You're an old time wizard wearing a funny tunic, which must cross a series of haunted landscapes displayed in a horizontal scrolling way. The main magic you must learn to handle are the classic SHOOT, DODGE and JUMP - although you can have the occasional chance to try "levitation", "immunity" and "invisibility", with the latter being of dubious usefulness, because you just can't see where you are and if you're a falling in a pit or in the quicksand, while, of course, the baddies seem always perfectly aware of your position.
Graphics are not totally terrible, though most of the sprites look silly and they're not really animated besides the wizard, which apparently can count upon a couple of frames. The sound deparment prides itself with a decent beeping tune and a very intriguing effect at the start. The gameplay is rather limited, and you must learn to control the height of your jump in order to obtain a not lethal trajectory that won't make you land on a gargoyle [first level] or a ghost [second level], because once you're actually jumping you can't change your maneuvre. Anyway you can even carry five or six [magic] smart bombs, a feature that saves this game playability by giving you the chance to obliterate the wicked creatures reaching the spot where you're going to pose your feet, which would have been an unavoidable death. So, there's nothing technical or creatively really interesting in this game. But I personally find it rich in playability and addictiveness so it's a debatable
A sci fi text adventure in which you are an amnesiac secret agent lost in a spaceship of dangerous rebels orbiting around the earth. You must, of course, discover your mission and succeed in it. The playability is pretty good, I managed to map all the three levels of the spacecraft, discover some useful items and solve a couple of puzzles, so I can say that the game is pleasant, although I didn't find it, until now, very engaging. All and all, it seems a nice a text adventure.
Mr. Greg A. Holmes, taking a break from Gremlin Graphics, and Mr. John Holmes, taking a break from the pornographic industry, penned this universally panned budget game[*] under the label Central Solutions. [*] 5/10 from both Your Sinclair and Crash But to say the truth, it's not that bad, it's a maze game with neat and colourful graphics, in which you are driving a tank picking up pieces of something spreaded through various flip-screen rooms teeming with other tanks and lethal crabs. You have some bullets too, but you'd better spare them for the most difficult times because they're counted, and, anyway, shooting the enemy is not always the best choice, because they reappear immediately, and you could be right over their reappearance spot. Playability is okayish, although you can die with irritating frequency, even for some debatable reasons, for example, you may be ahead of a tank following you, but making a 90° turn [into what may be your only escape route], it will reach you, touching you a corner pixel of your shape. Also, it's rather easy to fall into little rivers crossing the screens and die. So, be very attentive to where you put your pixels. Anyway, contrary to the esteemed magazines cited above, I don't consider this little game insufficient.
I used to have this one in a G.B. Max tape, the infamous italian pirate, with the title Krion and it was such a well done hack that not only, as usual, there were poor instructions accompanying the game, but the game itself crashed after five seconds into playing. Finally, now I can play it at ease, with proper instructions, and without fearing a crash, if not by my costantly crashing PC, of course.
This vertical shoot and dodge work comes from the mind who authored Nonterraqueous and Soul Of A Robot forMastertronic, appreciable sci fi maze efforts, but for this sequel of the previous two [or anyway, the WoS archive lists it as a third episode] Stephen N. Curtis lent his programming skills to the then newly born Codemasters. Is it really brilliant as it should? Well, for an economical[*] effort it's not bad at all, and, in fact, I think it's pretty good, actually, notwithstanding the simplicity of the gameplay, the total lack of depth or special features or variety - but not all games can be complex and fancy as Space Invaders, after all.
[*] by the way, so economical that they could afford only two enemies on screen simultaneously.
What's the trick? The trick is that once you learn how to play it, it can become quite fun and addictive, at least if you manage to not get blind because of the monochrome of the game, a game that asks you to be very attentive to the background appearance and conformation. In fact, you must learn to distinguish various square elements that can be just fatal barriers, or time shift things - which will annoyingly bring you back to the start - or more useful features like extra-lives [L], fuel [f], shields [arrow], acceleration [plus symbol], deceleration [minus]. There are different kinds of monochrome depending on your speed mode, which is determined by the squares mentioned above, while the border becomes red when the shields are - briefly - activated, which will allow you to fly through the droids, or spacecrafts, or whatever they are, without exploding. There aren't tunes or jingles, but I find the explosion sound effect quite satisfying. If you'd like some minutes of mindless destruction and fast-but-not-too-much action, Terra Cognita can be quite entertaining.
It was 1986, but still Jet Set Willy clones were popping out, from the radioactive undegrounds of budget labels. Consequently you have to collect the crystals avoiding the mutants, while exploring what's hiding under the earth surface, after a nuclear experiment gone wrong. Two features differentiate it from its source: the possibility of jumping on certain monsters, in a certain way, using them as trampolines to reach troublesome spots and platforms, and the fact that picking up the crystals may open walls and barriers, unblocking the way to new areas [like in Bug Byte's Antics]. The rest is almost exactly like a 1984 platform with pixel perfect requirements, almost UDG sprites, scarce animation, and buggy instances in which you die forever in the same screen, once fallen from a ledge. So, it may be of interest to Jet Set Willy fans [which I've never been].
The Edge by Mike Leaman, Stephen Cargill, Jack Wilkes, Mark Alexander
Martial arts game rising from the beat'em up craze started by Melbourne House in 1985 with The Way Of The Exploding Fist, Fighting Warrior and Rock'n'Wrestle, followed by System 3's International Karate andImagine's Yie Are Kung Fu, the latter being a coin op conversion, and Shao Lin's Road being the conversion of its sequel, this time brought to us by The Edge, in one of its less edgy releases.
So, being oriental stuff, the sprites are all yellow [in the first level] and you must flying kicking or high kicking random people passing by and getting out of doors, distributed over three floors, among which you can move by jumping up and down. The aim is just to sweep'em all away. Then an oriental jingle will carry you to the next stage. There are occasionl flying jars and flying pizzas or omelettes, or whatever those round things are supposed to be.
Sometimes a strange ball jumps out of some enemy and if you catch it, it can trasform in some magic that will simplify your task, like bidirectional fire, which of course won't last much, and then it'll be you and your feet vs. the world again. That said, the game is very playable and your character very responsive, although I have fatal troubles with the flying kicks, and in spite of or thanks to the simple gameplay and very limited moves, it can be fun for a while. Also, the two-channel tune in the title screen is cool, and there are nice jingles, and effective enough sound effects during the game. Your character cries on the floor, manga-style, when you die. 4/5