Reviews Archive
  Enduro Racer  
  Very impressive racing game for its time ported from the Sega arcade machine. The game has you racing against the clock hitting checkpoints to keep refilling your time. Correctly Judging your wheelie's as you go over ramps sends you into the air and over the top of hazards littering the road. Its a fun racer with a good feeling of speed, and the jumps add an exhilarating element to the gameplay. Overall a very impressive title with very good scaling for a game programmed largely in 1986. This reportedly actually beat the arcade machine to release in the UK!
  The most advanced Golf game from back in the day. The game gives you good mechanics for aiming and striking, a lot of different clubs, as well as being one of the earliest that does wind and such well. The Spectrum version plays well and has reasonable colour graphics that are uncluttered.
  Mikie is a port of a Konami arcade game made by beloved Spectrum programmer Jonathan Smith, a man who would produce numerous quality ports and original games for the system and whom was known for his excellent programming skills and mastery of the Spectrum hardware. Mikie is a pretty simple game, you play a student at a school collecting hearts in a variety of stages whilst avoiding the enemies. As always Jonathan Smith does an excellent job porting the game, retaining the important gameplay elements and adapting the graphics to Spectrum in a colourful and discrete manner.
  Arkanoid/Breakout style game that was originally released as a free cover game on a magazine, but was received so well that it got its own release as a budget title. Apart from being a well programmed, and graphically pleasing take on Arkanoid, Batty also has a great cooperative two player option where each player takes half of the screen. The game was ported to C64 but that version actually has completely different stages.
  Match Point  
  This was a very popular tennis game from early in the Spectrum's lifespan ported by Psion (I think it was called Tournament Tennis in the US, where it was on the Colecovision). A playable little Tennis game with solid graphics that introduced many elements that would later become staples.
  Very fondly remembered game where you have to keep up with and fill a garbage truck. The game really has two elements, a precise navigation part (you have to stay off the grass) and a Frogger style element where you have to cross the road without being run down. The game is timed, and if you take too long you'll lose your job. Being a garbage man is an odd idea for a game (the only thing I can think of that is comparable is maybe Paperboy) but its a compelling distraction if you get into it, and Is very polished too with fairly nice graphics for the year of its release.
  Xeno is a future sports game that has a simple but solid idea behind it. The game has you playing as a disk and the objective is to try to ram a ball into the opponents goal. You don't get to move the disk manually though, you have to plot a course with a cross hair in realtime. Its kind of like a mix between pool and subutteo. The game is a lot of fun, especially with two players, there's a C64 port out there as well but they really didn't do a very good job of it so make sure to check out the Spectrum game first.
  Fatworm Blows a Sparky  
  Somewhat like a 3d scrolling version of Snake, Fatworm Blows a Sparky is a conceptual game set inside the computer playing it. The game has you using a radar to track down "Spindles" whilst shooting at or avoiding the program bugs that stick to you and inevitably end up destroying you. Many of the Spindles can only be reached by going up and down ramps and carefully navigating platforms, and the attached Bugs can be cleaned by passing through the de-buggers littered throughout the environment. Its a fun early 3d game and is memorable in ideas and carefully crafted in execution.
  Kayleth is a very nice science fiction themed text adventure game with a good plot and some excellent animated colour illustrations to set the scene. Like all such games, things revolve around you typing in commands with the keyboard to solve puzzles and navigate the world.
  Terra Cresta  
  Another excellent arcade port from Jonathan Smith, Terra Cresta is a vertically scrolling shmup where you collect power-ups that increase the fire power of your ship and give you the ability to split yourself into separate parts, all of which fire independently. Its a good rendition of a great arcade game, with decent colour and large, easy to see bullets. I had to drop it a few places as there was a bug in the game which caused the enemies to disappear if you die and respawn in a specific place.
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