This is Gremlin Graphics' latest 10-pack compilation, continuing its 'Great Games' series. Like the majority of compilations, there are a few turkeys hidden amongst some real hot hits. Since you'll have probably seen most of the games before we've given each a short resume plus a new score based on today's quality of games rather than the score the games were given when they first came out.
Dragontorc - 4/10
Wow! An arcade-adventure! Well, forget Magic Knight's games as this is in a completely different style. It begins with a nice little tune and an effective 3D effect but it's not an easy game for beginners. We found it difficult to get through the gaps in the walls and there are also invisible walls which you can't go through at all. We had a pretty hard time just trying to get out of the first screen! Although there are large detailed sprites there's too much colour and this leads to confusion. Though this wasn't bad in its time we reckon it's a bit old hat now. but if you like arcade adventures it may be worth a look.
Impossaball - 8/10
Sounds like an impossible game? Well actually it isn't. It's very easy to begin with, although as you progress through the game the puzzles get completely impossiball! The scrolling is smooth, and even though it's very colourful, there's no clash. We found it easy to get the hang of and extremely addictive, and wed definitely recommend it to any ballbuster anywhere. Boing Boing Boing!
City Slicker - 6/10
This one should really be renamed Jet Set Willy's revenge! It looks, sounds and almost plays just like JSW. But this one's harder to play and has larger sprites. City Slicker is a very playable game in fact, but the lack of things to do make it a touch boring after a while. It's almost impossible to control on a rubber Speccy, as it uses Q,W and C/shift. Even so, the characters are colourful and well animated. Maybe it's the '88 remix?
Fighter Pilot - 3/10
Bleurgh! A 1983 game on a 1988 pack? It's so terrible that you won't even need to be told it's an '83 game 'cos you can tell by looking at it! There is no scenery at all, only green for grass and blue for sky. It's terrible to control and very easy to disappear into the ground instantly. We hated it.
10 Frame - 8/10
Strike! Yet another ball game, but this time it's indoors. Yes, it's ten pin bowling. There's a realistic feel about it, and it's easy to understand though you wouldn't think so from the size of the instructions! The way the ball bounces down the alley (fnurgle wurgle) and knocks the pins over is well animated. It even sounds good when you make a strike! Though 10th Frame won't completely 'bowl' you over, it's actually quite a good game.
Firelord - 7/10
Another arcade/adventure! This one's rather in the mould of Sabre Wulf with extra objects and trading thrown in for good measure. The graphics and sound are adequate and it is easy to understand. Overall, it's a good game unless you're a real arcade adventure freak.
Survivor - 3/10
Read the scenario... 'putting pods in incubators, destroy a race of aliens'... and this game sounds pretty good. Load it up and the loading screen leads you to believe that this game is going to be pretty good. Even the title tune reinforces your ideas that this is going to be a package worth playing! But no! Unfortuntely, this game is dreadful. The graphics are messy and the gameplay tedious. Play only if you're a masochist.
Leaderboard - 8/10
Fore! Leaderboard has to be one of the best golf simulations we've ever seen on the Speccy. Not only does it sport (no pun intended) beautifully animated graphics but there's a pretty realistic game in there as well. You control a golfer and basically all you've got to do is select the appropriate club, depending on the length of your shot, and then simply whack the ball. There are four courses to play and three levels to play them at. Of course, they aren't all straightforward shots - there are water hazards and islands to use as extra green space, though how the player gets there we couldn't figure out as there are no bridges. The 3D perspective is excellent and the player is well animated too. Anyone that likes simulations will find this a lump of gold amongst some of the other (7) iron in this pack! (Very funny. Ed)
Ranarama - 6/10
When this first came out YS raved about it. It's not the sort of game for those who like instant playability, unlike Gauntlet. It's also an annoying game - when you enter a new screenful of rooms, they don't show up until you actually go through the door. Not only that, it's quite hard, but a few goes on it give you some idea of what to do. The rooms are colourful and detailed, but not cluttered. There's even a pretty natty sub-game, where you have to swop letters around to make 'RANARAMA'. All in all it's a brilliant game for those with an IQ of over 150!
Rocco - 7/10
As I see it, 'arry, dis is my sort of game. 'Itting people 'round the head is good fun, innit? Rocco is one of those games that's dead simple to get into, as it only has four keys (left and right hook and defence). What's more it's quite easy to knock out the first boxers. With keyboard, it's simple to control, but impossible with joystick. The restricted movements are okay for new Speccy gamesplayers, but older users may find it gets boring after a while.
Sound is non-existent, and there isn't even an oof as your opponent gets thumped. Overall, it's a good little game, but it's one that won't keep you playing 'cos it gets boring due to lack of moves.
A compilation that really is a mixed bag - some of the games really are great but others let the side down. Overall though pretty good for the money - but not the best!