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Friday, 21 October 2016

Ten Unknown Amstrad Classics - Part One

Solomon's Key, Out of This World, 720, Sorcerer Lord, Red Led
Anywhere you look on the internet, you'll find scores of videos and top ten articles from Amstrad CPC enthusiasts. But what about the games that never make these lists, the unsung heroes that programmed these unknown classics. Now is the time to don my cape, and celebrate the forgotten games of the CPC. So, here we go, these are a few games that I feel deserve a mention and recognition. 

Sorcerer Lord - PSS, Amstrad Action, Rave, 81%

This was great back in the day, no issues here, a great early 8bit strategy game, graphics as with all these types of games do their job, sound and presentation is nothing to write home about either, but engagement and play are where it shines best.  

Western Games - Magic Bytes, Amstrad Action, Rave, 76%

These are some of the best graphics on the Amstrad, in fact, it's difficult to set them apart from the Atari ST version. The gameplay is great, with bags of comedy and clever spot effects. This is definitely worth checking out, and a great find if you've never played it before. 

Fact: Not available for the ZX Spectrum 

720 - USGOLD, Amstrad Action, 69%

It looks bloody horrible, sounds even worse, and those bloody killer bees do my head in FFS! But the challenge from the arcade is still here, and if you can get past the Mode 1 graphics, you're in for a treat. 

Ziggurat - Reaktor, Amstrad Action, 73%

No issues here, just another great take on the isometric craze that swamped the CPC. It takes all of the great ideas from the previous games, keeps things massively familiar and by doing so, delivers yet another great experience. 

Stifflip & Co - Palace, Amstrad Action, Rave, 81%

I loved this so much back in the day, but nobody bought it. I guess people just wanted coin-op conversions. If that was the case, how sad, this style of game and others like it, gave me hours of fun. 

Out of this world - Reaktor, Amstrad Action, 77%

The difficulty will put most people off, but if you can stick with it, and forgive the odd programming annoyance, you have one of the best games of this type on the CPC. Give it a try, you might just grow to like it. 

Red Led - Starlight, Amstrad Action, Master Game, 92%

This is better than SpinDizzy in my opinion, it takes the same great formula and builds on it with more variety and exploration. Graphics give off that typical Amstrad style, with perfectly acceptable sound and controls. It's a must play, but you'll need a map. 

Thundercats - Elite, Amstrad Action, Rave, 90%

Starts off boring beyond belief, but if you give it time, you realise it was just priming you for what's coming next. Flying ships, lasers, leaps of faith and swordplay, what more would you want from this telly classic. One of the best games on the CPC! 

XOR - Logotron, Amstrad Action, Master Game, 91%

If there's a better brain teaser on the CPC, then I've personally never played it. This has everything you'd expect, well worth a tenner of anyone's money, challenge, great graphics, in a world full of splendor. 

Solomon's Key, USGOLD, Amstrad Action, 78%

Arcade perfect, great blocky colorful mode 0 graphics, with wonderful sound and tight controls, can you believe this was published by USGOLD? Me neither! 

Western Games, Thundercats, Ziggurat, XOR, STIFFLIP 


2 comments :

  1. One or two in your list that I loved playing back in the day. I also loved the arcade conversion of Motos, with nice graphics, sound and tough gameplay. https://youtu.be/bjz0rJwnhJM

    Another great game was The Island Of Dr. Destructo with pure arcade action and lovely use of colour and effects, e.g. sunset etc. https://youtu.be/R38Ou7G6csA

    Others of note that I remember but maybe not quite unknown are:

    Harvey Headbanger, Ghost Hunters, Professional Ski Simulator, Advanced Pinball Simulator, Uchi Mata, Shockway Rider, I Ball / I Ball II, Sport Of Kings, Werewolves Of London, Dominator, Powerplay, Think! Mostly on budget labels but some originally full priced titles.

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  2. Yep, Motos published by Mastertronic, good game. Destructo gets a mention every now and then, good budget game. Codies stuff goes without saying, these and other budget games were highly popular on the CPC. I'm glad you mentioned Sport of Kings, underrated classic, as was Shockway and Powerplay, just not convinced about Dominator, controls let it down I think.

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