Archive for the 'One-screen Arcade' Category

Eric And The Floaters

Author: admin
October 8, 2010

Eric And The Floaters sounds a bit like a pop group of the mid-sixties; it also suggests an aerial game of some sort. Both guesses would be wrong, for this new game from Japanese Hudson Soft is an underground maze game. So the story goes: Hidden beneath the rabble of the Brick Lane (wherever they are) are the remains of a lost civilization. Eric hopes to find part of them by blasting the rubble away with his bombs. But danger lurks in the Lanes, deadly inhabitants of the old system called The Floaters, will kill Eric if they touch him. He must destroy them using his bombs.

The Floaters are normally purple, but ocassionally, like any arcade player, the lose their tempers and get red in the face. In this state they tend to actually hunt Eric down instead of placidly floating around.

The screen display is of a large and reasonably complex maze form, each maze screen being separate. In stage one there is only one Floater, but these increase in number as the game proceeds. Walls may be blasted away by the placing of bombs, especially as sometimes there are totally closed parts to the maze. Objects revealed after the dust has settled may be collected for points by running over them. Once all the floaters have been killed in a stage, the bonus points remaining from the original allowance at the start of the stage are added to your score.

An element of strategy is required in the positioning of the bombs, which leave you about two and a half seconds before they explode. The game has 20 stages, during which the number of hidden items vary.

This is a fairly original game from Hudson Soft. I liked the general layout and game type. Control was reasonable using the keyboard, but unfortunately Sinclair Interface 2 was the only joystick option. I think this is a little selfish of them. Of course, they want to sell their own interface, but not catering for other interface key mapping is just unfair. The idea of Eric And The Floaters is novel for a maze game, but it is spoiled by unresponsive key control. However, the graphics are pretty good and the game proved to be “almost” addictive.


Author: admin
October 2, 2010

Underneath one more of Software Projects lively inlay covers is a color entry code card and THE STORY: After weeks of waiting the Space Freighter has nearly reached your settlement on Planet CS – but disaster…

A sudden meteor shower has devastated the ship, and its cargo of Resource Blocks has been scattered over the planet. The people have elected you to journey outside the settlement and round up the Blocks. Unfortunately this is unexplored terrain and there are many dangers – naturally.

In fact there are 15 varying screens in what is basically a novel platform game with very simble control keys. At the base there is the flashing transporter base onto which the Resource Blocks (three per screen) must be pushed. These blocks appear in awkward places on the screen and Astronut moves them by pushing against them until they fall from one level to the next one down and so on until they can be pushed onto the transporter block, at which point the next one appears somewhere. Vocanoes or stairs automatically whisk Astronut upwards and he may jump down from any height. Various aliens waft about causing mayhem, but Astronut may leave behind bombs to destroy them, although the bombs have a time delay on them.

Any of the 15 screens may be entered at the start of a game by the select menu, and each of these is quite different from any of the others, with its own distinct problems.

Astronut lives up to Software Projects standards. It has some excellent graphics (and imaginative ones). The game itself is very playable and has that magical addictive quality about it. Not Manic Miner or Jet Set Willy but it is still excellent (in some ways even better, like the bigger, more colorful graphics).


Author: admin
September 23, 2010

Download Jetpac Remake

Building your rocket and fuelling it is the idea of the latest game from Ultimate.

The tape loaded successfully first time and while the game was loading an impressive title screen was displayed.

The game starts with a rocket ship in tree parts. This has to be assembled by picking up each of the pieces in order and dropping them onto the base segment which is already in position at the bottom of the screen.

Once the rocket assembly is complete, you will need to get six fuel pods on board by picking them up as they appear randomly on the screen and dropping them into the craft.

When fuelled, you can board the ship yourself and blast off to the next planet where a similar task faces you.

If all this sounds too easy, then you probably haven’t heard about the thousands of aliens who inhabit each planet and are, “in desperate need of blowing up”. You are equipped with a laser weapon with which to do this and also a jet-powered transport system strapped to your back, hence the title. If you are hit by an alien then you lose one of your four lives. On the first screen the aliens are not too difficult to avoid byt on subsequent planets they become more intelligent and are able to track you with ever increasing accuracy.

Jetpac game is very playable, addictive and original arcade type program. The graphics are superb but the sound effects bore a striking similarity to a pan of frying eggs and bacon. By the time I reached the fourth planet I was starving!

The choice of movement keys is well thought out, although the program also accepts a joystick from Kempston.

Jetpac game runs on any ZX Spectrum and is for one or two players. It should be considered to be on of the best games in playability of the genre.

Lode Runner

Author: admin
August 25, 2010

Download Lode Runner Remake

In Lode Runner online you are a highly trained Galactic Commando deep in enemy territory. Power hungry leaders of the repressive Bungeling Empire have stolen a fortune in gold from peace loving people, and you have just discovered their underground treasury. Your aim in life is to recover every single ingot.

So Software Proj describe this manic arcade game with over 150 different screens, and a customising facility for you to design your own screens and save them to tape.

In fact, what we have here is a mammoth “Space Panic” style game where the traditional digging function is actually an important part of the overall strategy. The screens are made up of numerous variations on the theme of brick blocks, ladders and bars, with the gold stacked here and there, often in seemingly inaccessible places. The Bugeling agents swarm all over the place after you, with one disadvantage – they can’t leap up large blocks – but then neither can you. What you can do is dig holes to get at the in accessible gold too, and the longest possible fall does not kill you off.

A nasty touch is that the holes heal themselves after a while, and as you can’t jump out of them like the nasties, you get concretised in! This factor is important on screens where the gold is deeply buried under brick, as you can only dig a hole through a layer if there is more than one block missing on the layer above it. This means having to dig out several blocks length in order to have the room to dig downwards for three or four blocks. Meanwhile they are filling in above you and the nasties are leaping down on top of you.

Because of the huge number of screens, there are 75 on one side of the tape and 75 on the second side. Access to any playing screen is available – they don’t expect you to wade through all of them to complete the game!

Lode Runner online is evidence that you don’t need mega graphics to make a great game, just a good idea. All of the graphics in this game are small, one character size, and don’t have all sorts of decoration. But the game is great fun to play. It has a high strategic element in determining the best way to get the goodies and escape. I found it both playable and addictive. The men, although smooth, moved nicely, running, jumping, climbing and swinging in true commando style. An edit and save facility is provided so you can invent your own situations when you are fed up with the 150 screens already there.

April 8, 2010

Download Way Of The Exploding Fist Remake

Press the key 1 or 2 and the The Way Of The Exploding Fist online will start.

Moving your character: Left and right control the left and right movement of your character.

Using the kicks: All kicks are controlled by pressing the fire button and pushing the joystick in the appropriate direction.

Crouching: Pressing the joystick up will allow your character to leap up while pressing it down makes the player crouch.

Blocks: The joystick also allows you to block your opponents move. This is obtained by backing off your character while the opponent is using aggresive moves.

You may occasionally find that when you are naturally backing off, your character goes into a blocking stance. This is fortunate for you, as the “block” is only activated if you are in danger of being hit by your opponent.

To release the block, move the joystick to neutral or to any position other than moving backwards.

“Holding your moves”: Most of the moves in the Way of the Exploding Fist can be withdrawn shortly after beginning to execute them so that you are able to change your mind and start another move. This also means that if you do want to continue with a move you must ensure that you hold the joystick in the correct position long enough for the move to be executed.

Practising your moves: The easiest way for you to practise your moves is to go into 2-player mode and test all your skills. Your opponent will not make any move against you, so you should be abke to get all the moves perfected.

This should be enough to get you started playing The Way of the Exploding Fist. The following instructions give you more detail on the subtleties of this exciting game.




Author: admin
April 8, 2010

Batty game is a small horizontally-moving bat, exists in a world of rectangular blocks. These blocks are arranged in different configurations at the top of the screen, and he/she/it fires a small ball at them; it then rebounds according to the pattern and consistency of the blocks.

Batty must try to stop the ball bouncing off the bottom edge of the screen, by obstructing its path. If Batty is not sufficiently quick or accurate, the ball disappears and the flattened batsman loses one of his/her/its three lives.

The multicolored bricks have different characteristics. Some are easily destroyed by a single contact with the ball, others require several hits and some are indestructible. For every block wiped out, batty receives ponts.

Some blocks, when destroyed, drop things down toward Batty. By moving to gather these, Batty can gain extra points and lives, elongate him/her/itself, increase the destructive power of the ball, slow its speed, slit it into three, or obtain a laser that quickly destroys blocks. Yet another feature allows Batty to capture the ball and carefully consider his/her/its angle of fire. And all these features add points to Batty’s score.

When all the destructible blocks on a screen have been removed, the next of the 14 levels is reached. But catching a jet pack gives Batty quicker progress – it automatically takes him/her/it to the next level.

Batty can possess only one supplementaty feature at a time, and on collecting a new one loses the last (except when the ball has been split into three, in which case another feature can be added).

To create difficulties for Batty, magnets contained within some block patterns after the predictable movement of the ball, and bomb-dropping aliens patrol the upper reaches of the screen. These alien swarms grow at higher levels, and progress further and further down the screen; their bombs kill Batty.

Batty can destroy the aliens by touch, by firing the ball at them, or by picking up the “kill aliens” add-on. It’s a bat’s life.

Manic Miner

Author: admin
December 21, 2009

Download Manic Miner Remake

It is not often that a rip-off is better than the original, but it’s generally agreed that that’s the case with Manic Miner online.

Originally it was programmed on the Atari and called Miner 2049er, and your job was to explore the numerous caverns of a disused mine.

The idea was then… well, er, copied for the Spectrum and sold by Bug Byte as Manic Miner, which has proved amazingly popular. This game has 20 screens as opposed to Miner 2049er‘s dozen, and, as well as some rather clever programming, there are some funny and original ideas in there.

Each screen is different, and features such hazards as Man-eating Toilets, Mutant Telephones, Bouncing Cheques and the like.

Now, after a few delays, the hit game is available for the Commodore 64. It’s marketed by Software Projects, headed by its author Matthew Smith, who, I’m told is really big in programming.

I found the movement keys in the game quite easy to master. A secret message awaits you if you successfully complete all 20 levels. Timing is the key to success. Once you have mastered a screen, you will usually have little difficulty in clearing it every time. Some levels, though, take a long time to solve, especially as you have to start at screen one each time your three lives run out.

One of the qualities which make a game a winner is whether you’ll keep coming back for more. Manic Miner scores well here, as it will take some time to complete.

When the impressive title frame comes up, you are told to press a key to start. If you don’t, the game will cycle through all 20 screens giving you a short preview of each.

Impressive graphics and good sound, Bug Byte have produced a challenging game with long-lasting appeal.