CPC Game Reviews - by
 Nicholas Campbell

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Aeon

Another new game has been released! This one is called Aeon and it has been developed by VincentGR and Kukulcan, who is better known as the maintainer of CPC-POWER – a site that I'm sure all Amstrad CPC fans will be familiar with. The game has been developed using Multi-Platform Arcade Game Designer and consists of four parts, and it features several marvellous tunes that have been converted by Jonah Ship from the ZX Spectrum, and cutscenes before each part with Mode 1 screens that use a lot more than four colours, thanks to some clever technical trickery.

If you want to see what the game is like, you can watch a YouTube video of Xyphoe playing all four parts, and you can download the game from CPC-POWER. I have also written a review (continue reading below for the link).

Xyphoe's playthrough of Aeon on YouTube

New reviews

Robert Small has reviewed two games:

I have reviewed three games:

Roudoudou has released Open Tower Defense. As the name suggests, it's a tower defence strategy game where waves of enemies come from the left-hand side of the screen, and you have to place fortifications to prevent them from reaching the right-hand side. The enemies become increasingly powerful, which means that you continually need to buy and build more fortifications and spend credits upgrading existing fortifications.

The tower defence genre isn't totally new to the CPC – Shining released Defence in 2016, which received a 10 out of 10 rating on this site – but Open Tower Defense is a pretty decent version. You can download the game from the CPCWiki forum.

I have reviewed three games, including a new one that was released a week or so ago and which I forgot to mention in my last update – oops!

Robert Small has reviewed two games:

The Sword of Ianna has been available on the CPC for nearly a year, and if you're not already aware, it only works on the Dandanator hardware device. To the best of my knowledge, Retro Virtual Machine and CPCEC are the only emulators that currently support emulation of this device. If you haven't played it before, I think it is well worth the effort of trying to get the game to work in one of these emulators!

Hibernated 1: This Place Is Death (Director's Cut)

Back in 2018, Stefan Vogt released the text adventure Hibernated 1: This Place Is Death, and it was very highly praised (including an 8 out of 10 rating on this site). Since then, he has spent many months rewriting and greatly expanding it, and now he has released Hibernated 1 (Director's Cut). This new version has been developed using the PunyInform engine, which generates code that is compatible with Infocom's Z-machine. In short, you can create much larger and more complex adventures with PunyInform than you can with DAAD or PAW (two engines that were used in the development of the previous, 'classic' version of the game). In Stefan's words, "If Infocom had been asked to recreate the classic Hibernated, the Director's Cut would have been the outcome."

Stefan also plans to collaborate with poly.play to produce a physical release of the Hibernated 1 (Director's Cut) that will come in a grey box, similar to Infocom's own "grey box" releases, some of which were released for the Amstrad CPC and PCW. In the meantime, you can download the digital release of Hibernated 1 (Director's Cut) for the CPC and PCW (and around 20 other formats!) from itch.io.

The Sean McManus Software Collection

Following my announcement earlier this month about being able to play some Amstrad CPC games online at Amstrad CPC Games, Sean McManus has updated his site so that you can play some of his type-in listings online using the same online emulator. A number of Sean's type-ins were published in Amstrad Action and Amstrad Computer User in the early 1990s.

Robert Small has reviewed two games:

Play Amstrad CPC games online!

A new site, simply titled Amstrad CPC Games, has recently been launched. If you visit it, you can play around 30 great Amstrad CPC games, such as Arkanoid, Bomb Jack, Commando, Gryzor and Ikari Warriors, in your web browser – no need to download or launch an emulator! All of this is possible thanks to Andre Weissflog's hugely impressive Tiny Emulators set.

New reviews

I have reviewed five games:

New reviews

Robert Small has reviewed two games:

Also, after watching Xyphoe play Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge on one of his live streams recently, I have reduced the rating on my review to 9 out of 10 (it was previously 10 out of 10). I still think it's a great racing game but it doesn't deserve full marks.

XeNoMoRPH's YouTube channel added

I've added links to videos on XeNoMoRPH's YouTube channel on my site. This channel is run by Joseph Antony and it features short gameplay videos of modern Amstrad CPC games and some of the less well known releases from the CPC's golden era.

Red Sunset

Bitmap Soft will be releasing a limited edition physical version of ESP Soft's wonderful shoot-'em-up Red Sunset, and you can order a copy now. You'd better be quick, though; the first batch of 25 copies sold out within a day, and the second batch of 25 copies will be the final batch! The box (see the image on the right) will include an A4 poster, an A5 manual, stickers, and a copy of the game on 3″ disc. The cost is £25.00, excluding shipping.

Robert Small has reviewed two games:

Piero Serra has reviewed Meltdown.

I have reviewed three games:

I have reviewed three games:

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.

Piero Serra has reviewed two games:

Robert Small has reviewed Marsport.

Piero Serra has reviewed two games:

It's amazing to think that until now, no one had written a review of Get Dexter 2 – one of the classics that really shows what the Amstrad CPC can do – for this site! Still, better late than never...

Robert Small has reviewed two games:

Piero Serra has reviewed four games:

Piero Serra has reviewed two games:

Robert Small has reviewed two games:

Piero Serra has reviewed three games:

Piero Serra has reviewed three games:

The Enchanted Stones of Cameronne

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.

This isn't the first time Ishido has been converted to the Amstrad CPC, but this version is a good effort and it looks very nice and has some atmospheric background music courtesy of Roald Strauss (Mr Lou). You can download The Enchanted Stones of Cameronne from the CPCWiki forum.

New reviews

Piero Serra has reviewed two games:

Robert Small has reviewed two games:

Following a recent stream by Xyphoe, I have also rewritten my review of Psycho Pigs UXB and given it a higher rating.

Piero Serra has reviewed two games:

Piero Serra has reviewed five games:

Novabug's Macmillan Cancer Support fundraiser

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

New reviews

Robert Small has reviewed two games:

A new contributor, Piero Serra, has reviewed Special Operations.

Robert Small has reviewed two games:

I have reviewed eight games:

Classic Replay 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

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.

New reviews

Robert Small has reviewed two games:

I have reviewed Trans-Atlantic Balloon Challenge.

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.

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.

You can download Atic Atac from John's GitHub page.

New reviews

Robert Small has reviewed two games:

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.

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 download from the CPCWiki forum.

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 offended.

New reviews

I have reviewed two games:

Alcon 2020

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.

New reviews

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.

I have reviewed three games, including two more from the 2020 #CPCRetroDev Game Creation Contest:

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