CPC GAME REVIEWS - by
 Nicholas Campbell

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#CPCRetroDev 2019

The 2019 edition of the annual #CPCRetroDev game development competition saw 35 entries. There were noticeably fewer submissions from what I call 'professional' development teams such as 4MHz, Retrobytes Productions and CPC-POWER, which I personally thought was a bit disappointing, but this is to the benefit of the students of the University of Alicante, who had a much better chance of winning prizes for their efforts. Here are the winners:

PRO category

  • Best game: Miss Input (ChupiGames) – €300 prize
  • 2nd best game: Ludic Break the Loop (Osmobit Games) – €220 prize
  • 3rd best game: Epimeteo (CNGSoft) – €150 prize
  • 4th best game: Cobra (Carlos Pérezgrín & Ricardo Oyón) – €100 prize
  • 5th best game: Hey Sailor! (Marine Developers) – €70 prize

UA category (for games developed by students of the University of Alicante)

  • Best UA student game: Bike Masters (S.I.L.O. Industries) – €100 prize
  • 2nd best UA student game: Super Tongue Dino (Peanut Games) – €50 prize

Special mentions

  • Best soundtrack (awarded by Gominolas): Ludic Break the Loop – €150
  • Most entertaining game (awarded by Carlos Abril): Miss Input – €150
  • Best technical development and AI (awarded by Pablo Ariza): Epimeteo – €150
  • Best arcade game (awarded by Arcade Vintage): Epimeteo – €150
  • Best artificial intelligence and technical quality (awarded by RiDiVi and Cátedra Estratégica): MANPAC – €150
  • Best "Opera Prima" (awarded by Blast Annual): Bike Masters – €50

Congratulations to all the winners!

SonicGX

BG Games set a new standard for extracting the maximum potential from the Amstrad CPC's hardware with last month's release of Pinball Dreams, and now another group called Condense is converting Sonic the Hedgehog to the GX4000 and Plus machines! A preview of the game, which is currently titled SonicGX, was demonstrated at the Alchimie 13 event in France. It looks utterly stunning and amazingly similar to the Sega Master System and Game Gear versions, and screenshots are available on the CPCWiki forum. However, don't expect to see a final version any time soon; you'll have to wait until the end of 2020 before it's released.

You can watch a preview on YouTube below, and if you're not convinced that it's running on real hardware, NoRecess has published another YouTube video that shows SonicGX being played on a real Plus machine!

Preview of SonicGX on YouTube

Hibernated 2

Stefan Vogt has revealed the box artwork for his forthcoming text adventure Hibernated 2 in a recent tweet. Hibernated 2 is a two-part sequel to the highly acclaimed Hibernated 1: This Place Is Death, which was reviewed on this site and received a rating of 8 out of 10. poly.play will be handling the physical release of the game, which is planned for release before the end of the year. If it's anything like the first game, it'll be well worth the wait.

Spanish developer The Mojon Twins have released a new platform game for the Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum and NES called Cheman. A rock concert is due to be held tonight, but another group has organised a batukada festival that is being held at the same time (batukada is a type of samba music). Your objectives are to collect medallions and get rid of the batukada fans by jumping on them. The game is rather short – there are only two levels – but it features colourful MODE 0 graphics and music and is fun to play. You can download Cheman from The Mojon Twins' site.

Stefan Vogt has tweeted that he is developing a Halloween-themed text adventure called The Curse of Rabenstein, which should be ready for release by the end of October on the Adventuron platform, with other platforms (including the Amstrad CPC) following later. The beautiful title screen (see the image on the right) has been drawn by Railslave.

Meanwhile, another of Stefan's text adventures, Hibernated 2, should be released by the end of the year, and he has also released Eight Feet Under as a free download. This is a bonus adventure that was previously only available to people who had purchased physical copies of Hibernated 1: This Place is Death, and it reveals some of the events that aren't explained in that game.

Missas has reviewed Pinball Dreams.

Pinball Dreams

I've been on holiday for two weeks without any Internet access, so no doubt all of you who are CPC fans will be aware of one of the biggest new releases that the Amstrad CPC has seen in years. Yes, BG Games has finally released the full version of Pinball Dreams!

A playable preview of Pinball Dreams was released back in October 2016, and in February 2019, BG Games announced that the game was finished and they were in negotiations with Rebellion, who hold the intellectual property rights. Unfortunately, while those negotiations ultimately didn't conclude successfully (which BG Games have documented in a Twitter thread), BG Games have decided to release the game anyway, on the understanding that it is strictly an unofficial conversion of the Amiga classic, it has not been formally endorsed by Rebellion, and it is not to be offered for sale.

I have no hesitation in stating that Pinball Dreams is by far the best pinball game to be released for the CPC, and it's arguably one of the best games to be released for the CPC, full stop. BG Games can be thoroughly proud of themselves for this conversion. If you haven't tried it already, you can download it from pouët.net.

Chronicles of Nanako

Bitmap Soft have recently released a compilation called Chronicles of Nanako. It contains new versions of two games by the Mojon Twins – Nanako in Classic Japanese Monster Castle and Nanako Descends to Hell. It's available on cassette and you can purchase copies from Bitmap Soft's site for £10.00, excluding shipping.

Acción y Aventura

ESP Soft are planning to celebrate their 15th anniversary with the release of a compilation called Acción y Aventura, which will include three of their games – one text adventure and two platform games:

The compilation will initially be available only at the RUN"AUA event in Madrid on Saturday 19th October 2019. I don't know if they will release additional copies after the event.

E-mail: nich <AT> durge <DOT> org