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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Daley Thompson's Decathlon

(Ocean, 1985)

This is the first in a series of three Daley Thompson games. All of them became notorious for breaking more joysticks than any other game. I know I broke one or two of my own! Daley Thompson was a famous British athlete back in the early 1980s, breaking several records and winning gold medals at the 1980 and 1984 Olympics. In this game you get to take part in a decathlon, which as you should know, consists of ten events. However, to progress to the next event without losing a life, you have to qualify by setting a result within a certain time or distance. The sheer effort required for this is such that most people won't progress beyond the third event. And why does Daley look as though he's jogging rather than sprinting?

See also: Daley Thompson's Olympic Challenge, Daley Thompson's Supertest.

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3

Daley Thompson's Olympic Challenge

(Ocean, 1988)

Unfortunately, Daley was beset by injuries in the 1988 Olympics at Seoul and came fourth, but maybe you can do better. The same ten events are here in this decathlon, and thankfully it is possible to progress in this game, even with the keyboard! Before you start the decathlon, you can do training; this affects how well you'll do in the events. You also have to choose the right trainers from a set of four before each event; choosing the wrong ones makes qualifying for the next event extremely hard, if not impossible. The graphics aren't bad (and Daley actually runs this time!), but the music and sound effects leave a lot to be desired.

See also: Daley Thompson's Decathlon, Daley Thompson's Supertest.

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6

Daley Thompson's Supertest

(Ocean, 1986)

Taking a change from the decathlon style, this game consists of eight very varied events (pistol shoot, cycling, diving, giant slalom, rowing, penalties, ski jumping, and tug of war), none of which feature in a real decathlon. All but one of them feature yet more frantic joystick waggling, and like Daley Thompson's Decathlon, it's almost impossible to qualify for them; you'd need to have Daley's strength to be able to do it! To add to the problems, the graphics aren't even good, and Daley seems to be noticeable by his absence in most of the events.

See also: Daley Thompson's Decathlon, Daley Thompson's Olympic Challenge.

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2

Dame Scanner

(Chip, 1988)

Dames is known as draughts in the English-speaking world, and this is a pretty good version of the board game. You can play against another friend or the computer, and allow it to use one of four different strategies for playing the game (although what with knowing very little about draughts, I don't know what differences there are between them). The graphics are about as good as they can be, and you can choose between either a 2D or a 3D view of the board. The only complaint is that selecting which piece you want to move is a bit awkward.

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7

Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future

(Virgin, 1986)

Reviewed by Chris Lennard

Help Dan Dare, the pilot of the future, to defeat the Mekon, evil leader of the Martians, in this comic styled platformer. The notorious green-hued brainbox has planted an atomic bomb inside a heavily guarded fortress on an asteroid and set it on a collision course with the Earth. Dan has to make his way around the innards of this celestial missile's inner complex and collect five keys held in different locations in order to activate the self-destruct system before it destroys its target (sadly you don't have the option of playing the hapless Digby). Formulaic stuff that's only slightly rescued by the characters involved, with the graphics not particularly endearing and naff sound effects to boot.

See also: Dan Dare II: Mekon's Revenge, Dan Dare III: The Escape.

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4

Dan Dare II: Mekon's Revenge

(Virgin, 1987)

Reviewed by Chris Lennard

This time the Mekon has created an army of Super Treens and sent them to conquer Earth on board a large spaceship. Dan must find and destroy all the Super Treens that are in stasis, while taking care to avoid the traps, force fields and normal Treens littered by your nemesis – all against a time limit. This time our hero rides a nifty laser-armed pod accompanied by Earth troops helping him in the firepower stakes. Alternatively you can amusingly play the Mekon himself in his own pod and set about activating the Super Treens instead with your Treens to aid you. A great looking and sounding CPC game with solid, albeit difficult, gameplay with double the challenge.

See also: Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future, Dan Dare III: The Escape.

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8

Dan Dare III: The Escape

(Virgin, 1990)

Reviewed by Chris Lennard

Dan Dare is back and he's now equipped with a handy jet pack and armed to the teeth with a variety of weapons. A good thing, as the landscape he's been left in is populated with weird looking very un-Frank Hampson-like mutant creatures. Dan proceeds to the following levels by defeating a facsimilie of the misproportioned evil alien genius, the Mekon, in order to obtain a transport key. Transportation then involves guiding our hero successfully through a virtual tunnel made of suspended boxes in a vortex. This game heavily resembles another Probe game, Trantor, in both style and gameplay – not that this is bad. It plays well and is gorgeously presented.

See also: Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future, Dan Dare II: Mekon's Revenge.

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9

Dandy

(Electric Dreams, 1987)

Reviewed by John Beckett

Dandy is yet another in that long line of dungeon-based arcade adventures that tries to emulate the mighty Gauntlet and fails at just about every opportunity. The graphics are colourless, bland and extremely flickery and it's often hard to see what's going on. Even the Spectrum version had better graphics than this! The sound effects are pitiful – just a few zaps and explosions – and worst of all, the gameplay is spoilt by the sheer unresponsiveness of the controls. You'll know what I mean when you play it! And on top of this, you'll often come to doors that you can't open because you've just used your last key to open a door that leads to a dead end – very frustrating! I love a good dungeon exploration game and this is nothing like a good one.

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2

Danger Mouse in Double Trouble

(Creative Sparks, 1985)

Baron Greenback has built an android version of Dangermouse which is due to be released at tea-time today! Dangermouse and Penfold must thwart the Baron's plans in this three-part action game. The first part is a simple shoot-'em-up where you destroy the Baron's flying robots by playing the appropriate tune from the jukebox in Dangermouse's aerocar (!). The second part is a platform game in which Dangermouse must jump across swamps and climb trees, although if you're playing the easy version of the game, you don't have to complete this part, so you can go on to the third and final part, where you must extinguish all the yellow lights on a grid. The graphics are OK, as is the rendition of the Dangermouse theme tune, but the levels are much too short, and once you complete it – which won't take long – you won't want to play it again.

See also: Danger Mouse in Makin' Whoopee.

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4

Danger Mouse in Makin' Whoopee

(Creative Sparks, 1985)

Dangermouse has just received a telegram informing him of Baron Greenback's latest plan to take over the world. The Baron is manufacturing whoopee cushions to place in every seat in the United Nations building. The chaos that will ensue at the next meeting will allow him to become the leader of the world! Dangermouse must travel around Chicago in his aerocar and shut down the Baron's network of electricity stations and gas manufacturing plants. Chicago is represented as a gigantic maze which is shown on the screen, and if you head towards the dead ends, you will enter either a store room where you can exchange objects, or one of the factories where you must reach the top of the screen while avoiding the obstacles. The game overall is better than Dangermouse's previous outing, but driving around Chicago becomes rather monotonous.

See also: Danger Mouse in Double Trouble.

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5

Danger Street

(Chip, 1987)

New York in 2017 is overrun with criminals, and you have decided to rid the city of them once and for all. Each level consists of a section of the city which can be scrolled horizontally. Every so often, one or more criminals will appear from a window, manhole or car and fire their weapons at you, and you must aim your crosshairs at them and retaliate. If you're shot too many times, the game is over. This is a fairly simplistic target shooting game, but it's actually not bad at all. The graphics are colourful, if not spectacular, although the sound effects aren't particularly realistic. Having only one life is also a bit annoying, and there's no energy bar either – although this only serves to enhance the tension! Overall, this is a fairly good game if you're looking for a quick blast.

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7

Dark Century

(Titus, 1990)

Reviewed by Pug

Dark Century involves you guiding your squad of super tanks into a face-off against the enemy's team. The game itself is quite boring; you wander around glancing at the scanner hoping to lock on to the enemy. The game plays in a 3D environment – or rather, scaled sprites move along a bare battleground. While the graphics are OK and the presentation is impressive, it just isn't a game you will want to stay with. Just watch the demo mode and you will realise this is a bland game indeed. There's a great tune that plays throughout, though. A pointless attempt at converting a poorly rated 16-bit game.

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3

Dark Fusion

(Gremlin, 1988)

Only the élite may join the Guardian Warriors, and those who wish to join must pass a test. Four levels of non-stop shoot-'em-up action, each consisting of three different types of gameplay, await you. The 'combat zone' is a platform game, the 'flight zone' is a horizontally scrolling shoot-'em-up in a spaceship, and the 'alien zone' again sees you in a spaceship, but battling a single enormous monster. There's nothing new here in terms of gameplay, although the graphics are absolutely beautiful, and the loading screen is marvellous. However, the music is annoying and the gameplay is maddeningly difficult as your energy is drained very quickly. I certainly won't be joining the Guardian Warriors soon!

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6

Darkman

(Ocean, 1991)

Scientist Peyton Westlake was trying to develop a synthetic skin, when gangsters beat him up and demolished his laboratory, leaving him with terrible facial scarring. Now he seeks revenge upon those who destroyed his work and his life, and rescue his girlfriend, Julie Hastings, from the clutches of Louis Strack. This game follows the events of the film over six levels, and mixes platform and beat-'em-up elements. There are also some utterly pointless sub-games between levels where you take photos of faces in an attempt to create a mask. The graphics are wonderful and the tune on the menu is very atmospheric. Unfortunately the difficulty level is too high; you are only given one life, and completing the first level alone takes a lot of practice.

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7

Dark Side

(Incentive, 1988)

Reviewed by Chris Lennard

Using Freescape, this took 3D gaming to a whole new level when it was released. In a battle against time, you have to negotiate your way around the surface of the moon Tricuspid, destroying ECDs that are powering up an enormous doomsday weapon that is targeted at the planet Evath. Confronting you are a myriad of fiendish puzzles which must be solved in order to complete your mission. Admittedly the sound is poor and there is no music but when you consider what was achieved this remains a seminal game.

See also: Driller.

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9

Dark Star

(Design Design, 1985)

Reviewed by Richard Lamond

Take to the stars in the LIAR with your mission to liberate the galaxy from the Evil Lord's empire. What at first appears to be a linear and somewhat pointless shoot-'em-up reveals itself to be a far more complex affair when you start to dig around the options and work out what you are supposed to be doing (and reduce the initial difficulty level!). Use warp gates to move your way around the galaxy and take out the enemy's military strongholds on the planet surfaces. Navigating your way through the warp gates is a frustrating experience, though, and the game boasts only crude graphics. Getting to a planet, let alone liberating it, is something of an achievement. Continued efforts will be rewarded but once you've reached your first planet, you've seen everything the game has to offer, and there are much better 3D shooters out there.

See also: Forbidden Planet.

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6

Darkwurlde

(Top Ten, 1986)

The King of Lightwurlde is having problems with some enormous molehills that have appeared in his garden, so Narud Pendaryn decides to investigate. However, Narud falls into one of the molehills and ends up in Darkwurlde. Narud must explore the lair of Darkwurlde and kill all the moles. As you would expect, Darkwurlde is filled with monsters which fly about the screen, and Narud will lose one of his five lives if he touches them. Much of the scenery, such as fires and poisonous plants, is also to be avoided. The influence of Ultimate's games really shows here, but this game isn't as good as those of Ultimate (as the author himself admits!). The graphics are OK, but firing at the monsters can be tricky and it's easy to lose lives unnecessarily.

See also: Pyra Mydya.

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5

Darts 180

(Mastertronic, 1986)

Now's your chance to play in a darts tournament without the need to drink lots of beer! You can take part in a tournament or take a 'round the clock' test, or even play against a friend. You fire darts by moving an animated hand diagonally to the right sector. The tournament is a bit easy and you should sail through the quarter- and semi-finals without any fuss, but beating Jammy Jim in the final is another matter entirely! The default colour scheme is horrible, but thankfully, you can change it. The digitised speech is awesome, too, with shouts of "180!" each time you get that score – brilliant!

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8

Dawnssley

(Top Ten, 1986)

Hobbo the elf and Thor the warrior must explore the 27 levels of the underground kingdom of Dawnssley. Each level is a fairly small maze filled with corridors, doors and generators from which monsters emerge. Keys can be collected, but you will need to be selective in which doors you can open, and you will need to save keys for later levels. This is a very poor Gauntlet clone with mediocre graphics and annoying sound effects. Most of the doors are made up of two or more segments, and it is far too easy to waste one or more keys when opening these doors, which means you won't have enough keys later on. The scrolling is also frustratingly slow, which ruins what is already a poor game.

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3

D-Day

(Futura, 1992)

Operation Overlord took place on the 6th of June 1944 during World War II, when Allied soldiers launched a massive assault on the Germans who were occupying France. It is regarded as the most important event of the war, and this game has 40 missions for you to try out. Twenty of these see you commanding a small group of soldiers, trying to kill all the enemy soldiers, tanks and bunkers. The other twenty involve commanding a group of parachutists and ensuring they all land in the correct place, although these missions are much easier than the infantry missions. The graphics are great, especially if you're using a Plus machine, where they're even better! The game even includes two of Loriciel's previous releases, Advanced Destroyer Simulator and Sherman M4. Great stuff, I say.

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9

Deactivators

(Reaktör, 1986)

A team of Deactivator Droids has been sent to remove bombs that have been planted inside five buildings of the Gravitational Research Institute. Each droid is restricted to an area of each building, and the only way to transfer objects between droids is to throw them through holes in the walls. The droids must also avoid all contact with the robot guards. There are also circuit boards which need to be located and slotted into the computer. Furthermore, the effect of gravity in each room is different, and some rooms are upside down so that the 'floor' is on the ceiling and the gravity is inverted! The concept of this game is unusual and highly original and combines arcade elements with strategic planning. Initially, it's not easy to understand what you're supposed to do, but once you do, it's an engrossing game.

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8

Dead by Dawn

(Monsterbytes, 2014)

Reviewed by Missas

Dead by Dawn is an adventure game based on the film Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn and programmed using the outstanding 3D Construction Kit. The game depicts a mostly depressive and dark atmosphere. The graphics are drawn in MODE 1, and the polygons are well shaped and detailed, clearly assisting the gameplay and the grab factor. However, the CPC sometimes struggles to move them at an acceptable rate. The sound is as good as it could be for an adventure game; there is no in-game tune, but there are plenty of effects. The gameplay is undeniably good and interesting; there are many rooms to explore and the 3D setting is well designed and was clearly made with care by the programmer. The grab factor is strong and the game itself is rather big. We do not get many games like this often, so don't miss it.

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8

Deadline

(Infocom, 1986)

The wealthy industralist, Marshall Robner, was found dead at his mansion in the early hours of yesterday morning. An examination by a coroner suggests that he died from an overdose of the anti-depressant Ebullion – but suspicions remain, and you have just twelve hours to solve the mystery. This is the first in Infocom's line of mysteries, and it's good. It's also very challenging; you have to examine everything closely, and remember to analyse objects for fingerprints and other substances. While you're doing this, there are six other characters who do their own thing, and you'll need to ask them questions, show things to them, and watch what they're doing. Fans of murder mysteries will certainly enjoy this game, although the difficulty may put some people off.

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8

Deadly Evil

(Players, 1990)

The Emperor's beautiful daughter has been captured, so what does Spartacus do? He sets out to rescue her, of course. First, Spartacus must find six pieces of a scroll before going to the palace to rescue the princess. Unfortunately, the forest is full of skeletons who will attack you ferociously, and touching any of the magic stones releases a ghost that will drain your energy quite severely. The graphics aren't that bad although they are lacking in colour, and the sound effects are sparse. The game, though, is too difficult, and it's frustrating to get Spartacus to jump on to a platform. The magic stones are really irritating as well.

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4

Dead on Time

(Psytronik, 2010)

The aim of this space shoot-'em-up is simple; either survive as long as you can, or score as many points as you can in five minutes. Waves of aliens appear from the edges of the screen, and shooting an entire wave leaves a capsule behind. If you collect three capsules of the same colour in a row, a forcefield forms around your ship, which allows you to absorb bullets of the same colour, and you also score more points. You also gain more firepower by shooting aliens, but colliding with them, or their bullets, reduces it significantly. Things soon become hectic as more and more aliens appear! The graphics and music are superb, and the game plays really smoothly no matter how many aliens are on the screen. This is one of the most intense and addictive gameplay experiences on the CPC and is definitely not to be missed!

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10

Dead or Alive

(Alternative, 1987)

Reviewed by Richard Lamond

You're the only source of law and order in a Wild West town that's overrun with bandits continually looking to rob the bank or break their buddies out of jail. A pretty simplistic shoot-'em-up that takes place over four backgrounds but with gameplay that never really changes, you must shoot the bad guys while avoiding their bullets and stop any escapees to score big points. The most challenging part of the game is remembering to run over the bodies of your fallen enemies to steal their ammo before you run out. There is no music to entertain you, and the graphics and sound effects are basic. This won't hold the imagination for very long.

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5

Deathchase

(The Executioner, 2008)

Reviewed by Missas

In this classic first-person shoot-'em-up, you control a bike equipped with guns, and the objective is to destroy two other bikes while riding through a forest. By succeeding in destroying the opponents, you move your way through eight night and day levels. There are also tanks and helicopters, while the forest becomes denser as you progress. The graphics and sound are fairly simple; it is a direct Spectrum port from the original 1983 release. Nevertheless, Deathchase's gameplay is its strong point. Although it is an old game, it plays well, the bike moves in 3D, and the difficulty level is correctly set. Thus, the grab factor is strong. Overall, an old classic from the Pac-Man era; expect nothing less than pure gameplay experience.

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7

Deathkick

(Blaby, 1984)

Reviewed by CPC4eva

This game is written in BASIC and looks like it's been ported from a Spectrum version (although it wasn't actually released for that machine). It's got a great title for a game but sadly there's not much going for it. It's a karate-style beat-'em-up that lacks some decent sprites and graphics, or any proper playability. I couldn't use the joystick and the keyboard controls were pretty awkward to say the very least. For a BASIC game, there are some nice moves such as the jump kick and somersaults, but the actual fighting component was poorly executed and a real let-down. The minimal sound effects are just as awful and the background graphics may as well have been a blank screen.

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2

Death or Glory

(CRL, 1987)

An alien invasion fleet is approaching the planet of New Stratford, so you decide to investigate it in your spacedozer. There are several mother ships to be destroyed, but you must use bombs instead of missiles, and fly over the surface of each mother ship one at a time. Once you destroy enough of it, you are whisked off to the next ship. It's a bit different from most other space shoot-'em-ups, but it's also rather dull, since you can't shoot any of the smaller spaceships, and crashing into them won't hurt your ship all that much. The controls are a little erratic and the graphics are sub-standard. Fans of action-packed shoot-'em-ups should avoid this game.

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5

Death Pit

(Durell, 1985)

Deep within a labyrinthine mine lie deposits of gold, and being the intrepid miner that you are, your aim is to retrieve as much treasure as you can from the mine while dodging the many hazards that lurk within it – including dragons! You have an oxygen tank for travelling through flooded areas, and a battery for your lamp; if it runs out, the game is over. You have a supply of spare batteries and oxygen tanks, but you can only carry up to four items at a time while you're in the mine. It's easy to get lost, so making a map is essential. The graphics are rather simple, but the biggest problem is that hazards appear randomly, which makes it difficult to predict them, causing lives to be needlessly wasted. The music is also annoying, mainly because it keeps randomly speeding up and slowing down!

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6

Deathscape

(Starlight, 1987)

Reviewed by Pug

Enter the Deathscape and take on the Varg empire. This game is a trench run where you fly down a corridor of sorts blasting away at approaching baddies. The colourful sprites move quickly and without flicker, and the vector graphics give a good impression of speed. The control panel at the bottom of the screen displays shields, fuel etc. and an animated hand gripping the joystick. As for the sound, it's a case of shooting and explosion sounds. Overall, you will quickly become bored by this game.

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5

Death Stalker

(Codemasters, 1988)

Another of those games where you must escape from a labyrinth of dungeons and caves, fighting skeletons, orcs and ghosts, opening doors, collecting spells, and releasing some prisoners along the way if you have some release spells. The graphics are extremely well drawn and the music is so atmospheric and eerie! The only problem is that the game is too difficult, and it is made harder by only having one life; if you die, you have to start all over again.

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8

Deathsville

(Bubble Bus, 1986)

Reviewed by Pug

You are Sammy Solver and you're trapped within Deathsville. You must collect objects to solve puzzles and find your eventual path to freedom. This is a platform game that is similar to Pyjamarama but with better-looking graphics. There's a castle to explore, the outdoors, cottages and underground mines; all of them are full of traps and secrets. The game can appear challenging at first, but once you solve the stairway puzzle, many aspects of the game will become clear. Well worth an hour or so of your attention. (The screenshot shows the solution to the stairway puzzle.)

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7

Death Wish 3

(Gremlin, 1987)

New York's streets are overrun with gangs, and the police can't handle it, so the chief has done a deal with vigilante Paul Kersey and allowed him to go and kill as many gang members as he can. You play Paul in this rather violent game, based on the equally violent film of the same name. You wander the streets with a variety of guns, scoring points for killing gang members, but losing points for killing policemen and little old ladies. You also need to raid apartments to find more weapons and locate the gang leaders and kill them. As already mentioned, this is a violent game, with bodies being graphically torn apart and blood flowing everywhere when you shoot anyone with the rocket launcher. However, the game doesn't have much depth, and I often became disoriented when using the map and compass.

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7

The Deep

(US Gold, 1989)

Fight an onslaught of enemy submarines single-handedly in this simple shoot-'em-up. You control a boat at the top of the screen, and you must destroy the submarines using depth charges. Some submarines will release a pod when destroyed, which floats to the surface and releases a flag. Collecting this flag alerts a helicopter, which drops one of several types of power-up. Every so often, there is a token to be collected from the seabed, and you must collect it by transforming your boat into a pod and sending the pod down to the seabed. There are also several intermediate stages that you must complete before you can progress to the next level. The graphics are reasonable, but the game becomes rather dull to play quite quickly, and the Missile Command-like intermediate stage is particularly boring.

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4

Deep Strike

(Durell, 1986)

Reviewed by Pug

In this offering you take to the skies, World War I-style. You take the role of a fighter pilot escorting a bomber over enemy lines. The gameplay sees you in your cockpit with the bomber ahead of you. Pressing the SPACE bar signals the bomber to deploy its payload, which at times seems hit and miss; you can't aim properly. Several enemy aircraft swarm in and attack, and this is where you come in – but be careful not to hit the bomber. The graphics are vector-based with an effective terrain moving below you – watch those hills! As you play, you actually begin to feel like you're flying as the landscape banks and rises towards you. The game is difficult to master but fun all the same.

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6

Defcom

(Quicksilva, 1986)

By 2056, the Star Wars satellite defence systems were ready, with eight satellites orbiting Earth. There was total peace for many years, but now aliens have taken over the satellites and started attacking Earth. You are Captain Nick Diamond, and your mission is to destroy the satellites with the sole remaining spacecraft available – the fairly standard Eagle Class E751. Your spacecraft is equipped with a cosmogun, but as you destroy more aliens, you can use a fazalaza, a dyno ray, and a blaster – the only weapon that can destroy the satellites. However, you have to blast a lot of aliens to obtain the blaster, and this is so tedious and repetitive that it's not worth the effort. The graphics lack colour as well, although the music is excellent.

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3

Defcom 1

(Iber Soft, 1989)

It's 1992, and there has been no conflict between the world's superpowers for many years – but there is now a serious threat to Earth, a threat so serious that the World Security Council has been put on DEFCOM 1 (er, surely it should be DEFCON 1?). Those aliens are up to no good again, and they've been detected in the Vesta-7 sector of Ceres. This is a shoot-'em-up in three parts, and you control a different vehicle in each part. You have to fly to the space shuttle launch site in a helicopter, then fly the shuttle through an asteroid belt, and then take on the aliens in a space fighter. In the first and third parts, you also have three smart bombs. This is a mediocre game, primarily because it's a Spectrum port, but there are also no power-ups, and the sound effects are very poor.

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5

Defence

(Shining, 2016)

Reviewed by Missas

Defence is a brilliant and original strategy game which is influenced by the demo scene with its overall presentation. In this marvellous and smartly programmed gem, you have to place your defences in such a way that the enemies are destroyed before they reach the exit. You have four types of defence, each with different attributes. The enemies also have different abilities. The levels are intelligently designed and they pose challenges as to how to set up your defensive perimeter. The graphics are great, although the animation and movement of the sprites are jerky. The sound is truly magnificent with a fantastic tune – one of the best I've heard on the CPC – playing throughout the game, and there is some digitised speech too. The gameplay is remarkable; it's highly addictive and the difficulty is correctly set. What else could you ask for?

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10

Defender of the Crown

(French)

(Ubi Soft, 1989)

Travel back in time to England in 1149. The king has been assassinated, and the Saxons and the Normans are fighting it out to reclaim the throne. You play the part of one of four Saxon lords (hint: choose Sir Wolfric the Wild) and must fight the Norman lords (and the Saxon lords too if you want) and prevent them from gaining territory. The more territory you have, the more taxes you can collect from the peasants to build up your army – but all this fighting takes a heavy toll. You can also claim territory in jousting contests, and lay siege to your enemies' fortresses! This is a big game, and the graphics and animation have to be seen to be believed; they are simply breathtaking. Unfortunately, it's too difficult, as the Norman lords take control too quickly for you to do anything about them, and this is a real shame.

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8

Defenders of the Earth

(Enigma Variations, 1990)

Appeared on an Amstrad Action covertape

Ming the Merciless has kidnapped the Defenders' children and is holding them in the Fortress of Evil. You control Flash Gordon as he fights his way through three levels of the castle, shooting and jumping over monsters, and facing some pretty mean end-of-level guardians before encountering Ming himself. Your colleagues are also able to help you, by opening locked doors or creating bridges which will allow you to cross chasms. There are also a few energy icons which can be collected. The graphics are marvellous, but the music on the menu is unremarkable. However, the biggest problem is that the game is very tough indeed; completing the first level is a real feat, even with the four lives that you are given.

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6

Defend or Die

(Alligata, 1985)

Reviewed by Pug

Defender on the CPC. Unless you've lived on Mars for the last 30 years, there's no need to explain how this game works. Alligata's version is very neat indeed. The graphics move smoothly and are colourful. The sound effects are very imaginative but there's no music – no worries, though, as the arcade original didn't have any music either! The difficulty level is set just right to allow progression and very high scores!

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8

Deflektor

(Gremlin, 1987)

Every now and then, there's a game which is strikingly original, and this is one of them. By bouncing a laser beam off sets of mirrors, you must shoot all the balls on the screen before aiming it at a target. However, watch out for the gremlins who will adjust the mirrors when you're concentrating on something else! You must also avoid overloading the machine, which can happen if the laser bounces back on itself, or if the beam hits a mine. It's not easy to get the hang of it at first, and the colour schemes used in some levels are horrible, but you may well like it, and there are 60 levels to tax your grey matter.

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9

Deliverance

(Hewson, 1990)

Appeared on an Amstrad Action covertape

Our hero is back to rescue some more fairies from hell and bring them to safety in heaven, but there are lots of lakes of fire and nasty, fire-breathing monsters to battle against. In fact, there are far too many monsters. If you thought Stormlord was tricky, then you clearly haven't played this game; it's impossible to get anywhere without a monster appearing from nowhere and causing you to lose a life. Getting Stormlord to jump properly is also a matter of luck. The graphics are as well-drawn as the first game, and the tune is good, too, but it really is far too difficult.

See also: Stormlord.

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6

Demon's Revenge

(Firebird, 1988)

You fool! You've smashed four talismans belonging to Trodor the demon and now his evil minions have taken over the castle! Your only hope now is to find all the pieces – four for each talisman – and put them back together. They're scattered all over the castle, and all the rooms are guarded. You'll probably need to make a map, as it's easy to get lost in the castle. The graphics are nice and colourful and the game moves at quite a fast pace as you move from one room to the next, and the tune is also very good, and you'll be kept busy at finding the pieces of the talisman for some time.

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7

La Dernière Mission

(French)

(MBC, 1988)

On the 6th of September 1999, aliens invaded Earth, and as the year 2000 began, humanity was threatened. A guerrilla organisation, Liberté, fought a war against the aliens, forcing them to retreat. By July 2001, the fighting was still going on. Liberté has sent you on The Last Mission – to go to the aliens' camp in the Arctic wastes of Canada and destroy it by planting bombs. This is a rather average text adventure with some rather nice pictures to accompany the locations. Unfortunately there is very little actual text; there are no descriptions of any of the rooms, and you are almost never told what objects of note are in the room. The parser is also poor, and why did the authors feel the need to include digitised pictures of women between the two parts of the game?

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6

Dervish

(The Power House, 1988)

Can you travel along the Upward Path to attain the rank of Dervish using your magical powers, and in doing so, reveal the secret of the universe? Hmmm... There isn't much explanation of what you need to do, but what is obvious is that this is a Gauntlet clone, so there's lots of wandering around mazes and shooting monsters to be done. Things are made a bit more tricky in that there are several types of weapon, and working out which weapon is most suited to defeating particular types of monster is a process of trial and error. I quickly became bored with the game; the graphics are ugly and garish, the sound effects are abysmal, and the gameplay is totally uninspiring.

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4

Desert Fox

(US Gold, 1986)

Reviewed by Pug

Playing the Allies in this World War II arcade/strategy adventure sees you taking on the might of Rommel's forces in North Africa. The game opens with two options. Practice mode familiarises you with the five arcade elements of the game that come into play later via campaign mode. Each game is entertaining with its own degree of difficulty mixed with good graphics and sound. Overall, this is Beach Head set in the desert.

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6

Desolator

(US Gold, 1988)

Mac has ventured into the Halls of Kairos to free the infants that the evil Kairos is holding captive. As Mac, you must explore the five levels of Kairos' castle, avoiding the henchmen and fire demons that will drain your energy. Punching symbols hanging on the walls next to mirrors releases the infants trapped behind them, and if enough infants are collected, the border turns red and Mac's energy loss is greatly reduced. Reaching the end of each level sees Mac fighting off several disembodied heads that wander around the screen spitting fireballs. This is a mediocre game with little variety in the gameplay. The graphics are average and there are few sound effects, and it's also far too easy. However, the most serious flaw is in the layout of certain levels; it is possible to become completely stuck in a room with no means of escape, and you will have to reload the entire game!

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5

Desperado 2

(Topo Soft, 1989)

Wild West action awaits in the town of Devil Stone in this two-part shoot-'em-up. The first part is a horizontally scrolling affair in which you shoot all the cowboys you can manage. They walk towards you and will also shoot from windows. If you're hit by bullets, you lose energy, but if you touch any cowboys, you lose one of your three lives. The second part is set in a saloon where the customers take aim at you one at a time, and you must kill them before they fire their gun and kill you. The graphics are beautiful in both parts, and although the first part may seem very difficult, it isn't once you get the hang of it, although there should be more restart points. The second part is good as well, but relies a lot on luck, and if you are shot, you have to start all over again.

See also: Gunsmoke.

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7

Despotik Design

(ERE Informatique, 1987)

Deep in the centre of the earth is a network of rooms where life-bearing cells are generated. However, a hacker has altered the programming of these cells, and it is your mission to restore the programming to its normal state. On each of the many screens, a cell is generated at the yellow door and bounces off walls and tiles towards the red door – the door of evil. You have to move the arrow tiles so that the cell is guided towards the green door – the door of life. You have a magnetic key that can be dropped in order to move the tiles, but watch out for the robots! Also be aware that certain robots, as well as the cells, will kill you instantly if you touch them, depending on whether or not you're carrying the magnetic key. It sounds confusing, but if you like a mixture of puzzle-solving and arcade action, this is the type of game you'll enjoy.

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7

The Devil's Crown

(Probe, 1985)

Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard

Youíre exploring a sunken ship, trying to find a lost golden crown. Youíll first have to collect many treasures hidden in the darker places of the ship, avoiding ghosts and having enough oxygen to survive. This is the kind of Sorcery-style game that you love to play, even though the graphics arenít brilliant, the sound effects are poor and the action is rather repetitive. Anyway, it will keep you in front of your screen for a few hours, because you always want to discover new treasures.

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6

Diamond Mine

(Blue Ribbon, 1986)

Reviewed by Pug

A Nibbler variant in which you collect dots (I mean diamonds). Your character in this game stands above ground and pumps away as your mining line moves through the underground maze. Come into contact with any of the inhabitants head-on and you kill them, but if they touch your line, you lose a life. It's a dated-looking game, but one that slowly grew on me. It requires a lot of concentration and strategy.

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5

Dianne

(Loriciels, 1985)

Little Dianne has to collect 160 diamonds scattered over four levels, and deposit them in several safes, which can be found on each level. Of course, there are a lot of monsters which try to stop her from doing this, and on each screen, they will try to block your way as much as possible, although there are gates which you can swing open to kill them temporarily. You can move between the levels by finding the teleport, even if you haven't collected all the diamonds on a level. It's nothing original at all, and the graphics and overall presentation of the game look really dated.

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4

Dick Tracy

(Disney, 1991)

The famous comic strip detective must rescue his girlfriend, Tess Trueheart, who has been kidnapped by Big Boy Caprice and his gang. The game involves lots of shooting and beating up Caprice's henchmen, some of whom are heavily armed. Occasionally they will leave behind guns which you can collect, but their supply of ammunition is limited. The film that this game is based on was memorable for using only primary colours, and the graphics in the normal CPC version retain this theme, although they are blocky and poorly defined. The cartridge version has much better graphics (as you would expect), uses scrolling instead of flick-screen action, and makes great use of the extra capabilities of the Plus machines. Note that my rating is for the cartridge version; the normal CPC version only deserves a rating of 6 out of 10.

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8

Die Alien Slime

(Mastertronic, 1989)

An alien breeding experiment on the spaceship Taccia has gone badly wrong and the ship is now overrun with alien species. You are the last remaining human on board, and it is your task to set the self-destruct mechanisms on board the ship and find the escape pod. Energy barriers and teleporters provide access to other parts of the spaceship, but you'll need to find the correct tokens to be able to switch them on and off, and you'll also need to find a computer terminal nearby. While this shoot-'em-up may have a marvellous title, it doesn't live up to expectations. Although the action is fast and smooth, most of the rooms are fairly spartan, with hardly any variety in the aliens that you can kill and objects to collect being scattered very thinly.

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5

Digger Barnes

(Cable, 1985)

Reviewed by Pug

In this platform game, you move around and clear away the monsters by digging holes in the floor. The controls are responsive, but the monsters move a little too fast at times. When you clear a screen, new monsters appear, but the layout of the platforms and ladders on the next screen remains the same – yet if you lose a life, the layout changes. Each new screen places more monsters randomly on the screen, meaning that you may be unlucky in your current postion. Average visuals and limited sound effects. Presentation-wise, this game looks a little bare.

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4

Dive-Dive-Dive

(Tynesoft, 1987)

A simple shoot-'em-up in which you control a submarine and must fire missiles at planes, helicopters, boats and other submarines. The submarine can only shoot upwards, though, and while you're trying to aim your missiles correctly, the enemy craft are firing ammunition of their own at you. As you progress through the levels, there is more ammunition to dodge, and your movement is also increasingly restricted as you won't be able to move up to the surface of the sea. Unfortunately, each level has exactly the same enemy formations which makes the game too easy and repetitive in the long term.

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6

Dizzy

(Codemasters, 1987)

Appeared on an Amstrad Action covertape

This is the Dizzy adventure that started it all, and it's stood the test of time well. Dizzy has to defeat the evil wizard Zaks by making a magic potion consisting of four ingredients – but finding them will not be easy. The graphics are reasonable and the music is quite cool as well, although there are no other sound effects. The game is a little easy (although there is a secret area which you will need to discover), and there are lots of extra lives to collect, but if you fall into the trap in the haunted forest, you won't be able to carry on. It's very annoying and loses the game some marks for me. A cut-down special edition of the game for one of Amstrad Action's covertapes also exists.

See also: Bubble Dizzy, Crystal Kingdom 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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8

Dizzy Dice

(Players, 1987)

Despite the name, this is not a dice game but a fruit machine simulation, although it doesn't have all that many bonus features. However, if you score points, you are always given the option to gamble by guessing what type of fruit will be selected on a spinning wheel. If you are very lucky indeed and manage to light up six fruits in the correct order, as shown at the bottom of the screen you can play a dice game in which you can win up to 200 points by guessing whether the next roll of the die will be higher or lower than the previous roll. As well as playing a 'normal' game, you can also try to break the bank by amassing a certain number of points. The graphics are colourful, as one would expect, and I actually like its relative simplicity, although if you want a fruit machine simulation with lots of bells and whistles, this isn't it.

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7

Dizzy Down the Rapids

(Codemasters, 1991)

It's yet another silly game with Dizzy thrown in so that it might sell. Dizzy's in a barrel and he's floating down a river, and he's got some apples that he can throw at any creatures who'll sap his energy. It's totally unexciting – the game moves at a terribly slow pace, firing apples doesn't remove most of the creatures, and it's much too difficult – you can't avoid the creatures and you lose too much energy. Still, a barrel isn't exactly the most manoeuvrable of objects, isn't it? The only good thing about the game is the cutesy music.

See also: Bubble Dizzy, Crystal Kingdom Dizzy, Dizzy, 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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3

Dizzy: Prince of the Yolkfolk

(Codemasters, 1991)

The troll has taken over the king's castle and the princess has been captured! Only Dizzy can save the day in the smallest of the seven adventures which Dizzy stars in – there are only about 30 rooms. It was also supposed to appear exclusively on the Dizzy's Excellent Adventures compilation, but it was later released as a stand-alone budget game anyway! The graphics are quite good and a nice little tune plays in the background. You also have to collect cherries, which replenish your energy. It may be smaller than the other Dizzy adventures, but it's still a challenge.

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

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8

DJ Puff

(Codemasters, 1992)

Puff has now become a DJ, but Captain Krip has stolen his collection of vinyl records, and Puff must find them all. Unlike Puff's last outing, this is a platform game consisting of five levels. You can kill enemies by hurling fireballs or throwing bombs at them, but be careful you don't land on water or spikes! There are also some bricks with numbers on them; try shooting them and see what effects they produce. No game starring a DJ would be complete without some music, and the tune that plays throughout the game is reasonably good, although not brilliant. The graphics are rather garish but suit the game well, but the game is marred by the poor collision detection which decreases your lives needlessly and makes reaching the second level very difficult.

See also: Little Puff in Dragonland.

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5

Dr. Doom's Revenge

(Empire, 1989)

Dr. Doom has stolen a nuclear missile and has threatened to blow up New York. Spiderman and Captain America enter his castle in a bid to stop him from carrying out this deadly attack. This is a beat-'em-up consisting of five levels where the two heroes meet some of Dr. Doom's companions from the Marvel comic books. In each level, you control either Spiderman or Captain America, and must defeat two enemies in order to go to the next level. The graphics are absolutely stupendous, and the comic strip sequences that introduce each level are very well rendered. However, one senses that this game is an example of "all graphics and not much gameplay", since the game is slow and not very large, and the sound effects are very poor.

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6

Dr. Scrimes' Spook School

(Mastertronic, 1988)

You're a pupil at Dr. Scrimes' spook school, and have to show your worthiness by taking a series of tests. It's actually set in his large mansion, where you'll encounter some rather strange guests, such as a hunchback, a werewolf and a mummy. Your first test is to use whatever you can to fill some holes in the walls around the mansion. However, when you find out that none of the objects seem to work and you can't fill any of the holes, you'll soon tire of the game. It's got a cartoony feel to it and the graphics aren't bad, but that counts for little when you can't work out what to do.

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5

Dogfight: 2187

(Starlight, 1987)

In the year 2187, a hole has formed in the space-time continuum, allowing aliens to invade our dimension. To close the hole, nine pieces of a Spatial Generator must be found. There are 100 pieces in total which are scattered across 256 sectors of the galaxy, so finding nine of them is not as difficult as it could be! However, you only have thirty minutes to complete your mission. Each sector contains hordes of aliens. Once you've blasted them all, you will be able to either collect a piece of the generator or replenish your shields and fuel. You can only carry two pieces at a time, and you must return to the hole in order to assemble them. At first, this 3D shoot-'em-up is fun, but it is rather repetitive, as all the sectors are extremely similar to each other. There is also a two-player option, but if you're playing on your own, it's a bit dull.

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5

Dogsbody

(Bug Byte, 1985)

Dr. Dogmush has stolen 192 cute little dogs and is currently keeping them in his stronghold – a maze consisting of 25 screens. As Dogsbody, you must explore the maze and rescue the dogs. However, Dr. Dogmush's guards are also on the lookout for Dogsbody and must be avoided. This can be quite tricky, as they will follow you no matter where you go! There are boulders and fast-growing flowers (!) that can block off passages and perhaps kill the guards, but it's very frustrating to walk on to another screen and lose a life instantly because you unwittingly walked into the path of a guard; unfortunately, the screen doesn't scroll. The graphics are quite good, and Dogsbody is cute, but there are some flaws in the gameplay that make it awkward to play.

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5

Dominator

(System 3, 1989)

An enormous monster whose size is beyond comprehension is threatening to swallow the Earth. The only hope is to fly inside it and find some sort of weakness that will kill it. Flying through four zones, you have to either blast the antibodies that swarm inside the monster, or avoid them – which isn't always easy, given the tight confines of the passages that make up the monster's guts. The graphics and sound effects give a very good first impression of the game, with lots of lovely explosions to be seen and heard, but the guardian at the end of the first level is just too difficult to kill.

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6

Dominoes

(Blue Ribbon, 1990)

Two versions of dominoes are included with this game. In 'domino out', you must simply get rid of all seven of your dominoes. If neither player can do so, the dots on each player's dominoes are added up, and the player with fewer dots scores the difference between each player's total. In 'fives and threes', you have to match the dominoes such that the number of dots at each end of the chain is divisible by either five or three, and points are therefore scored on a turn-by-turn basis. Dominoes isn't the most thrilling of games – I certainly don't find it exciting – but at least the graphics make it a bit more interesting.

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6

Donkey Kong

(Ocean, 1986)

A giant gorilla has captured Mario's girlfriend and takes her to the top of the skyscrapers in New York. Can Mario climb the girders and rescue her while avoiding the hazards that await him? This classic game was the first one to feature this most famous of computer game characters – although in the original version of this game, he was known as Jumpman. There are four levels with varying styles. However, the first level, in which you must jump over barrels, is rather difficult and will take time to master. The graphics are very faithful to the original version and have a real retro feel, and the sound effects aren't bad either. It's a shame there are only four levels, but the game still retains all of its charm.

See also: Kong Strikes Back.

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7

Don't Panic

(Firebird, 1985)

If you thought that this game was based on The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, you're wrong! Instead you control a droid who has to load goods on to a rocket, by shooting them with a laser so that they are pushed along the screen. However, there are several creatures which are harmful to the droid, particularly the bouncing green alien who seems to home in on you with remarkable accuracy. Oh, and the alien can't be destroyed with your laser, which makes the game almost impossible – and even if the game was easier, it would still be dull.

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1

Doodlebug

(Players, 1987)

This is a Pac-Man-style game where, as the doodlebug, you must eat all the daisies in the maze and avoid the other insects which will eat you. You can also collect hearts and letters, and if you collect all the right letters, you'll get lots of bonus points, or you might even be taken to a special bonus screen. The maze consists of lots of turnstiles so that you can block the paths of any insects which might be chasing you. The graphics and sound are both pretty mediocre, but the actual game, though on the difficult side, is surprisingly addictive.

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6

Doomsday Blues

(ERE Informatique, 1985)

Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard

Known as Eden Blues to French readers, this is another adventure action game from ERE. You're a prisoner who tries to escape from a high security jail. You have to avoid the robots that patrol the compound and find food, wine and coffee (it's a French game!) to restore your health. The graphics are really good and manage to create a gloomy atmosphere. Your character is funny, even when he dies, which will happen very often. The game is very hard indeed; every move you make costs health points. You have to bash doors to progress (which lowers your strength) and your vitality decreases every second. So it's nearly impossible to stay alive for more than five minutes. Without this flaw, it could have been a really good game.

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7

Doomsday Lost Echoes

(Doomsday Productions, 2016)

Mike is a mercenary who has accepted a mission for which he will be handsomely rewarded – travel to the derelict Regus space station and search for a missing worker named Arnold Croft. This science fiction text adventure, written using the PAWS adventure creation program, is full of atmosphere and features around 60 beautifully retouched pictures, some of which contain important clues. There are lots of objects to be examined, and the authors intended the game to be suitable for all levels of experience, so you shouldn't have many problems with the parser being unable to understand certain combinations of words. Experienced adventure players may not find it much of a challenge to complete, but there are three different endings, and the pictures that accompany each location really enhance the atmosphere. This is among the best text adventures ever to be released for the CPC.

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9

Doors of Doom

(Amsoft/Gem, 1985)

There's not much of a story to this game – just walk about and collect all the pieces of the Doors of Doom before you run out of energy. There are purple monsters which float and waste your energy, but there are refreshing cups of tea lying about to increase it again (I don't like tea, myself). The graphics are relatively simple but still very bright and colourful, although the sound effects aren't as good – and don't mention the music! It also comes with its own scenery editor if you want to design your own levels.

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7

Doppleganger

(Alligata, 1985)

Become a sorceress as you explore the Castle of Doom in an attempt to find some treasure. The element of thinking that appears in this game is that both you and your ghostly doppelgänger (that's the correct spelling of the word, by the way) can go through some doors but not others, so to reach the same room, you and your alter ego often need to take different routes. There are also objects to collect, and watch out for the spiders that will drain your energy. The problem with this game, though, is that the spiders are hard to avoid, and you have no idea what the objects are used for, or how to use them. This is a shame because the concept behind the game is clever and the graphics are quite impressive.

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4

Double Dragon

(Virgin, 1988)

Billy's girlfriend Marian has been kidnapped by a ruthless gang, so he has to go and save her. As you might have guessed, this is a run-of-the-mill beat-em-'up consisting of five levels, and it is almost certainly one of, if not the easiest game ever to come out on the CPC; you should be able to complete it on your first go! The graphics are pretty neat and very colourful, but the only sound to be heard is when you're punching bad guys. The game also moves and scrolls extremely slowly, and it's likely that you'll probably switch off rather than bother to complete it.

See also: Double Dragon II: The Revenge, Double Dragon 3: The Rosetta Stone.

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4

Double Dragon II: The Revenge

(Virgin, 1989)

Reviewed by Chris Lennard

Billy and Jimmy are back – and so are the Black Warriors who have been resurrected from the dead, thanks to one surviving member, and this time they've not kidnapped Marian, but just plain killed her! Thereby all that was achieved in the prequel is thrown out of the window. Needless to say, cue much head butting, punching and kicking of various thugs who come in all shapes and sizes with their own fighting styles. Essentially more of the same, the back end of this game is exactly the same as the first; it looks and sounds just right and plays equally so. The Spanish conversion of the game, which looks very different and is much worse than this version, can be downloaded here.

See also: Double Dragon, Double Dragon 3: The Rosetta Stone.

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7

Double Dragon 3: The Rosetta Stone

(Storm, 1991)

Marian has been kidnapped again – typical, eh? However, Billy has to go in search of some rosetta stones. The journey takes him around the world to six different countries. Billy also has ten coins which function as his lives, as well as allowing him to buy power-ups by walking into a shop at the start of each level. Like the first game in the series, it's far too slow and far too easy, and it's not worth trying to complete – it'll take you far too long to do it. The backgrounds are nice, though, even if they're in monochrome.

See also: Double Dragon, Double Dragon II: The Revenge.

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3

Dracula

(CRL, 1986)

This three-part text adventure, which was created using The Quill, is based directly on the plot of Bram Stoker's book of the same name. Right from the start, the game presents you with masses of incredibly atmospheric text, but you are rarely given any indication of any useful objects in each location, which means you frequently have to look around (using 'look' on its own, as is standard in most text adventures, doesn't work). A few ghoulish (and very blocky) pictures accompany certain actions, which resulted in the game receiving a 15 certificate from the British Board of Film Classification; according to CRL, Dracula was the first computer game ever in the UK to be censored in this manner. The first part is short and relatively simple to complete, but the second and third parts are much more difficult, with some careful timing required.

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7

Dragon Attack

(Bitplane Technomantes, 2016)

A swarm of giant aliens called Star Dragons are heading for Earth, and you have been selected to single-handedly defeat all twelve of them in your Camelot spacecraft. Each Star Dragon consists of several segments and moves around the top of the screen with each segment firing a hail of bullets at your spacecraft. The amount of bullets on the screen is overwhelming, but thankfully only the cockpit is vulnerable to the Star Dragons' firepower. This game was the first 'bullet hell' shoot-'em-up to be released for the CPC, and it was an entrant in the 2016 #CPCRetroDev Game Creation Contest, where it finished fourth overall. In my opinion, it should have finished higher than that. It's an addictive game, and having such a huge number of bullets on the screen simultaneously is an impressive technical achievement.

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9

Dragon Breed

(Activision, 1990)

Zambadlos, the King of Darkness, is threatening the Agamen Empire with his black magic. It is up to Kayas, King of the Agamen Empire, and Bahamoot, the Dragon of Light, to destroy Zambadlos and send him back to the realm of darkness. This is a horizontally scrolling shoot-'em-up, but the dragon you control has a long, flexible tail which can be manoeuvred and used to kill enemies – although you can still use the traditional methods of shooting missiles and breathing fire at them. It all sounds good, but it turns out to be quite a lousy game. It's a horrible Spectrum port, complete with colour clash. Because the playing area is very small, and the dragon occupies a lot of the screen, it's difficult to avoid enemies, and if you crash into any of them, you are sent back a long way. It's not fun to play at all.

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4

Dragon's Gold

(Amsoft/Romik, 1985)

A wealth of treasure is guarded by a dragon in a castle, and you aim to claim some of this treasure. The castle consists of six rooms which contain different hazards. You have to survive until the doorway to the next room opens; how long you need to survive depends on which of the three difficulty levels you have selected. When you've reached the final room, you must collect the treasure while avoiding the dragon and return to the first room. With only six rooms, there's hardly a game to speak of, and everything about the game is banal. Amazingly, it's written in machine code, but you wouldn't believe it after you've played it!

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0

Dragon's Lair

(Software Projects, 1987)

King Aethelred's beautiful daughter, Princess Daphne, has been kidnapped by the evil dragon Singe! Dirk the Daring, the King's most favoured knight, sets out to rescue Daphne before Singe kills her. The arcade version of this game was revolutionary at the time, and there are eight challenges for Dirk to complete here. Unfortunately, they're extremely difficult – the first level is tough enough, but the second level is impossible! The graphics are reasonable (although the title screen is very good), and so is the music, but it's a real shame that you can't choose which levels you want to play at the start of the game.

See also: Escape from Singe's Castle.

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5

Dragon Spirit

(Domark, 1989)

Princess Alicia has been captured by the evil serpent demon Zawell, but it seems that the only being who can rescue her is a magical flying dragon, and that's what you are in this vertically scrolling shoot-'em-up. Flying over eight levels, you must simply dodge or throw fireballs at the flying enemies, and drop bombs on the beasts on the ground. You can collect power-ups by dropping bombs on eggs. Unfortunately, they are few and far between, and they're of little use anyway. The graphics are nicely drawn and very colourful, although the sound effects are poor, but it's basically just another shoot-'em-up, and a very difficult one as well – I can just about complete the first level without cheating.

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6

Drazen Petrovic Basket

(Topo Soft, 1989)

Reviewed by CPC4eva

Another game that uses the name of a well known sportsperson with the hope of making it a success. Unfortunately it has failed rather miserably with Drazen Petrovic Basket. The brown and orange colour scheme is horrendous and the actual basketball game is played from a top-down perspective which resembles a football match and not a basketball game. The actual gameplay is very poor. You seem to be always going in circles chasing your opponent and the player selection is frustratingly annoying, as is trying to grab or pass the ball. The game leaves you rather confused and constantly scratching your head as to what is happening. To enjoy a better basketball game you should play Basket Master instead, which also uses a well known sportsperson (albeit only in the Spanish version) but is actually good.

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1

Dream Warrior

(US Gold, 1988)

Far in the future, corporations controlled by the Focus Fellowships rule the Earth. They are capable of focusing demons into people's dreams. Infighting within the group has allowed a group of four scientists, the Asmen, to stop Focus in their tracks, but Ocular, the Dream Demon, has captured three of them. You were the one who wasn't captured, and you must enter their minds and rescue your colleagues. What sort of a plot is that, I ask you? Anyway, this is a boring shoot-'em-up in which you collect psy-globes to operate the lifts, obtain extra energy (or 'dream depth' in this game) from safes, and build up images of your colleagues which will be shown at the bottom of the screen. The graphics and sound effects are poor, and the gameplay consists mostly of standing in a corner, waiting for demi-demons to appear. Definitely a game to avoid!

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3

Driller

(Incentive, 1987)

After the Ketars abandoned their mining expeditions on Mitral, a large amount of gas has built up beneath its surface, and it will explode in four hours. You have to place eighteen rigs on each of the sectors on Mitral to release the gas safely. This was the first of the Freescape games, and as a result, it moves quite slowly, but it's a great puzzle game as you try to work out where the rigs should be placed, whilst avoiding all the lasers and other obstacles the Ketars have left behind. You might also want to know that the sound effects were provided by the winner of an Amstrad Action competition!

See also: Dark Side.

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9

Druid

(Firebird, 1986)

The Princes of Darkness have placed four skulls in a tower, bringing misery to the surrounding land, and it's up to you, a druid, to venture into the tower and destroy the skulls. The tower is really a maze consisting of eight levels, each filled with monsters and treasure chests which can be opened to reveal offensive and defensive spells, as well as keys. You have three types of offensive spell to use against monsters, although many of them are resistant to at least one type of spell. Defensive spells include making yourself invisible, creating a magical Golem, and a smart bomb which kills everything on the screen. The graphics are OK, if a little garish on most of the levels, but it's a real joy to play it and to explore the tower.

See also: Enlightenment: Druid II.

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8

The Duct

(Gremlin, 1987)

Appeared on an Amstrad Action covertape

This game first appeared on an Amstrad Action covertape and was later released on one of Gremlin Graphics' own compilations, but it was never released on its own for the CPC. Anyway, it's basically an obstacle course where you drive a buggy down some ducts, avoiding the enemies and obstacles in your way, while collecting extra fuel and energy – you'll need them. You can move along the walls of the duct, which sends all the objects (and your eyes) into a frenzied spin. The 3D graphics are excellent, yet the game moves reasonably fast, and there are some good sound effects too. It's a shame that it's too hard – reaching the end of the first level is very difficult – and you only have one life as well.

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7

Duel 2000

(Coktel Vision, 1986)

Coktel Vision were better known for their graphic adventures than for arcade games, and for good reasons. This happens to be one of their arcade games, and it's a beat-'em-up featuring three types of combat; karate fighting, street fighting between two punks, and two robots fighting each other – combat in the year 2000, supposedly. There are three skill levels, and you can play either against the computer or another player. Aside from that, there's little else to the game; no opponents of increasing skill, no goals to attain. The graphics are poor and the music that is played before and after each fight becomes really annoying.

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4

Duet

(Hit Pak, 1987)

Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard

Save for the music, which is really good though maybe too invading, this game (which seems to have been released only as part of the 6 Hit Pak compilation) is terrible. Your soldier moves as fast as a crippled turtle, and you must be exactly in front of your enemies to have a chance to kill them. As in Gauntlet, you must find the exit of a level to go to the next one – and it is often surrounded by barbed wire, which you must cut. You have to replenish your health and ammo regularly, and you can use smoke bombs and grenades. It could have been a funny game but the controls are really too irritating, and the game is way too slow!

See also: Commando.

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4

Dun Darach

(Gargoyle, 1985)

Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard

This graphic adventure takes place before the events in Tír na nÓg. You control Cúchulainn the Great and you must find your faithful charioteer Loeg, who has been kidnapped by the sorceress Skar. Roaming through the streets of Dun Darach city, you'll encounter many people (among whom there are many thieves) who might help you to find Loeg. Dun Darach is a strange and complex game, with many puzzles to solve, and many shops and streets to explore. The graphics are good and detailed, but the sounds are reduced to an annoying beep. You can save and restore games, and you should, because it's too easy to be robbed of all your money, and money is essential in this game. Without that flaw, it would have been a really great game.

See also: Tír na nÓg.

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8

Dungeon Adventure

(Level 9, 1984)

Reviewed by Richard Lamond

The Demon Lord has fallen in the final part of the Middle Earth trilogy, but the danger is not over. If you want to reap the rewards of your hard work in the previous instalment, you'll need to raid the treasure-filled dungeons before your competition, including all sorts of creatures, beat you to it. Like its predecessors, Dungeon Adventure won't win many points for originality, but the execution is well done; strong descriptions and response times make slipping back into the world almost second nature. Again, there is a version available with graphics on the Jewels of Darkness compilation; the graphics add to the experience, but there is a very noticeable drop in speed, and there are also a few minor mapping differences. A good finale to the series but thanks to some slightly more creative approach to problem solving, it's perhaps a little less satisfying than the earlier games.

See also: Adventure Quest, Colossal Adventure.

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8

Dungeons, Amethysts, Alchemists 'n' Everythin'

(Atlantis, 1987)

This text adventure was created using GAC, and the author makes fun of the program a few times. In fact, he makes fun of the entire adventure scene in general, with some highly amusing room descriptions! Even the plot is reminiscent of a typical adventure; the kingdom has been plunged into chaos, and you've got to find an amethyst and give it to the alchemist – but you have to escape from the dungeon first. It's really easy to complete and is therefore suitable for beginners, but it's certainly not suitable for people who are offended by sexual innuendos – there are quite a few of them throughout the game.

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7

Dustin

(Dinamic, 1986)

Reviewed by Javier Sáez

Dustin is confined in a maximum security prison, located on an island. This is no surprise, as he is a master at escaping from jail. Your first goal is to get outside the prison walls, then you'll have to make your way through the jungle to the beach, where you'll find a boat. Since the game is an arcade adventure, you'll have to make use of several objects. These can be obtained either by trading with other convicts or by knocking down the prison guards, although as soon as you attack any of them, things will get more complicated. Dustin has quite good graphics, average sound and well balanced gameplay. It's neither too difficult nor too easy to figure out what objects you need, and the arcade elements are quite enjoyable.

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7

Dwarf

(Softhawk, 1987)

You are a dwarf trapped in a set of dungeons, and must find a way out of each one by pulling a lever – but which one? Opening treasure chests reveals which direction the correct lever is to be found, but even then, you may need to use a little guesswork. Fortunately, the position of the correct levers in each dungeon is the same every time you play this rather mediocre platform game. While the graphics are lovely, the scrolling and animation are very jerky. Unusually for a platform game, there are no moving enemies, although there are plenty of other hazards which will deplete your energy or cause you to lose a life. Furthermore, jumping on to other platforms sometimes requires annoyingly precise positioning. Fans of platform games won't like this one.

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5

Dynamic Duo

(Firebird, 1988)

Dwarf and Duck are trapped in the Night House and must escape from it by finding ten pieces of a key that will unlock the door to the Calculation Room – although what is in there is a mystery to me. Dwarf and Duck can move independently or combine to form a single unit. Duck can fly fast, but Dwarf is the only one who can open the chests containing the keys. There are also one or more 'chasers' who move around the house and must be avoided, otherwise the game ends. Regrettably, this attempt at borrowing an innovative idea from another very well known game just doesn't work in practice. The graphics are delightful and the music is amazing, but the controls are awkward and the gameplay is dull. It's also advisable to change the difficulty settings once the game loads; the default settings make the game extremely difficult.

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3

Dynamite Dan

(Mirrorsoft, 1985)

Reviewed by John Beckett

Evil Dr. Blitzen has stolen some top secret documents and hidden them in a giant safe, and it's up to Dynamite Dan to collect enough sticks of dynamite to blow the safe door open, get the documents and win the game. It sounds so simple until you realise the sticks of dynamite are scattered throughout a vast and impossibly hard playing area! Weird and wonderful bad guys are everywhere; jumps have to be timed to perfection; more than once you'll see a stick of dynamite and think, "How do I get that?" But it doesn't matter, because Dynamite Dan is lots of fun! The graphics are simple but charming, and the music is some of the best in any CPC game ever – the title screen tune will be in your head for days! Better than its sequel, the game is let down only in its difficulty, but you'll still keep coming back for another go!

See also: Dynamite Dan II.

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8

Dynamite Dan II

(Mirrorsoft, 1986)

Reviewed by John Beckett

Evil Dr. Blitzen is at it again, folks! His latest plan for world domination is to destroy the youth of the world by planting subliminal sound waves in their pop records! Only one man can save them – Dynamite Dan! Unlike the first game – which was just one big world – Dynamite Dan II has our hero scouring the eight islands of Blitzen's HQ, in each one looking for a record which contains part of a secret code, a jukebox to play the record in, and fuel for his trusty blimp. When he's got all eight parts of the code, he can move on to Dr. Blitzen's secret base and destroy it. Like the first Dynamite Dan, the difficulty is mercilessly high with baddies floating everywhere at random, and while the graphics are slightly better, the music is disappointing, and it's not quite as much fun as the original. Still, it's pretty good.

See also: Dynamite Dan.

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6

Dynamite Dux

(Activision, 1989)

Reviewed by Chris Lennard

Little Lucy is happily playing with her pet ducks, when she is suddenly kidnapped by the evil Achacha the Great and taken to Achacha World. Bin, the diminutive duck, follows them in an attempt to rescue her, where upon his arrival he is confronted by weird baddies such as Sumo Pigs, Snappy Dogs, Boxing Crocodiles and Rollerskating Cats. Bin can deliver 'dynamite' punches that vary in strength, and can also use weapons that are strewn across the landscape. Bog-standard platforming action with a variety of end-of-level bosses that need to be defeated ending the final confrontation with Achacha itself. Sadly no music is present – just appropriate sound effects. Pretty graphics, but in a slightly small game window.

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7

Dynamix

(Mastertronic, 1989)

Here's a little puzzle game that relies quite heavily on luck, as well as skill. A machine consisting of two columns has to be calibrated so that the platforms in each column are aligned with each other. In the right-hand column, metal balls are fired down the column, pushing the platforms out of alignment. You must do the same thing in the left-hand column, and realign the platforms before your time runs out. Five different sizes of metal ball are used, so you have to think quickly and decide which sizes of ball to use. The graphics are OK and there are very few sound effects, but each level is essentially the same, except with a smaller time limit – you'll probably lose interest after a few goes.

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5

Dynasty Wars

(US Gold, 1990)

Lui Bei, Kuan Yu, Shang Fei and Shao Yun are members of the Han clan, who were dethroned by evil Chinese warlords. Together, they fought back to reclaim their throne in the Dynasty Wars. You (and another player if one is available) can control any of the four warriors, who ride on horseback through eight levels, slaughtering the armies of swordsmen and archers who fire arrows at you. At the end of each level, you must also face the generals who also ride on horses and are more difficult to kill. The graphics are detailed but lack colour, and when the action becomes frantic, it's sometimes difficult to know what's going on. The music is very good, though, but there's a lack of variety in the types of enemies you face and the pace is a bit slow.

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