Commodore User1st December 1988
Published in Commodore User #64
Master Blaster (Zeppelin Games)
Not CU's Blastin' Master, but a game which similarly claims to pure fun. In fact, it's pure Asteroids, which isn't such fun. The game's keyboard only too, giving it that really dated feel that'll have you thinking back less than nostalgically to the days when you were stupid enough to own a Speccy...
Peter Pack Rat
It's back of platforms and ladders in this cheapo as your take control of Peter Packrat, a rodent who spends his time scavenging around the junkyard where he lives.
Collect various items and take them back to your den whilst avoiding the malicious intentions of the local doity rat, Riff, and his henchman. Shooting the nasties freezes them briefly, otherwise it's down to you.
Peter Pack Rat has small (as you'd expect for rodents) but neat graphics, clever layouts and some jolly tunes playing throughout. Solid budget entertainment for old-fashioned gamers.
You can trust Mastertronic to match the weaponry with the scenario. So, just as you would expect, your Camelot Warrior is armed with a sword. With the sword he must wander 'these worlds' in search of four elements: the Elixir of Life, The Mirror of Wisdom, The Voice from another World and The Unburning Fire.
Your Camelot Warrior isn't the most agile of knights. He can walk at a fair pace, leap over small plants and swing his sword. Problem is, he can only swing the sword at one height - shoulder height, and a lot of the nasty stuff that comes at you, like the walking peas, is at ankle height. Only one thing for it - jump over 'em.
There are several scenarios to this maze-like horizontal scroller. The Woods, the Lake, The Caverns and the Castle of Camelot - wherein lie the aforementioned elements. Once you've got 'em, you must take them to the guardian of each world so that they can be destroyed.
A lot of destruction for such a cheap game, very pretty graphics though and more than a couple of quids' worth of puzzlement.
This is another of MILs Bogies Pick har har range. Snot funny as far as I'm concerned. Mind you, this re-run of Bubble Bun's ancient Hustler is a bit of a joke. It was written in the days when it was considered 'state of the art' to draw a circle (like a ball) on the C64's screen.
Don't confuse Hustler with American 8-ball pool, this is five ball pool.
There are several options for different one- and two-player games - all with five balls. You position a cursor where you want the cue ball to go and press fire when the power meter reaches the required wallop. Then the cueball heads for the target ball with not very much realism. Cheap - even for a cheapo.
Into The Eagle's Nest
About eighteen months old, this one, but it's still a laff as you infiltrate a Nazi-infested castle Alistair Maclean-style, in search of three captured saboteurs.
It's standard arcade adventure fare, but enlivened by well-drawn graphics. Viewed from above the soldiers look far and jolly, but the opposition's tough, tough enough to turn this into a testing challenge if you haven't seen it before. Good value for money.
Super Stunt Man
Codemasters (aka David and Richard Darling) started writing their first games when they were still in the womb, and it shows.
Super StuntMan is a cracking idea for a game I don't know why someone else didn't think of it and charge £14.99 [Don't suggest it - Ed]. You're this Burt Reynolds type who goes in for hurting his back a lot. There are seven different ways of becoming a hero and getting badly hurt in the process including: Deadly Car Chase, Power Boat racing, Jump the Grand Canyon, New York Street Gang Fight.
Each of these is a vertical scroller with obstacles. Oddly enough, you get points for bashing into things - the great action bonus - the downside is that you lose lives. Well worth a couple of quid.
Firebird's classic conversion comes to the world of the two sovs. What's to say? Take control of a cute brontosaurus and hop around the 99-odd levels munching on bananas, strawberries and cherries left behind by fruit-topping the nasties which float around and make life difficult for you. Set off bolts of lightning and rivers of water to flood them out.
Great fun still - they don't make 'em like this any more! Re-release of the month.
Ghost Busters, er, sorry, Hunters is no cheapo rip-off from a two year old big screen hit. No sir. A platform game in the classic mould, you must rid Nightmare Mansions, home of Professor Twighlight, of all kinds of evil spooks and ghoulie things.
Nightmare Mansions has lots of lifts which you can set in operation by picking up flashing objects like chalices for example. The more evil spirits there are hanging around the higher the dial on the terrormeter goes and the greater the likelihood of you being zapper. As a consequence of being zapped your machometer hits low and then you die. Get them before they get you.
This is not bad at all, though the idea of a ramboesque figure zapping spooks with a big gun is a little odd. Shouldn't there by some magic and spells and stuff involved? Perhaps that's why it's so cheapo.
Having spawned faster than a rabbit and swamped the world with its prodigies, Leaderboard now begins its assault on the budget market.
Nevertheless its sucess can't be put down simply to marketing overkill. It was the bestselling title of 1986 because it is one of the best sports simulations to appear on the C64. That said, you'd be advised to wait for what is undoubtedly the eventual appearance of one of the more enhanced versions to appears with trees and water hazards, etc.
No messing around here. Your planet has been attacked and everyone else has failed so it's left to you to do the job. It's always left to you, isn't it?
Stage 1 is very Uridium (yawn) as you close down six barges, protected by fighters. Stage 2 is a head-to-head with more fighters, and there's six motherships waiting in the third and final stage. Nothing new here, but it's competent budget blasting for shoot-'em-up fiends who need a regular infusion of something new each month. All the sixes, the year we won the cup...