Tag Archives: caves

Killer Watt, Commodore 64

Published in 1984 by Alligata Software, Killer Watt is a single-player, side-scrolling shoot ’em up where you fly around a cave blasting light bulbs. It was designed and programmed by Tony Crowther.

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Rescue From Zylon, Commodore 16/Plus4

Written by Mark J. Moore and published by Gremlin Graphics in 1985, Rescue From Zylon I would say is one of the best games ever released for the Commodore 16.

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Tom Thumb, Commodore 16/Plus4

This 1986 release from Anirog is seen as something of a ‘killer app’ on the Commodore 16, although personally I think it’s over-rated.

Tom Thumb is a smooth-scrolling platform game with a strange jump mechanic: Tom can only jump when the run button is pressed, and when he does it’s very slowly. Thankfully you can change his direction in mid air. Not that that makes a great deal of difference, because Tom Thumb is an extremely difficult game to make progress in.

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Solar Jetman, Commodore 64

Developed by Software Creations for Sales Curve Interactive, Solar Jetman is a legendary ‘lost’ game that was canned by its publisher in 1991 and has since resurfaced and been ‘preserved’ online.

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Kokotoni Wilf, Commodore 64

Of the three versions of Kokotoni Wilf released by Elite Systems, the Commodore 64 version is arguably the worst.

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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.

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Kokotoni Wilf, ZX Spectrum

A leading contender for the game with the silliest name of all-time, Kokotoni Wilf is an early platform action game with you in the role of the titular Mr. Wilf.

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Menzoberranzan, PC

An RPG with a funny name, based on the AD&D Forgotten Realms campaign setting, Menzoberranzan is a 1994, first-person, party-based adventure game developed by DreamForge Intertainment for Strategic Simulations Inc.

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Magic Carpet 2, PC

The full title of this 1995 sequel is Magic Carpet 2: The Netherworlds, and it is an excellent continuation of the series.

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Tales of Phantasia, Game Boy Advance

This 2003 remake of Namco‘s SNES classic Tales of Phantasia was the first time the game had been officially translated into English.

While much of the game remains the same, there are a few differences. Firstly, the screen ratio has been changed from the 4:3 of the SNES original to the ‘widescreen’ 240 x 160 of the GBA screen. Which makes it look more modern, even if the resolution is actually lower (the resolution of the SNES version is 256 x 224). The lower resolution of the GBA is not an issue though as many of the in-game characters have been re-drawn to make them look bigger in the play window. This becomes most apparent during combat, when all the figures appear significantly larger than in the SNES version. This is not a problem, though, because most combat is fought horizontally, and not vertically, so making the main characters larger has not had a detrimental effect on gameplay. Quite the opposite, in fact.

The only real criticisms I’ve read about this game are that the random battles are too frequent (didn’t seem too bad to me), and the combat system is “unrefined” compared to the ‘Tales‘ sequels. Well… No sh*t, Sherlock. That’s bleedin’ obvious. And a bit unfair.

Tales of Phantasia is a lovely game that still has a lot of appeal now and is worth a play if you can find a copy. With this GBA version being an official translation, and with its updated graphics, I’d give it a higher rating than any of the fan-translated versions of the SNES original.

More: Tales of Phantasia on the Game Boy Advance on Wikipedia