Commodore User

Cheapo Round-Up

Published in Commodore User #54

Space limitations don't allow us to squeeze in all the latest budget releases and re-releases, so here's a round-up of the best of the rest.

Cheapo Round-Up

Ghostbusters (Ricochet) =======================

Ghostbusters (Ricochet)

The first time the old classic has ever appeared at less than full price. In its day, it was state-of-the-art - a big licence, great sound and music, and even some of the earliest and best speech ever heard on the C64.

Although it became one of the biggest ever sellers with over half a million sales worldwide there are probably a few of you out there who have never seen it.

Just to refresh your memories the idea is to make as much money as possible by catching ghosts. You begin with $10,000 dollars and use it on some ghost-grabbing great like a hearse and ghost traps. Then you leap in the car, hoover up a few ghosts, visit as many buildings as possible and set up ghost traps. It was all good fun and it's without doubt the best re-release around.

Rollaround (Mastertronic)

Rollaround is one of those games. You know the sort: far from outstanding, but somehow frustrating enough to make you come back for more. First impressions are deceptive. It looks like a Spindizzy rip-off, but on playing it immediately becomes obvious that it's nothing of the sort.

The idea is to roll around playing areas comprising nine rooms and collect the requisite number of crosses to allow you to progress to the next level. However, you have to collect crosses from the correct coloured squares, which isn't so bad on the first level as you only have to collect crosses from white squares, but having to collect crosses from red, white, purple, blue, yellow and green squares isn't so easy.

If this wasn't bad enough there are holes to jump and aliens to avoid. There are also two types of square which do strange things to the playing area. One turns plain squares into squares bearing crosses and vice versa, while another special square turns plain squares into holes, and vice versa. Squares with a question mark either kill you or award you with an extra life of 1,000 bonus points.

And that's about it, really. As I said, this is one of those games. It's nothing special but it does provide sufficient entertainment for only two quid...

Judge Dredd (Ricochet)

For every useful reduction of an old game it looks like we'll have to put up with dozens of full price turkeys. Judge Dredd was another in a long list of massacred comic licences, massacred in this case by Melbourne House.

They took old lantern jaw and put him into a platform and ladders romp that should have earned them a long spell in the iso-cubes. A reasonable likeness to the original Mega City Man doesn't really stop this being pure drokk...

Microball (Alternative)

Not a lot has been heard of Steve Evans in the past couple of years. The man who brought you such a brilliant version of that arcade classic Defender (Alligata's Guardian) was working on a conversion of its successor StarGate, but sadly it's been forgotten. Steve's latest production is a pinball game, and... erm, that's about it, Microball is full of pinbally things and is a reasonable pinball game, one of the few available - especially at this price. If you like this sort of thing this is right up your street. Otherwise, forget it...

Zybex (Zeppelin Games)

Another in a growing line of budget companies joins the cheapo bin boxes. Their first release, a horizontally-scrolling shoot-'em-up over sixteen levels isn't a bad start either.

In fact, to do injury to an already insulted Go!, it's a better version of Side Arms than their licensed conversion. Having said that, don't go thinking it's the definitive thing - it isn't, not by a long way. In fact, if Zybex is to acknowledge inspirational debts Delta should be top of the list. For three quid, it's well worth it...

Knuckle Busters (Ricochet)

Written by Garfield programmer Martin 'Mat' Sneap (now working for System 3) about a year ago. The plot goes something along the lines of breaking out of a lobotomy laboratory and fighting your way past android guards.

The only lunatics in it really are the people who bought it first time around. A reduction of seven quid doesn't really help matters. No-one wants a crap game at any price...

Thunderforce (Rack-It)

In the year 2187 (it says) a criminal group take you prisoner and hold you in a deep dungeon. Since that's over two hundred years away though, you really shouldn't worry too much, so give this poor-man's Kung-Fu Master a miss...

Energy Warrior (Mastertronic Added Dimension)

Chemical pollution and neglect have obliterated earth and turned much of it into a wasteland. All that remains are a few unspoilt nature reserves and they're your responsibility. It all looks like a nice cushy number for David Bellamy types until a load of gypo aliens arrive and start squatting on it. Before you know it, you're embroiled in an almighty shoot-'em-up across ten levels.

A game of 'tactics and strategy' says the blurb, which makes it sound like Risk. It's not, and the only sensible strategy we can see is not to spend any money on it at all...