In 1987 Konami released the hugely successful run-and-gun shoot ’em up Contra in arcades, and Gryzor is the localised European conversion of that game, published by Ocean Software in 1988.
Castle Master II: The Crypt is the sequel to the ghost-hunting Freescape game, Castle Master, and it was released by Domark in 1990 as part of a double pack with the first Castle Master. As far as I know it was never published as a stand-alone title.
The Crypt is the same as Castle Master in many respects, except that the puzzles and environments are obviously different. The controls and aims are the same as before: destroy the spirits before they destroy you; find keys to open doors, and loot the treasures inside a haunted crypt to score points as you go.
Castle Master is a first-person 3D adventure game set in a haunted castle, where the aim is to destroy spirits before they overwhelm you. The game uses the famous Freescape engine, which was an early 3D engine for creating polygonal environments. It was developed by Incentive Software and first published by Domark in 1990.
Geoff Crammond‘s incredible Stunt Car Racer was converted to the Amstrad CPC by Pete Cooke, the man responsible for classic ZX Spectrum hits Tau Ceti, Academy, and Brainstorm. It’s safe to say that Cooke did an immaculate job of bringing this ace racing game to the Amstrad in 1989.
I was always under the impression that Paul Shirley‘s classic Spindizzy originated on the Commodore 64 and was ported to other machines, but this interview with Shirley says that the game was actually originated on the CPC and ported to other systems. Since Paul Shirley coded the C64 version himself I had guessed that that was a logical assumption to make, but it now looks to be wrong.
The Amstrad version of Spindizzy – one of the best games ever made in my humble opinion – is pretty much perfect, with crisp, clean, detailed graphics and responsive controls.
Sorcery Plus is an expanded version of the best-selling Amstrad game Sorcery, catering for 128K disk-based machines and featuring new rooms and other enhancements. It was developed by Gang of Five and published by Virgin Games in 1985.
Ocean Software‘s 1989 conversion of Taito‘s classic arcade race game, Chase HQ, is a bit of a doozy on the Amstrad. While it doesn’t have quite the impact that its amazing arcade parent does, it does do a very good job of trying to recreate its high-octane, criminal-chasing thrills.
Get Dexter is an isometric action puzzle game originally released for the Amstrad CPC in 1986. It was programmed by Remi Herbulot with graphics by Michel Rho. In its native France the game is known as “Crafton & Xunk“, which I always thought was a bizarre title for a video game.
The Amstrad Colour Personal Computer (CPC) is a family of 8-bit home computers that were designed and manufactured by British company Amstrad (the infamous one led by Alan Sugar), and marketed as competition to the Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum from 1984 onward.