Friday, February 20, 2009

McDonaldland longplay part 5 (C64, 1992)

..And here is part five of the McDonaldland longplay, with more levels from the ever frustrating world number three.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Dalek Attack (C64, 1993)

I don't know why exactly they decided to do a Dr.Who game in 1993. The original TV series had ended in the late 80's anyway. But I'm glad they did! It was a brave decision to do C64 and Spectrum versions as well, seeing that their respective commercial markets were pretty much deteriorating. So, cheers Admiral Software.

Is there really any point going through the plot? The Daleks are at it again. I don't know what they've done exactly but I know that they're bad and you should kick their ass. -) Basically, apart from the first level which is a simple horizontal shoot-em-up, the rest of the levels require you traveling around the world, rescuing hostages and, well, kicking the Dalek's ass.

I have to say, I didn't really like the game at first. It seemed a bit too difficult, with complex level maps to negotiate and with Daleks that were a bitch to kill if you didn't have the right weaponry. Basically, it took me a while to get into the groove. Most of the time it's easier avoiding the enemies, all the while you explore the various doorways and passages trying to find where the hostages are kept. After you have freed all the hostages, you can proceed to where the end-of-level guardian is and get rid of him.

Dalek Attack is mostly an exploration action game: a platform shoot-em-up with arcade-adventure overtones. It is very polished. The graphics are a delight to watch and the music is lovely. Like I said, at first it didn't grab me, but once I got into the groove it became immensely fun and I didn't stop until I finished it. It's a shame that not a lot of people seem to be aware of this game just because it came out in 1993. It seems that for most retro fans, the C64 is all about the 80's, which is plain wrong.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

McDonaldland longplay part 4 (C64, 1992)

Off to world-two, whose levels feature many jumps into the unknown. Frustration ensues. -)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Drelbs (C64, 1984)

Remember last time when you were CJ the elephant? No more! Now you are a drelb. Don't know what a drelb is? I'm afraid I don't know either. And i can't really tell from the graphics. It looks like a cute puppy robot, to be honest. Anyway, it seems that the drelbs are some sort of tribe and they have been captured and imprisoned. And it's up to you to save them, cause you're the only free drelb available.

How do you do that then? Let's see, the game is basically divided into two distinct types of play. There's the main levels, and then there's a sort of mini-game that serves as the bridge to proceed to the next level. You could describe the main levels as Pacman variants, though that would oversimplify things. Basically you run around a static screen and you're being chased by enemies (whose number and speed increases with each new level). There's a grid which is formed by lines - which you can move to form solid blocks. The main idea is to form as many solid blocks as possible, while also avoiding being caught by enemies.

The first beautiful element of the game is that it allows for different strategies. Say, do you form a big fence to trap enemies within? Or do you form narrow corridors so that you have more freedom of movement? You get the drift. The second beautiful element is the furious feeling of claustrophobia as the chasing gets more and more hectic with each successive level - accompanied by psychedelic visuals and sound effects. And the in-between mini-game? It's a Space Invaders variant, whereas you have to free as many drelbs as possible (set in formations) whilst avoiding guardians that shoot at you.

We played this recently in the Lemon-64 gaming competition and to be honest I wasn't expecting much from such an old game. But i was wrong! This is a brilliant concept and very addictive. Though, it has to be said, it's better suited for competition play; trying, in other words, to beat somebody else's high score. I'm not so sure how many times I'm gonna load this solo.