Player's Posse | Everygamegoing

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Player's Posse

 
Published in Acorn User #053

A personal charting of David Lawrence's favourite games and adventures of 1986, plus one prize dud

Player's Posse

Since the last Acorn User games roundup (February 1985), there has been a marked change in the way games have been produced. Previously, companies thought that quantity was the best policy and released large numbers of, let's face it, bad games. Nowadays, you'll be lucky to see a new release every month! However, the quality of games has improved dramatically, and most games currently on the market are well worth their price. In this article, I present my personal top ten games of the last two years, and also a special Golden Turkey Award.

Top Ten 1985-86

  1. Thrust (Superior)
  2. Citadel (Superior)
  3. Boffin (Addictive)
  4. Revs (Acornsoft)
  5. Tapper (US Gold)
  6. Spy Hunter (US Gold)
  7. Trivial Pursuit (Domark)
  8. The Way Of The Exploding Fist (Melbourne House)
  9. Repton 2 (Superior)
  10. Galaforce (Superior)

Close contenders: Airwolf (Elite), Scrabble (Leisure Genius), Nightshade (Ultimate), Atic Atac (Ultimate)

Top Five Adventures

  1. Bored Of The Rings (Silversoft)
  2. Worm In Paradise (Level 9)
  3. Emerald Isle (Level 9)
  4. Hampstead (Melbourne House)
  5. Terrormolinos (Melbourne House)

Thrust

Thrust
Thrust

Thrust from Superior is one of the few games that has a simple, easy-to-follow plot, but still manages to become an extremely interesting and challenging game. 'Collect the pods and fuel; shoot the guns and reactors' - that's all there is to it. Except be warned, don't forget the laws of gravity, inertia and momentum! Good scrolling too.

Graphics 90%
Sound 75%
Addictive Qualities 90%
Value For Money 90%

Citadel

One of the graphics adventures I have completed is Citadel, so I am slightly biased, but the game is very well written with pretty graphics and fiendishly difficult puzzles spreading over at least 100 rooms. A sequel has also been promised.

Graphics 85%
Sound 70%
Addictive Qualities 80%
Value For Money 80%

Boffin

Boffin
Boffin

Addictive's Boffin might have been missed by some of you key-bashers out there. In my opinion, it is one of the best 'ladder and platform' games ever written. The idea is standard - collect all the objects on a screen (in this case horseshoes) and make your way to the exit. The quality of the graphics is brilliant, especially the 'thing' in the fourth cave!

Graphics 89%
Sound 75%
Addictive Qualities 90%
Value For Money 86%

Revs

Revs Plus Revs 4 Tracks
Revs Plus Revs 4 Tracks

Revs from Acornsoft is the best racing simulator on a home micro. Written by Geoffrey Crammond (author of Aviator) in conjunction with David Hunt. Revs is an extremely accurate representation of a formula three car, indeed on your first few goes maybe even too accurate (as you go spinning off the first bend for the umpteenth time!), but once mastered Revs can be very addictive, especially when trying to trim precious seconds off your lap time.

Graphics 95%
Sound 85%
Addictive Qualities 70%
Value For Money 60%

Tapper

Tapper
Tapper

Tapper was one of the first BBC micro conversions from the highly populat Commodore 64 range of US Gold titles. Again, the idea is simple - serve the customers in your bad with soda - but after the first couple of screens, the action becaomes unbelievably hectic as the customers advance, slinging their glasses up the bar, and demanding more soda. Don't drop a glass or send too many down the bar as this doesn't go do well with managemment!

Graphics 70%
Sound 85%
Addictive Qualities 85%
Value For Money 70%

Spy Hunter

Spy Hunter
Spy Hunter

Spy Hunter, also from US Gold, places you in a sports car fitted with machine guns. You are placed on a road that goes through woods and over bridges and must shoot the enemy cars or ram them off the road. You can also be equipped with smoke screens, oil slicks and anti-aircraft missiles by 'docking' with the weapons van which occasionally appears. The car changes into a speedboat if you enter the boathouse, and then the action continues on the water. All this drama is to the tune of good ol' "Peter Gunn".

Graphics 79%
Sound 73%
Addictive Qualities 80%
Value For Money 70%

Trivial Pursuit

Trivial Pursuit: Genus Edition
Trivial Pursuit: Genus Edition

Domark's Trivial Pursuit is a new, computer version of the cult board game. Three thousand questions are provided on tape or disc and the action is presided over by 'TP', a little cartoon character who asks the questions and keeps track of the score. The board display is a trifle cluttered, but on the whole it's a faithful copy of the original and just as taxing on the brain.

Graphics 75%
Sound 75%
Addictive Qualities 90%
Value For Money 60%

The Way Of The Exploding Fist

The Way Of The Exploding Fist
The Way Of The Exploding Fist

The first karate/kung-fu type game on the BBC Micro was The Way Of The Exploding Fist from Melbourne House, and in my opinion it's thebest. It survived conversion from the Commodore 64 well and provides either one or two player options. Please note, you have to be dectrous to play, as eight keys are used plus a 'kick' key, giving in total eighteen different moves! (And the keys are reversed when you turn round!)

Graphics 87%
Sound 80%
Addictive Qualities 80%
Value For Money 80%

Repton 2

Repton 2
Repton 2

Repton 2 is the second (surprise, surprise) in the Repton family. Its predecessor sold like hot cakes when it was released and rightly so, the graphics are excellent, the action fact and the whole game totally addictive. Repton 2 followed on with a larger playing area, more puzzles and greater complexity, although it's slower.

Graphics 80%
Sound 75%
Addictive Qualities 70%
Value For Money 80%

Galaforce

Galaforce
Galaforce

There haven't been too many shoot-'em-up games recently, because they now need to be of a very high quality to sell at all, but Galaforce is one of the better ones and lives up to the usual Superior high standard. It contains very pretty, high-speed sprites, excellent sound effects and interesting attack formations.

Graphics 85%
Sound 90%
Addictive Qualities 75%
Value For Money 80%

Bored Of The Rings

Of the adventures, Bored Of The Rings, Terrormolinos and Hampstead have plenty of humour, and I highly recommend all Level 9 adventures for their depth, description, puzzles and complexity.

And Now...

And now for the bit you've been waiting for... the Golden Turkey award:

  1. Which game had the biggest hype?
  2. Which obtained rights from the BBC to use one of its characters?
  3. Which made you take the top off your Beeb so you could play it?
  4. Which featured a programmable cat?
  5. Which featured the word 'Terror', which could easily have been replaced with the word 'Boredom'?

Answers on a postcard to...

David Lawrence