
Best "Opera Prima" (awarded by Blast Annual): Karting Garden – €50
Best artificial intelligence (awarded by Pablo Ariza): The Abduction of Oscar Z – €200
Best soundtrack (awarded by Gominolas): The Abduction of Oscar Z – €200
Best overall product (awarded by Jon Cortázar): Sorcerers – €200
The Abduction of Oscar Z swept the board with 557 points –
exactly 200 points ahead of its nearest challenger, Sorcerers. All 49
games can be downloaded from the CPCRetroDev 2020 site. As always, congratulations to
all the winners!
I will endeavour to play some of these games this weekend and hopefully
write some reviews over the next few days.
11th November 2020
The deadline for submitting entries to the 2020 edition of the #CPCRetroDev Game Creation Contest
closed last week, and a record 49 games are vying to win a share of €2,315
in prize money! I'm guessing that the COVID-19 lockdown has prompted more people
to try to program a game for the competition while they're stuck indoors.
Updated version of the Sean McManus Software Collection
Those of you who bought the magazines Amstrad Action and Amstrad
Computer User in the early 1990s and typed in the listings that were
published in them every month may well recall the name of Sean McManus, whose
programs regularly featured in these magazines. He also wrote a machine code
game called The Further Adventures of Fred, and it was due to be
published on the covertape for issue 118 of Amstrad Action – but
unfortunately the magazine ceased publication after 117 issues, although Sean
still released the game into the public domain.
Sean has now tweaked The Further Adventures of Fred so that it's a bit
easier. The first level was particularly unfair as it put you in immediate
danger of losing a life, so it's been modified slightly and swapped around with
a later level. Several of his listings have also been updated to include
built-in instructions, better presentation, or changes to the keyboard controls.
Sean's collection of his CPC work was originally released in 1997, and you
can download the updated 2020 version from his web site. Even after
30 years, he still remembers how to program in Locomotive BASIC!
Bitplane Technomantes has released a one-level preview of their new game
Corsair Trainer. It's an entrant in the
Assembly Online 2020 game
development competition and it's a space shoot-'em-up with very smooth 50Hz
vertical scrolling. You may remember the name Bitplane Technomantes from a few
years back when they released the technically amazing and highly playable
Dragon Attack in the 2016 #CPCRetroDev Game Creation Contest. The
programmer, Axelay, is the man responsible for several other great Amstrad CPC
games, and Corsair Trainer also features the very distinctive and
beautiful artwork of rexbeng.
You can download Corsair Trainer from the Assembly Online 2020 site. Be warned that
even on the lowest difficulty setting, it's very tough to reach the end of the
first level! I hope that Axelay will make the final version a bit easier.