Acorn has been working closely with the producers of some of the best-selling model B software and hardware and has published a list of games, utilities, educational and business application software that is currently available for, and compatible with the new Compact. The full list is available on request from Acorn, but here is a brief resume of the games.
Many of Acornsoft's old BBC B games are going to be sold as compilations, Acornsoft Hits Volume 1 contains Magic Mushrooms, Planetoid, Rocket Raid and Maze. Magic Mushrooms is a fast, colourful ladder and platform game with the facility to design your own screens and save them to tape or disc. Planetoid is an excellent version of the Arcade game Defender in which you fly over a scrolling landscape defending humanoids and shooting everything else.
In Rocket Raid you fly your spaceship through six different stages and try to destroy the mothership. Maze is a three-dimensional maze. You must explore the maze, kill robots and find the three keys to escape to the next level.
Volume 2 contains Starship Command, Arcadians, Meteors and Labyrinth. In Starship Command which was the forerunner to Elite (see below), you are given a top view of your starship and simply have to shoot everything that comes towards you. Later in the game, some of the aliens are invisible and only appear when hit! Arcadians is like Space Invaders, but the aliens fly down to attack your ship. Meteors puts you in an area of space full of asteroids; you must destroy these and the ships that attack you, to stay alive.
Compilations are also being released by Micro Power and Blue Ribbon. These will sell for about £10 and will certainly provide a very good way to start your games' collection.
Acornsoft's best two games, Elite and Revs (including 4 Tracks) are available separately. Elite is "the ultimate space trading and combat game", the graphics are brilliant and the whole game is highly addictive and certainly won't be played once and forgotten.
If you know nothing about the game, then buy it and try it. If you do know it, buy it anyway!
If you like racing car simulations then you'll love or loathe Revs! It is a very realistic Formula 3 racing car simulator and is quite difficult to get the hang of, but once mastered it is a realistic and challenging game.
The excellent range of recent Superior titles will also be available. This includes Citadel, Repton 2 and Karate Combat, all of which were bestsellers on the Model B. Citadel is a large arcade adventure with fast colourful graphics and a good plot.
Repton 2 is a superb game and sequel to Repton. It involves running round a playing area much larger than the screen, eating earth and diamonds, letting the rocks drop, killing monsters and opening safes! Karate Combat puts you in an arena with either a computer-controlled or human adversary and you must endeavour to beat them using your karate skills! Prices for all Superior Software and Acornsoft games have yet to be announced.
Tynesoft, a new company on the BBC Micro games scene, has released a number of very good titles for the B and these are all going to be available for the Compact. If you like sports simulations, then Winter Olympics, Commonwealth Games and Ian Botham's Test Match are worth a look. Another of its games which is well worth buying is Jet Set Willy: this is a very good copy of the original on the Sinclair Spectrum. In the game you explore your mansion after a very successful party and you must collect all the glasses before your wife will allow you to bed! All Tynesoft titles cost £9.95.
For the chess fans, White Knight 12 by BBCSoft (£14.95), will give you a very good game for your money. Its predecessor (White Knight 11) won the Computer Chess Championship in 1984. (Mark 12 is an enhanced version of Mark 11.) It allows you to set up positions and can solve up to 'mate in 5' chess problems.
Both CDS and Squirrel market golf games. Don't expect too much and have a look at them before you buy. CDS's Birdie Barrage Golf simulation costs £12.95 and Super Golf is available from Squirrel. If you're into snooker, then Steve Davis Snooker (£12.95) also by CDS may be for you. Graphics are fairly crude but acceptable, and there's no sound.
This list is not final or complete, as most companies will convert their software to run on the Compact. Yet, it does provide a useful base from which to build your Master Compact games collection. If you are starting from scratch, I recommend you buy Elite and Revs plus the Acornsoft Hits or the Micro Power compendium.