Tag Archives: Amstrad CPC

Kokotoni Wilf, Amstrad CPC

Compared to the Spectrum original, Amstrad Kokotoni Wilf is pretty ugly. The developers have chosen a dark blue background with green caves, and the odd splash of colour in the (very flickery) sprites and landscape decorations. The graphics are very poor in my opinion.

Continue reading Kokotoni Wilf, Amstrad CPC

Inside Outing, Amstrad CPC

Inside Outing is an interesting isometric action/adventure game initially published by The Edge in 1988. It was designed by Michael St. Aubyn and converted to a number of different platforms, with this Amstrad version being the original.

The story is: an eccentric millionaire has died without leaving a will and has hidden 12 gems in strange places around his large house. The millionaire’s widow has hired a professional thief (you), to explore the house and find the fortune. Unfortunately the millionaire’s pets have now overrun the mansion and are waiting to attack any intruders, so it won’t be straightforward.

The gameplay in Inside Outing is fairly simple exploration, object manipulation, jumping, puzzles, and the game of ‘fetch’. Of course it owes a debt of gratitude to Knight Lore (as every other isometric action game does), but in general it’s reasonably original, and – in places – quite surprising. For example: in this game you can pull objects, as well as push them. Which might seem quite minor, but Inside Outing was one of the first games of its type to actually allow that. It actually makes it seem more natural to play than something like Knight Lore or Batman.

I love the colouring and design of the Amstrad graphics in this game. They’re chunky, but beautifully-drawn. And the rudimentary physics in the game give Ultimate a run for their money. Overall: the presentation is top class, and the gameplay isn’t bad either, in spite of the annoying enemies. Inside Outing is a classic Amstrad game and still deserves to be played now.

Inside Outing was also converted to the C64 and ZX Spectrum, and later appeared on the Amiga and Atari ST under the name “Raffles“.

Note: in the USA the game was published by Epyx under the frankly horrendous title of “Devon Aire in the Hidden Diamond Caper“.

More: Inside Outing on Wikipedia

Sabre Wulf, Amstrad CPC

The Amstrad conversion of Sabre Wulf features the same chunky graphics as the BBC version, except with some extra colouring. It does make make a difference though. The Amstrad version doesn’t look quite as harsh as the BBC version.

Although the gameplay is reasonably accurate, I’m not entirely convinced by the actual playability of this conversion – the keyboard and joystick controls are a little sticky and the collision detection is also a little suspect. I found this to be more unforgiving than the original.

Still: Amstrad Sabre Wulf is not a bad game and is still worth a play now. Just from memory I managed to complete three quarters of the game, although I did use quicksaves. 🙂

Sabre Wulf on The King of Grabs:
ZX Spectrum versionBBC Micro version,
Amstrad CPC version, Commodore 64 version

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabre_Wulf

Prince of Persia, Amstrad CPC

Developed in 1990 by Brøderbund France, the Amstrad CPC conversion of Prince of Persia is a decent interpretation of Jordan Mechner‘s classic platform game.

Graphically, the Amstrad version is very good. It is arguably the best-looking out of all the 8-bit versions around.

There are still some issues though. The screen sometimes flickers when it changes from one to another – like the game doesn’t know which screen to show – especially when coming to the end of a run near the edge of a screen. Also: having a sword fight near the edge of a screen can result in some very annoying flicking between one screen and another (and probably the main character’s death).

I also spotted a couple of bugs, including one that puts you on the other side a chasm if you jump directly upwards, and another where you can jump through closed gates.

Sword fighting is very easy – perhaps too easy – at least at first. Just holding down fire will win you most fights. I also found the sword-fighting skeletons to be inanimate and lacking (any kind of) intelligence. The first one I fought just stood there, not even attacking or moving towards me when provoked.

Those faults thankfully don’t ruin the game. The most important thing is that the movement of the main character is right, which it is. Kind of.

More: Prince of Persia on Wikipedia

Manic Miner, Amstrad CPC

The excellent Amstrad CPC version of Manic Miner was first released by Software Projects in 1984.

It is very close to the ZX Spectrum original in almost every respect, barring the fact that the colours are slightly less vivid and the play window is slightly smaller. Oh, and the last level is different – like an expanded (and more difficult) version of the last screen in the Speccy original.

The most important thing is that the gameplay is all present and correct and there are none of those annoying ‘programmer interpretations’ that take the game away from what made it good in the first place.

For my money: the Amstrad version of Manic Miner is one of the best conversions of this classic game.

More on The King of Grabs: 10 Best Manic Miner Conversions

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manic_Miner

Chuckie Egg, Amstrad CPC

Amstrad Chuckie Egg is not bad, but is somewhat let down by flickery graphics and unrefined gameplay.

Some of the levels are slightly different too (the odd block or pile of birdseed missing here and there, or you can’t make a jump that you could in the original), which is a bit of a compromise.

It looks okay (if not a bit chunky) and plays reasonably well, but is definitely lacking the finesse and detail that made the ZX Spectrum original so good. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! 🙂

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuckie_Egg

Spy Hunter, Amstrad CPC

Released by Sega in 1986, this Amstrad CPC conversion of Spy Hunter drives well enough, but looks a bit dented on the outside. Meaning: the graphics are a bit basic.

I thought the Commodore 64 conversion of Spy Hunter was chunky – until I saw this… Thankfully it plays reasonably well, if a little slowly.

What lets the game down, though, is the rather small play window. I would have preferred it if they’d used a bit more of the screen. Amstrad Spy Hunter is still worth a spin if you’re interested in the series.

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spy_Hunter

Tau Ceti, Amstrad CPC

I wrote quite a bit about the original ZX Spectrum version – because it’s so good – but this 1986 Amstrad version of Tau Ceti is possibly even better than the original…

Why? Slightly better use of colour (debatable). Wider display (with a slightly different layout), and because it runs slightly faster than the original. So the differences are “slight,” but are still worth a mention.

Playing Tau Ceti is like a bit like that scene in the film Pitch Black: when the sun goes down you’re gonna need a bigger gun (and your Infra Red goggles) to survive for more than ten minutes…

Tau Ceti is a classic game on any system. I played this Amstrad version for a few hours recently and had a ball in the process. It’s still great to play now.

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tau_Ceti_(video_game)

Roland in the Caves, Amstrad CPC

Roland in the Caves is the Amstrad CPC conversion of the classic Bugaboo (The Flea).

Rather than it be a simple ‘rip-off’, Roland in the Caves was actually developed by Indescomp, the original developers of Bugaboo. So it is an ‘official’ conversion and plays pretty much the same as the original.

The ‘Roland‘ name change came about when Alan Sugar – who owned Amstrad – decided he wanted a ‘mascot’ game character for his range of home computers, so he re-branded a bunch of titles with the Roland name. This was one of them.

Compared to all the other versions of Bugaboo, Roland in the Caves has a bit more colour, and as a result: some depth to the background graphics. Roland is a purple blob but is well animated. The ubiquitous dragon is purple in this version too. Maybe Alan Sugar had a thing for purple?

One downside is that there is no ‘jump meter’ in this conversion. In my mind: an essential feature of Bugaboo. One upside is that Roland in the Caves is probably a little easier than the original Bugaboo – I actually managed to get out of the cave in this version!

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bugaboo_(The_Flea)