BOLLAWARE, this is not a small group in a hurry with a few things to his credit. Indeed, this German group begins his work in 1989, while the CPC is still in the sky.

During 10 years, BOLLAWARE, whose permanent staff consists of Doc Bartoc and Uncle Siggi, will appear relatively productive for a group acting only for fun. The nipples seem possessed and multiply experimentation, amassing valuable knowledge to gradually tackle more and more important chunks. Clinical death of the Amstrad CPC does not stop them and, on the contrary, it's after 1992 that things really get serious with more ambitious projects.

Maintaining its image as a brand, the small group with a pig mascot creates a true identity, maliciously slipping snouts in his productions. This fetish animal is omnipresent. After many tests creating some pretty nice demos but especially small unpretentious but nice games, projects become clearer. The graphics become much finer, the musics are omnipresent, BOLLAWARE games become much more esthetic. And after many experimental games, the group is working to design more complex productions with a scenario, a true graphic style and a real direction.

Finally, in 1999, this group that remained fairly discreet withdraws from the CPC scene leaving behind him a role playing offering a skilfully orchestrated story and a huge documentation, a beat'em up much better in every way than anything we could see on our beautiful computer even in its lifetime, and a series of less ambitious but still pleasant to handle games.

Throughout this page you will find two tests of their most successful titles but do not hesitate to dwell on the BOLLAWARE website to enjoy all their productions, games and demos as well as some "home" applications.


Here is probably the biggest work of BOLLAWARE. Why this game in particular? Enter the world of BLACK LAND and discover a wealth screenplay that has nothing to envy to the best role-playing games available on our favorite machine.

So first let's describe the scene. A god with traits of a pig named Fres (hold on!) tells us his feats in the creation of the universe and the life growing inside it. He tells us how he decided to create a small world where he let life flourish as a garden of Eden. He watched carefully the tenacity with which a young race, Men, strove to dominate his environment. With fun, softened by such a will, this mischievous god decided to take in this world in a cloud that only the most a scholar in magic may discover the existence, and learn to use many powers that defy the imagination. On a small island lost in the immensity of the ocean, the people it features excels precisely in the knowledge of magic and its secrets.

Their peaceful life seems unshakable, but obviously and to be sure that the story not become quickly boring, a magician with less peaceful intentions has captured the power of an enchanted chalice with which he managed to open a passage to the underworld, unleashing a wave of chaos on the peaceful island. Fres god decides to entrust four champions to track down the demon in order to restore the balance that has dared to break. These champions do not even know each other, not even suspect anything of the heavy task that has been assigned. You can imagine that you are just one of the four unhappy specimens designated by the divine and therefore that it is your responsibility to clean up all this mess.

The story does not seem unusual at first, but do not worry, the interest here does not lies in the originality of the initial situation but in the amazing adventures that await you throughout BLACK LAND. And after all, I do not know a single game set in a heroic-fantasy universe that manages to escape the eternal quest against evil, when it should not be stuck with the sacred mission to free a beautiful brainless princess stupid enough to believe that the security waiting her at the top of the highest tower of the palace of her captor.

Black Land is primarily a very serious role-playing game with complex rules that will give you migraines that the player is entitled to expect from so rich universe. The plot of the story uses a background of "point & click" adventure game where you need to exercise your wisdom to progress by collecting and using the right objects spread over the game screen. You move directly using the joystick and swap very simply between the displacement mode and the pointer mode by a prolonged pression on the fire button. In pointer mode, you can quickly access all possible actions and navigate without constraints in the various game menus or inventory of your characters. You have to manage your characters, feed them, make them sleep and even cure them. They can pass objects and work as a team. A map on the screen allows you to quickly locate you and the various protagonists.

Fights, takes place in turn by turn as in any good role-playing game using the conventional rules of board games. You have a certain number of points per turn you divide between different movements and attacks. This system is particularly ergonomic, it takes a real pleasure to engage in combat.

Realization is more than satisfactory in terms of power that the CPC can offer for such a long game, with intensive CPU and RAM use. BOLLAWARE seems to have search to avoid all these pitfalls to make from BLACK LAND an ergonomic game that does not suffer from this too often felt certainty that the developers had to sacrifice some essential aspects of the game to make it fit in a little Z80. The graphics are well drawned in mode 1 with 4 colors. And it is a wise choice because if not colorful, scenes and menus are particularly detailed while remaining relatively clear. Also note that the game takes into account light changes, creating the illusion of day and night, varying light intensity according to the light available in the scene. The result is very friendly.

But if pointer mode is perfect, the handling of characters on the screen is much more delicate. Indeed, it is always difficult to organize a priority for moving all the characters on the screen and the leader of the group is often blocked by his companions. Thus do we are regularly forced to change the character in order to move properly. The eternal slowdowns which our CPC rarely escapes, especially with a game area in 320x200, are quite annoying too. If the crossing of simple corridors can be made smoothly and with speed, exploration of big rooms full of obstacles become sometimes tedious, the characters moving slowly and bumping into each other.

The sound environment of the game is as often reduced to its simplest expression during the game, only can we occasionally hear some discrete sound effects. However, you can enjoy sumptuous music at the launch of the game and during its introduction. But it is not really disturbing, especially because a soundchip music looping during the long hours of the game would quickly become dreadful.

The story is pretty standard but it keeps you in suspense and you never have time to bored. You start the game with a small quest initiation entrusted by God Fres that sent you clean its jails, but then the real quest begins. The impressive documentation allows you to discover the complete story of the game and learn all the subtleties of its operation. This documentation is also available in two formats: in HTML format or as a an interactive manual to load directly on your CPC.

BOLLAWARE not skimp on resources and we can only congratulate them for successfully translated into English such a huge game also including a documentation, while everything was originally created in German. A mammoth task when you know that English is not their native language.

Despite its minor flaws, most often due to the low power of CPC, you do not have the right to miss BLACK LAND if you like RPGs. The univers created is substantial, the menus are clear and detailed, and the graphics are up to that this machine has to offer. The game need no less than 2 full floppy disks containing 680kb of datas, which is huge on CPC. Just few games in the past have required such a storage capacity. A beautiful work for a game released in 1995 (translate in from German in English in 1998), many years after the end of production of the AMSTRAD computer.

As the cover of this game uses the idea of a double box in 3" format which can be surprising, here are some pictures to give you an idea of the final result once everything printed, cut and assembled.


Here is the latest game from BOLLAWARE since it is at this time that the group has announced his departure from the CPC scene. Wild at heart, and thank them instead for waiting all these years before going to the dark side of the Force. Not to miss his exit, the small German group has put together a real fireworks, a departure in style. FRES FIGHTER II TURBO offers us nothing less than a fighting game, a real nod to a game CAPCOM entered in legend and whose realization is the antithesis with the first game of the famous series from the Japanese publisher launched on CPC in 1988.

Once again, the two friends have left nothing to chance. It starts with a great introduction that presents the different warriors of the game. they are six in number: Shaman, a wild warrior lightly held, F. Sumo, a imposing Japanese fighter, Vanessa, a young girl who grew up in the streets, Bones, skeletal ghost who never separates from the iron ball that cost him his life, Justine, a promiscuous nun who spread the word of Lord with a very personal way, and Walker, a bipedal monster with claws sharper than cooking knives. All these fighters are here to give you a hard time and they have more than one trick up their sleeve.

Once the introduction with its beautiful music ended, a superb presentation screen appears prompting you to enter in the universe FRES FIGHTER II TURBO. A few seconds of loading later, the game's main menu appears. There are the usual modes that make good fighting games. The arcade mode allows you to play solo and choose a character to face each of the six fighters, the inevitable two players mode offers you battle a friend in the arena of your choice, and finally a tournament mode allows up to 16 players to face the computer into an epic challenge.

Of course, there is also a menu of options that allows you to adjust some parameters such as the number of rounds for each fight, the difficulty level of the game or how the arena will be chosen at each new confrontation. Interestingly, you can even run a demo mode that allows you to admire some fights controlled by the CPU, which is rare on our little machine.

Once setting made, the character selection screen appears to let you select the fighter who will compete in the arena of your choice. There are six arenas, one for each character. Once again, the graphics are honored with beautiful sceneries and a continuous demonstration of technical mastery. In the temple of F.Sumo, characters are followed by their shadow, it rains in the cemetery of Bones and there is a nice example of "foreground/background" management in Shaman's jungle.

The game uses the CPC mode 1 in 4 colors loved by the development team and offers an awesome graphic quality in spite of the low number of simultaneously displayed colors. The characters are also drawn with finesse, and the chosen colors allow them to perfectly highlight so they never disappear in the abundance of details in the sceneries. Ultimate vanity, you can choose different color palettes for each character like in modern combat games that propose multiple suits for the fighters. The action on the screen is still very clear, this time the bet is won, gorgeous graphics in 4 colors that never detract from the legibility of the game. Well done guys!

The action is relatively fast for such a slow processor with sprites as big, which ultimately gives an interesting gameplay that was no longer hoped to find nowadays on CPC. I can assure you, we take pleasure to control the characters in this game in 4 colors on an 8-bit machine processor clocked at 3.3 Mhz.

Amazing! We continue to play past the first few minutes of amazement facing the graphic quality of the game. A lot of progress has been made in fighting games since the 80's and that was definitely not on this kind of game that I thought linger on a CPC today. Of course, it remains far from the fighting games on 16/32bits video game systems, but it's a real pleasure to play. Moves are relatively varied The movements are relatively varied despite the use of a single fire button. Low-kicks, high-kicks, jump kicks, defense, everything is there. More than ten moves per character await you, which is far more than any other games of this kind on our lady...

Okay, if we have to find him some flaws, we may regret in FRES FIGHTER II TURBO the absence of a time counter during the fights that takes place in unlimited time. We could also regret the absence of a story mode for characters whose endearing design makes you want to know more about them. There are not score management, of course a regrettable omission in this kind of game based on competition. In short, the game is already so complete that it is really tempting to want more and more, old greedy we are all ...

Two disks for a fighting game? Yes because the game is full of beautiful graphics, animations are numerous, musics and effects are not forgotten. The few songs that accompany us in the introduction and the menus are rhythmic and stick perfectly to this kind of game. Of course, there is no music during the game and sounds remain discreet, but it should no longer remain one byte of free memory when sceneries and characters are loaded. In short, do not miss this videogame bomb to see what your CPC has underhood.

FRES FIGHTER II TURBO shows an embodiment and an interest that a lot of commercial games published at the height of the life of the CPC does not even offered.

Award of excellence!

As the cover of this game uses the idea of a double box in 3" format which can be surprising, here are some pictures to give you an idea of the final result once everything printed, cut and assembled.

But damn, what happened? Why stop when they touched excellence with fingertips? Well, they decided to develop and create on the CPC very seriously until 1999 and it is already worthy of praise.

BOLLAWARE offered us two luxurious productions. Thank you again Doc Bartoc and Uncle Siggi for those moments of pure happiness. But do not forget their other games, less impressive but often fun and downloadable on their website.

Moreover, you will find at the launch of FRES FIGHTER II TURBO a very nice retrospective that traces their journey since their debut, a "Swan Song" for a group that then turns the page after 10 years of development on CPC.