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Cabal

(Ocean, 1989)

You've been sent into a hostile foreign country, on your own, to prevent a full-scale war from occurring. That's all that the storyline seems to say, and killing all the enemy soldiers single-handedly will be a tricky task indeed. There are twenty screens to blast your way through, with hordes of soldiers to shoot, and tanks and buildings to blow up. Thankfully you have an unlimited supply of ammunition in your gun, although your supply of grenades is limited. Fortunately you can obtain more grenades as you play the game. The graphics are slightly disappointing; the backgrounds are monochrome and the movement of the soldiers and your crosshairs is a bit jerky. Despite this, and the high difficulty, it's a fairly decent shoot-'em-up.

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7

California Games

(US Gold/Epyx, 1987)

Take part in a contest of six events with up to three other players, or on your own. The events include the half pipe (skateboarding), skating, surfing, BMX biking, discus throwing, and the foot bag – don't ask. You also get to choose who you're sponsored by, although this doesn't affect the game in any way. Apart from the surfing and the BMX biking, most of the events are either too boring or too tricky to master. The graphics aren't up to much, either, and sound effects are pretty sparse.

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5

Camelot Warriors

(Dinamic/Ariolasoft, 1986)

Four strange objects from the 20th century have transported themselves to mediaeval times. The great knight Camelot must collect these objects, with mysterious names like The Unburning Fire (a lightbulb) and The Mirror of Wisdom (a television). Each object is collected one at a time and presented to a guardian. You must then find the portal that will take you to the next stage of your journey. This is a platform game involving a lot of swordplay to kill some monsters, and jumping and dodging to avoid smaller creatures. It's a typical Dinamic game, though; the graphics and music are both lovely, but the gameplay is far too difficult, requiring very precise timing. It's a highly frustrating game to play.

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5

Campeones

(Amsoft/Indescomp, 1985)

Reviewed by Pug

Campeones is a 2D racing game set along several courses. Your little red racing car waits for the flag before setting off along the race track. Pressing left or right rotates your car while pressing up accelerates it. Along the way, four other competitors need to be beaten in order to qualify for the next race. The controls work fine with some careful planning required to avoid crashing. It's a colourful jaunt with basic graphics and some chittery engine noises. Bob Marley fans everywhere will smile as they listen to the game music. One last thing – don't run over the flag man, as you will be disqualified!

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5

Capitán Trueno

(Dinamic, 1989)

Reviewed by Javier Sáez

Capitán Trueno (Captain Thunder) was a very famous comic in Spain, which was first published in 1956. The game is divided into two parts. The first part is an adventure in which you can switch between three different characters. The second part is a side-scrolling arcade game which reminds me of one of Dinamic's other games, Risky Woods, a bit (but that game wasn't released on the CPC). Capitán Trueno was one of the last classic games by Dinamic and has all the features that could be expected – good graphics, great gameplay and, at least this time, a reasonable difficulty level.

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8

Captain America Defies the Doom Tube

(Go!, 1987)

Reviewed by CPC4eva

Dr. Megalomann is threatening to launch a missile that will destroy America, unless the President resigns and hands over power to him. Captain America is called upon to enter the Doom Tube – a multi-level bunker contaminated with a deadly toxin which increases in severity as you go further down the shaft. You have to collect passwords and get the ingredients to an anti-toxin in order to progress. The game has some nice, colourful graphics, a nice tune and sound effects, but the gameplay can be quite frustrating. You only get six shields, and if one goes off the screen, you lose it, and you could find yourself with no shields, leaving you defenceless. Coming across the robot enemies will drain your immunity pretty quickly, especially if you get stuck when you touch one of them. Controlling your shield is also quite frustrating.

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4

Captain Blood

(ERE Informatique, 1988)

Reviewed by Chris Lennard

Quirky French science fiction adventure in which you are a dying alien who has to travel the universe in order to find a cure for your ailment. Using your highly advanced starship, you must land on various planets engaging in conversation with a wide variety of alien species who can hopefully help you on your quest before your time runs out. It looks stunning as the graphics are actually quite impressive. The interface, via an animated alien hand, is also a nice feature. The music, incidentally, is provided by electronic guru Jean-Michel Jarre. However, all this fails to detract from what isn't a particularly engaging game.

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6

Captain Dynamo

(Codemasters, 1992)

The evil (and completely mad) scientist Austen von Flyswatter has stolen the world's largest collection of diamonds, and has stored them on a rocket which he intends to fly to the moon. This looks like a job for Captain Dynamo, who has come out of retirement to collect all the diamonds. This is a platform game with seven levels, each of which is filled with diamonds as well as lots of hazards. Each level also contains a secret room with even more diamonds to collect. Fortunately, you don't have to collect all of the diamonds to complete the level. The graphics are detailed, although some garish colour schemes are used. On the other hand, the sound effects are fairly rudimentary. While the game itself is nothing original, it's fairly enjoyable to play.

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7

Captain Kidd

(Bug Byte, 1985)

Help Captain Kidd collect his treasure on each screen, but make sure you collect bombs as well before they explode. When you collect treasure, you can't move back on to the square it was contained within, so some thinking is required, otherwise you may well encounter a bomb which you can't reach. You must also avoid the boots and the skulls. This is an old game with poor graphics and a short tune which plays continuously and becomes very annoying. All the levels are essentially the same and there's no variety whatsoever.

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4

Captain Planet

(Mindscape, 1991)

The eco-warrior with the blue skin and green hair is out to protect the Earth from the scum that are polluting it. Three men – Sly Sludge, Looten Plunder, and Dr. Blight – are carrying out their nefarious tactics, and it's Captain Planet's duty to save the day, and the Earth. In each of the three levels, you must make your way through the onslaught of flying creatures and rockets and reach the end-of-level guardian. Easy? No way; the flying creatures are very difficult to avoid, and they explode with a shower of hearts which makes it tricky to see where other creatures are. If I think this game is too difficult, then I can imagine what younger players would think of it.

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4

Captain S

(Dinamic, 1988)

Reviewed by John Beckett

Also known as Capitán Sevilla in its native Spain, the basic premise of this platform adventure is that you, as Captain S, must make your way to the evil scientist's planetary HQ and stop him from taking over the world. The twist is that you start the game as a normal guy, pretty weak and feeble, but eat a sausage (there are several strewn about the levels) and you mutate into the all-powerful Captain S, capable of many cool superpowers, including flight. Beware though, because the sausages' effects don't last forever, and usually wear off as you're whizzing through the air! The graphics are excellent – very cartoony and well-drawn – and the sound is pretty good too. The game is also very challenging but not impossibly so. A hugely fun and addictive game; one of my favourites.

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9

Carlos Sainz

(Zigurat, 1990)

Reviewed by Javier Sáez

In this rally simulator you are Carlos Sainz, once the winner of the World Rally Championship, driving his awesome Toyota Corolla. As in many other simulators, you can adjust several parameters of your car regarding tyres and suspension. You can also practice the course before attempting to qualify. With regard to the game itself, you'll find nice and colourful graphics and good scrolling, even when your car goes at full speed. Nevertheless, this is a simulator, which means you'll have to practice quite a lot to be a good driver. Apart from the intrinsic difficulty of this game being a simulator, Carlos Sainz has two main drawbacks. Firstly, your car gets stuck quite easily when you drive out of the road, even with very small bushes, which is annoying, and secondly, the controls should be a bit better in order to make steering easier.

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7

Casanova

(Iber Soft, 1989)

The legendary 18th century author and seducer Giacomo Casanova is in Venice. Wandering the streets and buildings of the famous Italian city, you must collect all the items of women's underwear (!) on each of the three levels, while avoiding various men and women who are jealous of your exploits. This platform game suffers from being a Spectrum port with its detailed but rather bland graphics; even the Spectrum's beeper seems to be emulated! As for the gameplay, it's annoyingly difficult. To ward off enemies, you have a supply of musical notes to fire at them, but you will use them all fairly quickly and you often can't replenish your supply when you need to. Another frustrating thing is that when you lose a life, you are always sent all the way back to the start of the level. This is a poor game that you definitely won't fall in love with!

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4

Castle Assault

(Blue Ribbon, 1985)

Some awful games were released in the early years of the CPC, and this is one of them. Reach the top of the castle by jumping across the pits and avoiding the monsters, climbing ladders, and jumping on to the moving platforms and trying not to fall off. The graphics and sound are almost laughably bad, and the controls are strange, too – getting the man to jump correctly is extremely frustrating. The levels don't even vary, either, but then again, it's best not to bother attempting to reach the second level!

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0

Castle Blackstar

(CDS, 1984)

Reviewed by Richard Lamond

Find and return a mysterious orb to the Lady Artemis from Castle Blackstar in this very early text-only adventure. Limited by a poor parser, Castle Blackstar is also hindered by the decision to have a number of key early locations incorporate a confusing forest maze that, although only a few screens in size, loops back on itself. Mapping is essential if you want to get anywhere in this game; after working your way through the forest, you're later presented with another maze in the dungeons later in the game. After toiling around the forest and the outer castle long enough, you'll eventually stumble across the bow and arrow that you need to bring the drawbridge down and enter the castle. Once inside, things do pick up thanks to some pretty atmospheric descriptions and the game presents a tough but not impossible challenge. Worth persevering with for text adventure fans.

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7

Castle Master

(Domark/Incentive, 1990)

This is another of the Freescape games, and this time, it's set in a castle where you have to rescue your twin brother/sister (you can play either a prince or a princess). You have to search the castle and kill twenty spirits before confronting the dragon. There are lots of puzzles to work through and keys to find, and you must also make sure you don't get yourself trapped, or get lost in the catacombs; it's essential that you make a map! The 3D graphics are great, but like all the other Freescape games, there's not much sound.

See also: Castle Master II: The Crypt.

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8

Castle Master II: The Crypt

(Domark/Incentive, 1991)

This was the last Freescape game to be released, and you could only buy it either bundled with Castle Master or as part of the Virtual Worlds compilation. After rescuing your twin brother/sister in Castle Master, you are now held captive in the dungeons and have to escape. You start on the sixth floor below the ground and have to work your way up to the first floor. It uses the same formula as the first game, although some doors are padlocked and can't be opened with keys; you'll need to find another way to enter these rooms. It's a rather nice game requiring a lot of brainwork and careful movements, although in my opinion, it's more difficult than its predecessor.

See also: Castle Master.

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8

Catastrophes

(Amsoft/Andromeda, 1985)

Reviewed by Pug

You have got the contract to build on a remote island in the middle of the North Sea. A small tanker brings building blocks that your trusty helicopter must lift and place upon the island. Each block adds wages to your bank balance. A certain amount of construction must be completed each day or you lose the contract. Bad weather and natural disasters hinder your progress and reduce your bank balance. This is a simple but addictive game with clear and colourful graphical effects and imaginative sound.

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7

Cauldron

(Palace, 1985)

Reviewed by Chris Lennard

Collect the six ingredients of your most powerful spell in order to defeat the evil Pumpking and thereby claim the powerful Golden Broomstick which is sought by the best and cleverest witches in the land. Fly across the landscape on your broomstick finding the coloured keys to the six doors, behind which lie each one of the reagents you require. As you peruse the skies, you are attacked by all manner of things; witch-eating bats, cloak-scorching fireballs, murderous pumpkins and badly behaved seagulls are just a few of the hazards facing you. A large, engaging game that is highly enjoyable in spite of its difficulty.

See also: Cauldron II, Super Cauldron.

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9

Cauldron II

(Palace, 1986)

Reviewed by Chris Lennard

Having defeated the evil Pumpking, seized the Golden Broomstick and become Witch-Queen, the Hag no longer lives in her dilapidated cottage but has moved to a huge castle at the edge of the forest. You play the part of a small pumpkin, who was in fact the Pumpking's guardian in Cauldron, and must recover the Golden Broomstick from the clutches of the oppressive Hag. In what is some respects a similar game to Wizball, you must bounce around the Hag's castle avoiding her supernatural minions. It was always going to be hard following up to Cauldron, and while this is a good enough game, its prequel is superior.

See also: Cauldron, Super Cauldron.

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7

Cavemania

(Atlantis, 1991)

Ug the caveman is intent on stealing some pterodactyl eggs, and he has to collect three of them. However, he can only carry one at a time, and he mustn't drop it on his way back to the cave! And then there's the prehistoric monsters to watch out for as well... There are nine islands in total, and in between each island, there's a two-screen bonus level where you collect wheels. The colourful cartoon graphics and the phrases that appear on the screen when you collect fruit ("twistin' my melon" is one example) make the game appealing, but it's a bit too easy, and having to complete the same bonus level after every island is very tedious.

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6

Cavern of Death

(Discovery Informatic, 1987)

Reviewed by Pug

Well, the loading screen looks both grim and foreboding, suggesting a great adventure is at hand. When the gameplay begins, your heart sinks and you realise that this is a simple game of "dodge the falling objects." This in itself is very difficult to achieve, and if you do make it to the right-hand side of the screen, more of the same follows. They should have called this one Cavern of Frustration; it's a very poor game indeed.

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0

The Caves of Doom

(Mastertronic, 1985)

Reviewed by John Beckett

Caves of Doom? It's more like Graphics of Doom! OK, maybe I'm being harsh – the game is ancient and the graphics are very colourful – but they also suck! But look beyond the graphics and you'll find a pretty challenging (but not impossible) and enjoyable game. The story is that you're trapped in the bowels of the Caves of Doom and must find all the keys, whizzing around in your trusty jet pack, before making your escape in a handy rocket. It's nothing ground-breaking, but it's got a certain charm to it! The graphics are bad (one of the more intimidating bad guys is a stick man!), the sound is bad, but the game is good, simple fun! Oh, and one other thing; it's much easier to play using a joystick.

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6

Centre Court

(Amsoft, 1985)

I'm not a fan of tennis, but as far as tennis games go, this early effort must rank as the worst of the lot. The first thing you notice when playing the game is the truly awful, flickery graphics; two little stick men being watched by several other stick men, with the ball being represented by a tiny dot. The next thing you notice is that the game is unbearably slow; definitely not the fast-paced action that you'd get at Wimbledon. There really is little else that I want to say about this game, other than that it is rubbish!

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1

Centurions

(Reaktör, 1987)

Doc Terror wants to steal the entire world's supply of tyron dichromate from the Weapons Development Centre, and only the Centurions – Ace, Jake and Max – can stop him. The game takes place in an enormous maze, and the aim is to locate six segments of a key. These segments are locked away in buildings, and in order to obtain them, you must open the doors to the buildings by looking for the key with the corresponding shape. To make things more difficult, these keys are surrounded by 'moats' which can only be passed if you are controlling the correct Centurion – either Air, Land or Sea. The gameplay resembles Gauntlet, but most of your time is spent repeatedly trudging from one end of the maze to the other in a search for the correct door or key, and boredom will soon set in.

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5

Cerberus

(Players, 1986)

You are the captain of the Cerberus, a pirate spacecraft. You've heard news of a freighter which contains lots of treasure, and you fly your spacecraft towards it – but then you are surrounded by the Starfleet Police. It's a trap! Now you must shoot your way out of this situation. A nice story, but this is just another standard space shoot-'em-up, and it's not a very good one. The graphics are quite good, although there's no scenery – just vast, empty space. The game moves at a fairly leisurely pace and there isn't much action. All you do is encounter the same waves of aliens; there are no levels or targets to reach, so there's not much point in playing it.

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5

Chain Reaction

(Durell, 1988)

The Anti-Nuclear Party has infiltrated a nuclear power station and programmed the robots so that they are now running amok inside it. In just 30 minutes' time, the entire station will explode! You must prevent this by collecting 18 fuel rods and disposing of them in the pit that lies at the centre of the first floor of the station, which has seven floors. Despite a nice loading screen and some good music on the menu, this is a mediocre game with horrible and garish Spectrum-style graphics. You can only collect one rod at a time, and if you're on one of the higher floors, it's a pain to go all the way down to the first floor to dispose of it, and then go all the way back up. Also, the time limit seems to be too tight to allow the game to be completed.

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5

Challenge of the Gobots

(Reaktör, 1987)

Reviewed by Pug

Gog, the evil Gobot, is mining Moebius with the goal of creating an army of transforming killers. Gog's goal is to take over Earth. There is only one Gobot left on Moebius who will stop at nothing in preventing Gog's plans. You play Leader 1 and fly along a scrolling landscape taking out the miners in a Defender-style game. The controls can be tricky at times, but overall it's an easy game to get into. OK graphics with dual-plane scrolling is a rare thing on the CPC, but you get it in this game!

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7

Championship Baseball

(Activision, 1987)

Baseball is popular in America, but not all that popular elsewhere, and this game is a very poor representation of it. The graphics aren't the problem here – although the players are badly drawn, the game switches to an excellent animation sequence, shown from behind the batter, when it's time to pitch the ball. It's not that there's almost no sound, either. It's just that the game is very slow indeed, and it seems to be impossible to hit the ball without fouling. Even the computer can't hit the ball!

See also: Championship Basketball.

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2

Championship Basketball

(Activision, 1987)

If you're thinking that this is a 'proper' simulation of basketball, think again. It's a two-on-two game – in other words, there are only two people in each team, and rather than being able to travel up and down the court, the game is always played in one half of the court, and each team takes it in turns to aim the ball into the net. The graphics are small with a bad choice of colours being used, and there doesn't seem to be any sound. Anyway, it's an unexciting game that is awkward to play.

See also: Championship Baseball.

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4

Championship Jet Ski Simulator

(Codemasters, 1989)

This is essentially a cut-down budget version of Codemasters' earlier full-price release Jet Bike Simulator. There are still two difficulty levels, but now there is only one set of courses in each difficulty level (lakes for the easy level, and docks for the hard level). The only other differences are that the digitised speech has been re-recorded using a female voice, and the order of the courses on the hard difficulty level has been rearranged. Everything else about the game remains identical to Jet Bike Simulator, which means that while the lakes courses are quite enjoyable to play, completing just the first of the eight docks courses within the strict time limit and avoiding finishing last is a real challenge. It's better to play Jet Bike Simulator instead.

See also: Jet Bike Simulator.

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6

Championship Sprint

(Electric Dreams, 1988)

This is supposed to be the sequel to Super Sprint, but in reality it's just a re-released version with a built-in track editor. Other than that, there is literally no difference between the two games at all – at least, there were no differences that I could detect. OK, you can design your own tracks, and there are no on-track hazards such as oil slicks, but the game is still as boring as its predecessor and the graphics and sound effects are exactly the same.

See also: Super Sprint.

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5

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

(Hill MacGibbon, 1985)

This adaptation of Roald Dahl's much-loved children's book is very poor indeed. There are two sub-games and a platform game which can only be played properly if you complete both the sub-games first. In the first sub-game, you must guide Augustus Gloop through a network of pipes. As you walk left and right, the pipes re-arrange themselves. It's confusing and very difficult indeed. You play Violet Beauregarde in the second sub-game. You carry a board in front of you and must guide the blueberries into the hole so that the juice can be extracted from them. The main game is a standard platform game in which you collect Willy Wonka tokens. This is also very difficult. The graphics are crude and blocky and the gameplay is totally uninspiring.

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2

Charly Diams

(Loriciels, 1987)

Reviewed by John Beckett

It came to Charly in a dream – a cave filled with blue diamonds. And the way to find that cave – to first find seven magical flowers. And so Charly's journey begins. And what an epic journey it is! Swimming the Bay of Bengal, meeting belly dancers in the desert, trudging through the Arctic, negotiating treacherous jumps in the Andes, all the while changing your outfit to whatever best suits the environment – for example, you can't swim in your hiking gear, but at the same time, you can't jump in your swimming trunks. This game is beautiful, colourful and has a great tune playing throughout. It's great fun, though it's hampered by the high difficulty level and the annoying way you are sent back to the start whenever you lose a life!

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7

Chase HQ

(Ocean, 1989)

You're an American police cop with an ultra-fast sports car, and have to chase criminals in it and arrest them by ramming their car – although this isn't something I would want to do to a car as expensive as that! You're also racing against the clock, and Nancy, your boss, is not someone you want to mess with. This is a truly great game with some very good graphics, and it's fast as well! The sound isn't too good – engine noises and not that much else – but if you have 128K, then you'll be treated to some stunning digitised speech. This is definitely a game that is not to be missed.

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9

Cheril of the Bosque

(The Mojon Twins, 2010)

Reviewed by Missas

In the Badajoz jungle lives Cheril, who one day decides to go to the city. The problem is that before leaving the jungle, Cheril needs to collect food for the journey: thirteen giant nuts! This is a pure arcade adventure where you need to open doors, find items in order to advance, explore the map and avoid enemies of the wilderness. The game opens with an atmospheric tune, which plays throughout the game and is really nice. The graphics are well drawn in a Japanese cartoon fashion, and they are colourful too. The gameplay is enjoyable, while the difficulty level is correctly set and the game itself is rather big. The grab factor is high. Taken as a whole, it is a game that retro gamers definitely need to have a look at.

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9

The Chessmaster 2000

(Ubi Soft, 1990)

The Chessmaster series of games, with its image of a wise man with a long hair and beard looking thoughtfully at a chessboard, has been going strong since the first release in 1986, which was adapted for the Amstrad CPC several years later. It isn't called "the finest chess program in the world" for nothing; I'm a novice at chess, and even on the lowest of the eight skill levels available, the computer always beats me, but if you're an experienced player, you'll obviously want to play a challenging opponent. I also think the 3D view of the board is ugly and the pieces are difficult to distinguish – but most chess players will probably stick to the default 2D view anyway.

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7

Le Chevalier Blanc

(Cobra Soft, 1987)

The White Knight was taking a walk in the forest with the beautiful princess when they are ambushed by demons, who steal the Knight's sword, shield and helmet and capture the princess, taking her away to the castle. Playing the White Knight, you must rescue her – but first you'll have to get your horse back, and then travel through the dangerous marsh to collect your belongings in the correct order. Once you're safely on the other side, you must then work out how to enter the castle while dodging the cannonballs being fired at you. The princess is being held behind one of the many doors inside the castle – but which one? This is a delightful little game at first, with excellent animation, although you may want to turn the sound down! However, it's much too easy to complete; must people should be able to do this after a few attempts.

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6

Chevy Chase

(Hi-Tec, 1991)

Hit the road in a classic 1959 Chevy car as you drive across America to reach your girlfriend. The game consists of four stages, each divided into four sections. You're racing against the clock, and the other drivers on the road don't make life easy. As you progress to the next section, the sky changes colour and your time is extended, and at the end of each stage, it's time to rest and relax. There are also 'auto centres' on each stage where you can upgrade your car. The graphics are marvellous and really colourful, and you can even choose the colour and model of your own car. The music at the start of the game isn't that good, but the game is great fun to play and the difficulty level is just right.

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8

Chibi Akuma

(Keith Sear, 2016)

Reviewed by Missas

This is the first CPC game from Keith Sear, who was able to not only learn Z80 programming, but also to deliver this amazing game (both in technical and gameplay terms) in only five months! Chibi Akuma(s) is a deluge of non-stop action, skilfully designed sprites and humour. You take control of Chibiko, who is despised so much that not even Hell will let her in, so she remains as an undead vampire who harms others. The graphics are drawn in MODE 1 but there are more than four colours, and they change as you progress, so the result is magnificent. A tune plays throughout the game. There is a fantastic variety of sprites, and a vast number of them occupy the screen without any severe slowdown. The gameplay is challenging and the grab factor is very strong. Overall, this is something we weren't expecting to see on the CPC and it will blow you away!

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10

Chicago's 30

(Topo Soft, 1988)

Reviewed by Javier Sáez

Armed with a Thompson machine gun, you play the main role in a gangster movie that takes place in the streets of Chicago. Each time you're killed, a spectator leaves his seat. When you run out of lives, the cinema is empty and the game ends. Despite an original starting point, Chicago's 30 (which was released outside Spain as Chicago 30's) is far from being a good game. The graphics and the music are not bad, and the scrolling is decent, but rather than being a difficult game, it just happens to be boring and frustrating.

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4

Chickin Chase

(Firebird, 1987)

You're a male chicken in a farmyard, and along with your female partner, you have to make babies and protect the eggs that the hen lays. The eggs lie in nests on two shelves in a shed, and all the time, various animals enter the shed, climb up the ladder, and eat the eggs. You can scare them away by pecking at them, but if there are no eggs left, you lose a life. You need to make more eggs all the time by entering a small room where your partner is hiding – but then you won't be able to guard the eggs... The graphics are quite good and some nice tunes are played throughout, and it's a reasonably enjoyable game to play for a while.

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7

Des Chiffres et des Lettres

(French)

(Loriciels, 1987)

Those of you who are into crosswords, word games and mathematical problems might like this game, but everyone else will probably be bored by it. Play takes place against the computer, and you play alternate rounds of either a word or a numbers game. In the word game, you choose nine letters and try to make a word out of them, while in the numbers game, you choose six numbers and must find a way to obtain another, larger number using the six numbers. It's like the British TV quiz show, Countdown, really, and it's not very interesting.

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5

Chiller

(Mastertronic, 1985)

Reviewed by Pug

You are on a mission to rescue your girlfriend from the evil clutches of the haunted mansion. As you drive there, your car splutters and grinds to a halt. Undaunted, you continue on foot through a spooky forest, an oddly placed cinema displaying a film of the previous level, a ghetto, a scary graveyard, and finally the haunted mansion. Each single-screen level is filled with ghosts, ghoulies and worse. Collect all the blue crosses to progress to the next level. Upon saving your girlfriend, it's not game over! The graphics are based on the Commodore 64 version and look a little blocky and poor in places. A satisfying tune plays throughout and adds a fitting atmosphere to the game.

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6

Chimera

(Firebird, 1985)

A ghost ship, the Chimera, has appeared over the skies of the USA, which has decided to destroy it. Four warheads have been placed around the ship, and a robot, which you control, has been placed inside the ship to activate them. You must wander the corridors of the ship, finding objects and destroying barriers which are in your way by using the right object; if you use the wrong object, you will be electrocuted! The robot also requires a supply of food and water (eh?) which you will need to pick up regularly. The game uses isometric graphics and they're pretty good, although like several other games of its type, some of the colour schemes are horrible. A merry tune also plays on the menu. It's a fairly good game which will take a while to finish.

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8

Chip's Challenge

(US Gold, 1991)

Chip Callahan fancies Melinda the Mental Marvel, but before he can join her Bit Busters club, she sets him a challenge of completing 144 levels of mental agility and dexterity. Chip has to collect computer chips on each of the levels, but they may lie behind locked doors or across a river or a wall of fire, or they may be guarded by monsters, so you'll need to find the coloured keys to open doors, and shields, magnets and boots to allow you to walk on fire, water, ice and conveyor belts. The graphics are fairly simple but the high-energy music is really good. It's a shame that the game isn't as fast as the music; Chip moves rather slowly and some of the levels are too big. There is a password for each level, though, which is good.

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7

Chopper Squad

(Interceptor, 1985)

This is a simple game in which you control a helicopter and build an aeroplane by collecting the necessary parts for it. The parts appear one at a time on the screen, the next part appearing after you have collected the current part and moved it to the bottom right of the screen. To make life more difficult, there are four aliens which float around the screen; if you touch any of them, you lose a life. At first it's a rather enjoyable game to play, even though the graphics are rather basic and a bit flickery. Unfortunately, this enjoyment doesn't last; by the third level, things become much more difficult, and there's very little variety between levels, anyway.

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6

La Chose de Grotemburg

(French)

(Ubi Soft, 1987)

The village of Sadiphinrol has being terrorised by – well, something. Your partner's blood-covered body is lying in the kitchen, and you want revenge, but you learn that many other villagers have also been massacred. This French text adventure is rather good, although there are few characters to meet (which is perhaps not surprising!), and your ability to interact with them is very limited. The pictures that accompany each of the many locations are very well drawn indeed and really add atmosphere to the game, and the excellent music on the loading screen is also worth mentioning. The game isn't too difficult, either; just make sure you search locations thoroughly in order to reveal hidden objects. This is definitely one of the better French adventures I've seen.

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8

Choy Lee Fut Kung Fu Warrior

(Positive, 1990)

Reviewed by Pug

The great and wise Chen Heung wrote the original manuscript that teaches a warrior the hidden arts of Choy Lee Fut. A great demon has made its way out of the deepest chambers of hell and stolen the manuscript. As an apprentice in these fine arts, you must first train in using your fists, and then weapons. You are also influenced by one of five animals that determines the scope and skill of your attack. This is a beat-'em-up with a difference; you train first and then move on once your master is pleased. The visuals are detailed, colourful and well animated, with sparse in-game effects.

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7

Chronos

(Mastertronic, 1987)

This is a horizontally scrolling shoot'-em-up located on the planet of Chronos. The aim of the game is standard; shoot the enemies approaching you and avoid crashing your spaceship into the landscape. There is a range of enemies on each level and some of them aren't easy to avoid, but the game itself is rather slow and boring, and the monochrome graphics only serve to add to this. The sound effects are nothing special either.

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5

Chubby Gristle

(Grandslam, 1988)

The team behind this mediocre platform game based it around a traffic warden who made their lives a misery – really! Playing it made me miserable as well. You control Chubby Gristle, the fat traffic warden, and you must collect as much food as you can before dinner time. The main reason why I don't like this game is that it totally lacks any semblance of originality; it's just another collect-the-objects platform game and has no merit at all. Neither the graphics nor the music are anything special, and it's too difficult, as well as being dull.

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4

Chuckie Egg

(A'n'F, 1985)

Appeared on an Amstrad Action covertape

This is one of the all-time classics on the 8-bit machines; if you've never played this game, you don't know what you're missing! You basically have to collect all the eggs on each level within the generous time limit, and also avoid the blue flamingo-like birds – they are flamingoes, aren't they? The idea is rather simple, and the graphics may not be state-of-the-art, but remember the saying, "graphics do not make a game"? This is certainly true for this game; it's amazingly addictive and fun to play.

See also: Chuckie Egg II.

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8

Chuckie Egg II

(A'n'F, 1985)

Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard

Unlike the first episode, this game looks and plays much more like Jet Set Willy. There are many objects to collect and to use to open doors and solve puzzles. The rooms are more open than in the initial game. The game area is huge, with many ladders and stairs to climb. Visually, unfortunately, there hasn't been much change. Chuckie is really tiny and his world is nearly colourless. The gameplay is rather good but it's difficult to avoid the numerous traps and animals that patrol the rooms. You must be pixel-perfect to have a chance to see more than three or four screens.

See also: Chuckie Egg.

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5

El Cid

(Dro Soft/Mastertronic, 1987)

Rodrigo Díaz, a gallant knight also known as El Cid, is searching for a scroll that contains a spell with the power to unleash Satan's hordes. You control Rodrigo, and you must find the scroll and give it to two men of pure heart who can neutralise the spell. However, you must find your imprisoned wife Doña first, and then you must find three other objects – a lamp, a bag of gold, and a key. There are lots of enemies to battle, which will reduce your energy and strength. Your energy can be replenished easily, but you can't replenish your strength until you find Doña – and as there are so many enemies to fight and she is a long way from your starting position, reaching her is very difficult. The graphics are lacking in colour and the sound effects are poor, and the game lacks variety.

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5

Cisco Heat

(Image Works, 1991)

It's time for the annual police race through the streets of San Francisco. It's a standard racing game where you must beat the clock and reach the next checkpoint in time. You've also got to avoid trams and cars which might block your way. However, this is almost impossible to do, because the collision detection is truly abysmal; you often find yourself colliding into invisible police cars and trams that are on the other side of the road. As a result, you soon run out of time and can't reach the next stage. Steer clear of this game!

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3

City Slicker

(Hewson, 1986)

Appeared on an Amstrad Action covertape

A bomb has been planted in the Houses of Parliament by the dastardly Abru Caddabra and is due to blow up at midnight! As the hero, Slick, you must assemble a device (the BDU) to defuse the bomb. The parts are scattered throughout London and you have to use the Tube to get around, and you must also watch out for Abru! To be honest, the game is rather dull and also too difficult. The graphics are bad, the sound is even worse (and you should hear the imitations of Big Ben's chimes), and the controls are much too awkward.

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5

Classic Adventure

(Amsoft, 1984)

Reviewed by Richard Lamond

Another take on Will Crowther and Don Woods' Adventure, this is a faithful retread of the classic treasure hunt as you look to make your fortune and fame from the contents of the mysterious Colossal Cave, inhabited by all manner of creatures including elves, trolls and even pterodactyls. As you would expect with such a faithful retelling of a classic, the puzzles seem familiar enough to be not too daunting in the beginning. The difficulty curve certainly ramps up as the game progresses, but this is still a fine entry point for any curious adventurers. The text is clean and crisp with no graphics present at all. Comparisons with Level 9's version (Colossal Adventure) are to be expected and are unavoidable, and while it's not on a par with Level 9's game, this is still a decent effort that does nothing wrong but finds itself trailing in comparison.

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8

Classic Axiens

(Bubble Bus, 1987)

Space Invaders takes a slight twist, as rather than staying in formation, the aliens can now swoop down on you, making life that bit more difficult. Unfortunately, several of them have a go at the same time, leaving you with little room to manoeuvre out of a hail of bullets. There is one useful facility, in that the bullets you fire align themselves as you move the ship left and right. Despite the colourful graphics (and a pretty good explosion), the fun wears thin, as all the levels are exactly the same.

See also: Classic Invaders, Classic Muncher.

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5

Classic Invaders

(Bubble Bus, 1986)

Good old Space Invaders – it's a timeless classic. Just shoot the aliens as they move left and right in formation, as their constant hail of bullets wears down your defences. The graphics are blocky but at least there's colour, and a beautiful melody plays before the start of each level. I like the way it changes as you progress; on the first level, the melody is rather sombre, but by the fourth level, it's quite cheerful. You can even save your high scores! It's a difficult game, though; if you get past the fourth level, you must have ridiculously good reflexes.

See also: Classic Axiens, Classic Muncher.

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7

Classic Muncher

(Bubble Bus, 1987)

A Pac-Man clone that's better than most. You know what to do; eat all the pills in the maze and avoid the ghosts. You can also collect letters to make up words, which will give you lots of points and an extra life. Unlike most other Pac-Man games, this one is fast and it's really slick as well, but at the same time it's not too hard. Add some good graphics and several different maze designs and you've got a neat game, apart from the power pills not lasting long enough.

See also: Classic Axiens, Classic Invaders.

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7

Classic Racing

(Amsoft, 1984)

You and up to five other players have the opportunity to own a stable of sixteen horses and enter them into race meetings in order to win prize money. You can play anywhere between four and sixteen meetings, and there are six races in each meeting. Before each meeting, each player is required to enter one horse in each race. Then, before each race, you are presented with the list of entrants, including their previous form, the weight of the jockey, and the bookies' odds on each horse winning. Each player must then choose a horse to bet on. The graphics are quite good and the horses are very well animated, and the ability to play against several human and computer opponents adds a strong competitive element to the game.

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7

Classiques Volume 1

(Titus, 1987)

Three classic games are bundled together in this package – Breakout, Space Invaders and Pac-Man. Breakout is frankly rubbish; there's only one row of bricks, and pretty soon, another bat appears on the screen so that you're playing Pong instead – extremely bizarre! The other two games aren't bad at all. The graphics in Space Invaders are actually rather good, and it's not too difficult. Pac-Man looks almost identical to the original, and you'll soon be gobbling up those pills merrily and whizzing your way through the five levels in little time. In summary, forget about Breakout and play the other two games to your heart's content.

See also: Classiques Volume 2.

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7

Classiques Volume 2

(Titus, 1987)

Three more classic games for you to play, although they're not as good as the ones in the previous volume. There's a racing game where you just drive for as long as you can, avoiding the other cars – not exciting at all. Then there's a cute Pengo clone where you have to push bricks around in order to squash some fluffy monsters, while trying to push the three diamonds together so they touch each other. It would be the best of the bunch if it wasn't so stupidly difficult. The third game sees you as a snake eating pills in a maze; as you grow longer, you must be careful not to trap yourself. This is probably the best game of the three, but it's too easy and quickly becomes boring. So, one OK game and two mediocre ones. Oh, dear.

See also: Classiques Volume 1.

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5

Climb-It

(Tynesoft, 1984)

Your girlfriend has been captured by a huge monkey and you must rescue her. It will come as no surprise to learn that this game is a clone of Donkey Kong. The graphics are very crudely drawn; the 'monkey' doesn't resemble anything close to a monkey! The animation is very jerky, and the way the hero jumps means that while jumping over barrels on the first level isn't too much of a problem, avoiding enemies and jumping on to moving platforms is frustratingly difficult on subsequent levels. The sound and collision detection are also poor. Overall, this is a terrible game!

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2

Cobra

(Loriciels, 1987)

Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard

Based upon a great manga comic strip, famous among French teenagers in the 1980s, this game is unfortunately far from the original. You control Cobra and his cyber friend Armanoid, and you must save a young girl (girls were the main reason for the success of that comic...) from the Evil Salamandar. As soon as the action starts, you know that you're in front of a bad game. The sound effects are exactly the same as in Flash, another game from the same authors, and the gameplay is exactly the same too! Well, they changed the backgrounds and the characters... All you have to do is shoot everything around you. The screen scrolls in every direction but you don't know where to go because enemies come from everywhere and the buildings around you are always the same. Boring and disappointing – you'd better watch the original manga instead.

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4

Cobra

(Ocean, 1987)

Reviewed by John Beckett

Based around the little known film of the same name, Cobra is one of the most bizarre film licence games ever! Similiarities between the film and the game are that you must shoot a lot of people, and you must rescue beautiful Ingrid from the evil Night Slasher. But that's where the similarities end. You see, in the game, you must eat burgers to get better weapons (knife, gun and machine gun) and are constantly under attack by dive-bombing ducks, for some reason! Each of the platform-filled levels are pretty much the same (OK, they're identical, but with harder bad guys) and I reckon you'll be bored long before you get to the Night Slasher. Graphics are nothing special (though there's a wicked picture of Stallone on the loading screen), the sound is virtually non-existent, and the whole thing is just so average, it hurts. The movie was a stinker, and the game is little better!

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5

Cobra Force

(Players, 1989)

Fly an AH-1W Super Cobra through four levels of shoot-'em-up action. Your helicopter is equipped with a machine gun and a limited supply of missiles which you'll need to use to destroy the guns that are scattered across each level. You can obtain more missiles or some extra firepower by shooting certain aliens and collecting the bonus icon that appears. You also have a small number of 'enemy blockers' which freeze the aliens and guns for a short time. The aim in each level is to destroy all the guns and collect all the pods, and you'll then face two giant helicopters which must be shot in order to progress to the next level. The graphics are nice and colourful and the difficulty level is set just right to make this a fine, action-packed game.

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8

Cobra Pinball

(Cobra Soft, 1985)

Reviewed by Pug

This is Cobra Soft's attempt at simulating a pinball machine on your CPC. From the moment the game loads up, you're presented with a very odd-looking display. Visually, the tiny table looks crude, dated and not at all entertaining. After entering some credits and selecting the number of players, this uninspiring game begins. A few beeps and bangs fill your ears as a small, flickery ball is sent on its way. Because of the very tight play area you'll struggle to keep the ball in play and soon you'll lose interest.

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1

Collapse

(Firebird, 1985)

Zen is a cute little creature who must use his magical abilities to collapse 96 different structures. Each structure is made from light blue sticks and bridges which are connected to each other. Zen must paint all the sections dark blue, and then use his magic Rotix stick to collapse the structure. However, there are two monsters on each screen who will reduce the amount of time available, although you can collect diamonds to gain some time. It takes some practice to get used to the controls. Zen can switch between two modes which indicate whether or not he is using magic, and some actions can only be performed in one mode but not the other. Even once you've mastered the controls, this is still a frustrating game; more time is spent trying to dodge monsters and collect diamonds than attempting to collapse the structures.

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4

Colossal Adventure

(Level 9, 1984)

Reviewed by Richard Lamond

Based on the original Adventure by Will Crowther and Don Woods, Level 9's take on the game still has your nameless protagonist on an underground search for treasures, but has expanded the game world significantly. Retrospectively branded the first in the Middle Earth trilogy, Colossal Adventure was originally a text-only adventure but was later re-released with added graphics as part of the Jewels of Darkness compilation. There's a reason the original Adventure took off and it's all in the gameplay. Clear and well thought out puzzles with a built-in transportation system that's light years ahead of its time, Colossal Adventure is a faithful retelling of a landmark game. It won't win prizes for originality, but the atmosphere and feel of the game hold up to this day. While a few software houses tried to bring Adventure to the CPC, this is the best version.

See also: Adventure Quest, Dungeon Adventure.

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9

Colossal Cave Adventure

(Duckworth, 1985)

Reviewed by Richard Lamond

Of all the versions of Will Crowther and Don Woods' Adventure on the CPC, this is probably the poorest. From a plot point of view, the game is top notch, following closely to the seminal template. However, where Colossal Cave Adventure lets itself down is in its dreadful response speed and presentation. The game takes a virtual ice age to respond to each of your commands, and although having no graphics doesn't hinder the gameplay, the choice to have red text superimposed on a yellow box against the CPC's regular blue background is really ugly. The game is also written entirely in unprotected BASIC. The sloppy execution would be bad enough in normal circumstances, but when you compare it to the much slicker versions released around the same time or even earlier, it makes Duckworth's interpretation seem all the poorer.

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4

Colosseum

(Topo Soft/Kixx, 1988)

Benurio is a soldier who has been accused of treason and disloyalty to the Roman Empire. To prove his loyalty, he must take part in a chariot race – but the other contestants are set on killing him! As Benurio, your aim is not to win each of the four races, but simply to survive. Each race consists of eight laps, and each course contains obstacles that you must avoid. You can choose to fight your opponents, and if you win, you can obtain their weapon, or alternatively, you can try to force them into one of the obstacles on the course. The graphics and animation are of a high standard, and a suitably imperial tune plays on the menu, although in-game sound effects are limited to the galloping of your horse. However, the races are too long and the gameplay soon becomes quite repetitive.

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5

Colossus 4 Chess

(CDS, 1986)

Appeared on an Amstrad Action covertape

Chess has never been my forte, and it shows when I'm playing against the computer in this game. Be warned – it plays a pretty mean game! However, it is very customisable, although there aren't any menus; you'll just have to remember which keys to press. You can also see your previous moves, and a nice touch is that you can see the computer thinking ahead, and what move it thinks you're going to make. The perspective view of the board is great as well, although you can change it to the 2D view. A lot of people reckon this is the best chess program on the CPC, and it's not hard to see why.

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8

Comando Quatro

(Zigurat, 1989)

Four beings – a World War II fighter pilot, a devil, a miner and an albino gorilla – have been mysteriously transported to another world. Each one begins the game in a different zone – a military base, a cemetery, a mine or a jungle – but their minds and bodies are linked, which means that you can change the character you are controlling and swap them between zones. Understanding their characteristics and knowing which one to select in any given situation is vital in order to progress in this platform game. However, the game constantly changes the zone you are currently in every few seconds, just to make things more confusing! The gameplay is not as complicated as it seems, although it's easy to select the wrong character when you're losing lots of energy. On the other hand, the graphics are very colourful and appealing.

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7

Comando Tracer

(Dinamic, 1988)

The three planets belonging to the XATOR Confederation – Zorak, Alfard and Grisum – have been taken over by intelligent androids, and the only way to remove them is to destroy the planets. It seems a rather drastic solution! Explosive devices have been placed on each of the planets, and you have to arm them by flying around the planets and collecting batteries to insert into them; each device requires three colours of battery. This game was re-released in the UK as The Last Commando, and it's a very good space shoot-'em-up indeed. The graphics and music are both up to Dinamic's high standards, although completing the game requires a lot of luck as well as skill.

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8

Combat School

(Ocean, 1987)

The Elite Marine Corps are the toughest army in the USA, and you're aiming to be recruited and join their ranks. You'll have to complete some gruelling events first to show your strength, including an assault course, three firing ranges, an iron man race, arm wrestling, and lastly, a fight with your combat instructor. If you beat him, you're in, and you'll be sent on a mission to rescue a hostage in a US embassy. This is one of those joystick-waggling (or perhaps that should be joystick-wrecking) games, and in all the times I've tried it, I've managed to complete the assault course once. Nice graphics, nice tunes; shame that it's far too tough. If you're strong enough to tackle the assault course, you're probably good enough for the real thing!

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3

Combat Zone

(Alternative, 1987)

Colonel John D. Mentor has been called out of retirement to enter the Combat Zone. Flying your spacecraft through six levels, you must destroy ten enemy installations (represented as flashing objects on the ground) on each level using your unlimited supply of bombs, while simultaneously firing bullets at waves of alien enemies. Other ground targets can also be bombed to give you extra fuel; if you run out of fuel, the game ends. This is a fairly standard vertically scrolling shoot-'em-up with bright, colourful graphics, although this means that enemy fire can sometimes be difficult to distinguish from the backgrounds. However, the sound effects are poor, and the game is too easy – a fact that even the game's authors seem to acknowledge when you complete the final level!

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5

Comet Encounter

(Livewire, 1986)

The return of Halley's Comet was big news in 1986, and this game sees you attempting to become the first spacecraft to land on the comet itself – but you've got to fly through a long obstacle course before you reach the comet. Starting at the top of the screen, you must guide the spacecraft through the scenery and dodge the moving aliens. However, on many screens, there's very little room to manoeuvre, as you will discover when (if?) you reach the fourth screen, which I found impossible to complete. The graphics, while lacking in colour, actually aren't all that bad, although there are only two or three sound effects. Anyway, the game is much too difficult.

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4

The Comet Game

(Firebird, 1986)

This game was supposed to have been released in time for the appearance of Halley's Comet, but the deadline was missed. Anyway, a manned probe has been sent to explore the surface of the comet, and while it's on its way there, you have to complete twenty tasks, picked at random from five sub-games ranging from playing with electrical circuits to making the tea! Complete a task and you're OK; fail and the game is over. Most of the games are enjoyable, but it's such a chore having to play them over and over again. It would be nice if you could actually pilot the probe.

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6

Commando

(Elite, 1985)

It's one man against an army as you go it alone and advance into enemy lines and try to reach the fortress, as bullets, grenades and rockets explode all around you – there's no way you're going to retreat. You have to try and replenish your own supply of grenades as you're doing this, too. From the first moment you start the game, you'll be shocked at the amount of action going on – there's no time to take a breather here. The graphics are OK but are a bit blocky, while the music, again reasonable, becomes irritating – and where's the rat-tat-tat of gunfire? It's a good game, but a bit too difficult for my liking.

See also: Duet.

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7

Compendium

(Gremlin, 1987)

In the old days, families would gather around at Christmas time to play some traditional board games. This is a compilation of four games – Snakes and Hazards, Xmas Ludo, Shove a Sledge and Tiddly Drinks. The first two are variations of well known board games, while the other two are very different, and so awful that they're not worth looking at. Up to four people can play a game, but unfortunately you can't play against the computer, and playing a board game on your own is not exactly fun. The graphics are reasonable, and there are some excellent renditions of Christmas carols, but there's nothing else to get excited about.

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5

Computer Scrabble

(Leisure Genius, 1985)

The famous word game comes to the CPC, as you play against a friend or the computer and try to score points by thinking of the most obscure words imaginable. The computer's dictionary isn't all that big, so there's lots of room for cheating. However, the game is far too slow. OK, so is the real thing; but what I mean is that the computer waits for an eternity after you make your choices, and it's the same with the other games in the Leisure Genius range. The one sound effect that is used is horrible, too.

See also: Computer Scrabble Deluxe.

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5

Computer Scrabble Deluxe

(Leisure Genius, 1987)

This is much the same as the previous edition of Computer Scrabble, but of course there are a few improvements. For a start, it's a bit faster in that messages appear on the screen more quickly. In addition, the computer's vocabulary has been expanded to some 20,000 words, although this also means that the game requires 128K of memory. There is also the option to save your game if you want to resume it at a later date, and you can also play against the clock. The one disadvantage is that this is the only CPC game I know of that emulates a PCW; the graphics are in the high resolution, two-colour MODE 2! However, this is not as much of a problem as it sounds, and many good games of Scrabble can be played against the computer. The urge to cheat is still strong, though...

See also: Computer Scrabble.

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7

Concave

(EgoTrip, 2015)

Reviewed by Missas

Amy must find some crystals in order to complete her dangerous journey! Can you help her? This is a pure arcade adventure where you control Amy, and you must find your way through dangerous caverns, avoiding creatures of the dark and looking for switches! The graphics are well drawn and the sprites move smoothly and quickly. The screens are interesting, the level design is good and it will keep you occupied for some time. The sound is limited to some effects. The gameplay is interesting and pleasant; it is a joyful little game.

See also: Ice Slider, Jewel Warehouse, Potato Rescue, A Prelude to Chaos.

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7

Confuzion

(Incentive, 1985)

This is a cool little puzzle game consisting of 64 levels, each of which is a grid made up of tiles with tracks printed on them. Each level also has one or more bombs which need to be detonated using a spark which travels along the tracks. Your task is to move the tiles so that the spark can touch the bombs and make them explode. Later levels have more bombs, and teardrops which extinguish the spark – and anyway, you'll have to be quick, or the spark will extinguish itself. The graphics are simple yet colourful, and puzzle fans should love this rather original game.

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7

Con-Quest

(Mastertronic, 1986)

Reviewed by John Beckett

In Con-Quest, you play a little Magic Knight lookalike called Oscar, who's been left an old house by his dead aunt. Unfortunately, the house has been taken over by an evil demon and his cronies, so the game centres around Oscar's attempts to rid the mansion of all the bad guys before (presumably – I never got that far!) taking on the leader, Grell. You have to explore the mansion, searching for items to kill certain baddies with. There's even a car hidden somewhere, so you can zoom around without encountering baddies (until the petrol runs out!). The sound is poor but the graphics are above average – atmospheric though a bit dark – and the game is definitely addictive. The main down points are the sheer size of the game, and the amount of items you are given with no clue as to their use. As a result, you're left with a good game that could have been excellent.

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7

Conspiration de l'An III

(French)

(Ubi Soft, 1988)

Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard

You must go back in time, in order to prevent a conspiracy. That’s all I remember about the plot. This is a text adventure game with accompanying graphics – and what graphics! They’re colourful and very detailed. Every location is perfectly rendered (note that the text is in MODE 1, and the graphics are in MODE 0). The game understands easily what you want to do (it is in French, by the way!). Of course, as usual in this kind of game, the adventure is very linear, and you often have to wait while the game loads something from the disc. You have to find the exact words, and without a walkthrough, it is very difficult to progress. But you want to discover new screens; they’re so gorgeous!

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8

Contamination

(ERE Informatique/PSS, 1985)

In the future, civilisation is in great danger from a wave of viruses sweeping the planet. The World Health Organisation must contain these outbreaks as best it can. Your role is to obtain samples of the viruses and analyse them so that you can create antidotes. This is done by rotating and/or reversing the order of the elements that make up the viruses. The order depends on how the virus spreads, so you can use this knowledge to create antidotes for similar viruses more quickly. You can also use a 'scorched earth' policy, or as a very last resort, use a nuclear bomb – but you may well be forced to resign if you do this! The graphics are very good, especially the map of the world, but the tasks you must perform soon become quite repetitive, and the arcade-style game in which you create antidotes could have been a lot better.

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6

Continental Circus

(Virgin, 1989)

This game was supposed to be called Continental Circuits, but someone misheard the name and it ended up as Continental Circus instead – never mind. The game sees you racing on eight Grand Prix tracks around the globe with 99 other cars, and you start last. To go to the next stage, you must complete a lap of the circuit within the time limit and reach a certain position. If you crash into other cars, you'll have to go to the pits and get your car repaired, but if you leave it too long, your engine will catch fire! Everything – the graphics, sound and music – is excellent, and it's one of the best racing games on the CPC. The first track is tough, though.

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9

Contraption

(Audiogenic, 1985)

Appeared on an Amstrad Action covertape

A mad professor has built a machine called the Contraption which is powered by golden apples, and you must collect the apples strewn around each level. You'll need to work out the exact route across each screen first, though! When you have collected all the apples, you'll then have to feed them into the Contraption to maintain it. The graphics are quite good and the menu screen is well worth seeing, although there's little to say about the sound. I still don't like it much, as it's just too hard – I can't get past the second level!

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5

Convoy Raider

(Gremlin, 1987)

The world is under threat, and you have been assigned to patrol a section of the inner sea and destroy enemy fighter planes, ships and submarines. A map displays the positions and movements of the enemy, and when you wish to engage in combat, you are taken to another screen where alerts are highlighted and you must select one of three weapons with which to attack, depending on the level and nature of the threat. This leads to one of three sub-games – shooting down aircraft with Seawolf missiles, guiding an Exocet missile across the sea and aiming it at enemy ships, or using a helicopter to fire depth charges at a submarine. The sub-games are initially fun to play, but there doesn't seem to be anything else to do, and the game seems to lack any sort of goal to achieve.

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5

Copout

(Mikro-Gen, 1986)

Go back to the lawless era of Prohibition as you play a lone cop in America defending the streets against the gangsters and the bootleggers. Each level consists of a single screen in which men pop out from windows, roofs and boxes, firing bullets and hurling bottles at you, which you must of course dodge. You must try to survive with all your lives intact for a set period of time, after which you will be taken to the next level. You start the game with nine lives, and you'll need them. The music on the menu is an excellent rendition of a very well known tune, and the graphics, while perhaps lacking slightly in colour, are well drawn. The gameplay is hectic and you'll need quick reflexes and a sharp eye to succeed.

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7

Copter 271

(Loriciel, 1991)

This is one of the less well known cartridge games, at least in the UK. The plot is certainly not original – it's the usual "aliens have taken over the Earth" story. You've got the latest helicopter and have to destroy the aliens. The game is a standard vertically scrolling shoot-'em-up where you fly your helicopter left and right, shoot planes and aliens, and collect some power-ups. The extra facilities of the Plus are used here to produce some nice graphics, but it's a shame that the game itself is rather dull.

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6

CORE

(A'n'F, 1986)

The asteroid mining base Eroc 1 has come under attack from aliens, and all 720 personnel are dead. You, Andrew Angello, have been sent to the base to investigate what has happened. You must explore the mines and retrieve all the bio-memory units that recorded events at the base. During your search, you will need to find batteries to replenish your energy, and several other useful objects, such as a metal detector and laser gun, are buried, so you must also find a spade. The mines are very large (there are over 1,000 screens!), so it will take a long time to find all the units. Making a map is essential, but the graphics are drawn in monochrome, and one room looks very similar to the next. The icon-driven menu system for selecting commands is also extremely fiddly to use.

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4

Corridor Conflict

(The Power House, 1987)

Two players must battle it out to locate the pieces of the star-bomb which are scattered around several levels. Each level is actually a long corridor, and the parts are found at the very end of the corridors. The first player to assemble the star-bomb wins by blowing up his or her opponent. That's all there is to this game, really. To make it last a bit longer, you can configure the difficulty level and the number of pieces to collect. The graphics are ugly and the colour schemes which are used are horrible. The music, if you can call it that, is even worse! This is a really boring game which lacks action and anything which might be exciting.

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3

Corsarios

(Opera Soft, 1989)

Reviewed by Javier Sáez

Corsarios is one of the few beat-'em-ups released by Spanish software companies. The first part is a 15th century version of Target; Renegade, where a pirate has to fight his way out of a prison and go a long way to a ship. It's quite enjoyable, but too difficult for my liking. The second part is a side-view platform game in which you have to rescue a girl before she is executed. This part is less interesting at first, but it's easier, and so you'll enjoy it for longer than the first one. And that's all; good graphics and sound, and an interesting game.

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7

Cosa Nostra

(Opera Soft, 1986)

Mike Bronco has been hired by the mayor of Chicago to clean up the city and rid it of the gangsters who have been terrorising it for years. The game is set in the 1920s, and as Mike Bronco, you must search nearly 100 screens to locate and kill five gangster chiefs – but their henchmen are out to get you as well! Shooting the henchmen will leave behind boxes of ammunition which you must collect, as your own supply is limited. You will probably also need to make a map, as it is easy to become lost in the city. The graphics and sound effects have a cartoon-like quality to them, and while there are some annoying niggles (such as losing more than one life in quick succession due to bombs or enemies not being erased from the screen), it isn't a bad game overall and it will provide some enjoyment.

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7

Cosmic Sheriff

(Dinamic, 1989)

Rebels have sabotaged a mining base on one of Jupiter's moons and placed twelve pumps around the base, which will destroy it completely. This is a job for the Cosmic Sheriff – you! You must find the pumps on each of the three levels by firing at locks. Each lock displays a number, which decreases when you shoot it; if you do this continuously, you will destroy it – but not all of the locks contain pumps. Of course, the base is filled with rebels, monsters and tanks who will shoot at you if you're not quick enough! This is a great target shooting game with excellent graphics, as one would expect from Dinamic, although there are very few sound effects and they're mediocre anyway. It's a simple yet challenging game, and thankfully it's not too difficult.

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8

Cosmic Shock Absorber

(Martech, 1987)

Strap yourself into your CZ Neutrozapper space fighter and prepare to travel through the many dimensions of the universe in order to save it. There are two rather worrying problems, though; the fighter is in need of repair, and you forgot to bring the servicing manual with you! This is a basic 3D shoot-'em-up; blast some aliens, then go to the next level. To make things slightly more interesting (but only slightly), every so often, your fighter will suffer damage, and you must repair it by replacing components on a circuit board within a time limit; if you run out of time, the ship explodes. There are no power-ups to collect, the frame rate is slow, and blasting alien after alien soon becomes very dull – and it doesn't help that the game itself crashes after a few levels.

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3

Costa Capers

(Firebird, 1985)

Ted Blewitt is going on holiday to Spain, but all his luggage has been stolen, so he must find his credit card and buy all of it back, and take and develop 36 photographs to prove to the staff at the Chip Factory that he really was away in Spain. You might remember Ted from his previous outing in Technician Ted. Well, this sequel looks and feels very similar indeed, although you can pick up and drop objects, and get drunk as well, which can sometimes prove useful... The graphics are still primitive and haven't been improved at all, the music is very annoying indeed, and the difficulty level is again much too high – and you can easily lose all your lives if you jump to another screen incorrectly. This is a game to avoid.

See also: Technician Ted.

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3

Countdown

(Macsen, 1986)

This is based on the well-known TV quiz show that has been running on Channel 4 since the early 1980s. There are nine rounds in the game, which consist of three types – the anagram game where you attempt to make the longest word from nine letters; the number game where six numbers are picked and you have to use them to calculate another number chosen at random; and the final round, the conundrum, which is an anagram of a nine-letter word. You can play either against a friend or the computer, but it's no fun at all (you can cheat at the anagram game), especially since there are hardly any graphics to speak of, and the rendition of the theme tune at the start of the game is awful!

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4

Count Duckula

(Alternative, 1989)

Reviewed by John Beckett

Anyone who's played the travesty that is Count Duckula II will wince in fear at the prospect of another Count Duckula game. But thankfully, its predecessor is not quite as awful! Based on an episode of the dire cartoon series, the aim is to wander around a huge pyramid, find keys to unlock doors, solve basic puzzles and get the magical saxophone at the pyramid's peak, which can transport Duckula back to his castle – all within a pretty tight time limit. I said this wasn't as bad as Count Duckula II, but it's still pretty bad – the graphics, though detailed, are boring and bland, and the sound... well, the hilariously bad rendition of the show's theme tune says it all! Too 'mazey' and too dull; avoid.

See also: Count Duckula II.

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2

Count Duckula II

(Alternative, 1992)

How could something like this ever have been released as late as 1992? To say this game is rubbish is scratching the surface. It's an absolute insult to my intelligence; I thought it was written in BASIC! It's a slow and crushingly boring platform game with awful graphics and animation, poor collision detection and ping-ping sound effects, and the tomato gun that Count Duckula is armed with is useless. The tune is the only thing that's worth talking about. If you want to see an even funnier review of this game, you should look at Amstrad Action's review, where they gave it 3%.

See also: Count Duckula.

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0

Country Cottages

(Sterling, 1984)

Reviewed by John Beckett

Country Cottages is a pretty simplistic strategy game where you and another player must buy, improve and lease out country homes until one of you is the first to reach a predetermined level of profit and so is declared the winner. It's about as interesting as it sounds. Apart from occasional still shots of your cottage – created using 'revolutionary' Landscape Creation technology (whatever that is) – the entire game is just boring facts and figures. And even if you're into that kind of thing, the game itself is too simplistic and shallow to offer any real challenge or depth. And so, as a result, it ends up pleasing nobody. To its credit, it's an original concept, but that's about the only positive thing I can say about it.

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2

Cowboy Kidz

(Byte Back, 1990)

A consignment of gold is being delivered across the desert and you have to follow the train on your horse, and grab some of it when it reaches the next station. However, there are other cowboys who are out to get you! The music sets the scene nicely and the graphics are quite colourful, too, with some impressive animations. However, the game is a little difficult and it is really beneficial if you remember the layout of each level exactly – the timing is crucial!

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7

Crack Down

(US Gold, 1990)

The evil Dr. K is planning to take over the world with a race of biogenetic humanoids. Enter Andy Attacker and Ben Breaker, two guys on a mission to fight their way through sixteen levels of mayhem in Dr. K's fortress. Don't you just love original plots? Anyway, this is a reasonably good game. You (and another player if you can find one) must explore each level and plant some detonators at specific points, and find the exit quickly before they explode. Fortunately, there's a map which shows you where to plant them. There's a lot of shooting involved as well, and the humanoids are rather nasty as well. The graphics are pretty good and the sound effects are OK, but it's a bit too difficult (although you get plenty of credits) and the collision detection could be better.

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7

Crack-Up

(Atlantis, 1989)

Breakout has been around since 1976, and this version of it is probably deliberately based on the versions from the early days to give it that retro feel; all the bricks are blocks of one colour, and the ball is simply a square. The sound effects are few and far between as well. OK, so the presentation might be minimal, but the levels are rather badly designed, and it's very difficult to clear all the bricks from each level; often you rely on collecting a power-up which sends you to the next level. At least you can choose which level you want to start on.

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4

Cray-5

(Topo Soft, 1987)

An asteroid colony has been struck by a meteor, and the Cray-5 supercomputer which controls the colony's atmosphere has been damaged. The only way to save the colony is to activate thirteen interrupters scattered around nine zones of the complex within a time limit. You will need to collect keys in order to unlock doors within the complex; however, there are three types of door, and only the correct type of key will unlock them. Other hazards include magnets, spikes and walls marked with a skull and crossbones symbol, all of which drain your energy if you touch them. The graphics and music are both rather basic, but everything is recognisable. The main problem is that you will often have to fly through some very narrow passages, and it's almost impossible to avoid contact with aliens or the aforementioned energy-sapping walls, which makes it extremely difficult to make much progress in the game.

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6

Crazy Cars

(Titus, 1988)

It's another of those races where you're driving along roads and have to reach the next checkpoint before your time runs out. Here, each level is divided into stages, and your car metamorphoses into a better and faster one when you reach the next level – nice. However, there are hardly any other cars on the track, which is mysterious; most of the time, you're driving down empty roads, and boredom sets in quickly as a result. There isn't even any scenery to make things a bit more interesting! The sound isn't up to much as well, and this is quite a lousy game.

See also: Crazy Cars II, Crazy Cars 3.

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4

Crazy Cars II

(Titus, 1989)

You're in a Ferrari F40 and are trying to smash a racket which is being run by some corrupt policemen. You have to race your car around four American states – Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico – and reach several destinations within the time limit. The police are on the loose, though! This game is much better than the original Crazy Cars, with excellent graphics and great Doppler effects when you're approaching police cars. There's also some really groovy digitised music to listen to on the title screen if you're playing the disc version of the game! The noise of your engine is OK, too, and it's a nice game with a lot of map-reading required. As for the cartridge version, the only differences in the graphics are that the sky looks nicer, and the instrument panel is brown instead of grey – although the map is built into the game and can be accessed at any time.

See also: Crazy Cars, Crazy Cars 3.

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8

Crazy Cars 3

(Titus, 1992)

Reviewed by Pug

In this episode of the Crazy Cars series, you race in your Lamborghini aiming to reach the top of the first division. The routes you race along are Memphis, Denver, Miami, Boston, Houston and Mojave. There is an entry fee for each race, and you can also gamble on who will win. Cash is needed to repair your car and buy upgrades. Graphically, this game is very attractive with well drawn screens, good use of colour, and character portraits. The only problem lies in the frame rate which results in a visually jumpy race. It's still playable, though, and deserves a few goes.

See also: Crazy Cars, Crazy Cars II.

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7

Crazy Golf

(Amsoft/Mr. Micro, 1984)

I loved playing crazy golf when I was young, but this version of the game is staggeringly bad. It's written in BASIC for a start, and each of the 18 holes is drawn entirely using lines. It looks extremely ugly and amateurish, and even more so thanks to the horrible colour schemes that are used. Aiming the ball is a bit difficult, and achieving par or under will take a lot of practice – and no doubt a lot of frustration as well. However, the game is so awful that most players will play one round and switch off. The fact that it was released very early in the CPC's life is no excuse for such an abysmal game.

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0

Crazy Shot

(Loriciel, 1989)

Do you remember those funfair stalls where you have to shoot at various targets and win prizes depending on how many points you score? This offering consists of five target shooting games – Jungle Adventure, Junior Hunter, Magic Balloons, Smoker Nightmare, and Special Police. Each game has its own slightly different set of rules, and if you run out of time or bullets, the game is over. Although you can play the game with a joystick, it is more fun if you use Loriciel's Westphaser lightgun, for which the game is designed. The graphics are gorgeous, but if you only have a joystick, it's a little bit too easy and becomes uninteresting in the long term.

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6

Cricket Crazy

(Alternative, 1988)

The English cricket team are on their way to a Caribbean island to play a cricket match against the island's team. However, although the players don't know it, there is another important reason why the match is being played. The island is rich in a natural resource called guano, and the British government wants to grab some of it. But the problems for the team begin when their plane is hijacked, and things only get worse... This is a text adventure in two parts. In the first part, you must find the team's hotel and prepare for the match, while in the second part, you play the match – which is quite a strange experience considering it's all done in the style of a text adventure! The game has been written using GAC, but the parser's limited abilities once again make this a frustrating adventure to play.

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5

Critical Mass

(Durell, 1987)

Aliens have invaded a colony within the Terra Federation, and they intend to blow up the anti-matter conversion plant and create a black hole that will destroy the entire planetary system. You have been chosen to confront the aliens and shut down the plant before it reaches critical mass. This shoot-'em-up, which was first released for the CPC on Durell's Big 4 compilation, sees you piloting a spacecraft across five zones, avoiding rocks, mines and aliens. Contact with these will drain your energy, and if you run out of energy, your spacecraft explodes spectacularly into dozens of tiny pieces (an amusing effect that is well worth seeing) and you must find another one. The graphics are sparse and Spectrum-like, but the game itself is challenging and fun to play once you get the hang of manoeuvring the spacecraft.

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7

Crossfire

(Atlantis, 1989)

As a new recruit to the Chicago police force, you've been assigned the task of clearing the city of gangsters. On each of the eight levels, you must shoot the gangsters while avoiding the civilians, for which points will be deducted. The graphics are pretty simple and so are the sound effects, and it is one of the easiest games I've ever played – I really did complete it on my first go! Still, if you're after a quick blast, you could do worse than this one.

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6

La Crypte des Maudits

(French)

(Lankhor, 1991)

After stealing the magical book of spells in La Secte Noire, the Black Sect has returned to terrorise the population. They are gathering in a nearby crypt, and you have ventured into it, to annihilate this evil sect once and for all. Will you succeed? The crypt is filled with passages blocked by grilles, doors and chests to be opened, and lots of buttons to be pressed and levers to be pulled, and the secret rooms that come with performing these actions. As with nearly all of Lankhor's other games on the CPC, this is a text adventure, and the graphics are beautifully drawn, capturing the sinister atmosphere of the crypt perfectly. The parser is rather limited, but this isn't too much of a problem.

See also: La Secte Noire.

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8

Crystal Castles

(US Gold, 1986)

Bentley the bear is exploring a castle and must collect all the gems from each room in the castle. Among some of the bizarre monsters to be encountered are marbles which home in on Bentley, tree spirits which Bentley can temporarily disable by jumping over them, centipedes which eat gems slowly, and witches. Both the graphics and sound effects are absolutely terrible, and Bentley seems to have his legs stuck together! This was originally released as a limited edition game, but it sold so poorly that it was re-released a few years later – and it's not surprising to see why when you see how it plays. It's a distinctly average game, although it's not really bad.

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6

Crystal Kingdom Dizzy

(Codemasters, 1992)

The treasures of the Yolkfolk have been stolen from the Temple of Zeffar, and Dizzy has to retrieve them to avoid a curse falling on the kingdom – and so begins Dizzy's last adventure on the CPC. This game is quite different from Dizzy's other adventures. It's divided into four parts, and there are passwords so that you don't have to replay parts that you have already completed, which is a very welcome addition. What is most noticeable, however, is that the graphics are in the high-colour, low-resolution MODE 0 instead of the normal four-colour MODE 1 that has been used in all of Dizzy's other adventures on the CPC, and I actually like the new graphics. On the other hand, most of the puzzles are easy to solve, and the conversation with other characters is often banal.

See also: Bubble Dizzy, Dizzy, Dizzy Down the Rapids, Dizzy: Prince of the Yolkfolk, Fantasy World Dizzy, Fast Food, Kwik Snax, Magicland Dizzy, Panic Dizzy, Spellbound Dizzy, Treasure Island Dizzy.

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7

Cubit!

(Amsoft/Mr. Micro, 1984)

Noughts and crosses is brought into three dimensions as you play either a friend or the computer to be the first to line up four tiles in a row. Of course, as well as stopping your opponent making lines on one level, you've also got to keep an eye on them making lines that cross all four levels, if you see what I mean. However, this is easier said than done when you're playing the computer – maybe the human brain just isn't capable of visualising the lines in 3D. It's probably better to play with a friend, although the controls are awkward; you have to press fire quickly twice to place a tile, and it often doesn't work.

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5

Curro Jiménez

(Zigurat, 1989)

In 19th century Spain, the French army is occupying large parts of the country. Now they have amassed enough firepower to destroy the entire country – but one warrior, Curro Jiménez, has the courage to confront and defeat the French single-handedly! You must travel on foot, on horseback, and even on a hot air balloon, through towns and across countryside to reach the French army camp. You are armed with a gun to shoot the French invaders, and along the way, you need to collect treasure chests to obtain dynamite; some chests may give you an extra life instead. The graphics and animation in this game are stunning, and unlike many Spanish games, it's relatively easy to make progress, although jumping over the barriers when you're riding a horse can be frustrating.

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8

Cursed Be the City

(Incantation, 1987)

Reviewed by Pug

Cursed Be the City is a Gothic-themed text adventure that was created using GAC. You play a character called Ashar, and begin your adventure bound to a rack in a dark and damp dungeon. You must find a way to escape this horrid place of misery and fear before the torturer burns out your eyes! As you can tell, this adventure is very dark in places and is not suitable for young children. Once you escape the dungeon you will eventually learn of your preordained quest. The location descriptions are generally rich with detail and it soon feels like you're reading a book. A lot of the characters in this one do have strange names, though, which makes your quest a bit confusing at times. If you're a fan of horror novels, then this one may appeal to you.

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6

The Curse of Sherwood

(Mastertronic, 1987)

A portal of evil has fallen on Sherwood, and it's up to Friar Tuck to go to the castle and destroy the portal. The game involves lots of exploring and killing various creatures and humans, while working out which weapon to use. There are also some objects to collect, but you'll have to find out what they're used for. Despite the game using the CPC's four-colour, medium-resolution MODE 1, the graphics are extremely blocky, and the sound effects are equally awful – yet for some reason, it's still not all that bad a game; it's just that getting through the swamp is extremely difficult.

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6

Custard Pie Factory

(Tynesoft, 1985)

You have returned from a long holiday to your job in a custard pie factory, only to find that all production has stopped – and as the repairman, you must fix and restart all of the machinery, otherwise you will be sacked! This is a platform game in which you must explore rooms in the search for the objects that will activate the machinery, and each object is often to be found a long way from where it is to be used. There is also a range of enemies to be found in most rooms, which will sap your energy if you touch them. Both the graphics and sound effects are basic, although a lot of colour is used, but the main problem is that movement of your character is slow, and it takes a long time to go from one place to another, which makes a potentially good game boring instead.

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4

Cutthroats

(Infocom, 1986)

Times are tough on Hardscrabble Island, and you dream of getting away from the island – so when someone invites you on a diving expedition to hunt for treasure, it's an offer you can't refuse. However, many of the characters on Hardscrabble Island are dodgy, and you'll be working with some of the dodgiest characters of them all – and one of them is a traitor... There are two variations of the game, but I'll leave it to you to discover them. This is a great text adventure from Infocom with enough mystery and excitement to captivate you for some time.

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9

Cyberball

(Domark/Tengen, 1990)

American football has become robotic in the 21st century, and it's more violent than ever. Fourteen armoured robots tackle and clash with each other, attempting to get a touchdown before the ball explodes – it's actually a bomb! It sounds great, but the game is poorly executed. Rather than being a straightforward arcade game, the game constantly stops for you to choose your tactics, and there are dozens of strategies. It interrupts the flow of the game and becomes its major downfall. The robots also move very slowly, which again ruins things. The graphics are good and the tune on the menu is nice, but I can't understand why the CPC magazines liked this game so much!

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5

Cyber Chicken

(AMC Soft, 2013)

Reviewed by Missas

Cyber Chicken is the final version of Cyber Huhn, an entrant in CPCWiki's 16KB ROM game development competition held in 2013. This version has many differences compared to the original one. To begin with, the game displays a magnificent overscan image. As the game begins, the player can now see the cannons that fire shots at the cyber chickens. The scrolling is smooth and fast, while the graphics, although lacking a background, are detailed. The chickens zoom in as they approach you. The sound effects are reasonable and the gunshot sounds increase and decrease in pitch, and the game also includes several tunes. The gameplay is fast-paced and entertaining; because of the high score table, you can attempt to beat the best scores. Overall, a highly entertaining and original idea placed in the type of game that is rarely seen on the CPC.

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9

Cybernoid

(Hewson, 1988)

The Massive Federation Intergalactic storage depots have been raided by pirates, so the Federation has hired Cybernoid to evade the defence systems that lurk in the depot and capture the pirates. Cybernoid has a large array of weapons at its disposal – missiles, mines, bouncing bombs, and heat-seeking missiles, as well as a temporary invincibility shield. The graphics are a feast of colour and the music is quite cool as well, but the game is far too hard, even with five lives – if you can get as far as the tenth screen without cheating, you deserve an award.

See also: Cybernoid II.

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6

Cybernoid II

(Hewson, 1988)

Appeared on an Amstrad Action covertape

The sequel is so similar to the original that it's not true. There's the same array of weaponry, the same enemies and obstacles, and exactly the same screen layout. In fact, about the only things that have changed are the levels themselves, and the ship you control; it looks as though it's been upgraded. You've still got the same colourful graphics and excellent music, but lessons clearly weren't learnt from the original – you guessed it, it's just as difficult. This game isn't what I'd call a true sequel; it's more like a set of extra levels.

See also: Cybernoid.

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6

Cybor

(Softhawk, 1987)

Cybor JMT61 has been assigned the mission of destroying the Ordirebel computer, housed within a large complex. Many other Cybors have attempted this mission and failed. You must locate the computer while avoiding other robots and floating objects which will cause you to lose one of your nine lives if you bump into them. There are also batteries and bottles of oil and anti-rust lying about, to help you survive. This is an unoriginal game with relatively poor graphics and sound effects, made worse by having to wait several seconds while moving between rooms; the scrolling is very slow and jerky. If that's not enough, the game crashes after just a few minutes of play.

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4

The Cycles

(Accolade, 1990)

Compete in the motorcycle championship circuit around eight tracks with nine other riders. You have the option of riding a 125cc, 250cc or 500cc motorbike, although you'll have to qualify for each race first. This is supposed to be a realistic simulation of motorcycle racing, but it's practically impossible to get your bike to stay on the track! Despite this problem, it's also too easy, even though there are five difficulty levels, and there's no impression of speed either. The graphics are quite good, and the "Accolade presents..." speech sample is actually rather funny, but the engine noises are grating, and unless you're a serious motorbike fan, it's not much fun.

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6

Cylu

(Firebird, 1985)

Cylu the Otsan has been chosen as a future leader, but must prove his worthiness by collecting 24 objects hidden in a maze on the planet Vole. These have to deposited at the computer where you started the game. Other objects in the maze include fuel canisters, CPUs to disable forcefields, and teleport keys (which bear the names of 80s pop stars and groups!). The graphics are extremely garish with some of the most hideous colour schemes ever seen, and the sound effects – well! The game itself is tricky, with awkward controls, a fuel supply that decreases too fast, and an ability to see only a very tiny part of the maze at a time.

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4

Cyrus II Chess

(Amsoft, 1985)

Of the many chess games on the CPC, this definitely gets my award for the best-looking one – that blue colour scheme is so nice, and the pieces look really good as well. Mind you, it still makes for a tough opponent, although this is because I'm no good at chess and never have been. There are twelve difficulty levels, but it doesn't seem to make any difference to the computer's moves. Nonetheless, the game features a useful array of options to set up the board and save, load and print out games, and if you don't like the 3D view, you can always change to a 2D view (with horrible colours thrown in).

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