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I Alien

(CRL, 1988)

Radiation poisoning due to nuclear war has sent Earth's humans on a mission to scour the galaxy in their spaceship for new planets and alien specimens. They have landed on your planet and have taken you and your fellow aliens on board. You must escape from the ship so that they can be rescued – and there is also a bomb on board... The ship is massive and consists of levels of long corridors, with lifts which can be used to move between them. You must also watch out for mutants, droids and Ice Dragons that may freeze you if they touch you, and some mutants, when shot, may make you sick and reverse the controls. This game seems to consist of nothing more than plodding around the corridors looking for the exit, and most people will want to switch off and play something else instead.

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4

I, Ball

(Firebird, 1987)

The evil Terry Ball has kidnapped I, Ball's friends – Lover Ball, Eddy Ball, Glo Ball and No Ball (cool names!) – and I, Ball sets out to rescue them. This is a vertically scrolling shoot-'em-up, and it's quite tough. In fact it's really tough, but if you keep trying, you will eventually like it. The flying enemies that appear on the screen stay stationary for a while, and you should shoot them before they move! Initially, you can only fire vertically, but collecting the power discs will give you extra firepower. The time limit is tight as well. Don't be put off by the Spectrum port graphics, the mediocre music and the initial difficulty; it's a great game.

See also: I, Ball II: Quest for the Past.

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8

I, Ball II: Quest for the Past

(Firebird, 1987)

After rescuing his friends, I, Ball decides to find out more about the history of his race by going down into the mines. I don't know why one would find that sort of information in mines, but... The game consists of several of these mines, which occupy a single screen each. You start in one of four mines chosen at random and must collect the key in each mine and reach the exit, while avoiding the floating enemies. Unfortunately, this game is even more difficult than its predecessor, with far too many enemies on the screen at once. The graphics and sound remain poor, and the digitised speech is unrecognisable and gimmicky.

See also: I, Ball.

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5

Ice Breaker

(Topo Soft, 1990)

Take to the bobsleigh and whizz your way through the twists and turns of each course before your time runs out. This is no ordinary bobsleigh run, though, because it's filled with hazards such as spikes, mines and ramps, and other bobsleighs are competing, too. However, your bobsleigh is armed with a gun (I told you this was out of the ordinary!), although you'll need to keep both your fuel and ammunition topped up by shooting the right icons. The concept actually works rather well, and the graphics are pretty good, as is the tune at the start of the game. It'll take a lot of practice to finish the first course, though.

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7

Ice Slider

(EgoTrip, 2016)

Evil reigns over the land of Camelot, and King Arthur has given Merlin the task of overcoming it. Merlin has discovered a cave in the Antarctic which is filled with power crystals, but he is old and cannot collect all of them himself, so he has summoned a girl from the future to collect them – and that girl is Princess Amy. There are forty levels, with ten crystals to collect in each level. The floor of each level is made of ice and once Amy moves, she won't stop until she hits an obstacle, so some planning is required to work out the best path to take to collect all the crystals and not get stuck. This game was an entrant in the 2016 #CPCRetroDev Game Creation Contest and finished in seventh place, but I feel it deserved a higher ranking. It's well presented and has nice graphics and music, and the gameplay is compelling.

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

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8

The Ice Temple

(Blue Ribbon, 1989)

Reviewed by John Beckett

Another 'jet-pack' game, at which I completely suck at. In this one, you control space ace Nick Razor as you traverse the 900 (yes, 900!) screens of the Ice Temple, to track down the eight pieces of the nuclear reactor which is sapping the Earth's energy and using it to fuel alien warships. The music and sound are decent (though the locations can be very empty and similiar-looking at times), but wow, talk about difficult! 900 screens, reactor pieces located randomly in each game, ever-decreasing jet-pack fuel, four measly lives and enemies that home in on you quickly and mercilessly! If you can take your time and map out this immense game, there's a lengthy quest to be had, but I found it hard to make any progress due to its difficulty. A shame.

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5

Ikari Warriors

(Elite, 1986)

Appeared on an Amstrad Action covertape

Reviewed by Chris Lennard

Rescue your commander from enemy forces deep in the jungle in this fast paced vertically scrolling shoot-'em-up. The action is relentless and it's highly recommended that you take up the two player option, as you are never given a moment's rest from the masses of enemy troops that come from all sides. Placed to assist you as you travel over land and sea are a selection of armoured vehicles that you can commandeer to great effect. This is visually a very cute looking game, despite what the game entails, whereas the explosions and gun effects are pleasantly satisfying.

See also: Victory Road.

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8

IK+

(System 3, 1988)

Whereas the original featured only two karate fighters, there are now three. Again, it's a case of fighting each other, and the person with the most coloured dots at the end of the round wins. Your instructor also makes comments to each fighter. Every two rounds, there is a bonus round where you have to deflect coloured balls with a shield. The graphics are OK and the shimmering effect of the sun on the lake is nice, but the music is irritating, and the game just lacks variety.

See also: International Karate.

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5

L'Ile

(French)

(Ubi Soft, 1988)

In 1932, a man by the name of Major Forten set sail to find an uncharted island off the coast of Angola, to the west of Africa – but he never returned. Now Dr. Freland has sent you on an expedition to find the island. Let's hope you do not suffer the same fate as Major Forten! This is a text adventure with some lovely, atmospheric graphics and sound effects. It was developed by Alain Massoumipour, the editor of the French magazine Amstrad Cent Pour Cent, and it inspired many French CPC users to write their own adventures. It's well presented with very good graphics (as well as some sampled speech on the title screen that I could barely make out), and there are few problems with the parser. It's perhaps not the most challenging of adventures, but it's certainly enjoyable to play – although unsurprisingly, you will need to understand French.

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8

iLogicAll

(CEZ Games Studio, 2009)

A nonogram (also better known as Picross) is a puzzle where you have to fill in a grid of cells, based on a set of numbers listed beside each grid, which represent the number of filled squares in that row or column. Each grid consists of 16 rows and 16 columns, and each puzzle must be completed within a set time limit. Incorrectly marking any square as filled results in a severe time penalty, so it is advisable not to guess! There is also a password system to allow you to skip puzzles that you have already completed. The presentation is excellent and it's a great way to exercise your brain.

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8

Imaginario Colectivo

(ESP Soft, 2012)

Reviewed by Missas

Imaginario Colectivo is another new game for our machine published in 2012. The game begins with a cartoonish and colourful introduction and a mysterious tune. The game itself is an arcade adventure, so expect a lot of action. The graphics are great with detailed scenery and well designed sprites. The animation is really good and smooth, while the soundtrack is atmospheric and pleasant. There are some sound effects as well. The gameplay is fast-paced with many traps and enemies to avoid, while you need to collect objects. The in-game screens further assist the atmosphere of this great game. The scenery changes as you progress and the difficulty level is reasonable. Overall, a great game to play that will give you a lot of enjoyment!

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9

Imagination

(Firebird, 1987)

You've come home from the second-hand computer store with a floppy disc, but its label is so worn that you can't read it. Inserting it into your computer and running it, a menu appears. When you select any of the games, you find yourself inside the game itself – wow! This is a GAC text adventure in which you must collect objects from the four games and use them in other games. Of course, this is all in your imagination, and pinching your arm while you're in a game will take you back to your computer again. It's not the most taxing of adventures, but it's good fun, and quite strange as well.

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7

Impact

(Audiogenic, 1988)

Hey, it's another Breakout-style game! So what makes this one better than the others? There are 100 levels, and the game also comes with its own screen designer allowing you to design ten of your own. You also get a password every ten levels so that you don't have to play the earlier ones. The way you collect bonuses is different, though – there are nine power-ups available, and to obtain them, you have to collect the right number of staples. It's one of the better games of this ilk – its main advantage being that you can actually complete the first few levels!

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7

Imperial Mahjong

(Cargosoft, 2016)

Mahjong solitaire is a tile-matching game that uses the traditional set of 144 Chinese mahjong tiles. The tiles are laid out randomly, and you can only match tiles that are 'free' (meaning that they are not surrounded by tiles to their left and right, and there are no tiles on top of them). What sets this game apart is the use of a unique graphical mode that the programmer has called EGX (Extended GraphX), which allows sixteen colours to be used in the CPC's medium-resolution MODE 1. The result is simply astonishing! There are also six tunes to choose from, which use sampled drum effects. Mahjong solitaire may look daunting if you've never played it before, but you'll soon understand the rules – and with a seemingly infinite variety of tile layouts, and the most beautiful graphics you'll ever see in a CPC game, you'll want to play it again and again.

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10

Impossaball

(Hewson, 1987)

Appeared on an Amstrad Action covertape

Now here's a frustrating game if ever there was one. You control a bouncing ball and move left and right along a horizontally scrolling arena. Starting on the far left, you have to knock the ball against some cylinders and avoid the various hazards such as spikes, mines, and the usual monsters, and then reach the far right of the arena before your time runs out. The graphics are a bit lacking in colour and the sound effects are simple, but the game really is 'impossaball', as there are too many awkward gaps you have to squeeze through, and it's so easy to touch the spikes.

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6

Impossamole

(Gremlin, 1990)

Monty Mole has been called out of retirement by some aliens to destroy five guardians. The adventure takes Monty through the Klondike mines, the Amazon rainforest, the Orient, and Iceland, before the final encounter in Bermuda. You can choose to play any of the first four levels in any order you want. This is a good thing, because if you had to start on a particular level, you'd never get to see the other four! It's a very difficult game, and even worse, you've only got one life. The graphics are very cheerful and colourful, but there's very little sound. Thankfully, you can play enough of the game to keep coming back to it, but it's still much too tough.

See also: Auf Wiedersehen Monty, Monty on the Run.

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7

Impossible Mission

(Epyx, 1986)

Reviewed by Chris Lennard

Evil Professor Elvin Atombender is engaged in a deadly game of nuclear blackmail. Using his supercomputer, he will crack the secret US nuclear missile launch codes in six hours, allowing him to destroy the world. Only Agent 4125 of the IMF (Impossible Mission Force) can stop him by entering his secret underground complex and shutting it down. With his pocket computer in hand, our hero must explore the complex rooms, avoiding the guard robots whilst searching the ordinary furniture within for passwords which enable to you to disable the bots, reset the navigation lifts and others which when combined will disable Elvin's computer. Rather ugly looking, no speech (unlike the Commodore 64 version) and extremely difficult – but a classic nonetheless.

See also: Impossible Mission II.

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6

Impossible Mission II

(Epyx, 1988)

Reviewed by Chris Lennard

Warped madman Elvin Atombender is back in another attempt at nuclear Armageddon, and after Agent 4125's previous success in spoiling the evil professor's plans, he is again sent in to stop him. This time he has to infiltrate his secret tower complex, and once more is taking the lifts in the rooms, jumping around hostile guard robots which have evolved to kill you in more varied ways, searching the everyday objects and furniture to get codes that can help you and which will enable you to end Atombender's nefarious scheme. Essentially more of the same, but simply better presented this time round with mild graphical improvements, but sadly still without the speech which the CPC is quite capable of.

See also: Impossible Mission.

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6

Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis

(Lucasfilm Games, 1992)

I don't recall this game being released for the CPC in the UK, but anyway... A Nazi agent has stolen a statue that Indiana Jones has uncovered, but he drops some papers about the lost city of Atlantis, and it turns out that the agent is working for Dr. Hans Ubermann, a physicist who is trying to build a nuclear bomb using a material called orichalcum. Indy knows that one of his colleagues, Sophia Hapgood, is interested in Atlantis, and the two of them set out to stop the Nazis. This is an arcade adventure which is viewed in an isometric perspective. Both you and Sophia have to find objects to enable you to pursue your quest. Initially things look good, but the game is at times grindingly slow and you spend too much time plodding around in frustration. It's subtitled 'the action game', but there's not a lot of action in it!

See also: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

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5

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

(US Gold, 1989)

Indy is on a quest for the Holy Grail before the Nazis grab it. The four levels take you in a search for the Cross of Coronado, then going to a castle for the Crusader's Shield, acting as a stowaway on a flying Zeppelin, and finally, traversing pits and platforms to reach the Grail. There are some fantastic pictures from the film of the same name before you play each level, and there's a fairly good rendition of the theme tune, but the in-game graphics are monochrome, albeit detailed and well animated. The game's big let-down, though, is that it's too slow – Indy takes ages to land on the ground when he jumps.

See also: Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

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5

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

(US Gold, 1987)

Reviewed by John Beckett

Based (obviously) around the film of the same name, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is a game that excels greatly on various levels, that lets itself down slightly in the most important aspect of all. To my delight, the graphics, though not groundbreaking, were clear and well animated. Indy is instantly recognisable. The sound also really impressed me. From the Indy theme tune right down to the crack of his whip, everything is spot on. So far, so good, but then comes the difficulty... this must rank as one of the hardest games ever to be created! The first level sees Indy rescuing slave children, while using his whip to stun the attacking Thuggee guards. The cavern is huge, pitfalls lie everywhere, and the guards attack in swarms! I like a bit of a challenge, but this is ridiculous! By the way, the second level sees you riding a mine cart. Sounds great, but you'll never see it!

See also: Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

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7

Indoor Race

(Mind Games España, 1987)

Reviewed by Pug

This game is based upon Atari's Super Sprint and is a poor offering indeed. The game consists of racing endlessly (or so it seems) around one track. The computer-controlled car acts like it is drunk, moving in all directions, often blocking your progress. Simple graphics and only one sound effect make this a pointless addition to anyone's collection. Apparently, the company responsible for this terrible game soon disappeared and never released another game... I wonder why?

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0

Inertie

(Ubi Soft, 1987)

Reviewed by Pug

An evil alien called Zorglub is threatening the entire universe. He has devised a way to alter the very fabric of reality, thus wiping out all life. Several scientists devised a way to stop Zorglub before they themselves were taken prisoner. Your name is Buck Skygordon and you must visit each prison planet in your shuttle and free the scientists. The game is a flip-screen Thrust clone where you have to land your shuttle and make your way towards stranded scientists. They will ask you if they can enter your shuttle – but some may be cunning spies that will wreck it. Inertie boasts some lovely-looking visuals that spur you on, but the low-resolution graphics do cause problems. The lack of pixels on screen and narrow passages makes control of your shuttle frustratingly difficult. Perhaps this is the reason why you start the game with 21 lives.

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6

Infernal House

(French)

(Lankhor, 1991)

It's Friday the 13th of April, 1990. You're a private detective, and your journalist friend Sophie disappeared three days ago while investigating the infernal house of Professor Tcherslawsky. You know from one of his colleagues, Rainer Gelehrtman, that he has worked on some diabolical experiments in the past, and fear the worst as you enter the house. But nothing can prepare you for the shocking and horrific fate that has befallen Sophie, and many other innocent people as well... This is a very nice French adventure which has some excellent graphics; the introduction sequence is very well done indeed and a welcome addition to the game. Although you can't save your current position, there is little opportunity for dying, but the game is still quite a challenge, with several secret rooms and clues to be discovered around the house.

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9

Infernal Runner

(Loriciels, 1985)

You are trapped in a labyrinth full of traps, and the only way to escape is by finding the five keys that will open the ten treasure chests scattered about the labyrinth. This is a simple yet delightful little platform game with a wide variety of devious traps to catch the player unawares. As well as avoiding the traps, you must also collect food regularly to avoid going hungry and therefore losing one of your five lives. Most of the traps can be negotiated with ease, although the first time you encounter a new one and are caught out, it merely increases the urge to try again. The graphics and music may be simple, but the game is really enjoyable, and it's worth playing to witness what happens when the player is killed on certain traps!

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8

Infidel

(Infocom, 1986)

You're an explorer in the Egyptian desert, hunting for a lost pyramid in a search for treasure – but your crew has deserted you and left you on your own. Can you find the pyramid and explore it before you die in the fierce heat? The plot of this text adventure game might be rather unoriginal, but as usual, Infocom turn it into something special, and in this game, there are lots of hieroglyphics to be deciphered, which will give you vital clues to solving the puzzles and traps that the Egyptians have left for treasure hunters! It's a reasonably hard adventure, but the ending is a bit of an anti-climax and there are a few bugs.

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8

The Inheritance

(Infogrames, 1986)

Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard

Your aunt, an old eccentric who lived in America, has just died. She has left you her colossal fortune, but she wanted you to do one thing before you can inherit it; you've got to win one million dollars in Las Vegas. The story begins in your hotel room, which is miserable. Point-and-click adventure games were rare at the time, so we can be indulgent with this one. The graphics were good on the French Thomson computer from which the game (known as L'Heritage in France) is ported. But the use of MODE 1 produces grainy screens on the CPC and the colours are sometimes awful. It's rather fun to play, though, for a short while...

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6

Los Inhumanos

(Delta, 1990)

Los Inhumanos are a well known pop group in Spain, and this game is apparently based around one of their songs. Zufuru's beloved Simca 1000 car has been stolen and his girlfriend has been kidnapped by the rival Rokopiedras gang. Zufuru must find the four pieces of the car, then head to New York and enter the Empire State Building where his girlfriend is being held captive. The graphics are very bright and colourful and a fairly jolly tune plays throughout the game, although there are no sound effects. However, the enemies that you encounter frequently are difficult to defeat, and the range of enemies and the landscape are very surreal – since when did one find mailboxes and dustbins in a prehistoric setting?

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4

Insector Hecti in the Interchange

(Hi-Tec, 1991)

Victor Virus and his hordes of minions have invaded the highly sensitive Interchange – a network of interlinked corridors. Each of the 50 levels is laid out like a maze, but some of the walls of the corridors have been jumbled up so that some corridors are cut off from others. You have to rotate the appropriate sections so that all the corridors are once again linked. Of course, Victor Virus' gang of insects and aliens are also wandering the corridors, and you can either shoot them or rotate a section just as they are approaching you, which crushes and kills them. There are also several types of power-up to collect on each level. This is a cheerful little puzzle game with clear graphics and good sound effects, and with 50 levels, you'll be occupied for some time.

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9

Inside Outing

(The Edge, 1987)

Mrs. Crutcher's rich husband died recently, and he hid twelve diamonds within his mansion – but he never told his wife where they were located. Mrs. Crutcher would like to know where all the diamonds are hidden, so she employs someone to help her find them. You can only carry one diamond at a time, and each diamond has to be brought to Mrs. Crutcher. Her husband was also a scientist, and some of his creations – giant mice and birds – roam the rooms and will deplete your energy upon contact with them, although they can be stopped in their tracks if you find the right objects. This game was later re-released as Raffles, and the isometric graphics are absolutely wonderful. Unfortunately, I found it too difficult; the diamonds seem to be too well hidden, and the birds tend to drain your energy very quickly.

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7

International Karate

(Endurance, 1986)

Take part in a karate tournament in various locations around the world. Each round takes place in a different country and consists of three bouts. The first fighter to score two points wins a bout. If you hit your opponent, half points or full points are awarded depending on the effectiveness of the blow. If you're thinking that this sounds extremely similar to Way of the Exploding Fist, you're absolutely right. The game comes in two parts, each with a different set of background graphics, and while the backgrounds in the first part are excellent, those in the second part look ugly and messy. A merry tune plays throughout the game and there are some sound effects as well. However, the collision detection is poor and landing a successful blow on your opponent is very frustrating, making this game inferior to Way of the Exploding Fist.

See also: IK+.

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5

International Ninja Rabbits

(Microvalue, 1991)

I wonder if this idea of ninja rabbits was based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? It's a thought... You're one such rabbit, travelling through cities in Japan, the USA and Italy in order to save a factory from destruction. However, there are other humans and animals who are experienced in martial arts out to stop you. You can also pick up carrots which give you an extra life, which helps to make the game very easy, even on the hard difficulty level. It's also very slow; these ninjas seem to behave more like pensioners! There are only three stages in the game, and the graphics show that it's a nasty Spectrum port.

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3

International Rugby

(Artic, 1986)

Reviewed by CPC4eva

While rugby is a popular sport, few rugby games were released for the CPC. This game includes options for one or two players, and you can practice or play a championship league. The screen is reminiscent of Football Manager 2, being split into three sections, which can be annoying at times when you are carrying the ball into the next screen and find it's been taken from you. The player sprites aren't too bad, although they are on the small side. The tune that plays during the game is OK but can become repetitive and irritating after a while. Scrums, tackles, lineouts, kicks, tries and conversions are all present. It will take a bit of practice to get used to retrieving the ball knowing which player is nearest to the opponent carrying the ball. However, the game lacks some decent speed.

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3

International Speedway

(Silverbird, 1988)

Compete against other speedway riders and progress through the local and national championships, before setting your sights on winning the continental championship and that coveted trophy. There are four other riders and that also means you'll be competing in four races consisting of three laps of an oval track. On the novice level, you should win the local and national championships without any bother, but the continental championships are much harder, and it's the same if you're playing on the professional level. Despite there being one track, and each race lasting about 35 seconds, I still find it a nice game to play for a few minutes at a time.

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6

International 3D Tennis

(Palace, 1990)

How about a more surreal form of tennis? The first time I played this, I nearly fell off my seat laughing; it's so funny to watch two stick men hit a little block about. This game is in full 3D for added realism, although it takes a long time to get used to it. You can choose from four skill levels, and you can play against the computer or a friend, or take part in a tournament, and you can also go for a full season of tennis. The tunes on the menus are quite good, but the game is a bit slow. The impressive 3D graphics are initially appealing, but I think this one's for the fans.

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7

Into Oblivion

(Mastertronic, 1986)

After destroying the computer on the planet Nonterraqueous, our hero must now escape and find a planet that offers safety – but there are 42 planets in this system, and he can't simply fly from one planet to another one of his choice. Instead, there is a complicated transportation network with lots of connections between them. If you're thinking that this sounds boring, it certainly is! The graphics are awful, and so is the music – although it can be turned off. There is very little scenery, and one section of a planet looks much like another. There are also aliens which fly around the planets, but they are no real threat. You'll need to make a map or you'll become hopelessly disorientated, but the game is so boring that you won't want to make the effort.

See also: Nonterraqueous, Soul of a Robot.

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2

Into the Eagle's Nest

(Pandora, 1987)

A group of four saboteurs have entered the headquarters of a castle which is full of Nazi soldiers. Three of the saboteurs have been captured, so you must rescue them, kill as many soldiers as you can, and grab lots of treasure as well. The castle consists of four floors, but before you can use the lift, you'll need to find a pass. Making a map of each floor is essential, as the castle is very large, and you'll need to know the locations of first aid kits, ammunition, keys, and watch your energy and supply of ammunition very closely (which you can do by pausing the game). The graphics are excellent, and taking into account the size of the castle, completing even one of the missions, let alone all four of them, will keep most players occupied for a long time.

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8

Invasion of the Zombie Monsters

(RELEVO Videogames, 2013)

Reviewed by Missas

In Invasion of the Zombie Monsters, you take control of Ned, who must try to save the world from the zombie hordes and take back his girlfriend! The game starts with a well drawn cartoon introduction and a catchy tune which I particularly enjoyed. The graphics are well drawn and colourful. The sprites are detailed, as are the effects like the explosions and the shining of the bolts that the hero fires. The sound is good with simultaneous music and effects. The scrolling is mostly smooth and fast but sometimes becomes jerky. The gameplay is enjoyable; it is fast-paced with great collision detection and keeps the player in readiness. The grab factor is strong. Most people will play it again after completing it. Overall, a very good arcade game.

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9

Invitation

(French)

(Loriciels, 1987)

Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard

Youíre locked in a strange house, and you have only six hours to find the way out. Next time, think twice before accepting an invitation... There are several keys and weapons hidden in the rooms, but searching costs a lot of time. To make it harder still, youíve got company – there are rats, ghosts, dogs and other creatures. The graphics are cute, but there is no sound. Well, this game isnít really exciting; you canít progress because objects are placed randomly when you begin a new game. Itís a question of luck, and of keeping your self control...

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4

Iron Lord

(French)

(Ubi Soft, 1990)

Despite the fact that it was reviewed in British CPC magazines, this game was ultimately never released in the UK for the CPC, and shame on Ubi Soft for not doing so, because this is one of the most amazing CPC games ever! As the heir to the throne of your father's kingdom, you have returned from the crusades to find that your evil uncle Zolfkar has overthrown him and brought terror to the land. It is your task to gain respect among the people by performing various tasks, and to gather an army to fight Zolfkar. When you have defeated Zolfkar, you are then taken to an arcade section where you explore dungeons and fight monsters. This game takes up two whole discs – it's that big – and everything about it is beyond words. You'll have to be able to understand French to play it, though...

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10

Iron Sphere

(Cronosoft, 2006)

Professor Roland Ironsphere was working in his secret laboratory one stormy night when a bolt of lightning struck the laboratory and transported him into one of his own experiments. He is now trapped in an iron sphere and must traverse 100 hazardous screens collecting diamonds. At least one diamond must be collected from each screen in order to win, but if you don't collect all of the diamonds on a screen, they will turn into bombs the next time you visit. Your sphere's power is also limited and will need to be recharged regularly, so you must try to learn where recharging points are located. The concept is extremely simple, but this is a nice little game which is fairly addictive as well and has that 'one more go' factor.

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8

Ishido

(Arkos, 2005)

Reviewed by Missas

Ishido is a puzzle game and its title means "The Way of Stones". It is a tile-matching game where you need to match colours and symbols in order to score points. The graphics are well drawn; there is a satisfying degree of detail and the colours used produce nice visuals. The sound is good too. The in-game tune, in conjunction with the graphics, creates a Far East atmosphere. The background is dominated by dragons and Buddhist symbols. The gameplay is pleasant and rather simple, but the player should be careful not to make mistakes because they cannot be easily corrected. Thus, the challenge level is quite high. The grab factor depends on whether you decide to progress, or just resign from the start. If the answer is the former, then Ishido will grant the player many pleasant and challenging moments.

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8

The Island of Dr. Destructo

(Bulldog, 1987)

In seven days' time, Dr. Destructo is going to destroy the world, and the only way you can prevent this is by sinking all his ships, by shooting planes and helicopters out of the sky so that they fall on the ship. In later levels you'll also come across islands and even a space shuttle. The game has a cartoon theme throughout with some beautifully colourful graphics, and it's amazing to witness the sky changing as day turns into night and back again! The sound effects are great, too – lots and lots of noise! This is a brilliant game and a great way to let all that tension out.

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ISS

(Electric Dreams, 1989)

Colonel-in-Chief Matt Ridley was bored with his desk job, and decided to enter the Sangfalmadore Run – a training arena and maze that has now become unstable. However, he has become totally lost, so you have been sent to rescue him in your Incredible Shrinking Sphere. The arena consists of four levels, which in turn consist of four plates stacked on top of each other. Each plate is made up of tiles, some of which affect your sphere in different ways, making it smaller or larger, or lighter or heavier. You can also make the sphere invulnerable for a long time, allowing you to save ammunition. There is a strong puzzle element to this game, which I like, and the isometric graphics are good. However, the action is a bit slow, and it is really annoying having to go back to the very start of the level if you lose a life.

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Italian Supercar

(Codemasters, 1990)

Like one of Codemasters' earlier games, Super Stunt Man, you have been hired by a film company to drive a fast Italian sports car for some action-packed thrills in a new film. This time there are five scenes, including another jump across the Grand Canyon. As before, cars and helicopters also take part in the film to impede your progress and make life difficult for you, as well as shooting at you. Many scenes also contain mine sites, so you must be careful where you drive. The graphics have been improved considerably and the music on the menu is also good, but the gameplay has worsened; it's simply too difficult. There are too many obstacles and the time limit is too small.

See also: Super Stunt Man.

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Italy 1990

(US Gold, 1990)

Recreate the 1990 World Cup in this fantastic football game. Choose your favourite team out of the 24 available and attempt to reach the World Cup final. It's obvious that great care has been taken with this game; it's fast, the music is great, and the graphics are wonderful, particularly the players themselves, who even wear the right colour of kit for their country – you don't find that in many football games! The only problems are that it's too easy to win against the computer, and when you do win the final, there's a bug which tells you that the losing team won the World Cup (which was corrected in a later release – Italy 1990 Winners Edition). It's still great fun, though.

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It's a Knockout

(Ocean, 1986)

Reviewed by Pug

It's a Knockout is based on the 1980s TV show of the same game. Six European countries compete in six mini-games where you have to score as many points as possible. The games on offer are mostly simple affairs with hardly any grab factor. The joystick controls are a little sluggish at times, making some of the games very tricky indeed. The visuals include poor presentation and crude-looking graphics, with only a few sound effects to liven things up. Once you complete the competition you'll look for something better to play instead.

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Ivan 'Ironman' Stewart's Super Off Road

(Virgin, 1990)

Race around dirt tracks in massive, overgrown trucks against three other competitors and be the first to complete four laps of each track – if you don't, you'll lose one of your three lives. The trucks are very difficult to control and seem to have a mind of their own, and they ricochet off the barriers as if they were rubber balls! The tracks are also very bumpy, which doesn't help matters either. Prize money is allocated to the top three finishers at the end of each race which you can use to buy extra equipment, including nitros which give your truck a temporary boost of speed. The graphics are fairly simple but clear, while a short, but very catchy, tune plays throughout the game. All in all, it's a fairly good game, although there aren't very many tracks.

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