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AMIGA POWER’S ALL-TIME TOP 100 AMIGA GAMES Just how do you come up with a definitive list of the greatest Amiga games of all time? The short answer is, with great difficulty. Here’s how we went about it. ALL-TIME GOO 100 great game reviews on 100 of the best games you’ve ever seen! How do we rate Populous two years on? What about Carrier Command? And does Falcon still have a better ‘feel’ than more sophisticated rivals like F-19 Stealth and F-29? All this and more, plus we name the greatest Amiga OGrab every Amiga games expert we could get our hands on and bundle them all together into the same room (difficult enough in itself). Our selection included Stuart Campbell and Mark Ramshaw of Amiga Power (both of whom have been playing computer games for years), Bob Wade (ex-Zzap, Amstrad Action, ACE, Amiga Format and now editor of Amiga Shopper) and Trenton Webb (games editor of Amiga Format). Gary Penn (Zzap, The One et al) was there too of course, and small contributions were made by Andy Smith (ACE, Amiga Format, Sega Power) and Maff Evans (Zzap, ST Format, Amiga Format). Oh yes, and then there was me. o Make sure they all stay there for a few hours. 0(And this is the really tricky bit). Try to make some sense of what they’re all saying.

Click image to download PDF

Amiga Power Issue 00 1991 May Cover



Virus

Celebrate with us the best Amiga software in the world!

(Which will be our Number One )

r.    _ A complete game snatched

REE! FROM THE ALL TIME TOMOO

GREAT GAMES

1AA GREAT IUU REVIEWS

AMIGA POWER ISSUE ZERO MRV1991

EDITOR Matt Blelby PRODUCTION EDITOR Mark Ramshaw STAFF WRITER Stuart Campbell CONSULTANT EDITOR Gary Penn ART EDITOR Trevor Gilham ART ASSISTANT Matthew Williams ADVERTISING MANAGER Alison Morton

ADVERTISING PRODUCTION Deborah Cook PUBLISHER Greg Ingham PUBLISHING ASSISTANT Michele Harris CIRCULATION DIRECTOR Sue Hartley MANAGING DIRECTOR Chris Anderson

EDITORIAL & ADVERTISING Amiga Power. Future Publishing, 30 Monmouth Street. Bath BA1 2BW Tel 0225 442244

SUBSCRIPTIONS Lynn Bowler. The Old Bam. Somerton, Somerset TA11 7PY Tel 0458 74011

BobWade Trenlon Wobb.Val McDonald. Man Evans, Andy Smith. Ben Taylor, the Commodore Formal learn who didn't mind us using their grabbing Mac. and everyone else who helped out Cheers guys - we think you're all blooming lovely.

THIS IS AMI

A n/i AMIGA POWER’S ALL-TIME TOP 100 AMIGA GAMES

All those fabulous games again, gathered together in one place for the very first time. And -hey! - they can be carefully detached from the centre of the magazine and stuck to your wall. They’ll look utterly gorgeous!

I 6 the 100

GREATEST

BOMBUZAL: GET IT FREE!

Four pages of the most in-depth reviewing you’ve ever seen. Bombuzal is the complete game we’re giving away free with the first issue of Amiga Power - find out why it’s a complete ‘must not be missed’ experience here!

CONTENTS

GA POWER

AMIGA POWER’S ALL-TIME TOP 100 AMIGA GAMES

Just how do you come up with a definitive list of the greatest Amiga games of all time The short answer is, with great difficulty. Here’s how we went about it.

ALL- TIME

GOO

100 great game reviews on 100 of the best games you’ve ever seen! How do we rate Populous two years on What about Carrier Command And does Falcon still have a better ‘feel’ than more sophisticated rivals like F-19 Stealth and F-29 All this and more, plus we name the greatest Amiga

OGrab every Amiga games expert we could get our hands on and bundle them all together into the same room (difficult enough in itself). Our selection included Stuart Campbell and Mark Ramshaw of Amiga Power (both of whom have been playing computer games for years), Bob Wade (ex-Zzap, Amstrad Action, ACE, Amiga Format and now editor of Amiga Shopper) and Trenton Webb (games editor of Amiga Format). Gary Penn (Zzap, The One et al) was there too of course, and small contributions were made by Andy Smith (ACE, Amiga Format, Sega Power) and Maff Evans (Zzap, ST Format, Amiga Format). Oh yes, and then there was me.

o Make sure they all stay there for a few hours.

0(And this is the really tricky bit). Try to make some sense of what they’re all saying.

game of all time!

(It might not be what you expect!)

GAMES WALLCHART

Problems became apparent right away, mainly a) there are now so many Amiga games out there that every five minutes we d remember a new one which would throw our listing right out of kilter and b) hardly anybody agreed about anything.

What we’ve come up with here, then, is the fairest, most representative, most acceptable-to-all-concerned list we could, but remember, it’s all subjective, and in the time between me writing this and you reading it we’ve probably all changed our minds a couple of dozen times. Despite our best efforts this isn’t really definitive, it’s more of a fluid thing, and our opinions are changing all the time.

Anyway, here it is. By all means disagree with us (and you’re likely to think we're talking the most dreadful crap at least a couple of times over the next fifteen or so pages) but keep an open mind too - there’re bound to be a few gems hidden away in here that you’ve always dismissed before, but would actually be very well advised to check out.

That’s it really. Don’t forget to flick to page 30 for the complete low down on the magazine they're all calling ‘Amiga Power', and I'll expect to see you in a couple of weeks for the first real issue. Take care now.

30 OUTRAGEOUS CLAIMS

Just how good will Amiga Power really be We’d say ‘very good indeed’, but you’d be wiser to check out these pages for the full low down and then make up your own mind. We think you’ll be pretty excited.

Plus! One-off subscription giveaway offer! We’ll never make you a better deal!

MATT BIELBY EDITOR

©

ALL-TIME TOR 1 OO GAMES

LEMMINGS

Psygnosis E24.99

O Strange things. Lemmings.

First chance they get (like finding a nice edge to fall off) and thwop! One dead lemming. Then (since they tend to follow each other everywhere) lots more dead lemmings.

Oh dear. What they need is a helping hand, a guiding light, someone to show them how to avoid going thwopl In other words, they need you.

Lemmings plays a bit like a junior, cutsie version of the god sim crossed with a puzzle game. Like Populous et al it allows you to control the destiny of an entire race by manipulating individual characters, though here the stakes are simpler than usual - it’s more a case of do your lemmings survive long enough to make it to the next screen ' than any complicated exercise in empire building. By instructing the little tykes to dig. climb, build ramps and block pathways, they can be guided safely along, avoiding the (many) traps and pitfalls of their cruel world. Of course, not all lemmings may make it. but the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few - you're allowed to sacrifice a certain number each screen to ensure that the rest of them survive.

Sounds ridiculous It is. Luckily, it’s also jolly good fun. Enormously good fun. in fact. Completely childish and supremely addictive, it s a number two game, easy-peasy-lemming-squeezy.

SPEEDBALL 1

Imageworks £24.99

O Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe is no ordinary sports sim. It offers a very subtle blend of extreme violence and, erm...extreme violence. Yep. if you fancy a nice main course of aggression (with maybe just a touch of basketball on the side) your search is over.

Designed and programmed by the Bitmap Brothers (who seem to appear in this Top 100 with monotonous regularity) Speedball 2 really does kick all other future sports games into touch. There’s the stylish TV-style presentation and nifty line in shiny metallic graphics for a start, but it’s once the ball starts rolling that the action really kicks (your head) in. With play broken into 90-second segments, it’s simply great fun seeing how many injuries you can cause, though once you start to take it more seriously you’ll find there’s actually a fair amount of strategy underpinning the thing. Train your team, work through the league, beat other players to a pulp - you get the picture. The ideal game for lovers of serious ultra-violence.

SPEEDBALL 2

5

Ambitious and, erm, divine

POPULOUS

Populous-On-Sea. with land this bumpy, there isn’t much you can do in the way of empire building. A little use of the raise/lower land icon will soon change that though - just level things out, giving your guys room to expand.

SIM CITY

Infogrames £29.99

Create an earthquake. Start a lire Crash an aeroplane

Cause a flood. Entice Godzilla into a city centre. Make a typhoon. Build a 100,000 strong popula

tion then sack the entire police force and fire brigade. All these megalomaniac's dreams and more can come true in Sim City- and that's before you even start playing it seriously!

We’ve yet to see a game (if game's exactly the right word) that gives you the same feeling of power as this one. very few to keep you up as late at night, and certainly no other that comes close to making fiscal politics this interesting. Sim City will change your personality and (quite probably) your sleeping habits - no Amiga owner should be without it.

VIRUS

Firebird (MicroProse) DELETED

Two years on. and Virus is still probably the most sophisticated shoot-'em-up ever developed on a computer. Using a solid 30 polygon system to display a patch-work work) of hills, trees, houses and sea. it plays like Defender taken three stages on. This has a down side, unfortunately - while Defender itself required a mammoth amount of dexterity, Virus is near impossible. It will take quick thinking, nimble fingers, and about two days of solid playing to control the game. You have been warned.

Perseverance brings its rewards, however. Once you've got into it. Virus offers the physics of a flight simulation (sort of) with the adrenalin-action of the best blast-'em games. If it wasn't for the difficulty level, it'd be the perfect computer game. As it stands however, heroes only need apply.

KICK OFF 2

Anco £19.99

One of the longest-running chan successes of all time. Anco’s footie-sim follow-up is almost undoubtedly the most popular sports computer game to date, and the uncontested champion of Amiga football. It's as tricky to control as the first game (which might put some off, especially as the computer-controlled goalies are now good enough to make scoring a real nightmare) and it doesn't really feel that much like proper football (the speed with which everything bounces around is more reminiscent of a pinball table) but a wealth of additional features added to the already ground-breaking Kick Oil gameplay -*

Electronic Arts £24.99

Generally recognised (along with Sim City) to have spawned the ‘god simulator' genre (If four games can really be called a genre), Populous certainly dazzles visually and scores highly In the originality stakes. Ms creators, Bullfrog, went on to produce the equally Impressive Powermonger, and are currently working on Populous 2- wargames (of which these are essentially very slick and sophisticated versions) have never been so sexy.

So how does it all work Well, slightly longer than six days in the making, Populous offers a 3D world of breathtaking mountains, grassy plains, homely settlements, and cute little guys beating hell out of each other. Offering two modes - player vs player (via datallnk) or player vs bloodthirsty computer, the basic concept is to guide your leader and his trusty followers through the trials and tribulations of empire building.

A complicated business, this. Involving terraforming the land (creating areas where your subjects can build hamlets, castles etc), occasionally using the ol' divine Intervention (to cause floods and earthquakes) and so on. Don't get too tied up in all this however - it's a good Idea to keep

Icons are the tools of the trade for a Populous diety. Know your symbols!

one eye firmly on the enemy leader, because sooner or later you'll be pillaging his villages and slaying his followers (and he'll be doing the same to you). Despite the fact that you're at a few stages removed from your enemy, the fights are good fun - there's nothing quite as satisfying as using an old-fashioned volcano to bring a cosy, warm glow to the 'baddies', for instance.

Having said that, Populous is not what you'd call an action-packed game. Conflicts are more fascinating than involving, and the whole pace seems a tad leisurely at times.

Unlike Sim City, where gameplay is firmly rooted in the traditions of the 'kingdom' style games of old, Populous actually weaves elements of wargaming and artificial intelligence Into the design. The result will, to be honest, leave some cold. However, anybody who gets a kick out of controlling little computer people will fall instantly in love. The sheer scope of the game Is breath-taking, with four entirely different and very convincing computer-generated landscapes, but like any masterpiece, it Isn't perfect. Still. Populous did push back the boundaries of Amiga gaming, gave other programmers plenty of food for thought, and still stands up as being one of the finest computer games In the whole world. Ever.

11G A PO'

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8 TYPHOON THOMPSON

Broderbund DELETED

®‘What's this doing in the Top 100 ’. we hear you cry. ‘It's gol extremely repetitive gameplay. only five levels, graphics that consist largely of seascape (ie. blue), sound that can only be described as mini-

TYPHOON THOMPSON

malist, and it's not exactly action-packed, either.' Well, yes. we know all that, but the fact remains that Typhoon Thompson is a lot of gonzo fun - besides having the funniest intro sequence ever - so its just got to go in. And that's that.

©

KLAX

Domark £19.99

k If you liked Tetris but found it a bit restricted in gamer play terms then Klax is the game for you. It's got the same relentless challenge, with the added attraction of decent graphics, (but with lots of scope for showing off) plus big bonuses, warps, and presentation which was for once the equal of the gameplay. Mix it all together and you get a lasting source of enjoyment which works in seconds, but lasts for up to eight hours! (Or something.)

SWIV

Storm £24.99

® Xenon 2 has long been the benchmark by which vertically-scrolling megablasters are judged, but that looks all set to change with the release of this gorgeous game from top disco situationists The Sales Curve. Er. top programmers The Sales Curve. In several ways a follow-up to Silkworm. SWIV improves immeasurably on its ancestor with staggeringly lovely graphics, better-balanced gameplay (the jeep is now also a force to be reckoned with) and thanks to the Dynamic loading system, genocidal slaughter on a non-stop basis. Nice touches abound, and unless you're some kind of highly-strung soft boy, SW/Vwill put a smile on your face that even plastic surgery couldn't shift.

LASER SQUAD

Blade £19.99

The programmer of this game, Julian Gollop, has a pedigree stretching back many years on the 8-bit machines, including such critically acclaimed cult hits as Chaos and the wondrous Rebelstar (one of the best Spectrum games of all time, no argument). His first 16-bit effort, whilst following in the footsteps of these earlier games, takes the ideas much further. Laser Squad increased the strategic factor quite dramatically, giving a choice of scenarios and objectives as well as difficulty levels, and allowing the player to choose Individual weaponry and armour for all his troops. Hidden movement for enemy forces - only making them visible when they crossed a trooper's line of sight - made the game infinitely more realistic, and added an element of suspense that really gripped. Walking across a corridor to be suddenly caught In the middle of a crossfire from half-a-dozen enemy soldiers has to be one of the most horrifying experiences in computer gaming.

Wargames are traditionally pretty dull stuff, with snappy presentation and exciting action passed over in favour of 'realism' and 'accuracy'. Julian Gollop's games, however, rattle along at a fair old rate with explosive bursts of zapping mayhem (though all done in a

The attackers (those little guys in the yellow hats) have infiltrated the base. 'What now, boss ' strategic kind of way, with arcade reflexes hardly called into play), and they look good too, with the splattered bodies of your slaughtered comrades littering the battleground alongside all the other debris of war.

Laser Squad blends realism with artistic licence in just the right amounts to make something which works both as a wargame and as a computer game. This seemingly-simple concept is one which has proved notoriously hard for game designers to grasp in the past, but Julian Gollop seems to have it off-pat. Of course, not being a coin-op or movie licence, you might find you have to traipse around a bit looking for a shop that stocks it, but hey, it's well worth the traipse.

SWIV

INDY JONES ADVENTURE

US Gold £19.99

For many people, this game mm i j R represented the peak ot its genre. Following closely the plot ol the movie, it was nonetheless just as much fun for those who hadn't seen the film (unlike, say, Ghostbusiers II) as it was for those who knew it backwards.

The puzzles were slightly more logical than usual, the disk swaps for once kept to a minimum, and the whole thing is completely huge into the bargain. There’s months of entertainment in this one.

F-19 STEALTH FIGHTER

MicroProse £29.99

More to see, do and feel than ■ in any flight simulator!' trumpets the packaging of this latest in a long line of flying games with T in the title. And indeed, F-19 includes features never seen before in the genre, such as the fascinating bounce off the sea' incidents. Such curiosities aside however, this is probably the most sophisticated and realistic flight sim yet. and with hundreds of strategically accurate missions' it'll keep you playing for weeks. (In fact, it'll take you a fortnight just to read the manual!) If there is a complaint, it's that the game is just too accurate - it so expertly simulates the technical superionty of the Stealth planes that it's almost impossible to get yourself killed once you've learnt the ropes. Still, that's realism for you.

E-MOTION

US Gold £19.99

©

The world's first New Age computer game Or just a load of balls

Well, a bit of both in this strange mix of Einsteinian kinetics and. er. Asteroids. The ray-traced graphics and sampled sound created an abstract backdrop against which a very simple idea turned out to be a massively playable instant classic. Original and absorbing (though, it has to be said, utterly incomprehensible to a good many people) it's the game that proved particle physics could be fun!

EMOTION

what that witch has done -

one minute I'm the mighty Toki and the next I'm having breakfast delousing my armpits, I cai walk a step without tripping over my

knuckles and, oh, there's an overhan vine - time to swing out sister! But n broken heart is going ape. My belovei Miho (I can't wait to share a banana i has been kidnapped and somehow I*v got to regain my manhood - until the I'm just swingin' in the rain!

The arca jvu sensation by Fabtek A , is now avail

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& Dungeon Master meets cyberpunk

CAPTIVE

Mindscape £24.99

Veteran programmer Tony Crowther took his

cue from the ground-breaking Dungeon Master to offer something which, while not as Innovative as Its precursor, manages to refine the style to perfection. With ust enough documentation to get things up and running, Captive Is one of our favourites, the I wonder that this button does ’ sort of game.

So what are you actually meant to do Well, explore of course. Utilising a range of icons, a main 3D display and live smaller monitors, you're given full control over four remote droids. The initial idea Is to guide these droids around in order to free yourself from a prison cell (something which could take around three weeks to achieve), but that's really only the beginning. Once you're out there's a frightening range of military hardware to master, mazes to explore and aliens (lots and

lots and lots of aliens) to overcome.

In fact, fighting Is one of the mainstays of the game. In classic role-playing tradition, successful punch ups gain you experience, which makes your droids even tougher, which gives you more of a chance to get somewhere In the game. One of the nicest things about Captive is the almost uncontrollable urge you get to seek out new life (as the saying goes) and then beat it to a pulp. Droids do tend to get damaged in the process though, so the local shops are handy places to visit, and it's always a good Idea to carry around a few spare limbs.

And there we have It really. With several thousand challenges ahead Captive probably offers mappers and strategists more playing hours per pound than any other game. For once an icon control system isn't obtrusive - and actually lends things an excellent cyberpunky feel - while just about every technical and game-playing aspect has been tuned to near-perfec-tlon. Captive Is cut from the same cloth as classics like Elite, the Ultima series, and of course Dungeon Master, and proves to be a similar obsessive experience. Take a few months off work, get In a good supply of coffee, then boot it up. You won't be disappointed.

POWERMONGER

Electronic Arts £29.99

Having made it big with AJUB Populous, it seemed only

natural that Bullfrog would come up with another release in the god simulation vein. Having the good sense to create something which would appeal to Populous addicts without simply doing a retread. Powermonger brought the god sim down to a much more personal level. Using an icon control system, and with a relined 3D world view, the player lakes on the role of a warrior leader who must influence the action ol his peasants and fighters, sending them out for food and guiding them in battle. By introducing individual character control to the genre, Powermonger effectively becomes a state-of-the-art wargame. albeit one which is conspicuously devoid ol naff graphics and operates in real time.

A massive game which (judging by sales figures) has done the almost Impossi-

XENON 2

Imageworks £24.99

In-game music entered a whole

now !mension on the Amiga

with Xenon 2's Bomb-The-Bass-play-Assault-On-Precinct-13 theme tune. Here was a game that actually sounded better If you didn't turn the monitor sound down and put the hi-fi on instead. Gorgeous parallax graphics and a wealth of visual imagination added to the appeal, although the actual game itself could get rather samey (and if you didn't have an autofiring joystick you could target it). All the same, a classic from the Bitmap Brothers - big. slick, and still one of the best looking (and sounding) games around today.

PUZZNIC

POWERMONGER

Ocean £24.99

A straightforward puzzle Aj f; game - especially one Nhe

this, with its rather ropey graphics and lack ol a two-player mode -might not seem like a likely candidate for the Top 100 Amiga games of all time. But look past the surface paint, ignore the lack ol clever add-on extras, and check out what lies beneath - a mightily-addictive game.

The aim couldn't be simpler. Each screen contains a number of blocks which

ole and given strategy games mass appeal Success indeed.

PUZZNIC

disintegrate when they come Into contact with like-patterned blocks. Remove all the blocks from a screen and you've done it -time to move on to a harder one The complications arise when an uneven number of blocks are present, or when various moving platforms and traps try to whisk them off lo remote areas of the playfleld. Puzznic is one of those games which should by rights be mind-numbingly bonng, but actually lums out to be one of the most compulsive things ever. If you don't like Puzzrnc you are a very sad person Indeed.

SUPER OFFROAD RACER

Virgin E19.99

The art ol coin-op conversion A    has reached something ol a

pinnacle in recent times, with the likes of Ocean's Pang proving almost indistinguishable Irom their arcade parents Virgin's contribution to this new age is Super

Oil-Road, a Super-Sprinf-with-pIck-up-trucks game endorsed by Ivan Tronman' Stewart (who’s apparently a big cheese in the field). And Ivan would be pleased with the job Grattgold have done on his coln-op, as it's truly a perfect clone There's not much else to be said, other than if you liked the very groovy arcade machine, you can now literally play it at home.

F-29

RETALIATOR

Ocean £24.99

Right sims can be terminally dull for your average arcade junkie, but Ocean changed all that with this last-action zap game with unrivalled playability in its genre. There was no

I

F-29 RETALIATOR

reading 300-page manuals belore you could gel into F-29. though it was still packed with enough detail and variation to keep tech buffs happy for weeks. Unfortunately It's gained a reputation tor being quite badly bugged (we've seen a couple of minor ones, though nothing too catastrophic), but It still provides more action packed fun than just about anything of Its type.

VAXINE

US Gold £24.99

The Assembly Line programming team had two huge hits with E-Molion and Interphase. so it seemed only sensible to combine the two tor this deeply strange arcade cure-'em-up. Actually the resemblances are purely aesthetic, since the game is actually much simpler than either of Its parents', being Saf-tlezone at heart. With ray-traced graphics and a difficulty curve that was more of a difficulty wall, it's too tough lor almost everybody. though gorgeous to look at while It frustrates The game nobody can do, but everybody enjoys being crap at

INTERPHASE

Imageworks £29.99

If you're one of those people who likes to really get their money's worth out of a game, Interphase is an essential purchase. After gently leading you through the firsl level, the difficulty factor lurches upwards (you'll spend weeks on some of the later ones) but the game is so atmospheric and Involving you won’t hear many complaints. Plot-wise it’s a sort ol cyberpunky inslde-a-computer -»

INTERPHASE

...CRSTU MASTER, CRR-UUP. S SUUHDRUN. I OLIVER OF BRBEl.

HRN6-0N, PRO TENNIS TOUR II. STARGLIDER 2, SHRNGHRI, LOTUS ESPRITTl >. CRDRUER, BUBBLE BOBBLE. LEISURE SUIT LRRRV III. ARCHIPELAGOS. HEI

12

affair and - yes! - you can still get a copy for smooth movement, hills and dips that really

Bargain £3.95 (plus package and posting) with a Back issue ol Amiga Format 18 -you'd Be certifiaBle to miss It!

• £3.95 with Amiga Formal Issue 18

CAR-VUP

Core Design £24.99

Now this is lovely Cutesy car-

STARGLIDER 2

made your stomach lurch, and perfect (adjustable) control. Super Hang-On was the Rainbird (MicroProse) £24.99 first game of its kind to really capture the thrills    Some games, like wine, just get

of high speed racing, and remains one of the Best, if not the Best in the genre. At its new low pnce. you really couldn't ask for more

Or

o=

■ toon graphics are rapidly w Becoming standard issue on Amiga arcade games, but these are something special, just oozing character The game itself is so simple you could play it with your brain tied behind your Back, and the combination of the two makes Car-Vup irresistibly addictive, and more fun than you could shake a double-decker bus at

SUPER HANG-ON

HitSquad £7.99

k Cult programming hero ZZKJ B changed the face of 16-Bit driv-w mg games with this blindingly ter. Coln-op accurate, with super-

O

PRO TENNIS TOUR 2

UWSoft £24.99

This follow-up to Ubi Soft's suc-I cessful Pro Tennis Tour provides more depth than any other tennis sim available. You can have your player under computer control so you only have to worry about hitting the ball, or take all the responsibility on yourself - in fact, just about all the parameters of the game can be customised. It's extremely playable too. and despite a couple ol oversights (such as girlie tennis players being called Thomas', and half of Ihe more impressive features only being available to you on expanded machines) it's easily number one in its field.

» with age, and Starglider2 Is one. In a computer market populated by arcade conversions and beat-em-up clones. It stands out in terms of technical excellence and good old fashioned playability. From the hellish speed of the solid 3D graphics to the responsive control of

your space craft and the satisfying way your lasers tear the enemy to pieces. Slarglider2 reeks of quality. Expanding on the airborne scenario of its predecessor, the action actually

© Fast, sophisticated, arcade-like...and Freescape

CASTLE MASTER

Incentive (Domark) £24.99

f ith the launch of Driller. Incentive Software Introduced their 'revolutionary' Freescape system, a 3D affair that soon proved to be the perfect format for atmospheric (If sluggish) exploration-cum-puzzle games. Several more Freescape games down the line, and Castle Master offers something of a departure. Whilst retaining the famous solid 3D display system. the game has been given a medieval setting. Given Ihe rather abstract nature of the Freescape system, this may not sound like a good Idea, yet strangely enough It's a combination that works. Fantasy scenarios always seem to marry well with the problem-solving genre, and Castle Master offers possibly the most visually sophisticated of these yet. Though It doesn't actually employ any role-playing techniques as such, the atmosphere of an isolated castle is conjured perfectly -you can almost smell the damp the instant you go inside.

The actual plot of the game Is fairly minimal. At the outset you must elect to play either a prince or princess, leaving

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Into the castle grounds, and things are strangely quiet.

the remaining character to be whisked off to Castle Eternity, and Imprisoned within. The game proper then commences just outside the castle walls, with a closed drawbridge and shark-infested moat lying between you and the castle itself. Mouse, joystick or keyboard are then employed to guide the royal hero(!ne) Into and through the haunted castle.

And all very atmospheric It turns out to be too, though it has to be said that when nasty ghosts start appearing Ihe Freescape system begins to show signs of wear - It's doubtful whether the programmers had animated nasties In mind when devising ihe original code. No, compared to the 30 graphics of games such as Damocles. Castle Master can't really compete, so It's a good job these arcade-lsh sequences aren't what Ihe game is really all about at all. The meal and

potatoes is the exploration aspect, finding the right key for the right door, checking hidden locations for objects, picking things up, using them and so on, and this is where it excels.

What else can we say about it Well, despite the obvious temptations they may have felt to the contrary, documentation is kept to a realistic level, with a simple introduction, explanation of the control system, and a poem by industry cult figure Mel Croucher. Tempting as II might be. don't ignore the poem - there are actually a number of helpful hints to completing the game hidden away Inside the bloody thing. It’s nice to play an involving, relaxed game that doesn't rely on committing genocide and beating people to a pulp all the time, and for that Domark and Incentive Software should be heartily congratulated. Give It a try - you may find yourself pleasantly surprised.

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lakes place over a whole solar system, with mterplanelary skirmishes fo contend with. Luckily, despite a tew misguided attempts to make it into an epic tale of interplanetary war. the bottom line is that it still rates as one of the finest post-star Wars arcade blasts to date.

SHANGHAI

Activision £19.99

This game is loosely based on I the ancient Chinese game of Malt Jong - which has been played for thousands of years - so there's no question mark over its lasting appeal. Immediately playable bul with enough depth to drown in. Shanghai is a real one-more-try-it's-only-4am’ job. It tests your eyes, your brain, and surprisingly enough, your arcade reflexes (if you play in two-player or speed modes). Inscrutably wonderful.

LOTUS ESPRIT

TURBO

CHALLENGE

Gremlin £24.99

Options are the name of the B game here. There are one or ~ two player options, different control method options, difficulty options, track options, in fact enough options to keep both arcade and simulation fans happy playing this excellent racing game lor weeks on end. Gremlin have gone for pure driving excitement rather than realism here, meaning that at some points (particularly when you're driving blind over the crests of hills) it can get positively scary. Great competitive entertainment in the unusually well thought out 2-player mode too.

OPERATION

STEALTH

Delphine (US Gold) £24.99

US Gold's second release from B the Delphine stable (after the ~ extremely popular Future Wars) utilises the same successful command system in a game that’s got more James Bond feel than any real 007 license. Technically superb. Op Stealth plays like a dream, taking all the tedious vocabulary-guessing out of adventures and replacing them with a uniquely friendly pull-down menu parser. The inclusion of arcade sequences seems like a mistake, but the atmosphere of tongue-in-cheek humour Balanced with mounting tension will keep you playing, despite any annoyance at dying due to a lack of reflexes after five hours of mental aerobics. Jolly good, all things considered. and pointing an interesting way forward for adventure games.

WORLD CLASS LEADERBOARD

Kixx £7.99

. This golfing game has a long I pedigree stretching back several _    ” years and several updates from

the onginal 8-bit LeaPerboanJ. It hasn't really aged that much however, and still proves to be one of the most playable sport sims around. Technically it's looking a little outdated now. but for enjoyable gameplay and sheer number ol vacations, there's very little more you could ask for from a golf game.

More fun than the real thing (and a lot less expensive too).

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BO CHALLENGE, OPERATION STEALTH. UIORLO CLASS LERDERBORRD, ARKANOIO II THE REUENGE 01 DOH, BATTLE /

R SKELTER. BOMBUZAL, BAnil COMMAND, THE KILLING GAME SHOUI...    ALL-TIME TOP 1 OO GAMES

ARKANOID II -THE REVENGE OF DOH

The Hit Squad £7.99

Strangely enough, this game didn't ever actually appear In the arcades - it was a home grown follow-up to the original conversion of the monster coin-op hit. The 64 new screens are divided into two sets of 32. so you can choose your own route through to avoid those especially frustrating levels if you so desire. The graphics are cnsp. some new brick types, aliens and power-ups add to the fun without complicating matters too much, and the control handles well - much better than the paddle of the original coin-op did. All the Breakout clones (updated versions of the classic bat and ball computer games) remain extremely playable and worth having - we've picked this one because a) It s arguably the best of the bunch and b) it’s certainly one of the easiest to get hold of Unmissable fun,

BATTLE

SQUADRON

Electronic Zoo. £24.99

The year is 2440AD and the I Barrax Empire are prepanng to wage war on Earth. Only one man...oh. you don’t really want the plot do you Let’s face It, Battle Squadron is just about as primitive as Amiga games get, offering a bog-standard scrolling shoot-’em-up. with power ups and a few other extras.

Which doesn’t go very far to explaining why it’s In our Top 100. does it Well, if we were to mention the gorgeous landscapes - with their touch of 3D-ness - or the hundreds of whirling, darting opponents it might get a bit clearer Whal really swings it though is the superlative game design - here's a shoot-em-up that really works. Ridiculously old-fashioned, but groovy all the same.

TOWER OF BABEL

Rainbird (MicroProse) £24.99

Weird is perhaps Ihe best I adjective lo descnbe Tower Of Babel. Certainly Ihe 3D view

more cerebral than you'd expect, combining puzzle elements with a video recorder style remote control system. Using this mouse-driven panel, you are given control over three spider' droids, each with its own special skill. One droid can zap things, another can push, while the third has a grabbing capability Using the talents of all three together, each level must be cleared of blocks known as Klondikes - no mean feat when you see the landscapes and meames just waiting to hinder you. Tower Ot Babel really is something completely different, and so not everybody will go for it. Anyone who does get hooked, however, will do so In a very big way

WINGS

Cinemaware (Mirrorsoft) £29.99

®Time to do my bit for the Great War, I thought. Having encountered a spot ol bad luck on my first training mission, the chances ol getting in a spot of skybound hun-bashing looked jolly remote indeed. But being bally good sports, the chaps gave me another chance to earn my wings with a simple bombing mission. Time to take to the skies, when...Please insert Reel 1.

Cinemaware do it again, with a truly beautiful blend ol 3D and 2D bi-plane sequences, atmospheric interludes, and some of ihe most infunaling disk-swapping ever. Every time ihe game draws you back to the sepia-tinied era of WWI, Ihe bloody disk-swapping does its besl lo spoil ihe whole thing. Great if you've got two drives, but Cinemaware really should try to cater for the standard machine.

LEISURE SUIT LARRY III

Sierra On-Line £34.95

®lt's bleeding expensive and it takes five disks, but the latest and best Leisure Suit Larry will have you crumpled in a giggling heap from the moment you open the instruction manual An interactive adventure for the broadminded only (the subtitle Passionate Patti In Pursuit Of Pulsating Pectorals' says it all really) it’s got more puzzles than Poirot and more sex than Play Away - Larry is well on his way to corrupting all those cerebral (celibate ) advenlure freaks out there. After all. you try naming another game which requires you to make a phallic carving to sell as a souvenir! There is even the opportunity to take on the character of Patti. Larry’s girlfriend. Saucy perhaps, but actually jolly wen done all the same.

CADAVER

Image Works (Mirrorsoft) £24.99

©Anybody remember a Spectrum game called Fanlight Nope, thought not. Well. Cadaver bears more than a passing resemblance to said game, and is an Interesting change ol pace from the normal fast, flash Bitmaps fare. With picturesque 3D isometric graphics, many a medieval mindbender. and a nifty icon system by which to manipulate the world around your character, it brings one ol our favourite game genres (the Isometnc 3D puzzley thing) to the Amiga - and with style. There are literally hundreds of rooms to explore, the obligatory range ol spells, and the occasional rat, lizard, and lire-breathing dragon to contend with, so Cadaver certainly has longevity. Not. admittedly, the most action-packed piece of software ever, but it does have a mystical, olde-worlde charm all of its own. And it really does look gorgeous.

BUBBLE BOBBLE

Firebird (MicroProse) DELETED

Before Rainbow Islands dazzled everybody with its cutsie graphics and V    i

Bubble Bobble, which introduced the characters Bub and Bob. For some obscure reason they were dinosaurs back in those days, blowing bubbles at the meanies. jumping around and generally traversing 100 static screens of typically Japanese platform action.

Almost as cute as Rainbow Islands. Bubble Bobble proved irresistable. With the Inclusion of a two player mode, and adequate re-creation ol ihe com op game mechanics, the Amiga Bubble Bobble was one of the best of the early 16 bit arcade conversions Play and see ust what all ihe

LEISURE SUIT LARRY III

ARCHIPELAGOS

Millenium £19.99

Despite appearances lo Ihe

simple arcade game in concept, though it's been dressed up to look like a cross between The Sentinel and Resolution 101. Quite mtnguing. if a bit hit-and-miss, in concept, but what makes it stand out from the crowd is (it’s that word again) atmosphere. The game just feels so real that you get completely drawn in. and before you know it you're a week late for work. Proof that you don't need a coin-op license to make a good arcade game

HELTER SKELTER

Audiogenic £19.99

Take elements of Bomb Jack, E-Molion and Breakout, add some cutie graphics, and the result will probably be very similar to Heller Skelter. Forget state-of-the-art games with lethal space-craft and deadly aliens - Helter Skelter puts you in the vulcanised guise of a very bouncy ball on a mission to clear oodles ol platforms of nasty meanie types. Simple it may sound, but just try controlling the bloody thing! An unusual bounce system and some devilish screen layouts mean heaps of frustration and simultaneous two player mode puts even more spring in its step. Dead simple. dead good, requihng heaps ol dextenty.

for it. The actual game Involves some silly cartoon fun. with the task of detonating bombs giving il an onginal twist. Deviously design ensures that things never get too easy, and with 120 screens, Bombuzal could well be the best 3D (or 2D If you so prefer) maze/puzzle game around.

Now check out the extended review starting on page 281

BATTLE

COMMAND

Ocean £24.99

Nominally Ihe follow-up to Car-<-ynrr-

practically no relation to its illus-tnous tactical epic predecessor, despite initial appearances lo the contrary Indeed, with its heads-down blasting format it's almost an elongated extension of the amphibious tank sub-section from the original game. Er. except without the amphibious' bit But hold on a minute, we're being a bit unfair - there's actually quite a lot to it all the same, with a wide range ot missions and available weaponry providing a lasting challenge backed up by some very nice (if rather green) graphics The depth of strategy belies the game's arcade feel, and while some of the missions are a bit odd (if not impossible to complete) Ihe balance between working your brain and your tngger finger is nicely handled A success, but it still looks fairly weedy when put next to Carrier.

BOMBUZAL

Imageworks £19.99

TOWER Of BABEL

©Bombuzal s main claim to lame could well be the fact that it features some of the biggest names in programming on the credits, ie Tony Captive Crowther, Andrew Paradroid-Braybrook and Jeff Gndwnnet Minter. Thankfully though, that's nol all it’s got going

BATTLE COMMAND

THE KILLING GAME SHOW

Psygnosis £24.99

With Psygnosis' grooviest intro rhel< ng Game Show has

a lot to live up to before it even loads, ll very nearly manages it too - what we have here is a cutsie(ish) platform game with nominal arcade-adventure overtones that's a lot of fun to play It's very speedy, and the swarms of mean aliens never give you a

lent, metallic graphic style doesn't really seem appropnate to the tone of the game. It does

makes it a vast improvement over many similar games - the interactive action replay function. This runs through your last life and lets you take over at any time - usually just before you made that one fatal mistake - and really helps to raise the addiction level, lifting

the platforming mill

ALL-TIME TOP 10O GAMES

•. UIRRHtflD, F/R-I8 INTERCEPTOR. FUTURE

i. NIGHTSHIFT, SIIKUIQRM...

14 IK+

System 3 E19.99

Beat-'em-ups are usually among the most tedious ol games, but International Karate* managed to rise above the usual repetitive thumptest by including a liberal dose ot humour, and the unheard ot (at the time) addition ol an extra computer opponent The mayhem was incredible and could be amusing in a crude sort ol a way (lighters' trousers tall down etc), and with added bonus rounds lor vacation and a lovely atmosphenc background you’ve got all the ingredients for the only beat-'em-up you ever need to own.

WARHEAD

Activision £24.99

Warhead simply has to be ol the most spectacularly atmosphenc 30 space games around. Using some Ireaky auto-pilots, lashings ot green HUD systems, and a weird fish-eye lens view ol the universe, it draws you into a demanding but very slickly presented game that'll have you swearing with frustration lor the first few hours. Stick with it however and your reward will become clear - a wealth of weaponry to explore and progressively involving missions It you loved Elile (but could have done without the boring trading bits) and have a thing tor the Alien(s) movies, Warhead will delight and bewilder you.

WARHEAD

FUTURE WARS

Delphine (US Gold) £24.99

With Future Wars. Delphine I"!1 H) " • ' C ,:vii : .

adventure system to an unsuspecting (but soon to be ovegoyed) world. Based on the premise that you can have adventure gaming without using the keyboard. Future Wars combines moving characters with pop-up menus to give one ol the most user-fhendly player interfaces you could wish tor. Of course there's the predictably silly plot, which involves alien invaders in the 43rd century or something, but the actual puzzles are original, and the whole thing looks and teels very slick. The supenor sequel (Operatron Stealth) may now be available, but Future Wars is still well worth checking out.

U.IRRS

© Brilliant (and now brilliant value too!)

Electronic Arts £9.99

nother example of a game which stands the test of time, this one. Newly re-released on EA's budget label. F/A-18 Interceptor lies at the more arcade-based end of the flight slm market. Brilliant value then, and even better when you realise that (despite the single name on the box) it's also possible to fly the F-16 Falcon if your heart so desires. Two killing machines for the price of one!

The best way to get started on F/A-18 is to forget the training sessions, turn straight to the  control key guide, and get down to some serious  flying. Unfortunately for novices, this Involves attempting to take off, zooming around a bit. and then (ulp!) landing on an aircraft carrier. Several planes later, and you may just make It to the real core of the game, where you'll discover ust what all those missiles and ECM systems were Installed for.

With various missions taking you all over the San Francisco Bay Area, you’ll have your hands full trying to remain airborne while taking In the scenery (pretty Impressive) without worrying about getting Into scraps. Not all of the missions are straight confrontations though, with rescue and reconnaissance tasks available for you less destructive pilots.

In the best tradition of modem flight things. F/A-18 offers a wealth of zoomable remote camera options in addition to the usual out-of-cockpit views. Viewing the action from behind the plane !b particularly satisfying, giving the game a real arcade appearance - breathtakingly fast 3D really Is the order of the day.

While Interceptor never really competes with the likes ol F-19 Stealth Fighter in terms of scope or realism, It's the flight slm most people cut their teeth on and still holds a special place in our hearts. At this new price Interceptor has to be one of the biggest bargains around.

Checking the view on the nght side ot the cockpit. The F/A-18 is a plane you can really bank on

NIGHTSHIFT

Lucasfilm (US Gold) £24.99

In a complete departure from jfj their usual style Lucashlm surprised everyone recently by releasing a cute platform game. True to form, they couldn't help Including a tew obscure adventure-type problems, but what shone through was a frantic arcade game reminiscent of the venerable Speccy game Worse Things Happen At Sea. It was spoiled somewhat by interminable disk accesses and not being able to see where the platforms all were (a bit essential in a platform game), but the character transcended everything. Good fun, almost despite itself.

SILKWORM

Virgin £7.99

This was quite possibly the first

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in the horizontal-scrolling-arcade-blaster-conversion genre. Razor-sharp graphics and a novel twist to the two-player game (the second player controlled a jeep on the ground, while the first flew a helicopter) ensured that Silkworm was in a class apart from the competition It did have flaws - the two-player game was heavily biased in favour of the helicopter, for instance - but it was all so fast and furious you didn't really have time to notice them.

When compared to SWIV. Silkworm

does admittedly look a little dated, but it still excels in the adrenalin department Now that it's re-released at budget pnce you'd be an utter fool to miss it.

SILKWORM

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THE TOP 100 AMIGA GAMES OF ALL TIME

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Do you want to box in the Fourth Dimension

Mindscape and award winning developers DSI bring a new era of games to your home computer with the 4D Sports series. Here the 4th Dimension is realism and the action is amazingly real.

Modelled and simulated on real human movement. 4D Sports Boxing is the most accurate sports simulation ever written. 4D Sports Boxing lets you create and save a camp of up to ten of your own boxers.

You dictate how tall, how heavy and how strong they are.

Next you train them and build them up into lean, powerful fighting machines

- then it's time to enter them into their first fight.    MINDSCAPE

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© Massively

ambitious, yes, but is Midwinter really all it's cracked up to be

Rainbird (MicroProse) £24.99

Based around some pretty impressive light-sourced 3D graphics and a neat icon control system. Midwinter offers a bleak view ot the 21st Century, with global warming reaching new heights, a meteorite crashing Into the earth and (for some spooky reason or other) the start ot a new ice age.

Everything's thrown into turmoil (ot course), millions die, Jeremy Beadle Isn’t one ot them, and all hope seems lost. Or nearly lost - a lucky lew manage to settle on a newly-tormed island In the Azores, sink some heat mines (hurrah!) and create

a cable car network. Life goes on. Or tor a while, anyway. There is ot course the inevitable upset - a rebel army land on the island, Intent on taking over and enslaving the people. As Is usual, freedom lies In the hands of one man, in this case one Captain John Stark. And so the game commences.

Initially controlling just Stark, your task is to contact other key Inhabitants, attempt to recruit them, and eventually mount a counter-attack on the Invading force. This is where complications arise -the radio-network is being jammed, so Stark must set out across the icy wastes In the hope ot finding potential team members. Recruit another character, and they too are placed under your control. This

MIDWINTER

unique system allows you to constantly multiply your forces, letting you send them off on separate missions to different comers ot the island.

As you can no doubt guess,

It all gets very complicated very quickly, particularly as certain characters can only be recruited by particular people, the baddies are a bunch of trigger-happy goons and (as this Is an ice age) travel Isn't exactly straightforward. initially characters must ski everywhere, but as things progress snow buggies, hang-gliders and cable cars can be found and used.

It has to be said that Midwinter is one helluva huge game,

Here's the evil General Masters, the villain of the piece. Apparently he bears a striking visual resemblance to one of the programming team... packed with neat features and clever touches adding sheen to the whole thing. It s possible to get absorbed in this glacial world for hours on end, and each game could conceivably take days. Thankfully a save game option is provided.

It all sounds great, doesn't H And indeed it is, in concept, ambition and much of the execution at least. However, It must be said that the game never really lives up to the hype and glowing reviews surrounding It - in fact, it actually contains some quite serious flaws. The sheer size of the game means that a boring amount of time is spent traversing the Icy wastes for a start - a little more action wouldn't go amiss (although when things do hoi up It's handled very well, with some very good solid 3D Indeed). Strategy-wise though, it can t be faulted (with one major exception). Though It's not quite up there with the Captives and Carrier Commands ol this world, Midwinter still stands out as one ot the biggest, best thought out and most original games yet to emerge on the Amiga.

And the major exception Well simply that though you're meant to zoom all over the island recruiting people before you lake on the enemy HQ, apparently all you actually need do Is grab some dynamite, bumble on over there and blow them up -simple as that. Oh dear...

19

FAC-MANIA

Grandslam £19.99

®Y'know. people say that the advent of 16-bit computers meant the dawn of a new age of deep, complex, realistic games which would expand your mind and improve your lifestyle. And to some

extent it's true. What they didn't say was that those same lovely 16-bit computers would do just as good a job

the world’s first addictive intro screen coupled with the kind of playability that you thought was lost forever in the mists of time made Kid Gloves one of the sweetest games of 1990. Play it and feel ten years younger instantly.

PROJECTYLE

Electronic Arts £24.99

PAC-MANIA

carrying gorgeous, colourful versions of great old arcade classics, like, ooh. Pac-Mania. For those that don't know the game it's just like Pac-Man. but with pretty 3D graphics and a slightly more relaxed pace. And it's lovely. What's wrong with being simple, anyway

KID GLOVES

Millenium £24.99

Out-cuteing Rainbow j -Islands is no easy task, but

Tim Closs just about pulled off the impossible with this old-fashioned platform game. Near-perfect sound and

just lasers and body armour. Projectyle is a cross between football, air hockey, and a severe overdose of amphetamines which - incredibly - is even more fun than it sounds. Extremely simple to play, and packed with options to tailor it to your exact requirements, it's alternately exhilarating and infuriating, and with two or three players it s positively dangerous. Fast, furious, frantic, fab.

BALANCE OF POWER 1990

Mindscape £24.99

If you're the kind of person I who gets worked up about work) events on the News

BALANCE OF POWER

At Ten. Balance Ot Power 1990 could be the ideal way to let off steam. A megalomaniac's dream, BOP 1990 puts you in the hot seat of either the US or USSR government and, well, lets you loose. Using an interactive world map, aid can be deployed to government or rebel forces dotted about the place, arms can be shipped, friends can be won, people influenced, etc. It’s a wargame for the nuclear age. but with added depth - there are so many socio-political elements affecting the outcomes of the various local power struggles, and so many facts and figures at your disposal (each country even has its own newspaper I) that you could easily become hopelessly lost. Persevere though - and it's well worth doing so even if you usually avoid strategy games like the plague - and it'll soon have you enmeshed in its web.

RICK DANGEROUS

Firebird £24.99/ Ubisoft (Full Blast compilation) £29.99

A huge cult hit amongst fans of old-fashioned platform action. Rick Dangerous swiftly became one of the most played games of 1989. It’s easy to see why, as despite not having particularly fab graphics or sound, playability drips from every onfice. There's also less of the follow-up's maddening predilection for sudden and unpredictable death, although its habit of sending you back half a dozen screens after killing you provides a fair measure of teeth-grinding frustration. Some bits are almost impossible to do too. If this doesn't sound like it’d have you putting your foot through the monitor, get Dangerous - you won t regret it.

RICK DANGEROUS

20 LOOM

Lucasfilm (US Gold) £24.99

®Now here's something original - an adventure without typing. Purists may scoff, but toom pretty much manages with a simple point-and-click mouse system to control all movement, spell-casting and object manipulation. Even communication with other characters is achieved in this way, and the degree with which it makes normally impenetrable adventures compatible with the average game player is phenomenal. Once you wade past the 30 minute audio drama tape (I) and the plot (something to do with times of old, spell-casters, the very fabric of reality, etc) there's actually a damn fine game to be found too. Simplicity is the key to its success - while other adventure games offer more and more choices, but less and less freedom, Loom allows you, well, complete control. It's simple to play, but the problems aren't too easy, and the whole thing retains a fun, friendly atmosphere. Nice one, Lucasfilm.

ST. DRAGON

Storm £24.99

. People say Oh no, not B another horizontally-scrolling “ shoot-'em-up!', but in actual fact there've been surprisingly few good examples on the Amiga. Here's one though - an excellent arcade conversion which comes complete with addictiveness intact thanks to a revolutionary loading system that does away with all that horrendous waiting around between games. The game itself is a corker, featuring a metallic snake-like dragon, a squillion robot animals and lots of action. It's a tough old sod too. Lasting entertainment for all zapping fans.

.and hardly any disk-swapping!

Cinemaware (Mirrorsoft) £24.99

Though released back at the end ot 1988, Rocket Ranger shows few signs ot age - the lavish graphics sequences and many sub-games (while no longer unique) still impress. With a plot loosely based on classic' serials like King Of The Rocketmen, the airborne exploits of Rocket Ranger take place In a mythical WWII, where the Nazis plan to wipe out the

fragments of a space rocket etc). Once you've got all the bits to the missile it's time to blast oft to the moon, defeat those crazy Nazi astronauts, and rescue the prof and his daughter. Phew. All In a day's work really.

Despite sounding incredibly complex, Rocket

ROCKET RANGER

stopping graphics sequences to take In - Rocket Ranger is nothing H not a visually Impressive game.

So how does It all work Well,

agents around the world, each of whom will periodically give reports. Read these -they provide information vital to winning the war and should send

you flying off on a number of missions (prevent a Zeppelin fleet bombing America, knock out vital German Installations, locate the five

Ranger actually couldn’t be simpler. Based around a few key scenes -blasting off with the famous rocket strapped to your back, strafing ground-based targets, fighting hand to hand with storm-troopers etc - It evokes those 1940’s science fiction serials perfectly. Each scene, while never good enough to stand up as an individual game, provides a few minutes' fun, and all strung together creates a massively playable tale. Rocket Ranger still represents one of Cinemawares greatest successes to date, and with fairly minimal disk swapping to boot! Suspend your disbelief, get yourself some popcorn, and take to the skies.

Rainbird (MlcroProse) £24.99

Back in the days when user-friendly meant a joystick option, and the tag 'epic' was given to any game with more than three screens, a curious program by the name of Elite appeared on the scene. Quite simply Elite set new standards In every aspect of computer gaming. Fast-forward to the present, and lo and behold, even the Amiga has a version of the old beast. But is It really the timeless classic everyone assumes it to be Let’s take a look, shall we

Upon booting up the player is greeted with a spinning 3D picture of a space-craft (Just like In the original versions) followed by the game proper. You play the captain of a space freighter, so your first task is to buy some cargo, pick a destination where you're likely to be able to sell It (the galactic maps come in handy here) and, erm, set off. Yes, it's a space trading game (the original, In fact) which sounds like it'd be a simple task of flying between neighbouring space stations, selling and re-stocking, If it weren't for two things. Firstly, space is not as empty as It's cracked up to be - apart from several thousand other law-abiding space craft, there are plenty of pirates about, just waiting for easy prey. This Is where the combat aspect comes in, and where you discover the second problem with space - float something there (like your ship) with no gravity and no atmosphere and It's going to be a complete nightmare to control. Combat situations can be a real pain, since your almost as likely to hit

0 The all-time space classic comes to the Amiga

a passing Innocent as a space pirate - something not to be recommended since you'll Immediately become a space outlaw and find every hotshot mercenary in the galaxy on your vapour trail.

And there we have It really. Even in 1991, many imitators later, the blend of trading, navigation and realistic' dogfights make Elite unique. The urge to progress Is enormous, as your performance rating

slow crawls from Harmless, through several further ranks, to the coveted Elite status. Time has eroded none ol the addictive qualities which made it such a megagame all those years ago, so it's a shame the recent(ish) Amiga conversion doesn't do the original full justice. The sound, graphics and new icon-control system have all been implemented In a workmanlike, lack-lustre fashion, making its age more apparent than it need have. A word of warning then to the uninitiated - If you're unaware of the legend that Is Elite be careful not to judge this game on appearances alone. Underneath a disappointing exterior lies one of the most challenging and rewarding games of all time - It would be a shame to miss out on such an experience.

des of play plus a unique head-to-head (for unlimited fun), super sound and :hat bass-thumping number 1 track!

The game

From the number 1 hit single, comes the number 1 game tor your computer... Meet Max and Mini, two cuddly little fuzzballs whose love has been thrown apart! I Help bring them together by guiding Max

Have you got what it takes

Available on Amiga (24-99), PC (24-99) and C64 (10-99 cars., 14-99 disk)

To order this product or for further information please contact ©1991 DEMONWARE SOFTWAREHAUS GMBH. All rights reserved. a Digital Marketing International Limited

Original music by SNAP and Logic Records Gmbh.    .    Unit 3, Poyle 14, Newlands Drive, Colnbrook. Berkshire SL3 ODX

Exclusive marketing and distribution by D.MI.    Telephone: 0753 686000 Fax: 0753 680343

\ vast there ye lily-livered swabs! It's lime to prove your manhood in la J-\ a bloodthirsty battle to the death with the Evil Sorcerer and '•*    » his henchmen.    jT

Hoist the Jolly Roger and set sail through strange and exotic lands with \ your old shipmates Red Dog and One Eye. Shipmates they may be, but trust them not... tempers soon flare in head to head clashes over the spoils of your piracy.

Skull & Crossboncs is the most blood-curdling arcade game on the market - not for the faint-hearted! Blood flows, razor-sharp cutlasses hack through the flesh of hideous ’ opponents, arms and legs arc ... AAARC/H ... it's just disgusting!

There's treasure, jewels, gold and lusty wenches to be captured and ghastly creatures j to be stabbed.

It's a rough and dirty job - and we all want to do it!

MORE SAVAGE THAN BARBARIAN ... MORE BLOODY Tl IAN PRINCE OF PERSIA.

MORE LAUGHS THAN ... NEW PRINT SHOP!

■A. Get it now - but don't, pfease don't show your grandmother.    .... .. .    ■-. • . .--A. ■

D( I-VlAKK

The Name in Can - Op Conversions

... QUARTZ, FLOOD, BUGGY BOY, ZANY GOLF, PIPE MANIA, TOTRl ECLIPSE, ORAGON BREEO, JAMES POND. UENUS (THE FLY TRAPI. TETRIS, TU SPORTS: FOOTBALL, DISTANT ARMIES, TURAICAN...

QUARTZ

Firebird DELETED

Parallax scrolling ol tartan backdrops may be many people's idea ol what you see after one crate too many on a Friday night, but to single-minded Amiga zap Ians it means one thing - Paul Shirley's dazzling shoot-'em-up Quartz. You know, it's the one that plays like a dream and looks like one of The Happy Mondays' nightmares. Not the game lor you il you've got that morning-after feeling, but for sheer adrenalin-pumping genocidal mayhem, it's nigh unbeatable.

FLOOD

Electronic Arts £24.99

®Not content with cornering the market in big budget epics, programmers Bullfrog took off on a completely differenl tangent with Flood- and it works. Indeed, it offers some classic moments of cute platform fun. Any game with a blobby green hero called Quiffy - who looks harmless even holding a flame-thrower - really shouldn't be ignored, especially when it plays fast and loose with the confines of the genre, tossing gurgling sound, puzzles, passwords, clingability.

several-hundred-baddies-who-failed-the-audition-for-Bomb-Jack, and of course quite a lot of water into the equation. Forget all those games which aspire to be 'epic'. Flood just wants to be your friend. Give it a good home.

BUGGY BOY

Encore £9.99

Buggy Boy was one of those arcade games which totally failed to set the world alight. Yet. as a conversion, something magical seemed to happen. For some reason it was all that much better as a home computer game - in lact. good

be impossible to construct in real life, the game is heaps of fun and beautifully presented too. Great competition for up to four chums, and still challenging if you're playing alone - al budget price it's a must buy.

PIPE MANIA

Empire £24.99

You know how they always say that the simple things in life are the best Well, that phrase sums up Pipe Mania perfectly. Take an empty screen, loads of sections of pipe just ready to be stuck together, and tons of liquid called Flooz itching to spill out all over your nice clean screen, and what do you have A beautiful little game, that's what.

So what do you have to do Simple -just lay down those pipes pretty damn fast (fast enough to keep the relentless flooz contained, in lact). Fail, and you've got a lot of cleaning up to do. It may not sound very taxing, but just you try beating the thing. With obstacles on later levels, and a deliciously-tough difficulty curve. Pipe Mania offers a perfect balance of addictiveness and frustration.

TOTAL ECLIPSE

Incentive (MicroProse) £24.99

If you were to say that Total A Jl    Eclipse looks suspiciously

like Driller with an Egyptian scenario, then you wouldn't be far wrong. Using the good old Freescape 30 system. Incentive have thrown up yet another set of conundrums lor the unwitting adventurer to ponder over, and while it's not up to the standards of the later Castle Master, Total Eclipse does offer a nice line in yellow graphics and such oddities as a heart-rate, a water bottle and erm.,.that's about it really. Although showing its age. the compulsive element remains as strong as ever. If Freescape is your bag then Total Eclipse is a fourwheeled shopping trolley in tartan canvas.

TOTAL ECLIPSE

BUGGY BOY

enough to become a bit of a classic. Trundling along the road, collecting flags and bouncing over obstacles may not sound like the ingredients for a terribly interesting 3D driving game, but it’s precisely these weird little features that set Buggy Boy apart from the run-of-the-mill.

It really is a 'nice' computer game, but one with a wicked grab-factor to boot.

ZANY GOLF

Electronic Arts £9.99

An odd choice of 'sport' to convert onto computer, Zany Golf nevertheless proved that you can make a fun game out of anything if you really put your mind to it. Consisting in the main of holes that would

DRAGON BREED

Activision £24.99

A distinctly ambitious conversion this one. the lush detailed graphics and smooth multi-directional scrolling of the arcade machine giving Activision's programmers plenty to get their teeth into. Luckily (and perhaps surprisingly) they did a great job. and since the game itself is more interesting than the usual horizontal scroller (with the option for your little rider to dismount his dragon and run along the ground independently in certain areas) it results in a fine looking shoot-'em-up indeed. Arcade-balanced difficulty makes il unusually addictive, loo.

DRAGON BREEO    TV SPORTS FOOTBALL

JAMES POND

Millenium £24.99

Licence to say 'Glug'. we presume. Another cutsie arcade-style game, the fish with flair (and a dickie bow to match) must undertake 12 ecologically-sound missions - when it comes lo preventing oil spills, retrieving radioactive waste, or saving mermaids. James is your fish. Armed with either bubble-action or a range of collectable weapons, James must take on assailants of the webbed, finned, and snorkelled varieties. Undeniably cute, pretty damn challenging, and more right-on than a Ben Elton sketch, but it has to be said that James Pond does feel a bit slight. Still, if you're looking for a leisurely game with oodles of charm, dive in.

VENUS:THE FLY TRAP

Gremlin £24.99

There aren't many games M!fi that pul ihe player in (he

guise of a horrible creepy fly. so Venus is. for now. Ihe undisputed number one (in a class of one). Luckily it's also a fine game, featuring lovely colour-graduated graphics, great animation, novel gameplay and varying levels of challenge that mean it won't be a waste of money lor the younger player. (There's a password system too though, so experts don't get bored). There'll be (ahem) no flies on you if you get this one.

TETRIS

Mirrorsoft £19.99

Tetris was possibly THE computer-gaming sensation of the 1980s. From humble beginnings on the 8-bit micros, the Soviet brain-teaser has sold millions of copies on formats from Game Boy to C64 to Amusement- With-Prizes pub machine and a stand-alone coin-op. The Amiga version was almost undeniably the worst of the lot. featuring appalling graphics and some horrible, unnecessary cosmetic tweaks but that said, the sparkling, un-cock-up-able Tetris gameplay still shone through, and that's reason enough to have it in this Top 100. End of story (though it'd be a good idea to investigate Ihe often superior PD versions before you buy).

TV SPORTS: FOOTBALL

Cinemaware £24.99

Cinemaware are usually the champions of the complex, sophisticated interactive

movie style of game, so American Football was probably Ihe last thing you'd imagine them tackling. But, true to form, they’ve made an interactive movie out of it anyway (sort of). The presentation is as impressive as you'd expect, and the game is great as long as you've got a prior understanding, or at least a like, of Ihe sport (otherwise you wouldn't want to buy it in the first place). This is almost as good as watching the real thing on TV. though sadly without the adverts.

DISTANT ARMIES

Exocet £24.99

Chess playing computers have actually been around since the 1950s. Up until now however, they have always concentrated on the modem European version of chess. Distant Armies offers something a little different. By including eleven different versions of the old brain game, it actually gives you a sort of interactive history of the game, tracing its origins from Ihe thousand year old Indian game of Chaturanga right through to the version we use today. By offering full implementations of each game, its rules, and a history, Distant Armies becomes so much more than your average chess program, while a 3D option helps bring them alive for all you young whipper-snappers. Quite definitely the most comprehensive chess program available for the Amiga, and a mean opponent whichever version of the game you choose.

DISTANT ARMIES

TURRICAN

Rainbow Arts £24.99

Okay, so you've seen the press drooling over Turrican, but is it really any good, or just another load of hype Well, any game that offers 1300 screens of action, 20 music sound-tracks, 50 species of alien, and ten weapons systems has to be impressive, and indeed it is. Turrican offers a truely arcade-like experience, with multi-direction scrolling, epic gameplay, and action exploding all over the place. An excellent shoot-'em-up. perhaps a shade too expansive in design (you could hardly describe it as 'tight'), but a groovy bit of blasting all the same.

24

TREASURE TRAP

Electronic Zoo E24.99

Now here's something rare. A l B Isomeir.c 3D puzzle games.

ten-a-penny on 8-bit machines, never really made it onto the Amiga. Apart from this one of course. Treasure Trap gives you many an underwater problem to fathom (sorry), and a liberal sprinkling of electric eels, crabs and stingrays to wade through. Suitably oceanic graphics and a brass-suited diver certainly give you that water-logged feeling, but the ponderous pace and slightly dodgy 3D effect do tend to frustrate. Not a great when compared to some similar Speccy games (or even the more recent Cadaver) but the fact that it exists at all almost automatically earns it inclusion.

BATMAN THE MOVIE

Ocean (Hollywood Collection) £29.99

After several abortive flj I attempts at a good movie

licence game (as opposed to an okay movie licence game) Ocean's high-profile Batman really had to be something special to succeed, and against all the odds that's the way it I turned out.

I Split into five I sub-sections,

I each individu-I ally a pretty fair I game on its S own, it fol-BATMAN THE MOVIE lowed the movie faithfully, but not too faithfully, remaining playable on its own terms all the way through. And - would you believe it - the driving sections were actually better than the contemporary driving-only Chase HO conversion! With digitised movie stills holding the whole thing together, it provided a varied and entertaining game experience. Compare it to the other film games on the Hollywood Collection compilation and you'll see just how good Batman really is!

SWITCHBLADE

Gremlin (16 Bit Hit Machine Compilation) £29.99

OAs a flip-screen arcade

adventure. Japanese style. Switchblade serves as an ideal introduction. Despite small, indistinct characters and backgrounds rather lacking in lustre, Switchblade still contains mountains of gameplay, with the 'rooms only appearing as you enter them' exploring technique particularly successful. It's just a pity that more use couldn't have been made of the Amiga's true capabilities, but it remains a nifty little exploratory thing as it stands.

SUPERCARS

Gremlin (16-Bit Hit Machine compilation) £29.99

®Bit of a strange fish here -an overhead-view driving game with homing missiles

and used-car dealing. Luckily, Supercars treats both of these aspects as something of a diversion, concentrating mainly on the very playable racing that forms its core. 27 stages provide long-term appeal, and sensible control lets you keep your mind on the challenge. An updated Super Sprint at heart, and a fine one too.

THEIR FINEST HOUR

Lucasfilm (US Gold) £29.99

©Flight sims often find themselves at the back of the queue when pretty little presentation features are being handed out, but that isn't the case with this epic WWII game. Giving you the option of flying practically every aircraft that took part in the war, Their Finest Hour also features definable missions, historically accurate scenarios, the chance to play pilots, gunners, or bombardiers, and an excellent action replay mode with loads of camera angles. Beware if you only have a 512K machine, as you won't get any sound (which is bloody ridiculous really), but for expanded machines this is a very atmospheric and involving sim.

MIG-29

Domark £29.99

©Released amidst a lot of ballyhoo about being the first simulation of the Soviet's top fighter, MiG-29 has its sights set on being the most technically accurate flight sim around. This is certainly no game to simply blast into, though thankfully neither is it an exercise in mathematics. Employing realistic flight models, it is even possible to experience loss ol colour vision or black-outs, something which is a real danger in a high powered machine such as

MIG-29

this. Predictably, MiG-29 falls down in the excitement department. With only five missions, and some seriously ponderous airborne moments, tedium can sometimes be a bigger threat than getting blown out of the sky. Still, if you are thinking about defecting, MiG-29 could provide some handy advance training.

MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS

Virgin £19.99

MONTY PYTHON S FLYING CIRCUS

with a great Mario-influenced game that somehow really captured the feel of the anarchic TV series (or the cut-and-paste cartoons at least). The presentation was immaculate, the game was constantly interrupted by, well, something completely different, but you could dump the frills and get on with the action any time you wanted. Lots of tough and varied gameplay on top made Monty Python an albatross. Sorry, a triumph. For Christ's sake.

GOLDEN AXE

Virgin £24.99

Time to forget the plot, and j Bgef down to some serious

limb-hacking. Forget mental-exercise - what Golden Axe offers is pure, unadulterated bloodshed. One or two players get to choose from a roster of three characters, then stomp forth into hostile lands, beating the crap out of anything naive enough to cross their paths (including - hilariously - the other player). But this isn't just a game of untold violence. Well actually that's not true. It is just a game of untold violence, and it's this simple design that makes it so playable. A finely-tuned control system puts a number of visually-appealing moves at your fingertips, giving the utterly mindless proceedings just a touch of culture. The best scrolling beat-'em-up yet.

GHOULS

'N'GHOSTS

US Gold (Platinum compilation) £24.99

When first you see

V Ghouls N'Ghosts the initial

impression is one of disappointment. as it's cosmetically one of the less impressive conversions of recent times. Look underneath the surface however and you'll see that the game itself has been very well captured, with authentic level structures, excellent animation, and a well-judged level of challenge that will keep you playing without getting you too annoyed. If you can bear the simplified graphics, this is a fine game, and as part of a compilation it's a bargain.

7.000 ton American nuclear submarine. Now imagine that the Cold War had never thawed, but escalated to the point when both sides play hunt-and-kill games in the world arena of the sea.

So begins Red Storm Rising, based on Tom Clancy's bestselling novel. Surprisingly, despite the melodramatic premise of the game, the actual approach is a highly technical one. Forget fancy moving graphics - the entire thing is played using maps, charts and keyboard controls. Although never really playing or looking like a state-of-the-art 16-bit sim, the whole thing is frighteningly realistic exercise in naval cat-and-mouse. A deeper (ahem) simulation you're unlikely to find.

XYBOTS

Domark (TNT compilation) £29.99

CI This is one of Domark's bet- Bter attempts at a Tengen coin-op conversion.

although that's possibly attributable to the fact that most of the others haven't exactly broken any technical achievement records. All the same, Xybots is a game that's absolutely packed with atmosphere, and (with instantly-graspable gameplay in a style rather reminiscent of Gauntlet in 3D) very playable too. Xybots only has one real drawback, and that's having characters with the names 'Major Rock Hardy' and 'Captain Ace Gunn', but if you can handle that, you won't find a game with a nicer feel to it anywhere.

avoided getting too excited. The temptation to produce a feeble stab at a couple of 'classic' sketches tacked onto some geriatric gameplay seemed overwhelming, but Virgin surprised everyone

GHOULS N' GHOSTS

GRAND

MONSTER SLAM

Rainbow Arts £24.99

« Originality is never a problem with this 'sports' game. After all, what sort of thing would you expect to go on at the Grand Monster Slam, the biggest sports festival in Monsterland Where else could you expect to find elves, goblins, trolls, and even dragons battling it out in a dignified manner And where else would you expect to play a game which is almost but not completely totally unlike tennis  Time has eroded none of its addictive qualities, though it does look a bit dated.

It may be a little too bizarre for its own good, but Grand Monster Slam offers a good few hours of alternative' sporting action, with a couple of sub-games thrown in for good measure. ■

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26

A disintegrating tile. This will quite happily bear your weight for as long as you care to stand on it, but step off and pingl - It's gone. (There'll be no going back that way).

quite possibly some surrounding ones too Normally, that is - thi is a rivetted tile how-

Bombs sitting on slotted tiles can be pushed about the place along the lenght of the slots and blown up where you see fit.

(Yet another complication just waiting to make your brain ache)

LEVEL 248

Game BOMBUZAL Published by IMAGE WORKS Price E 19.99

Game design by DAVID BISHOP AND TONY CROWTHER

Amiga version by ROSS GOODLY AND TONY CROWTHER

Original release date CHRISTMAS 1988

1 his is an unusual one. Unusual in lhal it wasn't actually commissioned by anybody, but programmed lor fun by Bishop and Crowther. then presented to Mirrorsott's Image Works label as a sort ol early Christmas present. Unusual in that it leatures levels designed by many of the top programmers ol the time - Jeff Minter. Jon Ritman, Andrew Braybrook and so on - as well as other figures from all comers of the industry. (Indeed our own Gary Penn was asked to contribute a screen but, in his own words. 'I never got quite round to it,') It's unusual in a third way too (it's being given away free with the first proper issue of Amiga Power!) but we ll get onto that a bit later.

Where Bombuzal sadly isn't so unusual is that it's a very good, very well thought out and very playable original game that never quite got the audience it deserved. It did well, yes, but not half as well as you'd expect, either from the calibre of the people involved or. indeed, the quality of the game. The programmers have their own theories as to why this should be (which we go into over the page) but for the moment let's just put it down as one of life's unexplained little mysteries.

Here we are - only another two levels to go and we'll have completed the game. As you can see, things are certainly hotting up. What How did we get all the way to level 248 Well, that would be telling wouldn't it

Power temples, A-bombs, mines, droids, teleports, aliens - this screen's sot the lot.

ois to be given away free with the first issue of AMIGA

BOMBU2

GET BOMBUZAL FREE

Yes, you heard right - the first proper issue of Amiga Power (available in two short weeks time, on April 25th)    4

comes complete with a copy of Bombuzal lovingly sell-otaped to the front cover. Not a demo, not a couple of playable levels - the full game! Inside the magazine there'll be pages and pages of playing tips and background information too. to make sure you get the very best you can out of the game. And watch out for the second issue too, which features another excellent complete game, also plucked from the All-Time Top 100 featured in this supplement. At the giveaway bargain price of £2.95, both issues are far too good to miss!

So anyway. Bombuzal. First, it's a puzzle game. In it you control a cute, blue and blobby (but apparently nameless) character, plonked down on a little maze of tiles infested with lumps of high explosive. His job (indeed, the sole reason for his existence according to the inlay!) is to tidy things up by detonating the bombs, though of course without blowing himself to kingdom come (or falling off the tiles) in the process. If he does it successfully, his reward is another - probably more complicated - little island of tiles to deal with.

Sounds simple Well it is, as all good puzzle games should be (though a number of traps and dangers are thrown in to liven things up a bil later on). Sounds easy  Ha. you've got to be joking!

Here are the reasons why:

OOur blobby little friend here (let's call him Malcolm for the sake of convenience) blows bombs up by walking over them. They don't go off until he's stepped off

This is a medium-sized bomb. If Malcolm is standing on an adjacent square when it explodes it'll take him with it, so instead explode it using a smaller bomb (such as the one that happens to be sitting next door to it, for instance). Of course, you could escape by teleport too if one happened

using the over-ead view, which aws more of the

taken in at once. (It still looks mighty hard though).

A switch. Heaven only knows exactly what wi happen when this is pulled, but it's bound t< change the layout of the play area in some v. It’s always a good idea to flick any switches there might be lying around before you blov anything up (if you can help it). Who knows • might make a nasty old mine into a lovely te port (or something).

POWER. It's a not-to-be-missed'

the other side of the tile, which is fine in the case of small bombs (as they only take out the tile they were sitting on. leaving the rest untouched) but not much help with some of the bigger ones which take out a whole area - you'll have to work out ways to avoid getting caught in the explosions. Keep an eye on what's around you too -when a bomb is detonated it will set off others within a certain blast radius, so one explosion can trigger amas-sive chain reaction that'll wipe out half the game area In one big bang.

The bombs come in a number of different types.

As well as small, medium and large bombs (each with a different blast radius) there are small, medium and large mines, which blow up in the same way, but look different and can't be walked across (they'll kill you). These you have to be set off with the help of an adjacent explosion. Then there are A-bombs (when one goes off. any other A-bomb on the level will be detonated    -*

O

s

STAYING ALIVE

A few pointers towards a long and happy life

Keep moving If you stand around thinking the time limit wHI run out faster and a spinner will appear and catapult you off in a random direction - usually exactly where you don't want to go

Sinister (the large enemy bubble) will always turn left whenever possible, whereas Dexter (the group of small bubbles)

will always try to turn    .    _ ...    _

right. If sifter of them Sinister Dexter Bubble Sqvgeek reaches a maze edge and cannot turn In his preferred direction, he will retrace his steps rather than go the other way. Use this knowledge to stay on their safe side whenever possible.

Switch

Power temples suck in any explosions adjacent to them, so you can use them to directly detonate even the largest bomb with impunity.

On a level with switches, try to pull all the switches and examine the effects before you do anything else. Some switches actually cause other switches to appear in place of mines, so if you've automatically blown up the mine through force of habit you won't be able to complete the level.

When you remote control Bubble or Sqweek, you (ie the blue Malcolm character) are immune to Dexter and Sinister but can still be killed by explosions, so be careful about what you blow up. Be especially careful when using Sqweek (the red droid), as he will detonate the first bomb he touches.

When you teleport, you don't materialise until all explosions have finished, so it's a useful safety device. Just make sure there's still a file on the space you're teleporting to...

Malcolm

IEE SI

©

Screen Four • lf$ the fourth screen. Look out for Screen Eight - You'll have to go twice around the screen Five, coming soon.    houses to complete this level.

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2D VS 3D

Bombuzal can be played in either of two modes - 2D. where you see everything in a simple map from above, and 3D, which is much prettier, can be a lot more fun. and allows you to see whaf s lying about the place better. Having said that though, the 3D can actually be much more confusing in game-playing terms - you can't see as much of the play area on screen at any one time for a start, and judging whether an explosion will set off a particular bomb or not can be far more difficult. You pays your money and you takes your choice basically, but you can read Tony Crowther’s thoughts on the matter on the next page.

automatically) and Swell bombs (which change in size, so can cause any one ol three sizes ot explosion) to cope with.

O Tiles come in different varieties too. Normal ones will be completely destroyed by explosions, as will slotted ones (though these are useful because bombs on them can be pushed along the slots to new positions on other connected tiles). Riveted tiles are unusual because they won't be destroyed by explosions, while dissolving ones, erm, dissolve when you step off them, leaving a potentially lethal hole in the ground. Perhaps worst of all though are the ones that are covered in ice - there's no stopping on these, so if you step onto one that's near the edge you're likely to slip right off it.

O These are by no means the only complications though. Power temples, for instance, suck in the explosive power of any bomb detonated next to them, leaving everything intact. Teleports whisk you to another part of the game area - especially useful when setting off a large bomb which would otherwise kill you in its blast. Spinners appear if you stand still too long, whisking you off your tile in a random direction (most likely one you don't want to go!) Finally there are switches, which can prove incredibly useful - flicking one changes the layout of part of the level, enabling you to toggle between the two set ups as you see fit.

OYou aren't the only one wandering around the tiles.

There are a couple of bad guys called Dexter and Sinister for a start, who’ll kill Malcolm on contact. Fortunately there are a couple ot good guys in the game too -two droids called Bubble and Sqweek who’ll happily detonate bombs for you by remote control and not care if they get caught in the explosions or not. (Well, maybe they do care, but as they disintegrate after the explosion whether they were caught in it or not. it’s kind of hard to tell.)

G There’s a tight time limit on each screen which doesn't help matters one bit. Luckily there's also a restart option, so you don't get sent right back to the beginning each time you get killed. Passwords enable you to start at the same place the next day too.

It all sounds highly stressful, doesn't it So why bother Well, quite simply, because Bombuzal is one blinking brilliant game. The controls are easy, the graphics are extremely cute (Malcolm, with his big wide eyes and dopey expression is particularly endearing), and once you get to grips with the basic mechanics of the game, it's as addictive as a very addictive thing indeed.

Bombuzal comes with one of the most perfectly-judged difficulty curves about, usually letting you solve each puzzle just moments before you reach the point of terminal frustration and hurl the game into the ten. only to then present you with another one that’s just that little bit harder. And. try as you might to resist, you get to thinking, 'Well, if I managed that screen I can do this one too.' A genuine, unadulterated classic, it’s a game everyone should own. And now - spookily enough - you can! STUART CAMPBELL

■ 3D viewing and (we can't stress the importance of this one too much) lots of lovely level codes for easy continuing.

DOWNERS As is the case with any game of this nature, it can get a little bit repetitive after the first couple of hundred levels. A bit more variety might have been nice,

THE BOTTOM LINE

Classic puzzling fun. easy to get to grips with but hideously difficult to beat. That it's -been converted to the Super Fami-com shows evidence of its charm.

841

LOOKING

BACKWARDS

HOW THEY CAME UP WITH B0MBU2ALIH THE FIBST PLACE

The basic idea behind the original C64 version of Bombuzal was cooked up one night by games designer David Bishop and programmer Tony Crowther when - as is so often the case - they were actually meant to be working on something else entirely. David Bishop takes up the story...

The thing was that I was doing a series of games for Mirrorsoft with Tony Crowther that I would design and he'd then program. There was Zigzag. Fernandez Must Die, Phobia, and around the same period there was Bombuzal.

I was staying at Tony's house because we were finishing off a game (it was either Fernandez Must Die or Zigzag) and I just sat bolt upright in bed at about 3.30 in the morning with the idea almost fully formed In my head. That tends to happen a lot - the idea for a game comes all at once in a flash.

Anyway. I wrote it all down, and in the morning left all the notes with Tony. I came back to his place the following week and he'd prepared a playable demo already. He really is incredibly fast. He based the graphics on some sketches I'd done and that was basically it, the original C64 version of Bombuzal.

Looking back at Bombuzal now David, what do you think of it

Well, actually this morning I was playing Bombuzal on the Super Famicom and really, apart from Wonderland, I think it's the best game we ever devised. I like it because it was so unpressured too - Tony and I actually did it all in our spare time. We gave Mirrorsoft Fernandez or whatever it was (the game we were really meant to be working on) two weeks early, and then quite casually asked them what they thought of this, passing them a finished C64 copy of Bombuzal. They loved it - it was sort of our Christmas present to Mirrorsoft.

Tony Crowther remembers everything slightly differently.

I think David was round my house one night and we sat and designed the basic idea of the game together, then I stayed up working on it all night like I usually do and by the morning we had a running demo. We had the basic game finished in a couple of weeks - originally there wasn't any 3D in it, but worked simply on the overhead view. We added the 3D later to make it look more attractive for magazines basically - we knew everyone would get much more excited about it then. As far as I'm concerned though I always play it in 2D - to be honest I find the 3D version a bit of a pain.

Is there anything you wish you’d done with Bombuzal that you didn’t  Not really. Adding anything else would have flooded it really. It’s nice and simple as it is. As it is it starts off nice and easy and becomes complicated quite naturally as you go on. I think the only problem with the Amiga version is that it

doesn't run as fast as the C64 (though it's quicker than the ST). Had it been purpose written for the Amiga it could have been quicker - Ross could have used the hardware sprites and so on.

The only regret I really have is that it didn't sell well enough to make the sequel we designed worthwhile. In the updated one we would have had some bombs up on big blocks rising above the landscape, and lots of holes In the ground too. That meant there would be height involved as well as moving left and right, back and forward, which quite changed the nature of the game. There would also have been more aliens in it - it would have been more of a shoot-'em-up.

I JUST SAT BOLT UPRIGHT IN BED AT ABOUT 3.30 IN THE MORNING WITH THE IDEA ALMOST FULLY FORMED IN MY HEAD.

DAVID BISHOP, CO-DESIGNER

Ross Goodly, better known today for programming Gravity, handled the coding chores for the ST/Amiga conversions. How did that come about

I'm a friend of Tony's basically. My lead machine's the ST, so I did it on that and then ported it over to the Amiga. We made a few changes to the music and sound, and the Amiga's a tad faster, but basically the two versions are exactly the same. It was all very straight forward really. Gameplay-wise it's identical to the C64 version, but of course with the graphics snazzed up. sampled sound added and so on. When I was working on it I didn't actually look at the C64 much at all really, but worked instead from a set of notes and game designs Tony gave me. He actually did the 16 bit graphics for me himself, the whole thing taking us about six months in all.

Do you actually like the game

Yes, I think it's very good -1 never knew why it didn't take off more than it did. As a puzzle game I think it's at least as good as Tetris.

AND WHAT THEY’RE ALL UP TO NOW

David Bishop

David's actually settled down and got himself a proper job, after years of freelance games design, journalism and PR for companies including Domark, Ariolasoft and Telecomsoft going as far back as 1982. His job As a Product Manager at Virgin, where he works with (amongst other things) the Magnetic Scrolls' product line.

It's quite strange because back in 19871 designed a

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Tony Crowther'* Captive

game called Wonderland tor Magnetic Scrolls which being given a fairly Iree hand with the games design

has only lairly recently come out on the PC, with the which makes it all quite challenging and okay.

Amiga due soon. It's taken a long long time to come to fruition, but I'm very pleased with it indeed. I always imagined it using the Magnetic Scrolls window system, which it does, and I think it's come out beautifully. It's just been nice having something to do with

Ross Goodly

Ross is perhaps best know these days for the recent, and successful, Gravity - one of many games that almost made the Top 100, but not quite. Currently he's working on Drop Soldier for Image Works, scheduled lor release

towards the end of the year.

It's a space strategy game cum shoot-'em-up, based loosely on the plot ol the book 'Starship Troopers' by Robert Heinlein. That’s all I can say about It really at the moment - you should see the finished thing around November.

success was Captive for Mindscape, another Top 100 game. It's done exceptionally well - and deservedly. Well

Tony Crowther

Tony's most recent

»OUTRAGEOUS CLAIMS

Okay, so you’ve seen (and radically disagreed with, no doubt) the All-Time Top 100 Amiga Games, but what about the magazine proper, eh

Good question, and the perfect cue for lots of difficult-to-believe guff about just how snazzy this new mag is going to be. Ready to be amazed

Then we’ll begin...

SA

Amiga Power will have more pages dedicated to more Amiga games reviews than any other magazine.

That's right. Part of the basic philosophy of the mag is that we ll review every Amiga game released in this country, both full price and budget. That's, ooh, a good 40 or so a month, and certainly a far cry from the 15 or 20 you'll get (if you're lucky) in existing Amiga magazines.

Ho

£

Amiga Power will only review finished games.

Simple and obvious, you might think, but far from common industry practice at the moment.

Rest assured we ll not be reviewing demos and we'll not be reviewing the ST version and pretending it's the Amiga. We'll not be guessing basically (which is what both the above amount to). Instead, what we see is what you'll be buying in the shops, and if that means other magazines pip us to the post by reviewing unfinished versions then that's the way it'll have to be.

Rest assured, these will be the reviews that matter.

SPECIAL NEUER-TO-BE-REPERTE

SUBSCRIPTION

STOP!

DON'T TURN THE PAGE!

Yes, we know it’s only the boring old subs bit, but it’s worth a read all the same.

It's simple really—we want you to subscribe, and we're prepared to make a very good offer to get you to do so. The deal

Simply this - you get twelve issues of the magazine, delivered straight to your door, for the bargain, giveaway price of just £29.95.

That’s £5.45 off the newsstand price, or (looking at it another way) each individual issue for

less than £2.50 when it would cost you £2.95 in the shops.

There is a catch of course. Well, we're asking you to commit yourself to a magazine you haven't even seen yet, aren't we

That’s why we're keeping this never-to-be-repeated offer open until May 10th, which will give the doubters amongst you time to nip down the shops, buy a

SAVE £5.45

SA

Amiga Power will be ambitious.

Erm, a bit of a tricky one to define actually, but it should become obvious what it means when you get to see the real magazine. It means things like devoting four, even five, pages to a single review when the game is interesting enough to warrant it. It means things like carrying constantly up-dated mini reviews of everything released over the past year so you'll be able to walk into a shop and know what's good and bad at a glance. It means... but, ah. That'd be giving the game away.

(And you'll only have to wait two weeks to find out).

/A

Amiga Power will be different.

Before starting on Amiga Power we stood back and thought long and hard about every aspect of games magazines - not about how things've been done in the past, but how they should be done. Everything's been remodelled, remade, redefined - nothing's been taken for granted - and it's resulted in a very different sort of magazine. Some of our solutions will seem obvious while others will surprise you -what you can be sure of is that you'll see things attempted in Amiga Power that've never been tried before. There've been innovative magazines before - CAVG in its time perhaps, or Zzap and Crash in theirs -but we’re all ready for the next step on and, well, here it is.

31

Amiga Power will carry a free disk on the cover every month

Yes, and it'll be absolutely packed to bursting with playable demos of the latest games. These will be backed up inside the magazine by exhaustive previews, hints and playing guides, so you'll know the background to the each game and how to get the best out of it before you begin. And on the first two specially promoted issues we'll have a COMPLETE FREE GAME, plucked straight from the All-Time Top 100!

to

AMIGA POWER.

The first issue will be on sale April 25th.

It’ll cost £2.95 (unless you take advantage of the exceedingly generous subscription offer below which’ll knock the price down to well under £2.50).

It’ll come complete with a copy of Bombuzal (one of the niftiest puzzle games ever - check the previous four pages if you don’t believe us) lovingly sellotaped to the cover.

And (not such an outrageous claim) it’ll be well worth buying. Start counting the days!

OFFER

copy of the first real issue and digest it before you make your big subscribing decision. Make sure you keep this freebie supplement in a safe place though — it's only with the form below that you'll be able to take advantage of this ultra-generous subscription deal.

So, twelve magazines, twelve disks packed with top notch demos and all for only £29.95. You’d be pretty silly to miss it really.

Yes, that

Name

12 Issues of Amiga Power

Address

(Tick as appropriate)

sounds like a

pretty spiffy sort of a deal to me. Please

Postcode

Europe £51.45

Telephone

To ensure you receive your magazine and disk quickly and undamaged, all overseas subscriptions are sent Air Mail

enter my subscription to

My method of payment is: Visa Access

Expiry date

AMIGA POWER

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Future Publishing Ltd)

Enclose this coupon (together with your cheque if applicable) in an envelope and send to:

AMIGA POWER Subscriptions, FREEPOST, Somerton, TA11 7BR

AMERICA'S TOP SECRET WEAPON

Super-charged super-fighters who risk all defending America against the world's deadliest forces.

A combat unit of indomitable strength and courage.

A rescue team of unparalleled skill and daring.

THE BEST OF THE BEST

"...a brand new and quite sophisticated game-style.

Alongside the excellent Mathew Cannon sonics are the superlative graphics. The detail in level one is

Ehenomenal and ranks among the est I've seen..."

"On the subject of presentation I can't enthuse enough. The cartridge is put to full use with presentation screens galore, while instantaneous loading makes for superb momentum. It gives a real coin-op feel and sho-what cartridges really can do." ZZAP 92%

OCEAN SOFTWARE LIMITED 6 CENTRAL STREET MANCHESTER M2 5NS TEL: 061 832 6633 FAX: 061 834 0650

ORION PICTURES CORfi © COPYRIGHT 1990

Click image to download PDF

Amiga Power Issue 00 1991 May Cover

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