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CP Software
Not Known
1989
Compilation
£9.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

Other Links


78
Phil King
Chris Bourne

CLASSIC GAMES FOR ... THE BIN

Not only are all the games here based on some very ancient entertainment, but their actual programming is, by Spectrum terms, virtually prehistoric - ie pre-CRASH. The four games are draughts, backgammon, chess and bridge. The first of these has recently been well-implemented in Rack-It's Draughts Genius. By comparison this version, originating in 1982, is unsurprisingly simple in its presentation with neither two-player, reset or take-back-move options. Not being a great draughts player myself, I was unable to ascertain how well the computer was playing (there is no two-player mode). On easy level I had few problems, whereas on Level 9 I gave up - each computer move takes around 25 minutes!

The compilation's version of chess, Superchess 3.5, is more modern, being written in 1985, but still lacks the more refined options of recent games. Nevertheless, it plays a fair game and you can limit its thinking time to anything from 5 to 9999 seconds, although I wouldn't fancy waiting for two-and-three-quarter hours for the computer to make a move!

CP's Backgammon is also showing its age (1983) with simplistic, character block graphics and dull presentation. It doesn't even manage to adhere to the rules: it allows more than five counters on a single point - an illegal move in the board game. Moreover the real skill behind backgammon is in knowing when to double the stake, and this is not catered for. Lacking a two-player mode, it soon gets tedious.

Quite clearly the most entertaining game here is Bridge Player III. Again, only one player can take on the computer, but even though it's almost three-years-old, it plays a mean game and is adequately presented for a card game. Both bidding and playing sections are well-implemented. The only problem is that if you can't play bridge you're in trouble: no instructions are given on how to play - the inlay recommends you to get a book from the library!

In conclusion, four extremely old games for a tenner doesn't seem a very good deal, especially when only one of the games (bridge) is competently represented. If I were you, I'd buy a pack of cards, a draughts/chess board and a backgammon set - much better value for money.

CRITICISM

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