SIR ABABOL
2010
The Mojon Twins are definitely addicted to surreal scenarios, but also to "private jokes" that sometimes make the story difficult to understand. So in short, Sir Ababol have to collect 25 flowers to retrieve his sword. I assure you, you don't want to know more...

We are once again facing a traditional platform game in which you have to collect items and of course keys to access to the different areas. The Spanish team honed his skills as this Sir Ababol is a real success. The choice of mode 1 is justified by a dark atmosphere that reminds the worlds of GHOSTS'N GOBLINS or CASTLEVANIA and the graphics are very thin. The character responds at pixel and it is a real pleasure to discover each new screen to slalom between the monsters. Bonuses allow you to recover energy, which makes it less punitive than some previous productions. As always when good games are too short, we wanted more but a sequel seems to be announced. Wait and see...


Developer : The Mojon Twins
Code : Na_th_an
GFX : Anjuel & Kendrook
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Original cover-artwork and picture by RAMOS


SMALL GAMES FOR SMART MINDS
2007
ESP Soft offers a moment of relaxation, an opportunity to put away lasers and machine guns, give a wide berth from bricks falling relentlessly, but also from mazes promising a fatal fall at every turn: An Othello, Checkers and Sokoban games to remember that you can have fun without feeling a constant sense of urgency.

SMALL GAMES FOR SMART MINDS is an unpretentious collection of puzzle games, but that does not mean it is devoid of interest. With the game of Checkers, you must succeed in taking all the pawns of the board in 1 hit, Sokoban is to push boxes to specific locations in mazes and Othello opposes you to the CPC in a game where you have to impose your color on a board by capturing your opponent's pawns. There are many levels and graphics, without being exceptional, remain effective. It is a pity that there is no music and sounds. Nothing new under the sun then, but this little compilation of classic remains effective to take one's mind off things.


Developer : ESP Soft
Code & GFX : Artaburu
Add. GFX : Kendroock, DaDMan
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Original cover-artwork and picture by KENDROOCK


STAR DRIVER
1994

Asteroids exploited to the last gram of their mineral resources and finally abandoned are used to organize races against the clock on winding roads. Enjoyable alone or with a friend, STAR DRIVER offers original direction for a well-proven style of game.

A clever conding routine offers a striking view with curved perspective that justify the idea of racing around an asteroid. On the other hand, the graphics lack of details and the sound of your engine is atrocious. Controlling the car is difficult and you have to be persevering but once you understood how it works, you should progress quickly. When you have completed the first lap imposed in less than 60 seconds on each asteroid, taking care not to hit the stage, you can try the "double-orbit" that consists to accomplish a second laps in a total time of less than 100 seconds. In "versus" mode, the fastest player wins. Despite the small size of the playing area and once overcome frustration of the first attempts, we pass a funny time in front of the CPC screen.


Developer : Shocker Soft & Shimmer

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Original cover-artwork by IXIAN FACTORY - Picture by OLGA MERKULOVA


STAR SABRE (Enhanced)
2009
For once, forget a story without interest and instead let's talk about the surprises offered by this version of STAR SABRE, fruit of a long maturity and requiring 128K of memory.

STAR SABRE draws on many influences such as those of P47, GRADIUS (NEMESIS) or X-OUT for quite a classical result. Each of the five levels with varied environnements confronts you with two bosses, one of them mid-term. The musics stick to the atmosphere and the perfectly smooth scrolling is awesome. Despite this, the game lacks variety. The successive waves of vessels are unsurprising, offering bonuses after their destruction. The weapons are varied, but one quickly understands that triple-shot is the best choice. The most annoying is the punitive and poorly measured difficulty with bosses often more difficult to reach than to defeat. Still remains a game to discover for the technical slap and the overall quality with a wealth of details (rasters, lapping when the vessels touch the water...) that attest the passion of the developer.


Code & GFX : Paul Kooistra
Music & SFX : Julien Nevo
Add. GFX : Sylvestre Campin
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Original cover-artwork by IXIAN FACTORY - Picture by MATTHEW VAN ROOIJEN


STRANDED
2005
Moosh wants to destroy the bridge linking his world to the evil Tysch's! To do that, he must crush all the tiles in 32 levels passing over them. But when a tile collapses, he can't move back. What a cute excuse for a nice puzzle game!

CPC adaptation of the Spectrum game created by Bob SMITH, STRANDED offers a challenge with a deliciously progressive difficulty. We try again and again to discover in what order the tiles must be crossed to make them all disappear in a limited time. Tiles with various effects complicate the challenge. Technically simple, this CPC version is curiously less colorful the Spectrum one despite the use of the mode 0. Fortunately, all is pleasant and shall not affect a simple and addictive gameplay. Only regret, the password given only every 4 levels, forcing the player to restart levels already overcome, a frustrating loss of time. Without being exceptional, STRANDED is a pleasure to play. We hope that its excellent sequel on Spectrum, STRANDED 2.5, will be converted...


Original game : Bob Smith
CPC version : Kevin Thacker

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Original cover-artwork and picture by GRAHAM RICHARDS


SU-DO'KU
2008
Needless to introduce Sudoku, the numbers game in which you must fill grids with numbers that must exist only once in each column, row or diagonal. You can find thousands of grids on the Internet or in magazines but SU-DO'KU offers you to play on your CPC.

We immediately tried to compare it to SUDOKU MASTER which it is the eldest. But if Binary Sciences shows that a puzzle-game without any action can be impressive using rasters and overscan, SU-DO'KU rather opts for minimalism with graphics using cold colors together with a single music. 120 grids are included but what really distinguishes this game is their size up to 12x12 tiles. An editor included permits to create your own grids and we appreciate the presence of a 100% joystick control mode, a laudable attempt even if the ergonomic of the keyboard is rapidly preferred. A good game to discover despite its austerity. Obviously, it will be easier to carry a magazine rather than your CPC on the beach!


Code & GFX : Kevin Thacker
Music : Hervé Monchatre

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Original cover-artwork by IXIAN FACTORY - Picture by HERUKA


SUB HUNTER
2011
There is nothing better than ecological task to justify the destruction of tons of mutant fish! In any case, this is exactly what offers SUB HUNTER, a shmup designed in 2008 for C64 and converted to CPC by the talented Paul Kooistra who has already graced us with a number of wonders such as EDGE GRINDER, STAR SABRE and RELENTLESS.

And this CPC version does not demerit. The graphics are very good, the animation suffers no slowdown despite numerous differential scrollings and everything is accompanied by excellent music perfectly adapted to the atmosphere. The variety is also at the rendezvous with different missions. You often have to save a number of swimmers but sometimes you will be asked to go and recover them, bonus levels will embark you on a hunt for points when will not simply have to survive. The difficulty level is fairly well balanced and it starts to get tougher from the tenth level. Shame that no boss comes to disturb the linearity. Nevertheless, a real success.


Original game : R.Bayliss et F.Gasking
CPC version : Paul Kooistra
Music : Hervé Monchatre
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Original cover-artwork and picture by JASON KELK and JASON MACKENZIE


SUBTERA PUZLO
2013
Locked rooms, coins and a key to collect in a limited time, enemies with programmed moves and a small insect to guide in this hostile environment. That's the simple context of an effective and addictive puzzle-game.

Originally designed for NINTENDO DS, SUBTERA PUZLO was adapted on CPC during the 16KBs ROM Game Development Competition. Graphics have been converted in mode 1 and although we regret that it is less colorful than the original version, this gives the game a typical CPC atmosphere with a pallet change for each level. The game's menu features a sumptuous music and a passcode system allows the player to start in the room of its choice, for example the last explored. Despite a weak difficulty level which reduces its lifetime, SUBTERA PUZLO is a very fun title with simple but devilishly effective realisation in view of the size limitation imposed by the competition. A beautiful gameplay lesson that shows that this is not the technical aspect that determines the global quality of a game. A word to the wise...


Design : Egotrip
Code : Redbox
GFX, music & SFX : Egotrip
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Original cover-artwork by IXIAN FACTORY - Picture by IW


SUDOKU MASTER
2009
At Binary Sciences, when designing a puzzle-game, they do not make things by halves. With GROOPS!, They already offered a first quality title. With SUDOKU MASTER, the bar is set even higher with a particularly austere kind of game. Because it has to be said that it is a real challenge to create a game attractive enough to justify shelling grid of numbers on a CPC.

So place to the technical debauchery : overscan display, musics with digidrums, graphics using mode 1 but with up to 10 colors simultaneously! And all this for a really complete game. There are 128 preset grids, a random grids generator, 4 difficulty levels, with or without timer, and a saving system. To cheer up the game, you can switch between 2 musics, several color palettes and even a plasma mask the screen when you pause the game. So of course, you have to like sudoku to play this game. But SUDOKU MASTER could give a lesson to many pay games of this kind available on the latest platforms!


Developer : Binary Sciences
Code : Olivier Floquet
Graphics : Cédric Quetier
Music : William Bourgeois
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Original cover-artwork and picture by CÉDRIC QUETIER


SUPERPIX
2014
Inspired by the rules of the PICROSS series created by Nintendo, SuperPix invites you to a logic game where you'll have to discover small pictures by filling boxes with clues in the form of numbers placed on the edges of the grid. This is a rather abrupt principle but, as SUDOKU MASTER, very addictive if you appreciate games using numbers.

The game is not stingy and offers no less than 720 grids! In order not to be lost, progress and statistics are saved automatically. Accessible even to novices through a tutorial in English and Spanish, the graphics in 4 colors make it quite austere. However, the use of Mode 1 allows perfect legibility and the player can customize the display by changing the colors to his liking. The music is pleasant with discrete sound effects while playing, prompting the player to the concentration. Although PICROSS fans will quickly realize that the grids are taken from various Nintendo games, you'll be captivated by the screen of your CPC in this game technically simple but offering very good content.


Developer : Crack'n'Rom
Code and GFX : Kukulcan
Music and SFX : Tom&Jerry
DOWNLOAD : 1 / 2 - Cover
Original cover-artwork and picture by IXIAN FACTORY


TEODORO NO SABE VOLAR
2012
Indie platform games offering a varied and original content, able to keep the player on their toes, are not so many on CPC. But that did not scare Retroworks studio that offers us a game with rich and colorful graphics, featuring sumptuous music.

Teodoro has to walk the halls of his castle invaded by an unknown enemy to get alarm. He must avoid obstacles and invaders but also find keys to progress. As in PHANTOMAS SAGA, it is fun to search for items and find out the right position to land on the right place, falling several screens. The map is vast and Teodoro evolves during the adventure, discovering new skills permitting to reach rooms previously inaccessible. We regret the relatively small game area size and the lack of a scrolling. The difficulty level is well balanced but the game may be long, so a password system would have been welcome. We necessarily tend to be intransigent with a game of such a level and TEODORO NO SABE VOLAR is already a wonderful game to discover urgently!


Developer : Retroworks
CPC version : Dimension Z

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Original cover-artwork and picture by PAGANTIPACO


TETRIS 95
1995
I'm not going to insult you by explaining the concept of TETRIS, a concept magnified by Nintendo. This is yet another interpretation but it is not devoid of interest.

The graphics are a bit simplistic but effective, a tribute music welcomes you and the sound effects are adequate. Critical elements, there is the display of the next piece and you can accelerate the fall of the current one without having to do it fell at once, as it is the case in the disastrous official adaptation on CPC. The game features a challenge mode with levels and a training mode in which you can set time and speed. In fact, this game just missed excellence because of a recurring default present in most copies: difficulty that becomes too fast insurmountable. Indeed, all the magic of the original is in its difficulty progressing in sawtooth, offering to the player rewarding respites with regular easier levels than the previous ones. Aside from that, TETRIS 95 is great and recommended to all lovers of this kind of puzzler.


Developper : Power System
Code/GFX/Music : C. Kastriottis

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Original cover-artwork by IXIAN FACTORY - Picture by JEREMY MALLIN


TETRIX
1989
What meets the eye in this remake of TETRIS is of course the ability to play simultaneously with a friend. You will find the classical modes, one to train chaining lines without interruption and normal one consisting of levels, each with new obstacles. Must execute a number of lines to complete each of the levels in sequence with increasing difficulty. Of course, the difficulty increases each time a level is mastered with the acceleration of the block falling speed.

Among the new features, we note the presence of two new blocks. An arguable addition but, amazingly, perfectly compensating the difficulty associated with the presence in the advanced levels of blocks with which the player has to deal. Graphics are simple, making the game easy to read. The only regret is that there is no music to liven up the game. You can change the speed of rotation and lateral movement of the blocks to play with comfort. But if you find a second player to face you, he will have to break his fingers because of the questionnable choice of the keys to play. A nice game for an as old amateur production that offered in 1989 a strong alternative to the disastrous official adaptation from Mirrorsoft.


Developer : Playfield
Code/GFX/SFX : Thomas Alber

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Original cover-artwork and picture by IXIAN FACTORY


THE MASTER OF SPACE!
1994
You fly over warships and your mission is to eradicate every threat but your spaceship must refuel every minute, picking up a capsule floating in space. When it appears, your weaponry is blocked. A race against time begins to find it quickly and be able to blow the enemy again. improbable mix between URIDIUM and OUT RUN, the game alternates assault phases and a capsule hunt, clever excuse to slalom between vessels and other obstacles.

The graphics are superb and sound effects remember the good old time. Important element in this type of game, the scrolling is smooth and fast. In contrast, the play area is much smaller than the one in the Andrew BRAYBROOK's fabulous shmup and the skin that surround it is clearly too flashy. With twelve levels and a difficulty gradually evolving from affordable to herculean, this production would still have been proposed by a publisher specialized in "budget" price games and should delight old style shooting fans. A big thank to Kukulcan who managed to gather on a single floppy disk side the game and its expansion available through a nice menu.


Developer : Shocker Soft & Shimmer

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Original cover-artwork by IXIAN FACTORY - Picture by BORIS VALLEJO


TOTEMS - COLUMNS CPC TWO
2012
Puzzle-games are not lacking on CPC, it's rather a kind of game expanding on our favorite machine. But contrary to popular belief, it is not so easy to develop an effective, engaging and fun to play gameplay. It is even a delicate exercise that requires many adjustments. ESP Soft has paid for it developing a CPC version of COLUMNS, the classic game from SEGA. Full of good will, this realization was quite perfectible and suffered of a limited gameplay. Now more experienced, the Spanish studio offers us a sequel whose avowed aim is to provide a much more compelling game.

And to say the least, the goal is fully achieved. The graphics are very successful, enjoyable and detailed in 4 colors. TOTEMS has real identity, taking the theme of Ancient Egypt, and music are both discrete and catchy. Many game modes for one or two players are available and progressive difficulty is perfectly balanced. It is a sweet revenge for ESP Soft which gratifies the CPC an excellent puzzle game.


Developer : ESP Soft
Code, music & SFX : Artaburu
GFX : D-o-s, 6128, McKlain
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Original cover-artwork and picture by 6128