CPC Game Reviews - by
 Nicholas Campbell

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Red Sunset

Bitmap Soft will be releasing a limited edition physical version of ESP Soft's wonderful shoot-'em-up Red Sunset, and you can order a copy now. You'd better be quick, though; the first batch of 25 copies sold out within a day, and the second batch of 25 copies will be the final batch! The box (see the image on the right) will include an A4 poster, an A5 manual, stickers, and a copy of the game on 3″ disc. The cost is £25.00, excluding shipping.

Robert Small has reviewed two games:

Piero Serra has reviewed Meltdown.

I have reviewed three games:

I have reviewed three games:

Crazy Blaster and Rodmän are two relatively new games from Mika Keränen, and both games have also been released for several other 8-bit machines. You can buy physical copies from The Future Was 8 Bit for £4.99 each (excluding shipping costs), or you can download them digitally from itch.io and pay whatever you want.

Piero Serra has reviewed two games:

Robert Small has reviewed Marsport.

Piero Serra has reviewed two games:

It's amazing to think that until now, no one had written a review of Get Dexter 2 – one of the classics that really shows what the Amstrad CPC can do – for this site! Still, better late than never...

Robert Small has reviewed two games:

Piero Serra has reviewed four games:

Piero Serra has reviewed two games:

Robert Small has reviewed two games:

Piero Serra has reviewed three games:

Piero Serra has reviewed three games:

The Enchanted Stones of Cameronne

Ingo Werstler has released his first Amstrad CPC game. It's called The Enchanted Stones of Cameronne and it's based on a puzzle game from 1990 called Ishido: The Way of Stones. There are 72 tiles with different colours and symbols, and you must place them on the board so that neighbouring tiles have either the same colour or symbol. For the highest scores you'll need to get a "four-way match", where two neighbouring tiles have the same colour and another two have the same symbol.

This isn't the first time Ishido has been converted to the Amstrad CPC, but this version is a good effort and it looks very nice and has some atmospheric background music courtesy of Roald Strauss (Mr Lou). You can download The Enchanted Stones of Cameronne from the CPCWiki forum.

New reviews

Piero Serra has reviewed two games:

Robert Small has reviewed two games:

Following a recent stream by Xyphoe, I have also rewritten my review of Psycho Pigs UXB and given it a higher rating.

Piero Serra has reviewed two games:

Piero Serra has reviewed five games:

Novabug's Macmillan Cancer Support fundraiser

Last Saturday, Novabug held a charity fundraising event for Macmillan Cancer Support on YouTube. Normally each Saturday he tests five or six cassettes from his extensive collection of Amstrad CPC games, while people watching the stream will chat about the games being loaded and played, and other things as well. However, last Saturday, he tested 20 (yes, twenty) copies of Bridge-It in his collection and auctioned all of them off for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Bridge-It is widely regarded as one of the worst games to be released for the Amstrad CPC (scoring 0 out of 10 on this site – it really is that bad). It is incredibly easy to find on auction sites like eBay (there are nearly 25 copies of the game on sale on the site as I write this!), and because of this, and the fact that its reputation is so poor, it's worth very little, if anything.

I wasn't expecting much from Novabug's fundraiser, but thanks to the amazing generosity of CPC fans, his initial target of £464 was smashed and all twenty copies of Bridge-It were sold and a staggering £1,130.35 was raised! Congratulations to Novabug and thanks to everyone who donated to such a worthwhile cause. (I was one of the people who bought a cassette, for the normally ludicrous sum of £20.50 – but it's for charity, of course.) You can watch a replay of the YouTube stream below, and you can still make a donation via JustGiving.

Novabug's Bridge-It for Macmillan fundraiser on YouTube

New reviews

Robert Small has reviewed two games:

A new contributor, Piero Serra, has reviewed Special Operations.

Robert Small has reviewed two games:

I have reviewed eight games:

Classic Replay has uploaded a video to YouTube showcasing 40 of the best 'modern' Amstrad CPC games to be released for the machine in the last 15 years or so. If you're not familiar with the CPC, or you haven't played CPC games for many years and want to rediscover what this excellent machine has to offer, you can watch the video below or on YouTube and see if you agree or disagree with his rankings.

Amstrad CPC Top 40 New Games on YouTube

Chaos Rising Part 2

EgoTrip has released a new game called Chaos Rising Part 2. It's intended to be a continuation of the first Chaos Rising game and not a sequel. Amy has awoken on an island that has been overrun by machines, and its inhabitants want her to destroy the five Chaos Chips that control the machines. You can download Chaos Rising Part 2 from the CPCWiki forum.

New reviews

Robert Small has reviewed two games:

I have reviewed Trans-Atlantic Balloon Challenge.

Happy New Year everyone! 2020 was a terrible year with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but it was a great year for CPC releases, which helped me to pass the time stuck at home and get through it all – and I also wrote over 50 reviews of CPC games during 2020, which is the most I have done for many years. Thanks must also go to the other contributors – Robert Small, Shaun Neary, neepheid and Missas – who also provided reviews during 2020.

Atic Atac

John Ward released Atic Atac just before the end of 2020. It's an unofficial conversion of Ultimate Play the Game's classic ZX Spectrum game from 1983. You are locked inside a castle and must explore it to find the key to open the door that will let you escape. You can choose one of three characters – a wizard, a knight or a serf – and each of which has their own set of secret passages that only they can use. It plays just like the Spectrum version, but the graphics are much more colourful and beautiful thanks to the work of Steven Day.

You can download Atic Atac from John's GitHub page.

New reviews

Robert Small has reviewed two games:

Merry Christmas to all CPC fans! There are two more new CPC releases to announce, although one of them is a preview and not a full release.

Wonder Boy Remake

Benjamin Yoris has been working all year on a remake of the Activision game Wonder Boy. It's fair to say that the original CPC version of the game is mediocre at best, and it was rated only 4 out of 10 on this site. The remake features much better and more colourful graphics, better music and smooth scrolling. Benjamin has released a playable preview version of the first stage, which you can download from the CPCWiki forum.

Ninja Carnage

A group called Resistance has released a new game called Ninja Carnage. You are a ninja and your aim is to kill a female rival called Nure-onna who is hiding in a temple. It plays similarly to a point-and-click adventure, but instead of exploring and trying to solve puzzles, you move in a linear manner throughout the game and you have to use a process of trial and error to work out which areas of each panel you need to click in the correct sequence. If you make a mistake, you have to restart the current panel. The graphics are beautiful and the music is excellent, and it's a style of game that hasn't been seen on the CPC before, to the best of my knowledge.

An early version of Ninja Carnage finished in second place in a contest that was organised earlier this year, and you can now download it from Resistance's site. It has been translated into six languages – English, French, German, Greek, Italian and Spanish – but be aware that it contains very strong language throughout and is certainly not suitable for people who are easily offended.

New reviews

I have reviewed two games:

Alcon 2020

The coin-op game Slap Fight was converted to the Amstrad CPC and other 8-bit machines in 1987, but Spanish CPC user Abalore thought that, as with Bubble Bobble and R-Type, it could be done better on the CPC. Now, after four years of work, it has been released just in time for Christmas! You can see how fantastic it plays and looks in the YouTube video below:

Video of Alcon 2020 on YouTube

Alcon 2020 can be downloaded from Abalore's site. One thing to bear in mind is that if you want to play it on an emulator, you will need an emulator that emulates either the GX4000 console or the X-MEM memory expansion device. WinAPE and CPCEC are two emulators that emulate the GX4000 console, and Retro Virtual Machine can emulate the X-MEM device. I advise you to download the cartridge version (the CPR file), as it's much easier to use than the X-MEM version, which has to be installed on the X-MEM first, which can take a while.

Personally, I'm against the idea of developing Amstrad CPC games that require additional hardware expansion devices, as it goes against the spirit of the CPC's "golden era" of the 1980s and early 1990s when games had to run on an unexpanded machine – but that's just my opinion, and Alcon 2020 is a marvellous game.

New reviews

Shaun Neary is back, and as he's a big fan of Slap Fight, he wasted little time in writing a review of Alcon 2020.

I have reviewed three games, including two more from the 2020 #CPCRetroDev Game Creation Contest:

Robert Small has reviewed Chuck Yeager's Advanced Flight Trainer. Chuck Yeager was a famous American test pilot who passed away at the age of 97 a few days ago.

I have reviewed four games, including one from the 2020 #CPCRetroDev Game Creation Contest:

Please note that Buccaneers is currently only available for downloading as a one-level playable demo. The full version is only available by purchasing a physical copy from Matranet, and if you like fancy, shiny packaging, then it is worth purchasing! If you want to see the game in action, Xyphoe played (and completed) Buccaneers on one of his live streams on YouTube, which you can watch here.

Robert Small has reviewed two games:

I have reviewed two games:

SonicGX update

In November 2019, it was announced that Sonic the Hedgehog was being converted to the GX4000 console and Plus machines, under the name of SonicGX. It was expected that it would be released by the end of 2020, but the programmer, NoRecess, has posted a news update to say that it won't be ready until at least 2022. So far, levels 1 and 2 have been completed, and NoRecess has been busy improving and optimising the graphics and adding new music, courtesy of Targhan, but nine screenshots have also been posted, and it's looking rather nice indeed.

Robert Small has reviewed two games:

I have reviewed six games from the 2020 #CPCRetroDev Game Creation Contest:

#CPCRetroDev 2020

The results of the 2020 #CPCRetroDev Game Creation Contest have been announced, and they are as follows:

PRO category

UA category (for games developed by students of the University of Alicante)

  • Best UA student game: Karting Garden (Neon Labs) – €150 prize
  • 2nd best UA student game: Raven Squad (Raven Games) – €75 prize

Special mentions

  • Best arcade game (awarded by Arcade Vintage): Ánima – €150
  • Best multiplayer game (awarded by Gee-k.net): Sorcerers – €100
  • Best music (awarded by IndieGameMusic): Sorcerers – €75
  • Best newcomer game (awarded by Ready and Play): Poisoned Escape (Cracktime Studios) – €70
  • Best "Opera Prima" (awarded by Blast Annual): Karting Garden – €50
  • Best artificial intelligence (awarded by Pablo Ariza): The Abduction of Oscar Z – €200
  • Best soundtrack (awarded by Gominolas): The Abduction of Oscar Z – €200
  • Best overall product (awarded by Jon Cortázar): Sorcerers – €200

The Abduction of Oscar Z swept the board with 557 points – exactly 200 points ahead of its nearest challenger, Sorcerers. All 49 games can be downloaded from the CPCRetroDev 2020 site. As always, congratulations to all the winners!

I will endeavour to play some of these games this weekend and hopefully write some reviews over the next few days.

#CPCRetroDev 2020

The deadline for submitting entries to the 2020 edition of the #CPCRetroDev Game Creation Contest closed last week, and a record 49 games are vying to win a share of €2,315 in prize money! I'm guessing that the COVID-19 lockdown has prompted more people to try to program a game for the competition while they're stuck indoors.

The awards ceremony is scheduled to be held this Friday 13th November at 18:00 UTC on the University of Alicante's YouTube channel. In the meantime, you can watch gameplay videos of all 49 games on YouTube.

I have reviewed Sgt. Helmet Training Day 2020 – a new game from The Mojon Twins that was released a few days ago.

Robert Small has reviewed two games:

Updated version of the Sean McManus Software Collection

Those of you who bought the magazines Amstrad Action and Amstrad Computer User in the early 1990s and typed in the listings that were published in them every month may well recall the name of Sean McManus, whose programs regularly featured in these magazines. He also wrote a machine code game called The Further Adventures of Fred, and it was due to be published on the covertape for issue 118 of Amstrad Action – but unfortunately the magazine ceased publication after 117 issues, although Sean still released the game into the public domain.

Sean has now tweaked The Further Adventures of Fred so that it's a bit easier. The first level was particularly unfair as it put you in immediate danger of losing a life, so it's been modified slightly and swapped around with a later level. Several of his listings have also been updated to include built-in instructions, better presentation, or changes to the keyboard controls.

Sean's collection of his CPC work was originally released in 1997, and you can download the updated 2020 version from his web site. Even after 30 years, he still remembers how to program in Locomotive BASIC!

New reviews

I have reviewed five games:

Robert Small has reviewed two games:

E-mail: nich <AT> durge <DOT> org