CPC GAME REVIEWS - by Nicholas

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15th October 2016
Cargosoft has released a new game called Imperial Mahjong. It's based on the game of mahjong solitaire, which uses the same set of 144 tiles that are used in the Chinese game of mahjong. They first announced it in September 2015 and promised that it would use a new graphic mode on the CPC, but they would not reveal any further details or screenshots. As their previous release, Orion Prime, set new graphical standards, CPC fans knew this wasn't just hype from Cargosoft.

So, after much anticipation, Imperial Mahjong is finally here – and Julien Névo (Targhan) and Sylvestre Campin (Supersly) have again developed a masterpiece! The screenshot on the right really is taken from a CPC emulator – although Cargosoft recommend that you run it on a real CPC, and most emulators unfortunately cannot cope with the special graphic mode that the game uses (although it works with WinAPE and WinCPC).

Mahjong solitaire games have been released on the CPC before, but none have come close to matching the quality of this release! As you can see from the screenshot, the graphics are astoundingly beautiful. You can download Imperial Mahjong from Arkos' website, and there is a discussion thread on the CPCWiki forum.

8th October 2016
So after returning from a wonderfully relaxing holiday, I once again find myself deluged with news of CPC games...

Vector Vaults

First up is a fast-paced arcade game called Vector Vaults. The author, Alberto Rodriguez Martinez, intends to release a series of games called the Hidden History Saga, and Vector Vaults is the first game in the series. You control a spaceship and you have to pilot it through a series of mazes, dodging walls and obstacles and collecting batteries to replenish your constantly diminishing energy.

Vector Vaults may look primitive with its chunky, vector-based graphics, but this is intentional, as it's a homage to the Vectrex console, and the simplistic graphics mean that the screen can be updated really quickly. It's an exciting, difficult but addictive game with that "one more go" factor. You can download Vector Vaults, and also purchase a physical edition for your collection, from Alberto's website.

Tower of Despair

Spanish CPC user MiguelSky brings us yet another conversion of an adventure game. This one was originally released by Games Workshop for the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64 way back in 1984. It's a two-part fantasy text adventure written using The Quill. Malmor, the Demonlord of Darkness, has returned to the Tower of Despair, and you have been given the task of going to the tower and defeating Malmor once and for all. You can obtain more information about Towers of Despair from ESP Soft's website. Note that the links to download the game and the manual are currently not working, but you can download the game from NVG.


Juan J. Martínez has been busy working on another new platform game called Magica. You are a sorceress who has to collect bottles of potions that have been stolen by various creatures. Each level consists of a single screen, and you can stun enemies and then walk into them to retrieve your potions. Juan is going to try to finish the game in time for the end of the #CPCRetroDev 2016 competition later this month. You can follow the progress of development on either the CPCWiki forum or Juan's Twitter feed.

Wolf/RPG Preview

It has long been a dream for CPC users to see a clone of Wolfenstein 3D on their machines. For years, the closest thing we had to a working example was a rather stunning demo by Richard Wilson. However, Greek CPC user Optimus has been working, on and off, to program an engine that can be used to develop a Wolfenstein-style dungeon exploration game. He has decided to release a preview of his work so far, and you can download it from the CPCWiki forum and see it for yourself (the screenshot shown here doesn't really do it justice). Whether it will ever be finished depends on his motivation; as I know only too well, real life keeps getting in the way too often.

Video preview of Ghouls'n Goblins on YouTube

20th September 2016
Missas has reviewed Adiós a la Casta: Episode 1.

Ghouls'n Goblins

Nemo Kantio uploaded a "work in progress" video of his GX4000 conversion of Ghouls'n Goblins. The video was actually uploaded to YouTube back in July, but it has now come to wider attention thanks to a message he posted on the CPCWiki forum.

Pinball Dreams

In my last update, I announced that Rhino was planning to convert an Amiga game to the CPC. Well, that game is... Pinball Dreams! The Spanish site RetroInvaders made an announcement a few days ago, and needless to say, the CPC community is getting excited by the news, as the discussion on the CPCWiki forum is proving. This tweet from Un Pasado Mejor appears to show a couple of CPC screens of the actual game, but unfortunately I can't verify their authenticity.

12th September 2016
The good news just keeps on coming! Here's the latest set of announcements...


Shining recently announced that he has released a new game after three years of development. It's called Defence, and it is the first 'tower defence' strategy game to be released for the CPC. It's not a genre that I'm familiar with, and I've never played any tower defence games before, but any new games for the CPC are to be welcomed!

As well as a freeware edition, it will also be possible to buy a personalised edition of the game – either a digital version (a DSK file to use with emulators), or a physical copy of the game on disc. Visit Shining's website to download the freeware edition and get more information about the personalised editions, and go to the CPCWiki forum to discuss the game.


TFM has graciously allowed his game Cyber-Chicken to be downloaded for free. The game was previously only available on cassette or disc, and only 115 copies were produced (you can see the nicknames of some of the people who bought copies here). You can download Cyber-Chicken from the official website.

Physical copies of Elf, Heroes Rescue and The Return of Traxtor now available

Defecto Digital Studios' games, Elf and Heroes Rescue, can now be purchased online. They are both available in either cassette or disc formats, with prices ranging from between 9 and 13 euros (excluding postage) depending on the format and style of box.

Juan J. Martínez's game The Return of Traxtor is also available as a physical edition on cassette from the Matranet store, with the CPC version of the game on one side, and the ZX Spectrum version on the other – just like Mastertronic used to do with some of their releases!

A new game from Rhino?

One of the CPC's most talented programmers, Rhino, has hinted on the CPCWiki forum that he is converting a well known Amiga game to the CPC, and a preview should be released in October 2016. He claims that it will be "the most technically advanced game on Amstrad so far, and probably the best game on 8 bits". Given that Rhino is the genius behind the incredible Batman Forever demo, it would be unwise to dismiss these claims lightly...

29th August 2016
After some discussion between EgoTrip, Missas and me, the rating for Missas' review of A Prelude to Chaos has been reduced to 9 out of 10.

21st August 2016
It's been nearly two months since I last posted any news, but since my last posting, several new Amstrad CPC games have been released.

Golden Tail

Juan J. Martínez has released a new platform game called Golden Tail. The Golden Tail is a magical stone that has been broken into 30 pieces. You play a ninja spy called Kitsune, and you must wander around looking for the pieces of the Golden Tail. One rather nice innovation is that you can use Kõga Magic to become invisible for very short periods of time, and while you are invisible, you can run faster and jump higher. You can download Golden Tail from Juan's website.

Heroes Rescue

Javy Fernández of Defecto Digital Studio has released the full version of Heroes Rescue. A preview version of the game with six levels was released a few months ago, but the full version has thirteen levels and features cartoon characters from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Simpsons and Marvel comics, who you must rescue. You can download Heroes Rescue from Defecto Digital Studio's site; click on the blue button labelled "Descarga AMSTRAD CPC" towards the bottom of the page to download it. Javy is planning to release a physical edition of the game as well.

Kung Fu Guns

bitbitJAM is an annual competition where entrants have to program a game on old 8-bit or 16-bit hardware in one week. The team at ByteRealms set themselves a challenge – to develop a beat-'em-up for the 2016 competition. In fact, they developed their game Kung Fu Guns over a weekend – and they achieved 5th place out of 20 entries!

In Kung Fu Guns, you play Sheriff Melissa Chase, the 'Red Hot Princess', who has arrived in the town of Dos Santos to rid it of bandits. As the game was developed in such a short space of time, there are only two levels, there's only one type of enemy, and it's very easy to complete, but the author has stated that ByteRealms will probably release a more polished version with additional features in the future. In the meantime, you can download Kung Fu Guns from NVG or from Game Jolt.

Missas has reviewed A Prelude to Chaos.

25th June 2016
4Mhz have released a preview version of Adiós a la Casta: Episode 2. Like the first episode, it's a platform game in which you must collect as many objects as you can, but the graphics are now mostly drawn in MODE 0 instead of the four-colour MODE 1, and they look absolutely wonderful. You can download the preview version from 4Mhz's site.

It was also recently announced that the Oliver Twins are joining the jury in the #CPCRetroDev 2016 competition. They will be examining all the entries and providing feedback to the developers, and they will also be at the awards ceremony. I think every CPC fan will know about the Oliver Twins; they programmed more than 20 games for the Amstrad CPC and they also created one of the most famous 8-bit characters of them all – Dizzy – so this is exciting news!

13th June 2016
40Crisis has emulated yet another classic on the Amstrad CPC! This time it's one of the most famous video games of all time, and one that even the most ardent non-gamer will recognise – Space Invaders. Yes, you can now play the original 1978 coin-op arcade version of Space Invaders on a CPC! However, you will need to find the relevant ROMs and download them, as 40Crisis hasn't included them with the emulator for copyright reasons.

You can download the emulator from NVG, which contains a program that will convert the ROMs to DSK and CDT files which you can play on an emulator or transfer to a real CPC. Get blasting!

26th May 2016
EgoTrip has just released another CPC game starring little Amy, called Jewel Warehouse. It's a simple platform game in which you control Amy and must collect jewels. Each level has a tight time limit, although you can retry each level as many times as you wish. There is a discussion on the CPCWiki forum which includes a link to download the game.

Missas has reviewed three more games from from last year's #CPCRetroDev competition:

Speaking of #CPCRetroDev, the 2016 competition has been launched, with a total of €1,050 in prizes on offer. This year, some well known personalities will be among the judges – the Spanish musician Gominolas, Jon Ritman (the author of classic games like Batman and Head Over Heels) and Victor Ruiz of Spanish software house Dinamic. The deadline for submitting entries is the 26th of October, so there's five months to program a game. 36 entries were submitted for the 2015 competition; will we see as many in 2016?

15th May 2016
Missas has reviewed Concave.

I have also been informed that Sir Ababol II: The Ice Palace is being developed for the CPC. This post from RetroManiac contains a few CPC screenshots, and someone has posted a tweet with a picture of the game being played on a CPC at the Amstrad Eterno event held last month.

30th April 2016
Missas has reviewed two games from last year's #CPCRetroDev competition:

24th April 2016
One other item of interest from the recent Amstrad Eterno event in Barcelona was an 80-page special edition of RetroManiac magazine which was available for purchase exclusively at the event. However, if you weren't there, you can download it from their site; click on the link entitled "Páginas sueltas...". Be aware that the entire magazine is written in Spanish!

The special edition is dedicated to the #CPCRetroDev contest that was held last year. There are reviews of all 36 games, an interview with Fran Gallego (the organiser of the contest as well as the developer behind the CPCTelera library), and "making of" articles for some of the highest-ranking games in the contest (Space Moves, Frogalot, Top Top, Regreso al CPC and Junior!).

What intrigued me the most were the advertisements included in the magazine: Adiós a la Casta: Episode 1, Galactic Tomb, and... Sir Ababol II: The Ice Palace (see the image on the right). My limited knowledge of Spanish prevents me from confirming if this is just a spoof advertisement, but is it really possible that we may see a return of the Mojon Twins to the CPC after a hiatus of five years?

Video preview of Galactic Tomb on YouTube

23rd April 2016
The first Amstrad Eterno event took place in Barcelona last weekend. Unfortunately I wasn't there, but there was plenty of news of new games that were released or are currently in development.

Galactic Tomb

The most impressive game that I learnt about is Galactic Tomb from ESP Soft. It's a shoot-'em-up with beautiful graphics, multi-directional scrolling and end-of-level bosses. A playable demo of the first level was available at Amstrad Eterno, and a YouTube video is also available, which you can also watch right here on CPC Game Reviews. Based on what I've seen in the video, this could be one of the best-looking and most ambitious games to be released for the CPC for several years!

Linaje Real

The second game from ESP Soft is Linaje Real – a platform game with a mediaeval theme which is being programmed by GG. According to ESP Soft, the game has "scrolling so smooth that you'll have to see it to believe it". ESP Soft uploaded a YouTube video several months ago, so you can judge this claim for yourself, although the video doesn't have any sound.

Adiós a la Casta: Episode 1

Shortly before Christmas 2015, a beta version of Adiós a la Casta was released by 4MHz. Now they've released version 1.00, which you can download from their web site. It's a platform game in which you play a character called Pablender (inspired by the Spanish politician Pablo Iglesias) who must collect as many opposition votes and the votes of undecided people as possible, with the votes being represented by icons. The more votes collected, the easier it will be for Pablender to defeat the final boss Rodrigo Rata. I don't know anything about Spanish politics, but this is a very playable platform game with nice graphics and music which plays fairly similarly to most of the Mojon Twins' games.

Zombi Terror Reloaded

The final game to be announced is Zombi Terror Reloaded from a new development team called Bitzarro Games. It's a reworking of Kabuto Factory's game Zombi Terror which was released for several different formats. The game is a text adventure in the style of the Choose Your Own Adventure gamebooks that were popular in the 1980s, although you'll need to understand Spanish to be able to play it properly. You can download Zombi Terror Reloaded from Bitzarro Games' site.

If you missed all the action at Amstrad Eterno, you can get a taste of how the event went by watching this YouTube video from Toni Ortiz.

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