C64 H-K

Alien Brigade – By Atari

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 Hunchback – Ocean

The arcade game from Century Electronics got converted to a lot of home computer formats, including the C64. You take the part of Quasimodo from the famous Victor Hugo novel “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”. You are greeted to the famous tune of 'The Teddy Bears' Picnic” at the start of the game, which makes good use of the SID chip. From then on, the action takes place on top of a castle wall. You have to navigate various obstacles (boulders, falls, swinging ropes, guards with pikes, arrows, etc.) and reach the other side of the screen, on which a bell is placed. Well, I think you know what happens next. It doesn't help that a guard is climbing up the wall to get you as well. The difficulty increases from screen to screen. At the final stage you rescue Esmerelda. It then repeats itself and gets faster. This is well executed conversion. Graphically the game is very similar to the arcade version. The limited sound effects are pretty good – as well as the opening theme tune. There is some platform action fun to be had, but you have to patient with this game – it is very unforgiving. Get a jump a pixel off and you become a pavement pizza. Your timing has to be perfect in this game. If you did like the arcade version, you'll like this. For me however, it is a bit too difficult.

Review by Katzkatz

4/10

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 Hyper Sports – By Konami

The sequel to Konami's “Track and Field” makes it way from the arcade to the C64. Much like Track and Field, you have to compete in various sporting events and score the most points. Pass the event (i.e. get yourself inside the qualification measures) and you make your way to the following one. These events are : swimming (joystick waggling is back – but remember to “breathe” as well), skeet shooting(or clay pigeon shooting to the layman; left or right to shoot), long horse (vault over that horse and land safely), archery, triple jump (hop, skip and jump), weight lifting and finally the pole vault. The game can be played with two players for simultaneous play. The players compete together on the swimming stage and take it in alternate turns for all of the other stages. The game is set on a repeat loop with the qualification measures getting every harder. The graphics seem very good and the scrolling is executed well for the stages that need it (i.e. swimming, long vault and pole vault). The sound is excellent, on the title screen you are greeted to the sound of Vangelis' “Chariots of Fire” (in keeping with the sporting theme), the in-game sound effects are nicely done as well. Games like these (i.e. sports simulations)have a sort of select appeal, maybe it is the joystick waggling? Not a bad game, but some of the stages can get tricky – on later levels nigh on impossible. A pretty good conversion from the arcade (considering it adapted well to the C64's one buttoned joystick), if you liked the arcade game (and Track and Field for that matter) then you'll like this.

Review by Katzkatz

6/10

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 Jumpin' Jack – By Livewire

A novel “Frogger” clone for the C64. This one features a sort of isometric view effect. If you are familiar with the game, then the usual stuff is here (cars and lorries to avoid, disappearing logs and turtles to ride on, dragonflies to eat for extra points, lady frogs to save for extra points, crocodiles who want to eat you, and it is all about making your journey to the safe point). The gameplay holds together very nicely. Perhaps the controls sometimes feel a little sluggish. The isometric view can make the game a little tricky at times, but you tend to get used to it. Graphically the games looks very good. The music and sounds effects are top notch as well. For some top tier “Frogger” action then you needn't look any further than this game.

Review by Katzkatz

8/10

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 Kikstart II : The Construction Set – By Mastertronic

Shaun Southern produced this sequel to his original game, and added a construction kit. For those with a long enough memory, it is a sort of rip-off of the old BBC TV series. Taking control of an off-road motorcycle, you must navigate your way around a track filled with obstacles. You can accelerate, brake, hop and wheelie. Some of the obstacles are quite unusual (e.g. telephone boxes to jump over or springing platforms to land on). There is a certain knack to some obstacles (e.g. ramps have to be taken at high speed in order to achieve the jump properly). Mess up an obstacle and you will come off your bike. This will inflict a time penalty on you. You'll have to wait for a clear section of track for you to restart on. You can either go head-to-head with the computer or have a human opponent. The action takes place over a split-screen. You can either do a race to the finish line or win on aggregate times. The real fun comes from designing your own courses. This is the main selling point of this game and marks it out from its predecessor. Hours of fun are there to be had. The graphics are pretty good, quite a lot of detail in some places. The sound is of a high standard, the theme tune to the TV show plays in the background, as well as some good sound effects (e.g. engine noises, etc.). This is a notable game because it improved on the original, mainly helped by the addition of the construction set and the competitive set-up.

Review by Katzkatz

8/10

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