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Page 1: Sabian Island - Saint and Greavsie
Page 2: St. Dragon - SAS Combat Simulator
Page 3: SAS Strike Force - Scooby Doo
Page 4: Scoop - Seabase Delta
Page 5: Seas of Blood - 750cc Grand Prix
Page 6: 720° - Shadow Warriors
Page 7: Shanghai Karate - Shinobu
Page 8: Shockway Rider - Silent Shadow
Page 9: Silkworm - Skateboard Joust
Page 10: Skateboard Kidz - Sky Hunter
Page 11: Skyx - Smash TV
Page 12: The Smirking Horror - Soccer Director
Page 13: Soccer 86 - Sol Negro
Page 14: Solo - Soul of a Robot
Page 15: Souls of Darkon - Space Harrier
Page 16: Space Harrier II - Spannerman
Page 17: Special Operations - Spiky Harold
Page 18: Spindizzy - Sport of Kings
Page 19: Sputnik - Stairway to Hell
Page 20: Star Avenger - Starfox
Page 21: Starglider - Star Trooper
Page 22: Star Wars - Stop-Ball
Page 23: Storm - Street Gang
Page 24: Street Gang Football - Strike Force Cobra
Page 25: Striker - Stuntman Seymour
Page 26: Sub - Sultan's Maze
Page 27: Summer Games - Superkid
Page 28: Superkid in Space - Super Seymour Saves the Planet
Page 29: Super Ski - Super Tripper
Page 30: Super Trolley - Suspended
Page 31: Swap - Syntax
Screenshot of Souls of Darkon

Souls of Darkon

(Taskset, 1985)

Reviewed by Piero Serra

The angry-looking Minotaur on the Souls of Darkon cover and loading screen put me in mind of a Greek myth, but this text adventure in fact has a science fiction setting. You and your robot companion Komputa are on a quest to destroy the evil Darkon on planet Megron. Initially I was quite impressed with the atmosphere created by the writing and stylish typeface. The layout and graphics are unfussy, and solving puzzles relies on a combination of what you read and what you can see in the pictures. As your quest progresses, however, the game begins to show its limitations. The puzzles themselves are uninspired and the world of Megron is actually a bit dull. After a few hours with it I didn't have much desire to go further. Souls of Darkon is nicely presented but the setting and puzzles sadly did not live up to my initial expectations.

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Screenshot of Southern Belle

Southern Belle

(Appeared on an Amstrad Action covertape)

(Hewson, 1985)

The Southern Belle was a steam locomotive that carried passengers from London's Victoria station to Brighton. This is a realistic simulation which faithfully recreates the 51-mile journey and allows you to take control of this famous train. Although there is a daunting range of controls, you can choose which ones you can manipulate, and leave the computer to work the remaining controls. In addition, there are several runs which vary in difficulty, and in order to pass them, you must achieve a rating of at least 70% overall. Starting with a training run, you can then try to cope with speed limits, maintenance works, stopping at stations, and attempting to beat the record of 48 minutes from Victoria to Brighton. The vector graphics are excellent, and even if you're not a trainspotter, you may find the game to be a nice diversion once you've got the hang of it.

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Screenshot of Soviet

Soviet

(Opera Soft, 1991)

Soviet citizens are being kidnapped on the orders of a dictator from a neighbouring country. The KGB has sent its best agent, Igor, into the country to rescue the hostages. You have to drive around each of the two levels (only two?), collecting the hostages as they run towards your vehicle. Unfortunately the dictator's army is out to get you! You'll be assaulted by a barrage of bombs and bullets, and while you're dodging them, the hostages are being killed; if too many die, the game is over. The graphics are detailed and well drawn, although the rendition of the Soviet national anthem on the menu is mediocre. The game itself is OK, but the constant bombardment that you face makes it very difficult indeed.

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Screenshot of Space Ace

Space Ace

(Players, 1987)

Here's an Asteroids clone without any of the playability. Shoot the aliens as they zoom across the screen, while trying frantically to stay out of their way at the same time. It's not easy at all, and if you can survive for two minutes, you're doing really well! My main complaints regarding this game are that the controls are unresponsive and the movement of your spaceship is sluggish, whereas the aliens move much faster than you and are therefore difficult to avoid. The graphics are fairly good, but the game is so frustratingly difficult that you'll want to throw something at your CPC in sheer anger.

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Screenshot of Space Cowboy in Lost Planet

Space Cowboy in Lost Planet

(VoxelTower, 2020)

Dante, the space cowboy, has crashed on an alien planet. Fortunately he has landed near a hangar that should contain the tools he needs to repair his spacecraft – but there is also a strange vehicle that he must use in his search for the tools. This game was an entrant in the 2020 #CPCRetroDev Game Creation Contest and finished in ninth place. The concept is simple; explore a maze of rooms, collect the tools, and avoid the aliens in each room. There is also a time limit of 30 minutes, and the vehicle is armed with a cannon that can be used to stun aliens temporarily. It's quite tricky to control at first as it behaves like it's on ice, but there is a brake to slow it down. The graphics are simple but functional, the music is repetitive without being irritating, and it's a fairly decent game to play.

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Screenshot of Space Crusade

Space Crusade

(Gremlin Graphics, 1992)

During the War of Strife, which lasted for 5,000 years, an army of fighting men called the Space Marines were assembled to take on the alien forces of Chaos. These aliens reside in large spaceships, and there are twelve missions to be undertaken. There are three chapters of Space Marines which you can control – the Blood Angels, the Imperial Fists, and the Ultra Marines. On each mission, you control four marines led by a commander. Completing a mission successfully earns the commander honour badges which allow you to obtain better equipment – but your commander has to return alive! The rules are rather complex and take some time to understand, and the game will seem difficult at first as all your marines are killed by the aliens! Stick with it, though, and you'll discover an absorbing and highly tactical strategy game.

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Screenshot of Spaced Out!

Spaced Out!

(Firebird, 1987)

A rather interesting board game in which you control the Space Cowboy, starting at the bottom left of the board and attempting to reach the top right. In each turn, two dice are rolled, and you can use them to move a certain number of steps in any direction you want. Then it's the turn of the aliens to move randomly, as they attempt to block your progress. If you are stuck and can't move, you are 'spaced out' and must pay a penalty. You can land on the aliens if you roll the correct dice and eliminate them, although this also penalises you slightly. If you accumulate too many penalty points, you lose. There are four different types of aliens and the difficulty can be configured. The graphics are nice and the sound effects do the job, and it's not a bad game, actually, despite what some people might think.

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Screenshot of Space Froggy

Space Froggy

(Appeared on an Amstrad Action covertape)

(Glenco, 1990)

Reviewed by CPC4eva

Written in compiled BASIC using Sprites Alive to demonstrate its capabilities on the CPC, Space Froggy is a stunning platformer which appeared on an Amstrad Action covertape. Controlling a very cute and cool-looking frog wearing sunglasses who finds himself in space with nine lives, you set out to collect nine ROM chips and some keys that will open doors, all while avoiding enemy space monsters so you can upgrade a CPC464 to a CPC6128. Having played my fair share of commercially released budget games, Space Froggy puts most of them to shame. Colourful, big sprites, really good use of Mode 0, an atmospheric space feel, pleasant in-game sound effects, easy movement and controls, with a detailed playing area. It's all very professionally presented, a fun and absorbing game, and quite an achievement.

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Screenshot of Space Gun

Space Gun

(Ocean, 1992)

It's the year 2039 AD, and your spaceship receives a distress call from a crippled starbase which is being overrun by aliens. You have to explore the corridors of the starbase, rescue as many hostages as you can, and blast lots and lots of slimy, monstrous aliens. The game is viewed in pseudo-3D, with you looking down the corridors, and the effect is fairly impressive. Unfortunately, the pace of the game is sluggish, which spoils the atmosphere of what should really be an action-packed game. Interestingly, this is one of very few non-cartridge games to exploit the Plus' extra colours and other facilities, and for some reason, it was only released in France. However, the slow pace and the unresponsive controls make this a frustrating game to play.

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Screenshot of Space Harrier

Space Harrier

(Elite, 1986)

Reviewed by Chris Lennard

Three-dimensional shoot-'em-up conversion of the popular Sega arcade game. Fly across the surface of different planets across the galaxy at breakneck speed, destroying the waves of enemies that come at you. Face and destroy the guardian aliens such as double-headed dragons at the end of every stage, in order to progress to the next with only your trusty laser gun to aid you. While the music and sound effects are nice, the gameplay is ruined by the somewhat hit and miss graphics. Backgrounds and your own character are more than adequate but the 'transparent' enemies and planet obstacles make it too difficult to pinpoint them, something which the sequel amends with solid sprites.

See also: Space Harrier II.

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