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.
Rather than produce another platform game, Ocean Software chose to make a graphical adventure for their third Hunchback game. Which was an unusual choice.
Hunchback: The Adventure again features Quasimodo trying to rescue Esmeralda, this time from the evil Cardinal of Notre Dame. It’s a three-part game, requiring the same number of loads. In part one Quasimodo must escape from Notre Dame itself, and from the Cardinal’s many guards who are trying to stop him. In part two he must make his way under the city of Paris until he reaches the Cardinal’s mansion. And finally, in part three, he must challenge the Cardinal and escape with Esmeralda in tow.
The sequel to the hit game Hunchback was released in 1985 by Ocean Software. Hunchback II is another platform game where you control Quasimodo on a mission to collect bells and survive through seven screens of conveyors and climbing ropes. Make it to the end and again rescue Esmeralda as she waits patiently for her green-coloured hero.
Hunchback is a conversion of the 1983 arcade game by Century Electronics. It has been written that Hunchback is loosely based on the 1831 Victor Hugo novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, because it features Quasimodo running along a castle wall, trying to rescue Esmeralda from a tower at the end, but that is disputed by some who claim that Robin Hood is the main influence. Regardless, at least in this conversion the main character does actually look like Quasimodo…
The third and final of the Ocean-released Daley Thompson sports games is Daley Thompson’s Olympic Challenge, which was first published in 1988.
This one again features ten Olympic decathlon events, split over two days, they being: 100 metre dash, long jump, shot putt, high jump, 400 metres, 110 metre hurdles, pole vault, discus, javelin, and 1500 metres.
This time Daley is trying to beat the world record, rather than win a gold medal.
The second of the Ocean-released Daley Thompson sports games is Daley Thompson’s Supertest, which was first published in 1985.
This time there are twelve events, including: rowing, penalties, ski-jump, tug O war, triple jump, 100m sprint, javelin, 110m hurdles, pistol shooting, cycling, springboard diving, and giant slalom (skiing).
Daley Thompson’s Decathlon, developed and published by Ocean for the ZX Spectrum in 1984, was possibly the first home computer game to feature a celebrity, and a person of colour, as the star of the game – at least in the UK anyway.
If you don’t know: Daley Thompson is a British Olympic decathlon star, and was a gold medal winner at the 1980 Moscow and 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, and as such was a household name in the UK back when this game was released in 1984. Younger readers might not know who Daley Thompson is, but they really should. Thompson is a legend and has been described as the greatest all-round athlete the world has ever seen. Look him up on YouTube if you want to see his Olympic achievements.
Ocean Software‘s 1983 release, Pogo, is arguably the best Q*Bert clone on the ZX Spectrum. And there were a lot of Q*Bert clones around at the time.
It was one of the very first Spectrum games I ever bought and it kept teenage me occupied for a few days, before I eventually grew tired of it.
Match Day II is the 1987 sequel to Match Day. It was again coded by Jon Ritman and published by Ocean Software.
The graphics in Match Day II were created by Bernie Drummond (who famously made Batman with Ritman in 1986), and could be described as “more characterful” than in the previous game. One thing is certain, though: the players in Match Day II definitely have Eighties haircuts!
Although it’s pretty laughable now, Jon Ritman and Chris Clarke‘s 1984 football game, Match Day, was a groundbreaking Spectrum game for the time.
Match Day wasn’t the first football video game ever made, but it was one of the first to at least make a reasonable attempt to translate the sport into something playable.