CPC GAME REVIEWS - by
 Nicholas Campbell

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ESP Soft released a new platform game called El Linaje Real a few days ago. You are Prince Ernor, and you have just been informed that your father, King Abner, has died. However, you will only inherit his throne if you are present at the coronation ceremony in three days' time – otherwise, your evil brother Devilus will become King of Arngur instead!

El Linaje Real features excellent music and graphics with very detailed backgrounds, and you can download it from ESP Soft's site.

Missas has reviewed two recently released games:

Shining has released Pentomino. You can download the game from Shining's site. With 464 levels to complete, it should keep fans of puzzle games occupied for a while...

El Tesoro Perdido de Cuauhtemoc

4Mhz have released El Tesoro Perdido de Cuauhtemoc. You can download the game from 4Mhz's site, or purchase a physical copy of the game on 3″ disc for €15.00 (excluding postage).

Pentomino

Shining has uploaded a video of his forthcoming game Pentomino to YouTube. It's a puzzle game featuring 464 levels (appropriately enough) in which you must fit several Tetris-like pieces into a defined area. The game is expected to be released in the next few days, hopefully in time for the Easter holidays.

Video preview of Pentomino on YouTube

The Oliver Twins YouTube channel added

I've added links to videos on The Oliver Twins' YouTube channel on my site. The Oliver Twins don't need any introduction to CPC fans, as they've developed around 20 games for the CPC, and are responsible for that (mostly) well-loved egg Dizzy. They've uploaded several "Let's Play" videos of their games, and clips of some of their appearances on British TV, to their channel.

Games in development: Baba's Palace and Red Planet 2

Rafael Castillo has tweeted that he is developing a new game for the CPC called Baba's Palace using the CPCtelera framework, which should be ready for release by autumn 2017.

Salvador Cantero is also developing a platform game called Red Planet 2, again using CPCtelera. He recently tweeted a short video of the game in action. There's no indication of when it will be ready for release, but it looks very nice indeed.

Limited edition releases from Psytronik Software

Psytronik Software have released all four of their Amstrad CPC games – Dead on Time, Relentless, Star Sabre and Sub Hunter – in clamshell cases, priced at £9.99 each (excluding postage). The games were previously available in double-size transparent jewel cases. You can buy all of these games from The Binary Zone store. Clicking on any of the game covers shown below will take you directly to the page where you can purchase the game.

Another YouTube channel added

I've added another YouTube channel to my list of links – Novabug. He's a retro gaming enthusiast and regularly posts videos featuring games on a variety of machines. Most of his Amstrad CPC videos consist of 5-10 minutes of gameplay with a commentary, which is enough to give you a fairly good idea of how good or bad a game is going to be.

If you haven't seen it yet, check out one of his most popular videos, The 464 Project, which is nearly 55 minutes long and features 464 Amstrad CPC games; how many of them do you recognise? He's also just released a follow-up video featuring another 128 games.

El Tesoro Perdido de Cuauhtemoc

The excitement around the release of El Tesoro Perdido de Cuauhtemoc is building. McKlain has uploaded a short video to YouTube which shows the game in action.

Video preview of El Tesoro Perdido de Cuauhtemoc on YouTube

Pinball Dreams

Batman Group has tweeted a screenshot of another table – Steel Wheel – from their forthcoming conversion of Pinball Dreams to the Amstrad CPC. In case you missed it, you can download a playable demo of the Beat Box table from NVG.

El Tesoro Perdido de Cuauhtemoc

Un Pasado Mejor has tweeted some new screenshots of the forthcoming game El Tesoro Perdido de Cuauhtemoc (The Lost Treasure of Cuauhtemoc) from 4Mhz. It's developed by the same team who were responsible for Adiós a la Casta: Episode 2 – a colourful platform game that was released last year. The game should be officially launched and released at the Amstrad Eterno event which is being held in Barcelona next weekend. Click on the screenshots below to view larger versions.

At the request of Missas, CPC Game Reviews now has a new feature which I should have added a long time ago, but never got around to doing – links to YouTube videos!

Below some reviews, you will now see the YouTube icon (a white triangle within a red rectangle) with links to videos featuring the relevant game. Clicking on the name of the YouTube channel responsible for the video will open a new tab or window where you can watch the video. Below is an example for The Untouchables.

I've spent some time over the last few weeks trawling through the following YouTube channels:

Axelino was one of the first people to upload longplay videos of Amstrad CPC games to YouTube, with his first video being uploaded back in June 2007, but since 2012, he has largely ceased activity on his channel.

Metr81 is a Spanish CPC fan and an expert gamer – well, given the reputation that a lot of Spanish games have for being very difficult, maybe that's not too surprising! His channel consists of longplays and is very well organised, with videos categorised by software house, and playlists of games from a particular year.

ChinnyVision has been an Amstrad CPC fan for a long time, and his channel is largely dedicated to comparisons of games on different 8-bit and 16-bit computers. His videos are very professionally produced and I always look forward to each new episode.

Retro Danuart's channel is a more recent addition to YouTube. As well as Amstrad CPC longplays, he also uploads videos of ZX Spectrum and coin-op arcade games.

jgonza is a Spanish CPC fan who started uploading videos to YouTube in January 2014. His channel contains longplay videos of a wide variety of games, and it also has playlists based around software houses.

Xyphoe is a dedicated Amstrad CPC fan, and the proud owner of a 6128 Plus. He started uploading videos in 2008, and his videos consist mainly of longplays with detailed commentary, which are worth watching.

The site has also undergone some minor tidying up, and you may have noticed that the layout is slightly different, and the text is hopefully easier to read. You can now use access keys to navigate the site:

  • P takes you to the previous page in a category, or if you are at the first page in a category, you will be taken to the final page in the previous category.
  • Similarly, N takes you to the next page in a category, or if you are at the final page in a category, you will be taken to the first page in the next category.
  • T takes you to the top of a page. Of course, you can also press the Home key on your keyboard to do this...
  • 1 takes you back to the front page (the one you're reading right now).

Using access keys differs between browsers; see Wikipedia's page on access keys for more information on how to use them.

Rainbow Graphics has awarded their CPC Game of the Year 2016 to Magica by Juan José Martínez, based on polling by CPC fans. Congratulations to Juan for the award and for developing such a fun little game! Personally, my CPC game of 2016 was Imperial Mahjong by Cargosoft. Rhino's conversion of Pinball Dreams also looks extremely impressive, but as only a preview version is currently available, it shouldn't count in my opinion.

McKlain has released an album of 30 chiptunes that he has composed for the CPC and Spectrum, entitled Basic 1.1 – Ready. A Chiptune Compilation. Many of you should be familiar with his music, as he has contributed tunes to games such as both Adiós a la Casta episodes, Megablasters: Escape from Castle in the Clouds and Space Moves, as well as several demos. You can buy the album from Bandcamp.

Keith Sear has released a new version of Chibi Akuma(s) which fixes a couple of bugs and speeds up the game slightly. You can download the new version from the game's website.

Missas has reviewed Skool Daze.

Missas has reviewed three games:

Chibi Akuma(s), the shoot-'em-up that I mentioned just before Christmas, has been released. You can download it from the game's website.

I'm sure everyone will agree that 2016 has been an incredible year for new CPC games. This article on the Retro Gaming Mag website by CPC4eva reflects on 2016. I've also just noticed that Rainbow Graphics is organising a poll to determine CPC fans' best CPC game of 2016. You can vote via Facebook or by posting a tweet on Twitter with the hashtag #bestcpcgame2016. The deadline for voting is next Saturday 7th January 2017 at 13:00 GMT (14:00 CET).

Missas has reviewed seven games, all of which were released during 2016:

As it's Christmas, CPC Game Reviews is pleased to bring you a little present!

Some of you may recall that Cronosoft used to sell some text adventures that were written by Jason Davis and originally published by WoW Software during the early 1990s. I helped Simon Ullyatt, who runs Cronosoft, by providing new loading screens and master copies of the new versions. Because they were being sold commercially, Jason had requested that they were removed from the NVG FTP site so they would no longer be freely available for downloading. (At the time, NVG was the major download site for CPC games, and CPC-POWER and CPCRulez didn't exist yet.)

However, the games have not been available for purchasing for several years. Well, following some discussions with Simon Ullyatt and Jason Davis, they are now freely available to download from NVG once more! Just click on the loading screens below to download the corresponding game.

Here are links to reviews of all four games, in the order in which they were released:

I have been given the privilege of playing a two-level preview version of Chibi Akuma, the forthcoming shoot-'em-up from keith56, and it looks pretty good! The game will require a CPC with 128K of memory. The game features some humorous touches as well.

Some screenshots from the preview version are displayed below. Many of you may already have seen what the first level looks like from the author's message on the CPCWiki forum and the game's website, but the second level looks different and features different enemies – but I don't want to reveal what the end-of-level boss is!

I have reviewed twelve games, all of which have been released during 2016:

I wanted to review Sir Ababol II: The Ice Palace as well, but it appears to be bugged and parts of the second level became corrupted while I was playing it. Has anyone else experienced this issue?

The quantity of new games released in 2016 has amazed me, and probably many of you as well. So much for my resolution at the start of the year to "curtail my Amstrad CPC activities significantly"... It was going quite well for the first half of the year, and then game after game was released and I couldn't resist trying them all out.

Will 2017 be another great year for CPC gaming? Let's hope so! In the meantime, I wish all CPC fans a Merry Christmas!

A new version of CPCGamesCD has been released. CPCGamesCD is a CD-ROM image that contains all the games on the NVG FTP site, and it provides a useful front-end called CPC Loader that enables you to browse through the entire list of games and select which emulator to use to play them. It also contains nearly 200 Amstrad PCW games. You can download a zipped ISO file from the CPCGamesCD website; the links are at the bottom of the page (the download from mega.nz is the best one to use).

CPCWiki forum member keith56 has announced that he is working on a shoot-'em-up called Chibi Akuma. The game should be released in January 2017 (i.e. next month), and it will use some of the Plus machine's enhanced abilities. It will also feature up to 256 enemy bullets on the screen, so it's going to be a pretty crazy shoot-'em-up! You can read the discussion on the CPCWiki forum or visit the game's website.

Norbert Kehrer has released a conversion of the 1980 coin-op arcade game Phoenix for the CPC. It's a shoot-'em-up with five levels and it is influenced by Galaxian. The first four levels see you shooting formations of alien birds which take it in turn to swoop down on you. If you reach the fifth level, you have to destroy a mothership by repeatedly firing at it, which slowly wears down its shield, until you hit the alien inside it. Two versions of the game are provided; one with colourful MODE 0 graphics, and another with higher resolution but less colourful MODE 1 graphics. You can download both versions from Norbert's website.

Juan J. Martínez's game Golden Tail has been released on cassette, 3″ and 3½″ disc. You can buy copies of the game from poly.play.

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