Page 1: Pacific - Paperboy 2
Page 2: Para Academy - Paws
Page 3: Pearl Harbour - Peter Shilton's Handball Maradona!
Page 4: P-47: The Freedom Fighter - Pinball Magic
Page 5: Pinball Power - Pix
Page 6: Planetfall - El Poder Oscuro
Page 7: Pogostick Olympics - Potato Rescue
Page 8: Potsworth and Co. - A Prelude to Chaos
Page 9: Prince of Persia - Prohibition
Page 10: Project Future - Psycho Pig UXB
Page 11: Psycho Soldier - Puzznic
Page 12: Pyjamarama - Python Pete
Screenshot of Planetfall


(Infocom, 1986)

You're a lowly Ensign Seventh Class on board the Stellar Patrol Ship Feinstein, when the ship is torn apart by an explosion. You escape to a nearby planet, and end up in a deserted complex. As you explore your surroundings, you eventually learn that all its inhabitants died from a nasty disease – and now you're infected as well, and must find a way of curing it. This is a thoroughly engrossing text adventure, which features the adorable robot Floyd, who becomes your companion through much of the game. The constant need to obtain food can be a bit irritating, and you'll need a lot of access cards to explore several areas of the complex, but the scenario is fascinating and the game is suitable for inexperienced adventurers.

See also: Stationfall.

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Screenshot of Planet of Death

Planet of Death

(Paxman Promotions, 1985)

You are stranded on an alien planet, and you must locate your spaceship, which has been captured and disabled. Also known as Adventure 'A', this is the first in a series of eight text adventures that were originally released for the ZX81 and ZX Spectrum between 1981 and 1985. The fact that it made its debut on the ZX81 gives you a large hint that it's extremely basic and unsophisticated. The plot is unoriginal, there are few locations, the parser is very limited, and there aren't many puzzles to solve. Even the text is displayed entirely in capital letters and without apostrophes – a throwback to the ZX81's very limited character set. It feels like a type-in listing from a magazine, and I can't understand why anyone considered it a good idea to convert it to the CPC.

See also: Inca Curse.

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Screenshot of Plasmatron


(CRL, 1988)

A colony that was established on the planet of Laughton 2 now lies deserted, and it has since been occupied by alien forces. You are Captain Ford, a space pilot who has been sent to the former colony to see what has happened, and to shoot the aliens. It's a horizontally scrolling space shoot-'em-up, and my goodness, it is bad! There is only one level, and no power-ups whatsoever to collect. But the worst aspect of the game is the amount of flickering that occurs; I don't think I have seen a game with such horrible flickering. The scrolling is very slow as well. It's a badly programmed game and there's nothing to recommend about it.

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Screenshot of Platformer Medley Block #1

Platformer Medley Block #1

(The Mojon Twins, 2009)

Mari Stormbringer is a bored supermarket cashier. She grabs a packet of n&n sweets, not realising that they are contaminated, and she is transported to another world. Can you help her return to the real world? Behind the surreal story is a cute and very colourful, albeit rather linear, platform game. You start the game with 20 lives, but you will need all of them, as it's a rather difficult game. The graphics are bright and cheerful, and background images are used on each screen to great effect, and it will take you many attempts to reach the final screen.

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Screenshot of Platoon


(Ocean, 1988)

Reviewed by Chris Lennard

The first casualty of war is innocence – or perhaps it's being forced to play this. Engage the Viet Cong in this supposed adaptation of the movie to which it bears little resemblance. The most part of the game involves having your soldier wandering around the deadly labyrinth that constitutes the Vietnamese jungle, collecting objects in order to complete your mission. From all corners of the screen you are almost constantly assailed by enemy troops that appear from nowhere, or alternatively you are suffering at the hands of nearly invisible snipers and troops. The 3D sections in the underground tunnels are more impressive, but are frankly not worth getting to in a game that is ultimately frustrating, annoying and extremely difficult.

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Screenshot of Play Your Cards Right

Play Your Cards Right

(Britannia Software, 1986)

Bruce Forsyth hosted a popular TV game show in the 1980s, but this computer adaptation of it doesn't do it justice at all. You and a computer or a friend take it in turns to guess the percentage of a certain group of people who said yes or no as to what they would do in a particular situation, then you turn over playing cards one at a time, guessing whether the next one will be higher or lower; if you successfully turn over five cards, you score a point. The first player to score two points goes on to the final round where you can gamble to earn more points – although unlike the TV show, you don't win any prizes, and you don't hear the crowd shouting "Higher!" or "Lower!" at you all the time. Playing this game is entirely a matter of luck instead of skill and it quickly becomes boring.

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Screenshot of The Plot

The Plot

(Firebird, 1987)

In 1605, Guy Fawkes tried and failed to blow up the Houses of Parliament. This is your chance to rewrite history and succeed where Guy failed – or else you'll be hung at dawn! You have to search the Houses of Parliament for sticks of dynamite and other objects, but you'll also need the dynamite for blowing up the bats and other creatures that fly about. The graphics aren't bad, but the music is irritating (although it can be switched off), and entering doors and climbing ladders is very awkward; it took me ages to work out how to do it.

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Screenshot of Plotting


(Ocean, 1990)

Here's a cute puzzle game which was only released on cartridge. On each level, you have to clear a pile of blocks from the screen by matching blocks together. You control an egg-like creature that can only move vertically and which can be positioned to allow the block to bounce off the walls of the screen, and hit the appropriate blocks in the pile. It's not easy to explain the rules, but if you have a few goes, you'll learn them quickly. You don't have to clear all the blocks, though; when you've cleared enough, you can qualify for the next level. The game exploits the extra graphical facilities of the Plus machines, the music is really good as well, and there's also a two-player option which allows both players to play simultaneously.

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Screenshot of Pneumatic Hammers

Pneumatic Hammers

(Firebird, 1987)

A gold mine is being threatened by landslides because the handle that turns off the piledrivers has broken – but the only way you can obtain one is to cast it from the gold that the mine is producing. The building next to the mine consists of five rooms which can be reached using the lifts. The problem is working out exactly what it is that you are supposed to do! The instructions that come with the game are brief and very unhelpful. Actually, I'm not entirely sure if there is a game in here. I certainly can't be bothered to waste time trying to find out where and what it is.

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Screenshot of El Poder Oscuro

El Poder Oscuro

(Zigurat, 1988)

Reviewed by Javier Sáez

A mysterious and terrible 'Dark Power' is the leading force of the aliens that have invaded the planet Siros. You've called for help but, by the time reinforcements arrive, it'll be too late. Your task is to activate a huge power generator to destroy the power that literally erases the screens of the game as you play. To do this you control a huge robot, but you can also leave the robot in a spacecraft when necessary and even fight your way on foot in very narrow places. Despite it sounding quite interesting, this game isn't that funny. There are too many objects to collect, the time limit is too strict and your character is quite a good pilot, but just an average trooper. By the way, there is a nice intro sequence at the beginning of the game.

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