C64 A-C

Alien Brigade – By Atari

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 A View To A Kill – By Domark

This is a James Bond movie license tie-in. Based on Roger Moore's final outing as 007. Sadly, rather like the film, it's a disappointing event. There 4 different sub-games in this, each taking scenes from the film. These are: a top-down racing type game, an action adventure type game, an “Impossible Mission” type game and finally a platform type game. Each of these has their own specific problems. For a start, the driving game is incredibly hard to control; the platform type game is quite buggy, for example, it's easy for your character to get stuck in a wall! In fact, none of these sub-games are any fun to play. The graphics are quite blocky and there is poor scrolling. On the sound front, the James Bond theme tune is rendered quite well, but the Duran Duran title song is terrible – it sounds so tinny! Worse is still to come – the game has some speech for the James Bond gun barrel sequence at the beginning of the film (echoing the films) and it is utter rubbish! It sounds like someone is constipated! A sorry excuse of a game for the C64, and also a shame on James Bond's name! 007 wouldn't be pleased.

Review by Katzkatz

1/10

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 Beamrider – By Activision

Beamrider has a fairly simple premise. You are in control of a small craft which rides beams set above Earth's atmosphere on an alien “Restrictor Field”. Your ship has an energy weapon, and 3 torpedoes. Movement is restricted to side-to-side. The enemy craft however, can move vertically and horizontally. Shoot the set number of bad guys for the particular level and a flying saucer appears – take it out with a torpedo. The levels don't have that much variation, it just speeds up. The only power-up available is for extra lives. The graphics are functional rather than anything eye-catching. Nevertheless, they do provide a sensation of fast movement. Sadly, there is no in-game music, but the sound effects are quite atmospheric – the low-level hum emanating from your craft and the explosions are the things that really grab your notice. You need the reflexes of a ninja sometimes, but for a quick arcade type shoot 'em up, this does provide an addictive challenge.

Review by Katzkatz

7/10

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 China Miner – By Interceptor Software

This is basically a clone of “Manic Miner” where the title character wears a conical hat to resemble a Chinaman (not racists at all!). The task on hand is to collect all of the objects on-screen then make your way to the “key” to progress to the next level. Along the way you'll have to avoid various enemies by jumping. There are also ladders and platforms to negotiate in the game. The game has an almost insane difficulty level. It is better to position yourself in a safe place, so as to be able to examine the level, and then plot your route – especially as some platforms crumble after you have been on them! Graphically, the game is a bit on the simplistic side, but I suppose that is in keeping with the style of game. They aren't many in-game sound effects, but the music is a rendition of Scott Joplin's “Maple Leaf Rag” (coincidentally also used in the film “The Sting”) and it is superb. Because of the difficulty level, I can't recommend this game, sometimes the original is always better.

Review by Katzkatz

4/10

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 Colossus Chess 4.0 – By CDS Software

The classic board game is brought to the C64. All of the rules of Chess are implemented here (castling, en passant, under promotion, fifty moves rule, draw by repetition, draw by insufficient materials). At the time that was quite an technical achievement. The game has many features, for example you can set it to play with time-control using game clocks. The game can also feature normal mates, self mates and help mates as well (for those of you who like problem solving). One for dedicated Chess fans then? Well, yes I suppose so. The difficulty level is pretty high. The graphics are functional. It is a Chess game after all. Although you can switch it into a quasi-3D mode. It turns things on their head! There are minimal sound effects with this game (which is what you sort of expect). A shame that it never had an option for two players. Still one of the most comprehensive Chess games ever made. Get your opening moves ready.

Review by Katzkatz

7/10

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