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Macadam Bumper

(ERE Informatique, 1985)

This pinball game offers more than most, in that you can design your own tables; something lacking in every other CPC pinball game, as far as I know. It's a little bit on the simple side and not at all user-friendly, but it's there, and you can change the colours. If that wasn't enough, all sorts of other attributes can be reconfigured, although I think this is getting anorak-like. The actual game itself? It's a shame there is only one table supplied with the game, but it plays reasonably well, although the ball slows down dramatically when you're using the flippers. The picture of the the girl on the left is lovely as well – and not a lot of people seem to know this, but a French version of the game also exists where the girl is nude!

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6

Mach 3

(Loriciels, 1987)

The evil sorcerer Sfax has a cast a harmful spell over the beautiful princess Gwendoline, and the only way to remove the spell is to find Sfax and destroy him. Beyond the derivative background story is a very fast 3D space shoot-'em-up. Your spacecraft skims close to a planetary surface as formations of enemy spacecraft and meteor showers swarm towards you. You can also fly through arches to gain bonus points. After a while, you will reach a heavily mined underground entrance where you can confront and shoot Sfax's face. The graphics are very detailed and the scrolling is very fast, but there is little variety in the formations and types of enemy spacecraft, and the order in which enemies appear is randomly determined. It's worth a few goes if you're looking for a quick game of something.

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7

Madballs

(Ocean, 1988)

Madballs were a sets of rubber balls shaped into hideous, grotesque faces, and were very popular with children in the mid-1980s. A computer game was released to capitalise on this craze, but it's pretty poor. The Madballs live on the planet of Orb, but Dust Brain wants to take over and become leader of Orb by convincing the other Madballs to join your gang – and the way to do this is by knocking them off the platforms that make up Orb. Meanwhile, the other Madballs are trying to knock you off the platforms as well! This is not easy to do, as you are constantly bouncing up and down. In fact, controlling the Madballs is extremely difficult, and you'll soon be shouting in sheer frustration. The graphics are nothing special either.

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4

Mad Mix 2

(Topo Soft, 1990)

Our hungry yellow blob-shaped hero is back. This time, he's in a castle filled with with ghosts, skulls, mummies, and other monsters – and it's in isometric 3D as well. The first two levels aren't too much of a problem, although watch out; you can jump over the ghosts and skulls, but you can't do that with the mummies – and don't step on the booby traps! Occasionally you'll find power-ups allowing you to move very swiftly, and there may be an extra life somewhere. Although it's not as easy as the first game, the graphics and music are both much better. However, you can only see a tiny amount of the maze at a time, and finding that last pill is often frustrating.

See also: The Pepsi Challenge Mad Mix Game.

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7

Magica

(Juan José Martínez, 2016)

A sorceress has had all her potions stolen and she must retrieve them. This is a platform game consisting of 50 stages, each taking place on a single screen. You have 50 seconds on each stage to get rid of all the enemy creatures on the screen. You must first stun them and then push them in order to kill them and retrieve the potion they are carrying. There are a variety of enemies, each with different characteristics; some can only be stunned from behind, while others can fire at you. The graphics are cute and colourful, and the various tunes are also rather jolly. The first few stages are easy, but they soon become more challenging. Overall, it's a simple and enjoyable game, although it would have been nice to provide passwords every few stages so you could skip stages you've already completed.

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8

Magical Drop CPC

(Oscar Sanchez, 2007)

Reviewed by Missas

Magical Drop finally arrives on the CPC thanks to Oscar Sanchez. In this fast-paced puzzle game, a mass of coloured bubbles descend from the top and the player is defeated when they hit the bottom. However if colours are matched, bubbles disappear, thus gaining some time to continue playing. The graphics are cute and brightly coloured, although they are not very detailed. A catchy tune plays in the options menu, but there are only some sound effects in the game. The gameplay is great; Magical Drop is a game that a player can become addicted to. The two-player mode is a mega bonus, since the progress that one player achieves causes trouble for the other! Thus, the grab factor is very high. In summary, a great puzzle game that every CPC fan should try at least once.

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9

Magicland Dizzy

(Codemasters, 1991)

The evil wizard Zaks is back and has done some strange things to the Yolkfolk – Denzil is trapped in a block of ice, Dylan is in a slumber, Dora has been turned into a frog, Daisy has turned into a giant, and Grand Dizzy is stuck behind a mirror! Dizzy managed to defeat Zaks before, so can he sort him out another time? This is the fourth of Dizzy's adventures, so you know the score by now. As well as rescuing the Yolkfolk, you must also collect 30 diamonds. Unlike the first three adventures, Dizzy now has an energy bar as well as three lives. Nice graphics, nice tune, nice game – what more can I say?

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

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8

Mag Max

(Imagine, 1987)

Reviewed by Pug

A conversion from the arcade original. A sideways shoot-'em-up in which power-ups change the shape of your fighter into that of a powerful robot. Sadly, this game looks like it was rushed out in my opinion. The gameplay is just too difficult. The projectiles aimed at you move too quickly, and this, mixed with the structures that must be avoided, results in loss of life. Sure, you can time your position to take out these turrets, but if you don't destroy one in time you soon run into trouble as the next one aims at you. It's a real shame, as the graphics start off looking interesting with a few bleeps and bangs audio-wise. To survive more than ten seconds is a world record!

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2

La Malédiction

(French)

(Lankhor, 1991)

A long time ago, the sorcerer Xarton cast a curse on the family of a man who had witnessed him using his book of spells. Now only one descendant of that family remains – a man called Tom. While exploring a cave, you stumbled upon Xarton's diary, and read that he wanted to create a machine which would allow him to meet a race of aliens. Your task is to build this machine, but first you must heal Tom, who has become ill, and then find seven keys which will open the stone coffin where the book of spells is stored. If you've played French text adventures, you will know that while the graphics are often well drawn, there is not much actual text to read, leaving you to guess what objects might be in the rooms you visit. This game takes this concept to extremes, and getting anywhere is frustrating. For me, this is probably the worst game that Lankhor released.

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5

Mambo

(Positive, 1989)

The mysterious Cosmic Sisters have sent Mambo to a military base deep within the Amazon jungle where he must disarm some nuclear missiles that are ready to be launched. You can't help laughing at such a daft plot, but you won't get a great deal of fun from playing this game. As Mambo, you must find and beat up four captains who hold the target codes for the missiles, and there are also two switches which need to be activated before you can disarm the missiles. You must also watch out for mines; if you step on one, you'll become stuck and must use some precise timing to deactivate it, or you'll lose energy – and you can't jump over them! The game is an obvious Spectrum port and it looks unappealing, and while the sound effects are OK, the tune at the beginning of the game is terrible.

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5

Manchester United

(Krisalis, 1990)

Here's a football game based on one of the most famous football clubs in the world. The game is noteworthy for mixing both arcade and strategy; you play matches like any other arcade-based football game, but you can also buy and sell players on the transfer market, and train them in certain techniques and increase their fitness. Some people might like this, but I felt that this is rather technical and adds an unnecessary level of complexity. But even if this was omitted from the game, I still wouldn't like it. The action during the match is fast and there's nothing wrong with the graphics or scrolling, but controlling the players is really difficult – they seem to have a mind of their own – and getting hold of the ball while it's in the air also seems to be impossible.

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5

Mandragore

(Infogrames, 1986)

Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard

This is a role-playing game, much like the Ultima series, in which you lead a party through forests, swamps and dungeons. The map is huge, there are many places to explore and monsters to fight. Well, the graphics are really awful, but it isn't a problem in this kind of game. The parser helps you find the right commands (for instance, A means 'attack', D means 'enter dungeon', and so on), so it's rather easy to play. A good and complex game. Try it if you love killing dragons and unlocking chests, and don't mind blocky graphics and poor sound effects.

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7

Mange Cailloux

(Ubi Soft, 1987)

'Eat little stones' is the rather strange English translation of this French Pengo clone. Guide the penguin around the maze, pushing ice blocks to destroy the blob-shaped monsters that are pursuing him, and try to align the three diamond-like blocks in a row to earn bonus points. Unlike most other derivatives of Pengo, you don't have to destroy all of the monsters' eggs; you just have to survive until the time limit has been reached, although there's no indication of how long the time limit is! For some reason, the CPC's default colours are used in the graphics, and yet despite this, the game is not that bad. The music on the menu is rather pleasant as well.

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7

Manic Miner

(Amsoft/Software Projects, 1984)

Reviewed by John Beckett

Manic Miner has long been regarded as a classic game, and rightfully so. The prequel to Jet Set Willy, the game has you playing Miner Willy as you traverse underground caverns, collecting enough keys in each one to open the exit and allow you to proceed. Each cavern is only one screen in size, but they are jam-packed with enemies (weird and wonderful!), platforms, keys and other obstacles, making them seem a lot bigger. The graphics are fairly simplistic but still good, and the music is pretty catchy, and the whole game is a heap-load of fun. The levels are brilliantly laid out, and the difficulty is set just right – each go will take you further than the last one. Some of the later levels are a bit punishing, but not overly so. Great for a quick blast, and sometimes unbelievably addictive, Manic Miner is a game I recommend to anyone.

See also: Jet Set Willy.

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8

Le Manoir de Mortevielle

(French)

(Lankhor, 1988)

Jérôme Lange, a private detective, has been called to Mortville Manor by a former friend, Julia Defranck. She is seriously ill, and by the time he arrives at the manor, she is dead. But as you investigate the cause of her death and search the manor thoroughly, other mysteries start to arise... This is an absolutely stunning graphic adventure that will leave you awestruck. As well as excellent graphics, it also features digitised speech throughout – and you can even understand it! The digitised tune on the title screen is also brilliant. Of course, there's a lot to explore in Mortville Manor, and the solution involves a lot of lateral thinking and deciphering some very cryptic clues. However, this game is an all-time classic among French CPC users, and rightly so, but it's a great shame that despite talk of releasing the CPC version in the UK, it never was.

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10

Le Manoir du Comte Frozarda

(French)

(MBC, 1988)

Reports of several young girls going missing in Transylvania have greatly concerned the local authorities, who call on you to enter the nearby manor where some descendants of Count Dracula have returned. Worse, your fiancée has also disappeared... This is a text adventure with fairly crude graphics and some gruesome scenes. It's written using The Quill, and as a result, it looks and feels rather unsophisticated when compared with most other French adventures. The parser seems to be rather limited, and despite initially making some promising progress, I quickly become totally stuck. Also worthy of note is that a prize of 15 days in Transylvania was offered to the first person to complete this game – and someone did win it.

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4

Mansion Kali

(Spanish)

(Commodore Plus, 2013)

Reviewed by Missas

Mansion Kali is a pure text adventure, like those that many players loved in the 1980s. Although their appearance looks simple, most of them provide a great plot and atmosphere. It is like reading a good quality book. Mansion Kali is about a mansion where twisted things take place. Add to this some black magic and what you get is a good Elvira-type game paired with the imposing atmosphere of a 1980s horror movie. A significant drawback for this game is that all of the text is in Spanish. Overall, if you decide to spend some time with Mansion Kali instead of reading a horror book, you will not be disappointed.

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7

Maracaïbo

(Loriciels, 1986)

You are one of a group of divers on a secret mission below the surface of the ocean, but a traitor has locked one of the divers in a cage. His supply of oxygen is running out, and you must find the key to release him – and soon! I found this game to be very confusing and boring to play. There is a dot at the bottom of the screen which represents your current location in the ocean, but moving off the screen never seems to take you to where you want to go, and I soon became totally lost. You can swim around and admire the pretty graphics (and the sharks), but there seems to be very little to actually do. Maybe I don't understand how to play this game properly, but I don't care anyway.

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2

Marauder

(Hewson, 1988)

Reviewed by Pug

You play a character called Cobra who has to retrieve the jewels of Ozymandius. This all takes place on the planet Mergatron with you behind the wheel of a Battlecar. You travel along a vertical push-scroll screen taking out baddies with your bullets and smart bombs. Along the route you may find multi-coloured turrets, which when shot offer a random bonus that either boosts your car or forfeits your status. The game is a challenging one in places and boasts good graphics, music, and average sound effects.

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6

Marble Madness Construction Set

(Melbourne House, 1986)

Guide the marble through ten screens of tortuous and twisting terrain, without falling off the edges or crashing into other marbles and creatures. This game was famous in the arcades because the marble was controlled by a trackball, but of course, that can't be done on a CPC. It was also a totally original game and has been imitated extensively. However, this conversion isn't as good as it could have been; the graphics move too slowly and it looks drab. The music is great, though, and it's possible to design your own screens using the built-in construction set. A deluxe edition of the game with different screens was also released.

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7

Mariano the Dragon in Capers in Cityland

(CEZ Games Studio, 2008)

Reviewed by Missas

Mariano is a dragon who must collect five keys in order to release his friends from captivity. In his quest he will have to avoid dangerous robots and traps and also collect some other items that will help him to progress. In this colourful and fast-paced arcade adventure, the player has 80 lives to complete the mission, and although this may sound like a lot of lives, they might prove to be too little! Besides being colourful, the graphics are cute, cartoon-styled and with a fine quality of detail. In the title screen a nice tune plays, but during the game there are only sound effects, which sound OK. The gameplay is pleasant and the game is rather large. The grab factor is well above average; it is a game that gamers will most probably enjoy! On the whole, Mariano is a game that was made with care and imagination by ESP Soft and certainly scores fair enough.

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8

Mario Bros.

(Ocean, 1987)

Turtles are invading the plumbing factory where Mario and his brother Luigi work, and they have to rid the factory of them. They do this by jumping and hitting their heads on the platforms (ouch!) so that the turtles flip over and are knocked unconscious – then they have to walk over to the turtle to remove it. When all the turtles are removed, it's on to the next level – which is more of the same. This is certainly one of the worst games to feature Mario and Luigi; it's one to forget about. The playing area is rather confined and it's difficult to reach the turtles in time when you've knocked them out. The graphics are poor and there are very few sound effects. Go and play one of the countless other Mario games on Nintendo's consoles instead.

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3

Marmelade

(French)

(MBC, 1988)

Stéphane Marlow is a detective who has been given the task of clearing a town of a group of gangsters. Starting in your bedroom in a dilapidated hotel, you roam the streets of the town, and among the characters you will meet are a dancer, a shopkeeper who sells music cassettes, a blind tramp, an ice-cream seller, and even a gorilla! The game is a parody of an old text adventure called Masquerade that was released before the Amstrad CPC existed. The pictures are OK, but there aren't many locations, and I don't like the way that some objects which need to be manipulated are hidden in the pictures but are not mentioned in the text. Overall, it's a mediocre game.

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5

Martianoids

(Ultimate, 1987)

The Markons have built a gigantic computer, the Brain of Markon, which has been sent out on a spaceship, on a mission lasting a thousand years to search for new lifeforms. However, the computer is under constant attack from Martianoids. You are the maintenance robot who must activate all nine sectors of the computer and repair it by picking up cones and using them. For each of the nine sectors to be activated, a program (represented by a piece of paper) must be guided from a transmitter to a receiver, using both yourself and the cones you pick up. This is quite difficult, as the program moves erratically. The graphics are lacking in colour and the sound is poor, and I found the game to be quite boring.

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5

MASK

(Gremlin, 1987)

Reviewed by Pug

The leader of MASK, Matt Tracker, must take on VENOM and rescue his stranded team. Controlling his Thunderhawk vehicle, he moves around four zones in search of them. In the first zone, you first have to collect the four pieces of your own MASK and connect them together using a number pad. Upon doing this, you then aim to collect the four pieces of your stranded team member. A scanner must then be used to locate and collect him. Collecting bombs allows you to blast away areas and open new parts of the zone. This is a very addictive game! The action/puzzle element is set perfectly and is mixed with smooth scrolling and clean, well defined and animated graphics, which makes this game a winner.

See also: MASK II, VENOM Strikes Back.

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8

MASK II

(Gremlin, 1988)

Reviewed by CPC4eva

The MASK team must complete three high priority missions which take place in the desert, the VENOM base and the jungle. The missions are horizontally scrolling shoot-'em-ups, and in each mission you have a task to complete, including recovering a stolen ruby and finding a missile to destroy the VENOM base. At the start of the game you select the MASK agents you want to deploy in your missions. The artwork is quite cool, and the graphics are generally very colourful and move quite smoothly. Enemies are in abundance, bullets are flying all over the screen and you're always pressing the fire button to end their evil ways. It's a nice touch how the craft switch over, but it also can be frustrating, especially if your craft becomes completely damaged or you don't have the appropriate craft to suit the mission you are on.

See also: MASK, VENOM Strikes Back.

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6

Masterchess

(Mastertronic, 1987)

Another game with which to test your skills at chess. I'll say here that I have never been very good at chess at all, and if you're any better than I am, then this game won't present much of a challenge to you. One effect of this is that it doesn't spend ages thinking about its next move, which may be a good thing if you're impatient like me. Unfortunately, it also has some small bugs which make the computer perform some illegal moves, which can be annoying. You can save and load games, though, and rearrange the board if you want, but I think that any experienced chess player might find this game too easy for them.

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6

Master of the Lamps

(Activision, 1985)

Three genies have been let loose. A young prince must reconstruct the three lamps and banish the genies in order to save the kingdom from doom. Each piece is retrieved by flying through a twisting tunnel on a magic carpet, and then listening to a sequence of notes and trying to recreate the sequence by hitting coloured gongs. It sounds rather strange, but once you play the game, you'll understand it quite quickly. The tunnel part of the game can be quite tricky to master, but fortunately there is an option to practice flying through any of the tunnels, and the game also offers two playing modes, where you can try to reconstruct only one lamp, or all three. Although the graphics are simple, there are several excellent tunes to listen to, and the tunnel part of the game is great fun.

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8

Masters of Space

(Radical, 1994)

If space shoot-'em-ups are your thing, you'll like this game. This was one of the last commercial games to be released for the CPC, and it's really rather good. You control a red spaceship and must fly over several large mother ships, blasting aliens as you go. However, your spaceship has a very limited supply of oxygen, but it can be refuelled by collecting boxes left behind by the aliens when you shoot them. The only problem is that you cannot fire bullets until the box is collected! The graphics are very colourful and well drawn indeed, and when you combine this with powerful weaponry to collect, large explosions, great sound effects, and a wide variety of levels, you've got a fantastic game. It's a shame that it wasn't released several years earlier!

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9

Masters of the Universe

(Gremlin, 1988)

The Cosmic Key has fallen through a time gate and emerged on Earth. He-Man must find the eight chords that make up the key before his arch-enemy Skeletor gets his hands on them. The main section of game involves wandering around a city looking for the chords; you will need to make a map, or you'll become lost. It also doesn't help that the orientation of north on the screen changes when you turn at a junction. Occasionally, you will be called to specific locations in the city to play one of a few very easy sub-games. The graphics and music are satisfactory, but wandering around the city is very dull, and the sub-games don't liven things up that much.

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4

Mata Hari

(Loriciels, 1988)

Reviewed by Javier Sáez

Mata Hari's lover is locked in the upper floor of an embassy. Fortunately, she's got what it takes to face all the armed guards, security doors and traps that await inside. Despite being an adventure, the gameplay is relatively simple. There are only a few actions (blow open doors, kill guards, get security codes, etc.) to be performed several times. Despite that, the game is far from boring, and the adjusted level of difficulty makes Mata Hari fun to play and not too difficult to finish. By the way, the ending sequence is not bad.

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7

Match Day

(Ocean, 1985)

Play football against the computer or with a friend in this now very dated game, playing either a single game or the Match Day tournament with seven other teams. This may have been a relatively good game back in its day, but it just doesn't compare well with other football games that were released in later years. The players move very slowly, and so does the ball, and actually getting hold of the ball is frustratingly difficult. One of the worst problems is that the computer never seems to let you control the player nearest to the ball, and instead selects another player who is further away, giving computer-controlled teams an advantage. The graphics are good, with colourful and well animated players, and the music is lovely as well, but it's best to avoid this game.

See also: Matchday II.

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4

Matchday II

(Ocean, 1988)

The sequel to Match Day is an improvement, but it's still flawed. The game is now much more customisable; you can choose tactics for your team, the computer's skill level, and the way your players kick the ball. This last option is related to the introduction of a 'kickometer' which lets you judge how hard you want to kick the ball. There is also both a knockout and a league tournament to compete in, and as well as the traditional one- and two-player games, two players can play in the same team, against the computer. Colour has been sacrificed for more detailed graphics, which I like, and the sound of the crowd cheering and playing tunes is a nice touch. However, it's still slow, and many of the problems associated with Match Day are still present.

See also: Match Day.

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5

Match Point

(Psion, 1985)

Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard

Since tennis games are rare on the CPC, this one (known as Balle de Match in France) is relatively good. Unfortunately, you can't elaborate a real strategy because you haven't got any choice in your strikes. All you can do is try to hit the ball, which is often difficult. The more you win matches, the faster your opponents play, and the computer quickly becomes unbeatable. Anyway, it is rather fun to play once you've managed to handle your player.

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5

Max Headroom

(Quicksilva, 1986)

Reviewed by CPC4eva

During the 1980s Max Headroom was born. Who is he? Well, Max is credited as being the world's first computer-generated television host. He rose to fame for a short while as a fictional British artificially intelligent character known for his wit, stuttering and distorted electronically sampled voice. You either loved him or loathed him. As for the game, it's very uninspiring. You take on the role of TV reporter Edison Carter and you must save Max Headroom from the clutches of TV station Network 23. The gameplay is utter nonsense, running around searching rooms, and the graphics are just completely naff.

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2

Maze Adventure

(Albert Sirvent Jerez, 2016)

Explore 32 levels of a dungeon and defeat as many monsters as you can in your struggle to escape. It sounds simple enough, but you'll probably fall asleep or switch your CPC off long before you even make it past the first two levels. This is a dungeon crawl role-playing game which is viewed from a 3D perspective in a similar manner to the likes of Bloodwych. You must wander around each level killing monsters so you can gain experience points and retrieve the key to open the door to the next level. The main problem with this game is that it's a matter of luck as to how many monsters you must kill before you obtain the key. Also, the 3D rendering of the dungeon takes ages to draw and the game is very slow as a result, and the music is very irritating. The concept is ambitious, but the humble CPC just doesn't have the power to handle it.

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4

Maze Mania

(Hewson, 1989)

Appeared on an Amstrad Action covertape

Flippo has to change all of the tiles in each maze to another colour, but there are lots of monsters to avoid! It's a fun little game with some nice graphics (for the scenery, that is), and reasonable sound effects. There are also lots of power-ups to collect, as well as a chance to get some bonuses at the end of each maze. Unfortunately, Flippo sometimes won't paint a tile properly, so you have to go back and try again, which can be a bit annoying, but it's still a lovely game.

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7

Maziacs

(40Crisis, 2013)

Reviewed by Missas

Maziacs is a remake of the classic Spectrum game that was released in 1983. It is an arcade game from the first era of gaming, meaning that it is simple, fast and enjoyable. Personally I was surprised to see it appearing on the CPC after 30 years and I feel grateful to 40Crisis. To begin with, the graphics are basic – not many colours and not too detailed – and the animation is minimal. The sound is also basic, with some effects and nothing else. Now we are getting to the interesting part, the gameplay. It is very fast-paced; the player must be constantly alert! I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the setting of this game; nowhere to run, nowhere to hide inside the mazes, and everything is hunting for you! The grab factor is really high, something that happens with most games of this era (pre-1984). Overall, a great idea that results in a great yet simple arcade game.

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8

Mazie

(Zeppelin, 1988)

This Breakout clone was actually written by the same guy who wrote Masters of Space and Star Driver for the Radical software house several years later. It is different from other games like it; there are 36 levels arranged in a 94 grid, and at the start of each game, you can choose which direction you want to go along the grid. The other big difference is the amazing plethora of special bricks; you really won't believe your eyes! The game is an absolute feast of colour, and playing it is just wonderful, with explosions, flashes and whizzy noises assaulting your senses – great stuff!

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8

Mega Apocalypse

(Martech, 1988)

Out there in the universe are millions of objects – planets, stars and comets – which have yet to be explored and which may contain strange worlds. But your orders aren't to see what these worlds are like. No, your orders are to blow every world you encounter to smithereens! Such a waste... This Asteroids clone is anything but mega. It's an ugly Spectrum port with flickery graphics, and it's dull to play. Your spaceship is tricky to control, and the game alternates without warning between two control methods, one of which makes the game even more difficult than it already is. I don't like the music either. The moving field of stars in the background is a nice effect, though.

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4

Megablasters

(Radical, 1994)

The magic twins have been captured by the evil sorcerer Cobron, and Bart and Bob set out to rescue them (it's their fault that they were captured, anyway). Their journey takes them through many mysterious worlds, each with five levels and an end-of-level guardian, although you may be able to find some secret levels... This is actually an absolutely brilliant Bomberman clone, and it takes up two whole discs; it's a big game! As well as being great fun to play, the graphics and music are both wonderful, and there's a battle version where up to four players can take each other on, in traditional Bomberman style. There's also a password system so that you don't have to play the worlds you've already completed. This is a beautiful game, and everyone should play it!

See also: Megablasters: Escape from Castle in the Clouds.

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10

Megablasters: Escape from Castle in the Clouds

(Project Argon, 2015)

Reviewed by Missas

Megablasters returns to the CPC twenty years after its original appearance. For the few CPC fans who do not know, Megablasters is one of the biggest and most advanced games that was ever produced for any 8-bit machine. This new version features eight levels and a final boss. It is far smaller than the original game, but it is more challenging and has better presentation, including a good intro and in-game images. The graphics are superb and the sprites move like they were powered by the hardware – many frames of animation with very smooth and fast movement. The sound is really good and crystal clear with catchy tunes playing simultaneously with many effects. The gameplay is awesome, a true must, while the grab factor guarantees that you will be glued once more to your CPC! Overall, the good days have come again!

See also: Megablasters.

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10

Mega-Bucks

(Firebird, 1986)

Professor Maxibillion III has passed away, and his American nephew, Rock Carrington, is set to inherit $1 billion – but he won't see one cent of it unless he solves a lot of puzzles and finds all the pieces of the professor's will. This graphic adventure starts with Rock standing outside the professor's mansion. There are many objects to be found, and a system of windows and icons is used to pick them up, drop them and use them. Although the graphics and sound effects are nothing special, the adventure is very easy to get into once you've deactivated the mansion's alarm system; fortunately, the Professor has left a notebook containing lots of subtle clues. It's not the most taxing of adventures, but it is a lot of fun to play.

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8

Meganova

(Dinamic, 1988)

I'm afraid I don't know what the story behind this one is, but I'm sure there's an evil alien baddie who's going to take over the galaxy in there somewhere. It's a standard horizontally scrolling shoot-'em-up, but despite the pretty good graphics and a sweet tune on the menu screen, the game is very difficult; I cannot get past the first level. The playing area is too small, and there are so many alien formations that it's easy to forget what's coming next. There are also a lot of other obstacles which get in your way.

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6

Megaphoenix

(Dinamic, 1991)

This is a Galaxian clone that really isn't very good at all. The aliens that you'll meet include bog-standard spaceships and eggs that mutate into bat-like creatures, and by the fifth wave, you come face to face with the Megaphoenix itself – and it's rather nasty. The graphics are impressive and the techno music is quite marvellous, but getting past the first two waves seems to be a matter of luck, which isn't fair. The shield you get is nearly useless, too.

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4

Megawar

(Genesis, 1990)

Get into a spaceship and blast lots of aliens in a quest to save the whole galaxy. This is a standard vertically scrolling space shoot-'em-up – nothing that you haven't seen before. It's a matter of learning the formations and how best to deal with them, as well as the much larger aliens at the end of each level. The graphics are marvellous, although the music and sound effects aren't so impressive. As shoot-'em-ups go, it's not that bad, although there are only four levels, and power-ups are few and far between.

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7

Mercs

(US Gold, 1991)

A former US president has been kidnapped while touring central Africa, but instead of sending in an army, the American government has chosen an élite group of mercenaries headed by yourself to rescue him. You must shoot and blast your way through eight levels of non-stop mayhem as soldiers fire at you from all sides. It's a fairly standard shoot-'em-up, but a rather good one. There are lots of weapons to be collected, and there's a good variety of end-of-level opponents to be blown apart as well. The graphics are clear and colourful, the music is OK (but not brilliant), and the difficulty level is just about perfectly set. This is a game that is well worth checking out.

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8

Merlin

(Bretagne Edit' Presse, 1987)

Reviewed by Pug

In Merlin, you are tasked with collecting all the sacred objects that have been scattered among various screens. Each screen is essentially a small, maze-like layout that contains a few of these items. The solitary guardian found on each screen that chases you can pass through all matter – very frustrating at times. There are no weapons or spells to combat this threat, and frustration will gradually increase. The graphics are colourful, but the two sprites on screen do have a wooden look when moving around. This game is a very poor rip-off of Sorcery that looks and feels like a type-in listing.

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3

Mermaid Madness

(Electric Dreams, 1986)

Myrtle isn't a typical gorgeous, sexy mermaid; she's a tubby, overweight mermaid and has seen Gormless Gordon the diver. Unfortunately for Myrtle, Gordon doesn't want to marry her and runs into the sea, with Myrtle chasing him. However, Gordon becomes stuck underwater and as Myrtle, you only have a short time to find him and rescue him. This is an arcade adventure where you collect objects and use them to access other areas of the map. While the graphics are great and have a nice cartoon feel, and the music is also atmospheric, the gameplay is frustrating – Myrtle can be difficult to control, and it's far too easy to get stuck together with one of the many sea creatures and lose a lot of your energy.

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6

Metal Army

(Players, 1988)

General Ironside and his Metal Army have infiltrated Slough nuclear power station, planted a bomb in it, and threatened to blow it up. As Harry Chainsaw (nice name), you have to deactivate the bomb, but the Metal Army are going to make this rather difficult for you, and because they've wrecked some parts of the station, you also have to dodge the leaks of toxic coolant gas. You'll need to collect the green cards which are lying about in order to open some doors, including the ones to the room where the bomb is stored. It's standard platform fare, and frustrating as well; although you have nine lives, they are quickly lost, and getting out of the first room takes some practice. The graphics are colourful, but it's a shame that the game is so difficult.

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6

Metalyx

(Alternative, 1987)

Asteroids has always been a classic game, and this is a simple remake of it, although apart from the graphics, nothing new has been added to it. The aim is simply to blast all the meteors off the screen, but when you shoot a meteor, it splits into two more meteors, and these meteors will also split into two meteors, so there will be problems if you shoot randomly! Your spaceship is also difficult to control, and getting out of a tricky situation where a barrage of meteors is heading your way requires some skill. However, there's nothing exciting about this game; the screen is far too small, there is only one (yes, one) sound effect, and you can't shoot accurately.

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4

Metaplex

(Addictive, 1988)

Inside an asteroid is a labyrinthine complex known as Metaplex, where the evil Garth is planning to destroy Earth. You must assassinate Garth, but first you must weaken him by dropping acid on four power units scattered around the complex. You must first find a flask, then find the tank of acid so you can fill the flask before you can destroy a power unit. The complex contains numerous aliens which will deplete the shield of your craft; if your shield runs out then you must find a new craft. There are also security control units which will activate or disable certain doors and barriers, but there are so many combinations that it needlessly makes the game more complicated than it should be. The graphics are relatively poor, and the size of the labyrinth makes this a tedious, run-of-the-mill game.

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5

Metro-Cross

(US Gold, 1987)

Hurtle down obstacle-strewn corridors in a race against time. This challenge requires very fast reflexes and an ability to predict the oncoming obstacles and the best way to dodge them. The corridor is riddled with slime tiles that slow you down, hurdles to jump over, glass panels that will break if you run across them, among other hazards. Fortunately, there are springboards and skateboards to help you out, and you can also jump on cans to make you run a lot faster or stop the clock temporarily. The first few levels are quite easy to complete, but on subsequent levels, the time limit becomes very tight and you can't afford to make any mistakes! The graphics and tune are both very jolly as well, and it's a great game overall.

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8

Metropolis

(The Power House, 1988)

Moonboots is an explorer who has somehow managed to end up lost in Metropolis. Now he has to find his spaceship and return to his home on the moon. From the moment you start playing this game, it's clear that it was influenced by the Wally Week series of games, as the style of gameplay is exactly the same – walking around collecting objects (and you can only carry two at a time) and using them to reach new locations or perform tasks. Unfortunately, it's absolutely horrible to play. For a start, the graphics are seriously ugly. It's a Spectrum port, complete with colour clash as well, and Moonboots walks very slowly, so it takes ages to walk from one place to another. This is a very poor and very dull game which will seriously test your patience if you play it!

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3

Metrópolis

(Topo Soft, 1989)

Following a nuclear holocaust, Metrópolis is the last city remaining on Earth. However, anarchy reigns in the city, and a gang called the Townsmen have decided to restore law and order. You are their leader Geitor, and they are relying on you. You must explore the city, and armed only with a sword and shield, you must engage in battle with the various criminals that inhabit the city. However, your main goal is to find five tanks and destroy them by staying within their range of fire until they run out of ammunition! Unfortunately, this platform game is quite disappointing. The graphics are of a high standard, but there are hardly any sound effects and the game moves at a very slow pace indeed. You also have only one life, and it's too easy to mistime a swipe of your sword and lose a lot of energy against an enemy.

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4

Meurtres en Série

(French)

(Cobra Soft, 1987)

Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard

There have been several murders on the little island of Sark, a peaceful place between France and Britain. As a renowned inspector, you're sent there to investigate the case. The problem is that you have only one day to find the murderer! This is the third murder mystery adventure from Cobra Soft, and the graphics are rather good, but the sound effects are very scarce – but does it really matter in this kind of game? The biggest flaw of the game is its difficulty. You must be really lucky to find any clues, because the time goes by so fast! It's a really interesting game, anyway.

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7

MGT

(Loriciels, 1986)

Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard

In this game, you drive a magnetic tank and you must destroy the entity that has taken control of a space station. When you move, your tank faces the direction you want to go, but it needs time to rotate. There is almost no gravity, so you can't stop easily, and you have to anticipate each of your moves. There are a lot of laser beams and other traps that will destroy you if you make any wrong moves... To make things harder still, you'll have to move over icy narrow bridges, and you've got only one life! You'll also have to activate switches to open doors and find lifts to reach the platforms. Well, there are many things to discover in this great game. The isometric graphics are really good, the sound effects are OK, and the space station is huge. A very addictive game!

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8

Miami Cobra GT

(Players, 1991)

Race your Mustang Cobra around eight tracks. Each track is divided into four stages, although you don't have to reach every stage within a certain time; your time limit is for all four stages. To help you along, you've also got a supply of turbos, although it's best to use them cautiously or you'll crash off the circuit and lose time. The graphics are simple and colourful, and the colours change when you reach a new stage. However, the scenery stays more or less the same on each level. It's just a rather average driving game, really.

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6

Miami Dice

(Bug Byte, 1986)

Craps is a casino game with an extremely complex betting system. Several players gather around a craps table, throw dice and bet on the outcome. If a player rolls a 7 or 11 (a natural) on his first roll, he wins; if he rolls 2, 3 or 12 (craps), he loses. Any other number rolled is a point, and the player rolls again until he rolls the same point (meaning that he wins) or a 7 (meaning that he loses). If that wasn't complex enough, there are all sorts of bets you can place – pass line bets, don't pass line bets, come bets, don't come bets, place bets, field bets, big 6 and big 8 bets, and proposition bets. The graphics are very good and the characters are wonderfully animated, and the music is entertaining as well, but unless you can make sense of the betting system (and I can't), you won't enjoy this game.

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4

Miami Vice

(Ocean, 1986)

Reviewed by John Beckett

Based around the 1980s cop show of the same name, this game is split into two very different parts. You start off the game driving around Miami in your fancy car, avoiding other traffic and shooting out the window at other cars, but pull up outside one of the many trouble hot-spots (places like Joe's Café) and the game goes into shoot-'em-up mode as you wander through the building, taking out the bad guys or interrogating them. It's a good idea, but it doesn't really work, as the driving bits are really difficult, and nine times out of ten, you'll enter a building to find the bad guys have just left, leading to a lot of aimless driving. The graphics, particularly in the driving parts, are really bland and uninspired, and the sound is little better. A disappointing cash-in on a great TV show.

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4

Mickey Mouse

(Gremlin, 1988)

Reviewed by Chris Lennard

Four nasty witches in the pay of the evil Ogre King have broken Merlin the Magician's magic wand in four pieces and cast an evil spell over Disneyland. Mickey Mouse has come to the rescue. Each piece is hidden at the top of the four towers of Disney Castle, each of which are divided into platforms connected by ladders. Patrolling these are the minions of the Ogre King: trolls and ghosts that the world's favourite talking rodent can dispatch with his hammer and water pistol. Most platforms contain a door to varying sub-games which all have to be completed to finish a tower. Nice colourful graphics in a pleasant enough puzzle/platform game done in the style of Disney.

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8

Microball

(Alternative, 1988)

Here's a colourful, exciting and fun pinball game. Up to four players can play and see who gets the highest score. As with all pinball tables, it's got the usual bells and whistles, and it's got that crucial factor; it's fast and furious. The disadvantages are that there's only one table and you can't tilt the table, but in my opinion, these are minor drawbacks. The graphics, while relatively simple, suit the game well, and the sound effects are good too. In short, it's good.

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8

Micro Mouse Goes De-Bugging

(Mastertronic, 1989)

Microscopic robots are wreaking havoc within a computer circuit, and you have to repair the damage they leave behind. The robots scrub the metal off the tracks, and you have to go to one of the red crosses marked on the board to pick up the correct piece to fix the damaged part. If everything's all right, you can make your escape to bottom of the circuit and on to the next level. They're all pretty much the same, though, and you can often complete a level within a minute or two if you're quick. The graphics are nice, albeit garish at times, but the game soon becomes repetitive.

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5

MicroProse Soccer

(MicroProse, 1989)

Reviewed by CPC4eva

Barring the small screen size and poor Spectrum-like colour scheme, sprites and graphics, MicroProse Soccer has all the elements of a fun football game. There are plenty of options such as whether to play a 6-a-side or 11-a-side tournament or take part in the World Cup. Some nice tunes play on the menu screens on 128K machines, but unfortunately there are only a few beeps during the game. A really well laid out and presented set of menus and tables adds to the enjoyment as you watch how all the teams are progressing. MicroProse Soccer has a lot of fun elements, such as the adjustable banana curve meter allowing you to score miraculous goals, and you can change the length of each game and add weather such as rain; the lightning effect is pretty cool. I found myself playing this over and over again.

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8

Micro Sapiens

(French)

(ERE Informatique, 1985)

Test your knowledge of French vocabulary in this game for up to four players. In each round, one player moves an alien around the screen collecting letters, while being chased by a tentacled monster. Each letter is worth a certain number of points, just like the Scrabble board game. Once eight letters are collected, or the monster eats the alien, the letters are presented and all the players have a limited amount of time to combine them to form a word. When the time runs out, each player enters their word, and the player with the highest scoring word earns points. The game is written mostly in BASIC and it shows, particularly during the section in which you collect letters. The graphics and sound effects are very primitive, and the computer's vocabulary seems quite limited and doesn't recognise many common French words.

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4

Midnight Resistance

(Ocean, 1990)

Reviewed by Chris Lennard

An enemy group has kidnapped your entire family in order to blackmail you so that you can be coerced to their whim. However you decide to arm yourself to the teeth, commando-style, and with a friend's attempt to rescue them from their captors in this action shoot-'em-up. You guide our intrepid hero through side scrolling screens of pretty much shooting anything or anyone that stands in your way. Special weapon upgrades can be bought from shops via the tokens collected from your dead enemies. These prove most useful, as your defences are limited to one hit only. Graphics are detailed, but are of Spectrum quality. However, they don't detract from a faithful arcade conversion with bags of gameplay.

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8

MiG Busters

(Players, 1990)

Take to the skies in your F-16 Fighting Falcon and shoot down Russian MiG fighters. This is a fairly easy shoot'-em-up, but I rather like it, actually. You view the back of the plane as it flies 'into' the screen, shooting away at the planes and helicopters as they fly towards you. You'll need to replenish your ammunition regularly by flying into the boxes on the ground – hmmm! After each of the six levels, your plane is upgraded, and you do notice the difference. The graphics are reasonable, even if the scenery is rather lacking, and the sound effects are reasonable. As I've already said, it is easy but enjoyable.

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7

MiG-29 Fighter

(Codemasters, 1989)

The MiG-29 is a Russian-built single-seater fighter aircraft, and you're flying on a series of missions to bomb tanks and shoot enemy fighters and helicopters – although it's unclear who the enemy is. You've got four types of weapons at your disposal, and after the second mission, you can collect an H-bomb and use it – wow! It's a shame that the controls are a bit awkward, as you have to cycle through the list of weapons to get the one you want, while at the same time trying to dodge enemy fire. The graphics are mediocre and the music and sound effects are poor, too.

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5

Mike Gunner

(Dinamic, 1988)

Mike Gunner is the best detective in the country. His latest assignment sees him in the city of Robbland, which has been taken over by armed criminals. This is a target shooting game which can be only played using MHT's Gunstick; it cannot be played using the keyboard or joystick, which is a shame. The game consists of just two levels. The first level takes place in Central Park, while the second level is set in Killing Street – nice name! On each level, you must gain 25,000 points by shooting the criminals, while not shooting at policemen or innocent civilians. The first level is fairly relaxed – in fact, it's a bit too relaxed – but the second level is much more hectic and a lot more fun. The graphics are excellent, and despite the problems with the first level, this is arguably one of the best games for the Gunstick.

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8

Mike Read's Computer Pop Quiz

(Elite, 1988)

Mike Read was a household name in the UK for many years, presenting many radio and TV programmes. One of these was Pop Quiz, in which two teams containing pop stars took part in a quiz answering questions related to music. This game is based on the quiz and can be played against the computer or a friend. Each team selects three pop stars, each of whom has their own specialist type of music, and you simply answer questions in each of the rounds. The digitised graphics are pretty good, but even if you're a big fan of 1980s music, you'll probably find sitting through endless questions a bit tedious.

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5

Mikie

(Imagine, 1986)

Mikie is infatuated with a gorgeous girl in another class, but to woo her, he has to collect hearts. This means bunking off classes, so first of all, he's got to collect the hearts which his classmates are sitting on by farting next to them (yuk!) and forcing them to move to another desk, while avoiding the teacher. Subsequent levels see you in other rooms in the school collecting more hearts, before fighting off her admirers and kissing her on the cheek – awww! This was apparently the first game ever to feature semi-naked women, although the graphics aren't up to much, and neither is the game itself – getting out of the classroom is far too difficult.

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5

Milk Race

(Mastertronic, 1987)

The Milk Race was a 1000-mile cycle race across England, and the last one was held in 1993. In the game, you're competing against 83 other cyclists in the 1987 event, starting in Newcastle upon Tyne and finishing in the streets of London. The competitors are spread out into groups at the start of each stage, and to qualify for the next stage, you must finish ahead of the other members of your group. It sounds like a joystick-waggling game, but thankfully it isn't; you just have to select the right speed and gears for the terrain, and there's a box at the top right of the screen which shows the gradient. You can collect milk bottles to boost your energy as well. The graphics aren't spectacular, but the music is really good. It's good while it lasts, because ultimately the game is rather easy.

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7

Le Millionnaire

(French)

(ERE, 1985)

Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard

You're a businessman who tries to become a millionaire. I guess that wasn't the case of the creator of this game... You first have to decide which products you want to sell, and the skill level of your opponent (you may as well play against a human player). Then, you adjust a few parameters (price, quality, etc.) and the computer will tell you how much money you've earned... and that's all! There are no pictures, except a few diagrams. It's written in BASIC and it shows. Forget this one!

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2

Mindfighter

(Activision/Abstract Concepts, 1988)

Southampton, 1988; nuclear bombs have been dropped on the UK, and China has taken control with a totalitarian régime known as The System. A boy called Robin has transported himself to this scenario while his body remains in the present, in 1987. Can he prevent this nuclear holocaust from occurring? This is an intriguing text adventure which is based on a book which also comes with the game; it's necessary to read it to understand the background to events, and what you need to do. The locations are laid out in an extremely confusing and illogical manner which will frustrate many people, and random events can occur which prevent you from making progress. Despite this, I found the game to be quite gripping, although you will need a lot of patience to play it.

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8

Mindshadow

(Activision, 1985)

Reviewed by Pug

In Mindshadow, you find yourself stranded upon a desert island with no memory of how you arrived there. Your first task is therefore to find a means of escape making use of the objects scattered around the island. Each location is accompanied by a (quickly rendered) image relative to your positon on the game map, adding an extra sense of realism to the game. Some of the scenery will change once you've solved a puzzle – a nice touch. The game also includes an interactive tutorial to help get you started. Mindshadow quickly becomes an addictive challenge, especially after you escape the island and learn more about your past.

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9

Mindtrap

(Mastertronic, 1989)

A brain-teasing puzzle game where you must rotate all the dice so that each of the six columns contains the corresponding dice – so the dice showing 1 go into the leftmost column, and the dice showing 6 go into the rightmost column. It's easy for the first 30 or so levels, but after that, the levels have two or more 'floors', and you'll also need to swap groups of dice between the floors. The game is mostly written in BASIC and is well known for having a million levels! Needless to say, no one is ever going to get anywhere close to that target. There's not much to say about the graphics – they don't need to be impressive for this type of game, and they certainly aren't – and the sound is awful as well.

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4

Mission

(Loriciels, 1987)

The agent MALOX has stolen the secret formula for the Megatron bomb and plans to sell it to an enemy power. MALOX is located within a labyrinth of eighty rooms, and you must explore all of the rooms one by one to reach him and kill him. Each room contains a mixture of enemies and obstacles. Most of the enemies will home in on you, and the majority of them can be stunned temporarily with your laser, but some of them are invulnerable. Along the way, you can also collect helmets and body armour to improve your resistance to enemies. The rooms are viewed in an isometric perspective with beautifully detailed graphics (there are even some advertisements for Loriciels and a couple of its other games!). The sound effects are also quite good. The combination of shoot-'em-up action and puzzle elements makes this an interesting and entertaining game to play.

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8

Mission Elevator

(Eurogold, 1986)

Reviewed by Pug

There's a bomb ticking away somewhere high up within a hotel, and you're the man sent in to defuse it. Enemy agents are everywhere as you explore the lower levels, with a mission to stop you at all costs. Exploring the floors and its contents reveals secrets, information, and more importantly, keys. It's a clever game requiring a lot of thought as you roam around reaching higher floors, with a lot of humour included too; don't mess with the fuses! Colourful graphics with decent animation and a few audio effects add to a pleasing and entertaining game.

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8

Mission Genocide

(Firebird, 1987)

Reviewed by Chris Lennard

Take on the alien scum and lay waste to their planets in this amusing top-scrolling shoot-'em-up. Whilst not the most original or best looking of this type of game, the action moves along at a nice pace, and the ability to destroy the planet surface structures below is a pleasant addition to the usual slaughtering of waves of incoming aliens. As the game progresses, it does become somewhat surreal – the flying strawberries on the second level in particular! It's also notable for its peculiar hardware scrolling effect called Rotovision.

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5

Mission Jupiter

(Codemasters, 1987)

Aliens have entered our solar system, and your spaceship has landed on one of Jupiter's moons. You get out of the ship and start blasting the aliens as you walk across the lunar landscape. Yes, this is yet another average, horizontally scrolling shoot-'em-up, and there's absolutely nothing special about this one. There is just one long level, divided into ten sections. If you lose one of your lives, you resume at the start of the section you're on. The graphics and sound effects are both mediocre, although the game has the option to save the high score table so you can preserve your scores for posterity – that is, if you can actually achieve a high score, because it's also a rather difficult game.

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5

Mission Omega

(Mind Games, 1986)

Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard

Guess what? You must save the Earth. A spaceship is rushing through space towards our planet. Managing to enter it, you have only one hour to find a way to sabotage the ship and escape. This game is really surprising. Everything is done by clicking on icons (a Windows-like environment on the CPC!). The main interest of the game is the building of your robots (up to eight) that you control to explore the spaceship. The base is really huge and the time you're given is far too short. To make your mission even harder, you must fight aliens and find the right switches to open the many magnetic gates that block your progress. Fortunately, there is an automap. But the base is never the same twice; rooms are built randomly at the beginning of a new game so it's impossible to remember your way in this maze!

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6

Mr. Freeze

(Firebird, 1984)

Mr. Freeze is inside a refrigerator which needs to be de-iced. There is a de-icer in each of the six compartments, which Mr. Freeze can reach only by negotiating the platforms and ladders, and avoiding the robots. This is a very strange fridge indeed! Some robots wander left and right across the platforms and can be frightened off with your flamethrower, but there is another robot on the ceiling which moves towards you and fires lasers at you when you climb a ladder; you'll need to work out how it moves in order to get up and down safely. This is an old game, so the graphics and music are nothing special at all, and the gameplay isn't all that interesting. It might have been OK when it was originally released, but it hasn't stood the test of time well.

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5

Mister Gas

(Xortrapa Soft, 1989)

Mr. Gas is a bubble who was destined to enjoy life in a champagne bottle. But he's trapped inside a soda water factory and will end up inside a soda water bottle instead! This cannot be allowed to happen, so Mr. Gas must escape. The only way out of the factory is a pipe, but it's blocked, and you must roam the factory and search for the four objects that are required to turn the rusty tap that opens the gateway to freedom, while avoiding the energy-sapping crabs, birds, robots and ventilation shafts. Sadly, this is a terrible game with awful, monochrome graphics and absolutely no sound effects whatsoever, which only adds to the boredom and monotony of searching the (very large) factory for the four objects.

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2

Mr. Heli

(Firebird, 1989)

Reviewed by Javier Sáez

Mr. Heli is a coin-op conversion in which you guide a cross between a robot and a helicopter through three different levels. As usual, your task involves shooting down almost everything you come across while you keep dodging a variety of bullets and missiles. The cheerful tune and the cute graphics are likely to fool the player but beware, Mr. Heli isn't an easy game and you'd better use the power-ups that come up from time to time wisely. To sum up, a good shoot-'em-up that could have been better if the levels weren't all too similar.

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7

Mr. Pingo

(Rainbow Arts, 1986)

This is a below-average clone of the classic arcade game Pengo, in which a penguin pushes blocks of ice to kill the enemies, while trying to push parts of a diamond together. As well as throwing ice at the Sno-Bees (the enemies), you can also shake the boundary wall to stun them. However, as soon as you kill a Sno-Bee, another will appear. The early levels are easy, but as you progress, the Sno-Bees move faster and it's more difficult to escape from them. The graphics do their job, and the tune is very jolly, but every level is almost exactly the same as the previous one and things quickly become boring.

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5

Mr. Weems and the She Vampires

(Piranha, 1987)

Mr. Weems delves into the realms of the lair of the She Vampires in his quest to destroy the Great She Vampire. There are six levels, each of which bristles with vampires, Frankenstein's monsters and She Vampires, and contact with any of them reduces Mr. Weems' blood count. Fortunately, there are bottles of blood to be collected, and you'll also find keys and garlic bombs lying about. You've also got to find a wooden box on each level, or you'll be unable to kill the Great She Vampire – if you manage to meet her. Both the graphics and sound effects in this game are appalling, which lets it down an awful lot. Another thing – it's much easier to play this game using the joystick.

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4

Mr. Wong's Loopy Laundry

(Amsoft/Artic, 1984)

Help Mr. Wong run his laundry by negotiating the platforms and ladders, collecting the dirty clothes, and throwing them down the chute to be washed. However, it's not that easy, because Mr. Wong is constantly being chased by a possessed iron, a sack of dirty laundry, and a cluster of soap bubbles. Well, it is a loopy laundry, after all! Fortunately, he can fire starch at the enemies to freeze them temporarily, but his supplies are limited, so it must be used sparingly. This is a very early platform game, and it shows. The graphics are very basic, albeit colourful, and the confined playing area makes it quite difficult to dodge the enemies, and each level looks and plays almost identically to the previous one.

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4

MLM 3D: Evasion de la Lune

(Chip, 1986)

Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard

You were dropped on the moon against your will (don't ask me how) and your only chance to return home is to reach the rocket going back to Earth before it takes off. Driving a kind of buggy (which fortunately was shipped with two gun turrets), you must find the key that opens the rocket launchpad and clear your way through strange bouncing and exploding aliens. The game is divided into five parts, which are much alike. The difficulty is well balanced and increases smoothly. You'll soon figure out that the real point of the game is trying not to run out of fuel. So, you'll have to keep shooting fuel barrels (!), while jumping over holes and avoiding hostile fire. The realisation is rather good, with colourful graphics and very good scrolling. It's a pity that the game, though rather difficult, should be so short.

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6

Mobile Man

(Loriciel, 1990)

Reviewed by Pug

You are the Mobile Man, tasked with a mission to clear the catacombs of monsters, acid containers and barriers that block your way. You pilot a levi-pod that can move in four directions. Your weapon shoots a certain coloured blast which will only take out monsters of the same colour, so flowers of different colours need to be found to remove other creatures found dwelling in deeper levels. Acid cans act as barriers that can be shot by finding gaps in the walls of the maze. Strangely, the occupants of this underground world love barbecues, and sitting upon one restores your energy! This is an easy game to get into with a balanced difficulty level. It features lovely graphics and a very pleasant tune.

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8

Mokowe

(French)

(Lankhor, 1990)

Elephants are being hunted and killed for their tusks, and you have ventured to Kenya, travelling through jungles and villages, to arrest two ivory dealers, bring them to justice and do your bit to stop these magnificent beasts from being slaughtered. The game starts in a hotel where three rather eccentric characters are staying. Timing is essential here, as the characters come and go depending on the time, and there are some areas which can only be accessed at certain times; the best way to find out when is to experiment. The graphics, music and sound effects are all excellent and atmospheric and have a real African feel. The story and concept of the game is a welcome change from the fantasy and science fiction settings of most adventures.

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8

Molecule Man

(Mastertronic, 1986)

Molecule Man is trapped in a maze consisting of 256 screens – and what's more, the maze is contaminated with radioactive material! Escaping from the maze using the teleporter is a good idea, then, but it can only be used once the 16 circuits have been found. While wandering the maze, you will find coins that can be used to buy bombs (which allow you to blow holes in walls and access other parts of the maze) and anti-rad pills (which top up your energy). You will need to buy pills fairly regularly, though. The maze is viewed from an isometric perspective, and while the scenery is detailed, everything is drawn in monochrome. This isn't the sort of game that appeals to me that much, but it also contains a level editor that allows you to design your own mazes – a nice bonus.

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6

Monopoly

(Leisure Genius, 1985)

Arguably the world's best known board game is poorly recreated on the CPC. Up to six players, human or computer, can play as they buy properties and then houses and hotels, and hopefully collect rent when other players land on their properties. There's also the frustration when you roll the dice and realise that you're going to land on the 'go to jail' square. Unfortunately, the game moves extremely slowly. Messages take ages to appear on the screen, and there are unnecessarily long delays between events. It ruins the thrill of the game entirely. Stick with the real board game; it's much more fun that way.

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3

Monte Carlo Casino

(Codemasters, 1989)

This little number is really five games in one; roulette, black jack, poker, craps and the fruit machine all feature, although the fruit machine is rather lacking in extras. You start with $10,000 and have to break the bank by getting a cool one million dollars – and it's not easy. You can choose any of the five games, and if you're not having much success at them, you can leave them at any time. The graphics are average, but there are some nice tunes – and at least you can't lose any money! Then again, you can't win any, either...

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7

Monty on the Run

(Gremlin, 1986)

Reviewed by John Beckett

Monty on the Run is the first Monty Mole game out of three for the CPC, and the story goes that our hero has escaped from jail and is making a bid for freedom, with his aim being to get to France. Strangely, this involves Monty somersaulting around a load of platforms avoiding strange enemies like teapots and giant hands. The graphics are detailed and pretty nice, the sound is good, but the game is way too hard! For example, at the start of the game you select five out of twenty or so items to take with you. Some are vital, some are deadly, some are useless, but choose the wrong ones and you soon find yourself stuck. Add to this the annoying totally random crushers, the teleporters which take you anywhere you don't want to be, and the split-second timing needed for every jump, and you get one of the hardest games ever made – which is a shame because apart from that, it's really good.

See also: Auf Wiedersehen Monty, Impossamole.

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7

Monty Python's Flying Circus

(Virgin, 1990)

And now for something completely different... D. P. Gumby's brain has split into four pieces which have all wandered off. As Mr. Gumby, you must collect all the pieces on each of the four levels of the game. During the game, you will encounter all sorts of Monty Python-related silliness and wackiness. It's a platform game-cum-shoot-'em-up, but it's great fun! You also need to shoot pieces of cheese which will reveal food to boost your energy, and tins of spam which are required if you want to collect those pieces of Mr. Gumby's brain (you need 16 in each level). The graphics are spectacularly wonderful, although there isn't much in the way of sound effects, and even if you're not a fan of Monty Python, this is still a thoroughly enjoyable, and crazy, game to play.

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9

Monument

(Zeppelin, 1991)

Somewhere within the ruins of a city lies a monument which you must reach. However, the city is filled with robots and mines, both of which will kill you if you come into contact with them, losing one of your seven lives. Most of the robots don't shoot at you, but occasionally there are some larger robots which will fire at you and will take several shots to destroy. The graphics are very nicely drawn, and the colours reflect the sombre mood; the silhouettes against the setting sun in the sky are particularly good. On the other hand, there isn't much in the way of sound, and the gameplay is so frustratingly difficult that you'll want to throw your keyboard or joystick against the wall.

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4

Moon Blaster

(Loriciel, 1990)

Every year, a battle takes place on the Three Moons galactic system. Whoever wins the contest obtains the rights to exploit the resources of the moons. Last year, the Cyruls won, so this year, you have been chosen to beat them. Yes, you must take on the might of the Cyruls single-handedly; it's not a fair contest, is it? The game is really simple; shoot the Cyruls while driving around the arena trying to avoid them, since the Cyrul vehicles are suicidal and try to crash into you, losing you energy. An alarm will sound if you reach the edge of the arena, and if you stray outside it, the game is over. The 3D graphics are very fast, and the music and presentation are very nice as well. The gameplay, however, is limited, and rather difficult.

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6

Moon Buggy

(Anirog, 1985)

Drive your moon buggy across the lunar surface, avoiding craters by jumping over them, and shooting rocks that stand in your way, as well as the planes which fly over you and occasionally fire bullets at you. It's a really simple game which doesn't stand the test of time any more. The graphics aren't that good, although the scrolling background featuring volcanoes and craters works well to create an impression of movement, and the sound effects are awful. As for the gameplay, it's too repetitive and there's not enough to do.

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4

Moon Cresta

(Incentive, 1986)

A space shoot-'em-up based on the coin-op of the same name. Just shoot the waves of aliens and don't crash into them; that's easier said than done, though, because by the third wave, there are a lot of aliens to shoot and they fly around the screen very fast indeed! Your spaceship is divided into three parts, and each part represents one of your three lives. The first part only has a single laser, but the second and third parts are more powerful. The graphics are fairly good, and I really like the colourful twinkling stars in the background; it's a very nice effect. The explosions are noisy, too. However, it's such a difficult game that you need extremely good reflexes, as well as luck, to get past the fourth wave of aliens.

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5

Moonmist

(Infocom, 1986)

Your friend, Tamara Lynd, has asked you to come to Tresyllian Castle to investigate a ghost. Arriving at the castle at 7:00pm, you meet Tamara and the occupants of the castle and have dinner with them – but you also have to take part in a treasure hunt while trying to identify the ghost. Where the treasure is, what the treasure is, and who the ghost is changes in each of the four variations of this text adventure, depending on what you enter as your favourite colour (red, yellow, green or blue). Some of the variations are very interesting... This is one of the easiest of Infocom's text adventures; it's so easy that even I completed it quickly, and I'm not a big fan of text adventures. As a result, there's little else to merit the game.

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7

Moontorc

(Atlantis, 1991)

Princess Lalena has been captured by the Dark Lord, and you have to rescue her by battling through four levels of platforming action and collecting the three parts of Moontorc on each one. Each level has three shops where you can buy the parts of Moontorc, as well as keys – a lot of extra objects are hidden behind coloured doors, and making a map is almost essential since you may well have to restart the game if you don't have the right key – very annoying! Despite this, the game is actually very good (especially the graphics) and probably the best game that Atlantis has released.

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8

Moonwalker

(US Gold, 1989)

Reviewed by CPC4eva

At the height of his stardom, Michael Jackson was so popular worldwide that he made a movie called Moonwalker. Later, in 1989, there was a computer game. The first two levels are top-down maze-style screens, exploring and locating objects to make up MJ's clothing and motorcycle. The third level is a side-scrolling affair; here you must find ammo and a machine gun in order to shoot bad guys in a club. On the fourth and final level MJ morphs into a robot, shooting soldiers as well as some type of ray cannon by controlling a crosshair. Although you get heaps of lives to complete each section, it's rather hard and very frustrating. The graphics, while colourful, are quite blocky and flicker while MJ moves. It must be noted this home computer version is not in any way like the arcade version which is rather good and fun to play.

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4

More Than a Prison

(LTS Games, 2015)

Reviewed by Missas

More Than a Prison is a maze game that genuinely represents the early- to mid-1980s games. You take control of an inmate and you must guide him to escape from the prison. Fortunately for us, the gamers, it is quite challenging and entertaining trying to do this. You need to grab the keys, open the doors and avoid some enemies that look like wheels with blades, but one type of enemy homes in on the poor prisoner until it kills him. Precision is essential if you are to escape! The levels are cleverly designed and the difficulty level rises reasonably from screen to screen. Both the tune and the entire game feel like they were written 30 years ago! I think the game deserved a better rating than it received in the 2015 #CPCRetroDev Game Creation Contest because I really enjoyed its overall presentation and gameplay.

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7

Morris Meets the Bikers

(Automata UK, 1984)

Morris the car is in a multi-storey car park and has to get out – but the Phantom, Phreaky, Phearsome Kamikaze Bikers from the constellation of Morris Minor are driving manically around the car park! Honestly, this is the actual scenario of the game! You have to use the lifts to collect ten coins, while warding off the Bikers with your horn, and avoiding the parking fees (represented by pink boxes) and other hazards. Because of the year the game was released, the graphics and sound effects are primitive, and the gameplay is very simple. It's OK, but all the screens are the same, so it becomes repetitive.

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5

Mot

(Opera Soft, 1989)

Mot is a monster who lives with a boy called Leo, and he has the ability to teleport to other worlds. This game consists of three parts, the first of which sees you as Leo in his house, attempting to lead Mot around the house to the portal that will take you and him to Mot's world while trying not to annoy Leo's parents too much. In the second and third parts, you control Mot in a vertically scrolling beat-'em-up where you must fend off all sorts of weird and wonderful enemies. The graphics are beautifully drawn and very well animated; the reactions of Leo's parents in the first part are particularly amusing! Unfortunately the first part is quite frustrating to play, although thankfully the other two parts can be played without having to complete the first one.

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7

Moto Cross Simulator

(Codemasters, 1989)

Fancy testing your skills on an off-road scrambler bike? Then try this. On each level there's an obstacle course where you jump over logs, rocks and chasms, and a time trial section where you have to complete the course within a time limit. The graphics are all right, although the colours used are horrible, and the music is OK too. The sound effects are limited to the humming of your engine, and in fact, it looks like you're doing about 10mph on the obstacle courses! It is let down by the game not being at all easy to get into – getting your bike over the first obstacle can be a feat in itself.

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6

Motorbike Madness

(Mastertronic, 1988)

This game's all about time trials, as you negotiate your dirt bike through an obstacle course within four minutes. Among the obstacles to be cleared are ramps, ladders, planks, rough ground, steep hills, and the odd Volkswagen Beetle as well, and there are seven courses. However, getting off the first course is impossible – your bike is difficult to control, and some of the obstacles require a ridiculous degree of precision. The isometric graphics are nice, and there's a picture of your bike falling apart as you keep crashing, but the game is so difficult that it's not worth bothering with.

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4

Motor Massacre

(Gremlin, 1988)

Dr. A. Noid has turned the Earth's inhabitants into zombies by feeding them with the addictive food substitute Slu. A reward has been offered to stop him, so you decide to stop him. You must drive around three cities in your All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) and explore buildings to find food, ammunition, extras for your ATV, and ultimately, a pass to enter the arena, where you participate in an all-out demolition derby and knock cars out of the arena. Survive this, and you can go to the next city. The graphics aren't up to much, and for some reason, there are no sound effects on 64K machines (although there is a tune). There's also quite a contrast in the difficulty; the city sections are easy, but the arena is quite tough, and making a single mistake in the arena can often mean the end of the game.

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6

Motos

(Mastertronic, 1987)

This is a game where you must bounce all the enemies off the platforms on each level, but they'll also try to bounce you off! On later levels, you can collect power parts and jump parts to make things a little easier, and if your time gets short, holes will start appearing in the platform as you are shot at! The graphics are fairly colourful but still garish, and there's a cool tune to go along with it. The range of enemies is also quite satisfactory, and all in all, it's quite a lot of fun to play.

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8

Mountain Bike Racer

(Positive, 1990)

Reviewed by Pug

Mountain Bike Racer does what it says on the tin... kind of. In this side-scroller, you compete against other bike riders along various kinds of terrain. Certain types of terrain affect your bike's performance, but strangely leave the other racers unaffected. Certain bystanders can help improve your performance if you stop to meet them, while others hinder you. The graphics are detailed, but the use of colour could have been better, and the game plays in silence.

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3

Mountain Bike Simulator

(Codemasters, 1991)

Although it's Mountain Bike Simulator in the game, it was actually released as Mountain Bike 500. Take to the mountainous terrain as you try to complete several courses within the time limit. Your mountain bike has all the latest technology, including an ultra-tough frame – and you'll need it, as mastering the courses (and the controls) takes some time. The graphics are extremely detailed, although they're in Spectrum-like monochrome, and the tune is irritating. It's not a bad game by any means, but you do need a lot of perseverance if you're going to see what the other courses are like.

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6

Mountie Mick's Death Ride

(Reaktör, 1987)

The McCluskey gang have ambushed the Trans-Canadian Express train. Only you, Mountie Mick, armed with a pistol, can stop the gang from escaping with their loot. You start at the back of the train and must work your way to the front by shooting gang members, climbing on to the roofs of the carriages, and leaping over the gaps between the carriages. When you reach the front, you must waggle the joystick or hit the up and down keys to reach the next train. First impressions of this game are favourable, with great graphics, a scenic backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, and good sound effects. However, it doesn't last. It's far too easy to die, and the collision detection is very unforgiving indeed.

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4

Movie

(Imagine, 1986)

Reviewed by Javier Sáez

In this game you play a private investigator who has been paid to find and recover an audio tape kept somewhere inside Bug Maloy's headquarters. But first you'll have to find a girl that will give you some valuable clues. However, beware of her twin sister, who's a member of the mob. Movie is a highly playable game, which combines Filmation-style isometric graphics with a powerful and easy to use icon-based contol system. You can perform several actions, even talk to other characters, in a way that drives the gameplay quite close to graphic adventures (as close as a CPC game could be, that is). Movie is only let down by a lack of sound effects and the Spectrum-like graphics, but it's still a great game.

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8

Moving Target

(Players, 1989)

An operation to destroy an underground lair in Colombia belonging to a drugs baron went wrong when your team was gunned down by his henchmen. Four bombs were smuggled in and were supposed to be connected to generators to activate them, but they never managed to do this. You are the only surviving member of the team and must activate the four bombs yourself. You are faced with an overwhelming amount of gunfire directed at you by the baron's many henchmen and gun turrets, and mines and barbed wire also deplete your strength. The lair is very large indeed, and when you combine this with the number of enemies, it makes the game very difficult indeed. The graphics are pretty good, and the music is OK as well, but getting anywhere is really tricky.

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6

Multi-Player Soccer Manager

(D&H Games, 1990)

This football management game stands out in a league consisting mostly of mediocrity. Unusually, all the text is displayed in the low-resolution, multi-colour mode, although it is easy to read, and the icon-based menu is very beautiful. More importantly, the game is packed with statistics about all 64 teams and players taking part in the four divisions. There is also the option to train your players, and the auction-based transfer market system works well. Unfortunately, it takes a long time to obtain the necessary money to buy better players and ultimately be promoted to the 3rd Division or become the manager of a 3rd Division team, but there are no match highlights, so you won't have to wait ages between matches. It may be mostly text only, but if you're a fan of football management games, this is one of the best for the CPC.

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8

Munch-It

(Tynesoft, 1985)

One of the reasons why Pac-Man is so enjoyable is the need for quick reflexes as the ghosts whizz around the maze. Unfortunately the speed is taken out of this game, so that you're left with a slow and boring version of Pac-Man that's no fun at all. The backgrounds change with each level, which is something of note, but the graphics and sound effects are nothing special, and when you lose one of your three lives, you have to start the entire maze again, which is extremely annoying by the time you reach the third level.

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4

Mundial de Fútbol

(Opera Soft, 1990)

This is a Spanish football game that was released to coincide with the 1990 World Cup. The graphics and sound effects are both very good, and passing and shooting are really easy, thanks to some generous collision detection. Your opponents also seem to collect a lot of yellow and red cards as well, for some reason! However, there are some complaints. Scoring goals is very difficult; the goalkeeper can save even when the ball is nowhere near him! You also can't view the group tables, and in one match, I encountered a bug which meant that I had to restart the game. Despite these problems, the game is still fairly good. There's also a brilliant intro where you can watch the opening ceremony with the national anthems of all the teams being played!

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8

The Munsters

(Again Again, 1989)

At 1313 Mockingbird Lane live the Munster family, and Marilyn has been kidnapped. You start the game controlling Lily and have to look for other family members before rescuing Marilyn. You'll need to spend some time shooting ghouls in order to build up your spell power, which is essential for killing the more powerful ghosts and monsters. Furthermore, some ghouls can't be killed unless you have picked up the correct object. A great adaptation of the theme tune to this well known TV series plays constantly, and the graphics are reasonably good as well. But the game is so hard that you'll never get anywhere! You only have one life, and your energy can be totally depleted instantly upon contact with many of the ghouls. It's probably one of the most difficult games I've ever come across.

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3

Mutant Fortress

(Players, 1989)

Reviewed by John Beckett

Surely a contender for the manliest game ever, the basic storyline for this game is nicely summed up in its tag line; "Muties have stolen his truck... and now he's well hacked off!" And you play said trucker as he walks and blasts his way through several very difficult mutant-filled levels, before reaching the Mutant Fortress and retrieving his beloved 18-wheeler. How manly can you get! Anyway, the graphics are good and detailed, though suffering from a lack of colour, and the sound is decent; it's just that – like so many games of this type – it's far too hard. This is a shame, because it's a fun game with lots of different enemies to kill and weapons to find. Sadly, the game goes beyond challenging into frustrating.

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5

Mutant Monty

(Amsoft/Artic, 1984)

Can Monty work his way through 40 levels in order to rescue the princess, while collecting all the gold on each level to open the door that leads to the next one? It's a big challenge. The levels are filled with monsters which you must avoid touching, or you'll lose one of your five lives. It's a very old game and it shows. The graphics are rather primitive, and so is the music, which plays the same 20-second tune over and over again – although the tune isn't actually that annoying. No doubt there is a lot of nostalgia in this game for some people, but since I never owned it when it was released back in the CPC's earliest days, I have no strong feelings for it.

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5

Mutants

(Ocean, 1987)

The Survivor Zero Corporation has developed a range of biological weapons known as Macro-Genetic Mutoids, or mutants, and you have been chosen to enter the sector where they are held and destroy them. Each mutant is contained within one of fifteen zones located in outer space. You must enter each of the zones in your spaceship and retrieve a component of a self-destruct mechanism which must then be assembled in the control zone. The mutants themselves are little more than pretty, psychedelic, swirling patterns, which are fairly interesting to watch. However, the controls can be unresponsive, and some of the mutants are so deadly and so difficult to avoid that it seems practically impossible to complete all fifteen zones.

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5

Mutan Zone

(Opera Soft, 1988)

Reviewed by Javier Sáez

Mutan Zone has everything you'd expect to find in a good game concercing graphics, sound and gameplay. Unfortunately, all these features become spoiled by a frustrating level of difficulty. The game is divided in two different parts that are loaded separately. On the first one you take a perilous walk through the mutant zone, while on the second one you ride a sort of flying bike. You start the game with a ridiculous amount of lives. Nevertheless, you'll find a mini-game on each part that allows you to gather more lives, but then again, these mini-games are too hard and rather than increase the lives counter, you'll lose lives even before playing the game itself.

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6

Myrddin Flight Simulation

(Myrddin, 1985)

This was one of the first 3D flight simulators to be released for the Amstrad CPC, so it's rather basic as a result, with everything being drawn on the screen in wireframe 3D – and very slowly indeed, with a lot of flickering. Compared with later flight simulators, it is rather lacking in features, although this means that it is relatively easy to start the engines and take off – but landing the plane will take a little practice! Flying around the landscape, searching for the various objects marked on the map, is fun at first, but there is no objective or series of missions to complete, so exploring the landscape is all that you can do. It may have been good in its day, but much better simulations have been released for the CPC since then.

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5

Le Mystère de Kikekankoi

(French)

(Loriciels, 1985)

Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard

Another text/graphics adventure from Loriciels. You find a message in a bottle written by a young woman who is being held by a mad scientist, and you decide to go and help her! Your adventure starts in a cave, and you must find the appropriate objects in order to progress. You must think quickly because your energy decreases every second and as soon as it reaches 25%, you're dead! Every wrong step means death too, and it's really trial and error, because there are a lot of traps, holes, etc. A good map will prove useful to survive more than 5 minutes... The graphics are cute, but it isn't enough to save the game from mediocrity.

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5

Mystery of the Indus Valleys

(Alternative, 1988)

You are a member of the London Archaeological Society and have been sent to the Indus Valleys of South America, to retrieve two long-lost treasures – the Scytheran tablet, and Alexandrite's starstone. This is a text adventure created using GAC, and it's rather basic. The graphics are nothing special, and the prose and descriptions of each location are not what you'd call verbose or atmospheric. Most of the objects lying around have no use, and it's easy to work out what to do with the useful objects. In short, it's a text adventure for newcomers to the genre, although there seems to be a bug which means that it cannot be completed – as far as I know, anyway...

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4

Mystery of the Nile

(Firebird/Zigurat, 1987)

Abu-Sahl has stolen the immensely valuable Jewel of Luxor, and a trio of characters – Janet Dwight, Nevada Smith and Al-Hasan – set out to recover the jewel. At the start of the game, Al-Hasan and Nevada are being held prisoner, so you control Janet, who must rescue them. However, before you can do so, you must kill all the enemies on each screen using bombs. Soon, things become more hectic, as you can switch between the three characters – although the characters you don't control will quickly wander about the screen and get themselves killed! This makes the game quite frustrating. The difficulty level is also very unforgiving; make even the tiniest mistake and you are punished for it. Well, this is actually a Spanish game that was originally released as El Misterio del Nilo, and you know how difficult most Spanish games are!

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6

Mystical

(Infogrames, 1990)

Appeared on an Amstrad Action covertape

Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard

You're a young wizard who made a mistake in a magical formula and scattered all the spells and phials of his master, the Great Wizard. So you have to visit many parallel worlds to get them back from evil forces. Never mind the storyline, Mystical is a shoot-'em-up – and a very good one. The graphics are gorgeous, the animation is smooth (though a bit sluggish at times) and the tune during the intro sequence is great. But it's a shame there are no sound effects in the rest of the game (lack of memory, perhaps?). Every time you collect a spell or a potion, you obtain a new power. There are many different characters and spells, which prevents boredom because the game is otherwise rather repetitive. With a greater variety in the design of the levels (and with sound effects!), Mystical could have been one of the very best CPC games. Incidentally, the cartridge version is exactly the same as the normal CPC version!

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8

Myth: History in the Making

(System 3, 1989)

The Earth is once again being threatened by the gods, and you are the only person with the ability to stop them. You must travel through four time zones, starting in the fiery depths of hell, then moving on to Greece, Scandinavia and Egypt, where you confront the Egyptian god Dameron and must kill him to prevent him from taking over the Earth in your own time. You must also collect five teleportation globes on each level to be able to leave it. It may be a far-fetched plot, but it's a fantastic game! Ignore the rather Spectrum-like graphics (which are actually still fairly good), and the fact that there's no music – this game is an absolute classic.

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10

Mythos

(Opera Soft, 1990)

Reviewed by Javier Sáez

If there's anything good to be said about this game, it's that it wasn't programmed by Opera Soft themselves; it was coded by a freelance group. The graphics are average, and so are the scrolling and the movements of your character. Nevertheless, Mythos is so unbelievably difficult right from the start, that nothing else matters about it. Games like this one made quite clear the crisis that Spanish companies were about to undergo at that time.

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