Tennis, football, car-driving and bomb-dropping galore in US Gold's tenuously linked compilation. Adam P laps it up
Here's a corking little shindig. You're a sort of marine, and you get dropped out of a plane into enemy territory (having dropped three Supply Pods out of the plane first). You've got a gunsight on screen, which you have to position over things and then press Fire to shoot them.
There's a massive selection of missions (well, twelve) and you've got a selection of weapons (carbines, grenades, time bombs, knives, etc) at your disposal. Graphics are all in four-colour mode (mode 1) and scrolling is fairly slow, but neither of these really detract from the gameplay at all.
Airborne Ranger is an excellent combination of arcade shoot-'em-up action and war-gaming tactics. The instructions are admirably detailed (twelve pages of them!) and the whole thing is excellent to have handy, for either a short burst of blasting or a long term challenge.
Now here's a game that looks really smooth. The graphics are excellent, though perhaps a tad slow, and the sound effects are brilliant (police sirens building and fading as the rozzers pass you, etc). It's a drive-'em-up with a difference. You're not on a racing track, you're just haring round America for one reason or another.
Cop cars cover your route, and try to block your way so you crash into them (great policing, huh?). You need to feint one way then whizz past on the other side. There's also lots of barriers and lamp-posts, but you can't get past them by feinting.
You can also pop off the road briefly, and one of the best bits is spinning off the road, then whizzing back on without hitting a lamp-post. It's great. There's also some flashing lights and numbers at the top of the screen that mean something but don't worry about them. We don't.
This is the weirdest sport sim ever, as far as appearance goes. The two players appear as gangly, wobbling stick men, moving around in a super clumsy way, flailing at the ball. The movement is bio-dynamically correct, but the whole thing does look incomparably daft.
It's very derivative of the Freescape style (as displayed in games like Driller and Castle Master). You get an option on which angle you wish to view the court from, and you get a very 3D-looking scoreboard. There's an option on whether to play a single game (one or two player), a tournament, or a whole season.
The controls are easier to get to grips with than most tennis sims, and it has a heap more playability than you'd expect. It's a great game, though hardened gamesters might view it with a little suspicion.
Simulate being at a football match in your front room. Turn off the central heating, open all the windows, get five mates to stand on the exact same spot as you, get someone to wee on the floor, drop bits of beefburger on your shoes, and then load the best computer footie game on the Amstrad ever. Yep, this one!
There are three things to look for in a computer footie game - speed, passing control and team selection. Italy 1990 has plenty of speed, a lot of team features (selecting players, editing player names, bringing on substitutes, choosing formations, etc), but a slight lack of passing.
It's one of those kick-and-rush types, but at least you won't get bored in a hurry. Any lack of tactics are more than made up for by smooth-scrolling graphics and whizz-bang speed. Play a one player game, a two player game or go for a full length world cup tournament. Soccerbunga!
A good bunch of games. The link between all four as 'simulators' is a bit dodgy, but what counts is the quality of the software - Super Sim Pack delivers.
Three pretty unique games, plus the best footie prog around. A darned good compo in all.