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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

Eagle's Rider

(Microïds, 1990)

Reviewed by Pug

Eagle's Rider is a 3D sci-fi shoot-'em-up. The aim is to remove all Cyborg presence and bring freedom to the galaxy. To do this you need to collect energy cells as you travel through asteroid fields. Once a stage has been cleared, you approach the nearest space station and learn clues as to where the Cyborgs' home world is. The graphics are well drawn, scale smoothly and give a good impression of speed. Overall, not a bad conversion of what was a 16-bit game.

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7

Edd the Duck

(Impulze, 1990)

How many of us who were kids in the early 90s remember Edd? He was a TV superstar, and he also had his own game. Edd is starring in a movie based on his adventures in the BBC studios – sounds exciting. He has to collect all the stars in each scene, and the only weapons he's got are snowballs which freeze the monsters temporarily. The graphics are amazingly colourful and do the job brilliantly, and there's a stonking tune on the title screen. Unfortunately, the pace of the game is slow and it quickly becomes boring, although I'm sure younger children might like it.

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6

Edge Grinder

(Format War, 2011)

Reviewed by Missas

Paul Kooistra continues to produce brilliant games for the CPC, this time with a rather short but sparkling shoot-'em-up. You are Lim Tandell, the best pilot who suddenly finds himself under attack in the artificial Edge World. Your mission is crystal clear: blow away anyone in the screen! The graphics are really good – colourful, futuristic, and well designed. A fantastic tune plays throughout, but there are no sound effects. The game is very short, thus the grab factor is weak. The gameplay is fast-paced and the scrolling is excellent. You can grind your ship against the walls to gain extra points. Overall, a very nice but really short (demo-like), state of the art, horizontally scrolling shoot-'em-up.

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8

The Eidolon

(Activision/Lucasfilm, 1986)

Reviewed by Chris Lennard

Inside the mysterious Agon Mansion of De Josef Vincent who disappeared a century ago, you have discovered a fantastic machine, The Eidolon, that has the power to travel to a mystical realm – one peopled with strange creatures that have lured you away there. Your only escape is by collecting jewels on every level in the correct order to destroy the end of level dragon and the creatures that stand in your way. Getting these requires you to destroy the jewels' guardian using the fireballs littered in the caves, or luring it away. Technically, this is a very impressive first person perspective game which long precedes those on the PC. On the other hand, it's a strange and difficult game.

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6

Electric Wonderland

(Gasoline, 1986)

Fly around a network of caves using your electrically-operated propeller helmet, looking for mushrooms which will miraculously allow you to open reservoirs and flood the caves. Yes, you did read all of that correctly. You have to wonder what substances the programmers of this French game were taking when they wrote it. It's clearly inspired by Sorcery, and the graphics are very pretty. As well as a battery representing energy, your propeller also has three fuses, and if you touch any monsters excessively, one or more of the fuses will blow, and this affects your movement and severely hinders your chances of escaping. There is also one particular monster that kills you instantly, which is very frustrating. Despite this, it's a reasonably enjoyable, albeit crazy, game to play.

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7

Electro Freddy

(Amsoft, 1984)

Freddy is working in his uncle's shop, shifting all the computer equipment on to the conveyor belt so that it can be sent to the warehouse. However, his uncle is nasty and ungrateful, and throws other pieces of equipment at him which he has to dodge. Each of the fifteen levels contains several items, and you push them towards the conveyor belt at the bottom of the screen while avoiding your uncle. This is a very early game and it really shows. The graphics and sound are laughably basic, and the game itself is far too easy; by the time you've completed the first five levels, you've more or less seen the entire game.

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1

Elektra Glide

(English, 1987)

Get on your futuristic bike and race across three continents. This is a race against time, and instead of other competitors, your main problem is avoiding oncoming hazards, which for some bizarre reason include rotating cubes, bouncing spheres, and electrostatic columns that are dropped by planes flying overhead. At the start of the game, you have a choice of 'steering envelopes' which let you choose the responsiveness of the steering, and you can also choose which continent to start on. Initially the game looks promising – the tunnel effect is particularly impressive and is rarely seen in racing games for the CPC, and the music suits the fast speed of the game – but with no one to race against, and hardly any variation in the scenery, excitement is soon replaced by sheer tedium.

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4

Elevator Action

(Quicksilva, 1987)

Otto has been sent to capture secret documents from several buildings, but he has to keep an eye out for all the security guards who are looking out for him! You've got a gun to shoot them, although they can shoot you too. The graphics aren't too good and some of the colours of the walls are horrible, but the theme tune is wonderful and it's not one you'll forget easily! Unfortunately, it's just too difficult, and it's annoying when security guards seem to pop up from nowhere and shoot you before you can turn around.

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7

Elf

(Defecto Digital, 2016)

Reviewed by Missas

Elf is a text adventure that features very detailed and well drawn MODE 1 screens coupled with an interesting plot. This game is based on an arcade version that was released by Ocean back in 1991. The game greatly resembles the atmosphere of Lord of the Rings. The graphics are very detailed but there is no sound. The plot is attractive and attention-grabbing; text adventure lovers will certainly play it until they complete it. Overall, a worthy and good quality addition to the great library of text adventure games for the CPC.

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8

Elidon

(Orpheus, 1985)

Lurking within a forest are the seven secret potions that will water the flowers of Finvara, but the forest is full of monsters and other hazards. It's certainly not a safe place for a fairy like you to venture into – but you'll have to find those potions, otherwise the fairies won't be able to make a crown for their queen. The forest consists of 256 screens, so there is a lot of exploring to be done. Contact with monsters, and even much of the scenery, drains your energy and sends you falling to the ground, although energy can be restored by collecting fairy dust. The graphics are mediocre and the music is irritating, and wandering around the forest with very little to do quickly becomes very dull indeed.

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4

Eliminator

(Hewson, 1988)

Reviewed by Chris Lennard

A classic shoot-'em-up which was written by a relative unknown, only to be taken up by a large software house and go on to become a major hit. Pilot your ship through the scrolling environment that gives the impression of 3D perspective, like Space Harrier. Shoot the waves of aliens, avoid the obstacles and pick up any power-ups as you follow the path left, right, down and up whilst passing in and out of various tunnels. The sprites are impressive and the music is brilliant, however the environment is rather basic. This is a good attempt by Hewson to convert what is ultimately a 16-bit game – but they didn't quite pull it off.

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7

Elite

(Firebird, 1986)

Appeared on an Amstrad Action covertape

Reviewed by Chris Lennard

Landmark game from programming legend David Braben. Far in the future, pilot your trusty Cobra MkIII around the galaxy in a bid to gain the immortal rank of Elite. Along the way, you encounter fellow voyagers, traders, pirates and the mysterious but dreaded Thargoid aliens. It was revolutionary upon its release, as it allows complete freedom within a 3D environment to explore a myriad of planets, each with their own unique characteristics. Special missions are also available, so that you can ultimately discover the location of the Thargoids' hidden homeworld. What it lacks in visual and audio impact, it more than makes up for in sheer playability and originality. This is one of only a handful of games that can claim to have created their own genre.

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10

Elven Warrior

(Players, 1989)

You are an elf who has discovered magic, and you have to fill cauldrons with four bottles containing magic potions. This is a platform game in which you search for the bottles in villages and dungeons. You need keys to unlock the doors which take you to other areas of the game, and there is a variety of weapons you can use to shoot enemies. However, it's slow and rather dull, and the Spectrum-like graphics don't help matters. The elf cannot jump diagonally, which is irritating, as are the numerous opportunities for dying simply by walking off the wrong edge of a platform. The music on the menu is awful as well.

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5

Emerald Isle

(Level 9, 1985)

While piloting a plane over the Caribbean, you are forced to fly into the Bermuda Triangle. Your plane crashes into the sea, but fortunately you ejected in time. Unfortunately, you have landed on the Emerald Isle, and the only way you can leave the island is to find treasure and therefore promote yourself to King or Queen – but the first thing you'll need to do is release yourself from your parachute. This game has approximately 200 locations, and every one of them is accompanied by a picture. However, most of them are poor, although they can be switched off to speed the game up a little. Even though this is another 'treasure hunt' adventure, it's quite amazing just how much has been squeezed into the CPC's memory.

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8

Emilio Butragueño Fútbol

(Topo Soft/Ocean, 1988)

Reviewed by Javier Sáez

This game licensed the name of the best Spanish football player of all time. As a result, it was the best selling 8-bit game in Spain ever. Emilio Butragueño Fútbol is quite an enjoyable game, although it lacks most of the features usually found in other football games. You can't play any competitions or manage your team at all; it's always the same two teams playing a single match. Nevertheless, it features a great two-player mode, and so people used to arrange competitions anyway. It may have aged badly, but I used to have a very good time playing this game.

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7

Emlyn Hughes Arcade Quiz

(Audiogenic, 1990)

I don't know why Emlyn Hughes appears in this game, because it's got nothing to do with football (thankfully)! It's a general knowledge quiz game which works a bit like the quiz machines you find in pubs. You move along a board answering multiple choice questions, but it's a constant battle against the clock. The board is constantly scrolling backwards, and if you're too slow, the game is over. If you're quick and can answer the questions correctly, you can reach the other side of the board and go to the next level – if you've won enough cash. It's a bit different from other quiz games, but the controls are a bit unresponsive, and you need to be a fan of the genre to appreciate it. (The answer to the question in the screenshot is "Alex", by the way.)

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6

E-Motion

(US Gold, 1990)

We all know how boring our science lessons are (or were) at school, but this game makes science rather more interesting. You control a skimmer which you use to collide atoms and molecules together so they annihilate each other, but if you run out of time, the atoms will reach critical mass and you'll lose a life. Also, if two atoms of different colours come together, a new atom will be produced. The graphics are quite nice, even though there's not all that much to see! There isn't much sound either, but it's still reasonable. It is quite a good game, but it's a bit too tricky for my liking.

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7

Empire!

(Firebird, 1986)

Reviewed by Steve Jarrett

Empire! is a vast space strategy game where you start with a lone Cub Scoutship in the ABATLU system. You are soon commissioned unique missions by starbase control, chasing and zapping aliens, resolving objectives, shielding systems, and space trading. All of these fit together for fantastic gameplay. Your objective is to build a great galactic empire spanning many solar systems, braving dozens of missions to become the greatest space pilot of all time. There are lots of distant planets to land on, starbases to dock with, solar maps to get lost in and hyperspace to zoom into. The graphics are well drawn with nice detail. There are some great animations within the game too. Empire! is an extremely complicated game to play, which will captivate you if you give it a chance. It's in a league of its own and is a huge game to complete.

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8

The Empire Strikes Back

(Domark, 1988)

Reviewed by Chris Lennard

Based on the best of the Star Wars films, once more you must fight the Galactic Empire. Initially taking place on the surface of Hoth, you have to destroy the Imperial Probots in order to prevent them from sending transmissions revealing the location of your hidden Rebel base. The more enjoyable second stage involves taking out the AT-ATs and AT-ST with your guns and tow cables. You then pilot the Millennium Falcon against an armada of TIE fighters, while finally you have to successfully navigate through a deadly asteroid field while maintaining your shields. This time the Star Wars anthem blares out throughout, which adds nicely to the game's atmosphere. Not as fun as destroying the Death Star, but excellent nonetheless.

See also: Return of the Jedi, Star Wars, Star Wars Droids.

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8

Empty Tummy

(First Byte, 1988)

Reviewed by Pug

Guide Herbert the Herapod around the twelve horrifying Haunts of Hawk eating all the cookies found there. Before Herbert can eat a cookie, he needs to find one of the many magic sacks scattered around. With sack in hand, Herbert can collect thirty cookies before he needs a new one. The level of difficulty can be changed from easy to hard. This flip-screen maze game, which was included with the Micro-Music Creator utility as a demonstration of its capabilities, has nice graphics with snow falling down the sides of the screen. An interesting tune plays throughout, and there's even digitised speech.

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7

Enchanted

(Positive, 1989)

There is one rule that all pinball games should stick to; they should be fast. Clearly the programmers of this game forgot about this, for this is probably the slowest pinball game I've played. The ball does not so much whizz as crawl around the table! Furthermore, the graphics are awful (it's a horrible Spectrum port), the music on the menu is very irritating, and most of the tables are badly designed and lack the bonus features that normally make pinball tables more exciting. This game is abysmal and boring and should be avoided at all costs.

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3

Enchanter

(Infocom, 1986)

The evil warlock Krill is menacing the land, and he must be vanquished – but it is necessary to send an inexperienced Enchanter to defeat him, so the leader of the Circle of Enchanters, Belboz, has summoned you to undertake this quest. This is the first in the Enchanter series of games from Infocom, and in this game, you become more skilful at magic by finding scrolls and writing the spells they contain into your spell book. You'll need these spells to solve most of the puzzles; most of them are OK, but a few (particularly the one involving the map and pencil) are frankly illogical and confusing. Having to eat and drink regularly is also an annoying distraction, although you should pay attention to your dreams; they contain subtle clues to help you with the puzzles.

See also: Sorcerer, Spellbreaker.

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8

Enduro Racer

(Activision, 1987)

Ride an off-road motorbike across five stages of rough terrain encompassing forest, desert and marshland in this coin-op conversion. There are five stages to complete, each one filled with obstacles to avoid or jump over using ramps. However, you need to approach them at high speed to do this, and by the second stage, the ramps are too close together to allow you to clear the boulders below, which means that you will lose a huge amount of time. It doesn't help that the game is very unforgiving in this respect, and the dreadful Spectrum-like graphics and annoying sound bugs make this a poor game. I will never understand why the CPC magazines liked this game.

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4

Endzone

(Alternative, 1988)

Reviewed by CPC4eva

You take the managerial role of an American football team. There is no music at all, and unlike some of the better known management games like Football Manager 2, there is no pitch to watch players running around on. You start with $30,000 in the bank and your goal is to win games, use the transfer market to build a better skilled team, and manage your finances and not go bankrupt, because if you do go bankrupt then the game is over immediately. There is a decent range of options, such as seeing where you are in the league, listing upcoming matches, and of course, the transfer market. News items scroll at the bottom of the screen too fast to read, unfortunately. The games consist of four quarters of fifteen minutes each, and results are displayed quickly so you don't get bored of waiting.

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3

Energy

(Mastertronic, 1987)

The Earth has mostly been laid to waste, and only three areas of untouched land remain. Of course, the aliens are going to put a stop to that, so it's time to get your plane out and blast them... and that's all you seem to do. Blast some aliens, then blast a caterpillar-like alien, collect a bonus, go to the next level after blasting a number of aliens, and repeat. With nine levels in each land area, you can imagine that the game becomes extremely monotonous. The only other thing worth mentioning is the excellent music.

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4

The Enforcer

(Trojan, 1990)

It's the 1920s, the era of Prohibition, and the FBI are on the trail of a mob of gangsters who are manufacturing whisky. This is a three-level shoot-'em-up which was only released on cartridge. It was intended to be used with the Trojan Phazer lightgun (and was one of only two such games released for the Plus version!), but thankfully it can be played with a joystick as well. In summary, you must shoot the gangsters to score points, but shooting innocent people (including unarmed gangsters) causes you to lose points. Once you have reached a certain number of points, you can go to the next level. The game is over when you are wounded once too often. The graphics are absolutely wonderful and it's fun to play for a while, but everyone has seen this type of game many times before.

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7

Enlightenment: Druid II

(Firebird, 1988)

103 years ago, the druid Hasrinaxx destroyed four skulls and banished the evil Acamantor from the land of Belorn – but now he has returned. Starting at the village of Ishmar, Hasrinaxx must travel through the varying landscapes of Belorn, find Acamantor's tower, and destroy him once and for all. This game is fairly similar in nature to its predecessor, Druid, but the area you can explore is a lot larger, and there is a much greater variety of spells to be collected. You will also have to remember what they do and when they should be used. This added complexity gives the game a more adventure-like feel in addition to the existing arcade elements. Some players may like this, but I feel that this sequel is not as good as its predecessor.

See also: Druid.

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7

Equinox

(Mikro-Gen, 1986)

The mining asteroid Sury-Ani 7 has been contaminated with radioactive waste, so a disposal droid (that's the thing you control) has been sent in to search the eight levels of the mining complex, find the waste canisters and send them down the vacuum disposal chutes that can be found on each level. Naturally, the complex is guarded by monsters which bounce around the screen and must be avoided as much as possible. The game is visually very impressive with great use of colour and very smooth movement, and the tune on the menu is also very good. The clever thing about this game is that although it looks like a straightforward shoot-'em-up, you have to think carefully as to where, and especially when, to use the objects and teleporters. This is an excellent game!

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9

Er*Bert

(Microbyte, 1984)

Er*Bert is a purple bouncy creature, and he has to move around a screen consisting of cubes and change their colour. Out to get him are Boris the gorilla, Coily the snake, and a purple ball. To help him evade their clutches, he can use transporters or rotahats, both of which move him to other parts of the screen. There are ten difficulty levels, four stages on each level, and two speeds that you can use, but the controls are so strange and the enemies so hard to avoid that getting off the first level is extremely tough.

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1

Escape from Singe's Castle

(Software Projects, 1987)

Having rescued Princess Daphne in Dragon's Lair and killed Singe the dragon, our hero Dirk now endeavours to find the treasure within the castle before the Lizard King reaches it first. There are eight separate challenges in this game which will require nerves of steel and quick reflexes. Among the things Dirk has to do are negotiate a fast-flowing river, run down a tunnel with a boulder in pursuit, and play 'Simon says'-type games in the throne room and in a room with a tiled floor. The graphics are OK, albeit rather garish, and the music really sets the atmosphere as well. However, it's a bit too difficult for my liking, and it would be nice if you didn't have to go right back to the first level after losing all your lives.

See also: Dragon's Lair.

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7

Escape from the Planet of the Robot Monsters

(Domark/Tengen, 1990)

Rescue the girls from the clutches of the evil Reptilons. It sounds like something out of one of those awful 50s B-movies, and that's exactly what the game is based upon. The Reptilons' base is laid out in an isometric view, and each room usually has a host of aliens to be shot, girls to be rescued, computers to be smashed, and lockers to be broken into and ransacked – although some of their contents may lose you energy. Every few levels, you have to destroy a very large Reptilon. The graphics are pretty good and it's a decent game with a lot of action, and another person can play too. The noise of your laser gun is immensely irritating, though.

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8

La Espada Sagrada

(Topo Soft, 1990)

Reviewed by Javier Sáez

This game was an attempt to recreate the flavour of good old adventures, but adding better gameplay and some fine details. The plot is simple – recover the sacred sword to your tribe (by the way, the English translation of the game's name is 'the sacred sword'). La Espada Sagrada is divided into three stages. The first two are 100% pure adventure. The third one is a jump and shoot arcade game, which is less amusing than the other stages. There's little more I can say; the graphics are good and so is the sound. Give it a try and you'll have fun for a long time.

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8

The Eternal Light 2

(MORRISoft, 2014)

Reviewed by Missas

In this old-style platform game, you take control of a wizard who needs to gather some lanterns. This game was created using Sprites Alive. To begin with, the graphics are average with vivid colours and nicely drawn levels. You need to move platforms and avoid the enemies while trying to collect the lanterns. You may also try to achieve the best score by going as fast as possible. There is no in-game sound. Despite this serious drawback, the game is a Jet Set Willy-style platformer and it will not disappoint you, chiefly because of the smart level design.

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6

European Soccer Challenge

(Players, 1990)

Play against other European football teams in this abysmal game. You can play against a friend or the computer, but unfortunately the computer is very good, even on the easiest skill level, and your players are very difficult to control. There are very few options that can be modified; the matches always last 15 minutes, and it seems to make no difference what team you choose to play against. The graphics are absolutely horrible, although the loading screen is rather good. Finally, there is some mediocre music on the menu, but the main game features no sound effects at all! This is one of the worst football games on the CPC, and should be avoided.

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2

European Superleague

(CDS, 1991)

The FA may not be at all keen on the idea of a breakaway European superleague, but this game will give you a little taster. You can choose one of eight teams from Europe, and there are three difficulty levels, too. All the usual management options are there – training, transfer markets and scouting, and there's an excellent choice of match tactics you can look at. The graphics vary throughout the game, from the garish choice of colours of your office to the beautiful cartoons as your team tries to score goals in the matches. You should also listen out for the 'phone ringing – it's so realistic! Overall, this is actually one of the better football management games on the CPC.

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7

Everyone's a Wally

(Mikro-Gen, 1985)

Wally and his friends (Wilma, Tom, Dick and Harry) have to open the safe by collecting the five letters of the combination – but to do this, they have to earn some money performing various tasks around the town, and their wages are in the safe. You'll have to work out by trial and error which characters to use for each task, which objects should be used, and what the tasks actually are. To help you out, Wally is the odd job man, Wilma is Wally's partner, Tom is the mechanic, Dick is the plumber, and Harry is the electrician. The graphics are nice and the characters are really well drawn; it's quite funny to see them walk! The little tune at the start of the game is great as well, and the game is actually a rather nice challenge.

See also: Pyjamarama, Three Weeks in Paradise.

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7

Every Second Counts

(TV Games, 1988)

Remember this quiz show from the 1980s, which was hosted by the magician Paul Daniels? The show consists of five rounds, all of which are based on general knowledge questions, although in three of the five rounds, you are allowed to choose from a selection of categories. The points you win in the first four rounds represent the amount of time you get in the fifth and final round, hence the name of the quiz. Unfortunately, each game can be very short indeed, since if you get a single answer wrong in the first or third rounds, you're not allowed to answer any more questions. The graphics and music are quite good and the game is well presented, but I can't see myself coming back to play it again, and it's not a game you can really play on your own.

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5

Evil Donjon

(Genesis, 1989)

A sorcerer known as Elric has cast an evil spell over the realm of Sir Frondebeuf. The only way to restore normality to the land is to collect several phials which can be found within the Evil Keep (or Evil Donjon if you're French). This is a simple platform game in which you must collect the phials on each level while avoiding the monsters. They always try to close in on you, but after a few goes, you can learn how to use this to your advantage. You can dig holes in some of the platforms to kill some of the monsters temporarily and retrieve any phials which they may have picked up. The graphics are very good indeed, and I love the chimes of the bells! However, there isn't much room on the screen to avoid the monsters, and digging holes can often be a bit awkward.

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6

EXIT

(French)

(Ubi Soft, 1988)

Your spaceship has crashed on a strange planet, and in order to leave, you must repair it. You will also have to find several golden objects, and for some reason, these are obtained by playing a rather nice shoot-'em-up sub-game in which you must shoot all the blue bricks without shooting any of the red bricks. Then there is a sage who must be found, and there are a lot of other puzzles to solve... The graphics are really beautiful and colourful, but there is no text to accompany any of the locations or the objects, so it's often very hard to know what you're supposed to do with the objects you can collect. Another big problem is that the locations are linked together in an extremely confusing and illogical manner, so that you become disoriented really easily.

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6

Exolon

(Hewson, 1987)

Appeared on an Amstrad Action covertape

This is one of the classic shoot-'em-ups on the CPC. You are Vitorc and have to blast through five levels consisting of 25 screens where you walk from left to right. You'll encounter all sorts of guns, rockets and other strange monsters as you try to shoot them all, although you can use some of your grenades to shift the bigger ones. The graphics are amazing, but this is offset by the game being a bit too tough; you'll definitely need all of the nine lives that you are given! It's still a very good game, though.

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8

The Experience

(Players, 1986)

Text adventures are rarely as surreal and bizarre as this one. What exactly is the Experience? You start the game trapped in an attic with no exits, and the entire game takes place within this single room. A text adventure with only one room, I hear you say? Yes, it's true! In the attic are a few random items on the floor, a headless tailor's dummy, a wardrobe and a bed. What do you do? Well, you can examine the items closely, but they are nearly all useless. In fact, it is possible to complete this GAC-created adventure in just five turns! The author is clearly insane, and while it's, er, different from most other text adventures, it's certainly not going to offer a lot of enjoyment.

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4

Exploding Wall

(Byte Back, 1989)

Fancy a game of Breakout – but with a playing area that's bigger than the screen? That's what you get here. The usual fare is present, although there are only four types of bonuses to collect. You also have to keep track of the ball at all times – it may well go off the screen. The graphics are very impressive and the scrolling stars are a nice effect, but the game is slow, and unless you have rockets (one of the collectable bonuses), it'll take aeons to complete a level.

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6

Explorer

(Electric Dreams, 1987)

Your spaceship has crashed on the Emerald planet, and now you must search for nine separate pieces. This will be a time-consuming task, because the game boasts an incredible 40 billion locations! Fortunately, you have a device that can track the location of the nearest piece, and you can also use beacons to navigate your way around the planet and transport objects. A jet pack allows you to travel more quickly around the planet. The landscapes are beautifully detailed, if rather Spectrum-like, but unfortunately it takes ages to draw them, and getting anywhere takes an excruciatingly long time. Even the most patient players will find themselves becoming frustrated – and there's no facility to save the game. While technically impressive, it feels as if the programmers added a game merely as an afterthought.

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3

Express Raider

(US Gold, 1987)

Several trains carrying lots of gold are travelling through the Wild West, which is too good an opportunity to miss. However, you don't have a gun, so you'll just have to use your fists. After a preliminary fight to start things off, you climb on to the top of the last carriage of an express and must beat up the enemies, who will use a variety of weapons against you. Once you've made it to the front of the train, you grab the gold and go to the next express – but this time you're on horseback and must shoot the enemies while running alongside the train. Of course, they're trying to shoot you as well! This procedure repeats for the remaining expresses. The game is OK to play, although it may become repetitive after a while. The graphics are a bit basic, though, and it's best played with the volume turned off!

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6

Exterminator

(Audiogenic, 1991)

A cul-de-sac of seven houses is overrun with horrible insects, rodents and amphibians, and all of them must be killed. Enter the Exterminator! Each house has five rooms, and in each room, the floor is tiled. Killing creatures causes the tiles to change colour, and if you manage to turn all of the tiles in a column to the same colour, you are taken to another room in the house, or if all five rooms have been cleared, the next house. The creatures you will encounter include rats, mosquitoes, robot tanks and toads – and watch out for the wasp which buzzes around the room constantly and will sting you! The graphics are very appealing, and the music (which only plays during the game if you have 128K of memory) suits the hectic pace of this fantastic game really well.

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Extreme

(Digital Integration, 1991)

Steg pirates have invaded the Pioneer 10 spaceship and have damaged the life support systems and activated the self-destruct sequence. In the three levels of this excellent shoot-'em-up, you must find the litho-acid crystal and bring it back to the ship's energy input pad, then swim through the fuel tanks in order to reach the computer and blow it up with a very limited amount of ammunition. The graphics are excellent and highly colourful, and the explosions when you shoot aliens are spectacular – and so is your weapon! The music is also extreme-ly good (ha-ha!). The only complaint is that there are only three levels, and the last two are rather short.

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Eye

(Endurance, 1988)

Based on a little-known board game of the same name, this has to be one of the most bewildering board games I've ever played. Between two and four players take turns to move counters around 32 squares and try to capture their own colour by placing their counters on those squares. Your opponents try to do the same, so you place your counters on their squares – but how can you do both at the same time? To make matters worse, you can change the arrangement and the colours of the squares during your turn, so if your counters are correctly positioned, you can suddenly win the game from out of nowhere. Of course, the computer players are much smarter than you and will often win the game on the first turn, which doesn't make the game any fun at all.

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