Commodore User

Cheapo Round-Up
By Encore
Commodore 64/128

Published in Commodore User #71

Storm Warrior (Encore)

Let me get this right. A completely new game on the Encore label? But I thought... Oh, never mind. Storm Warrior, written by the authors of Forgotten Worlds as the inlay is at pains to tell us several times, has you saving the land from an evil witch by slaughtering everyone you encounter with your sword.

A bog standard flip screen beat-'em-up game with some nice touches and a decent tune, but ultimately nothing special.

Scooby-Doo (Encore)

Shaggy, Thelma and the two that look like Barbie and Ken have been captured by a mad scientist, who presumably is aiming to do mad scientific things to them. Scooby, of course, being the brave dog that he is, wants to rescue them. His way is blocked by ghosts and demons, which Scooby eliminates by punching and collecting scooby snacks along the way for bonus lives.

A fairly entertaining scrolling beat-'em-up, nicely animated, but which is limited by lack of variety. Colour and soundwise, it doesn't look much better than the Speccy version.

Deep Strike (Encore)

Another Durrel re-release from yonks ago, which this time has you taking on the Red Baron and various other Johnny Foreigner types in aerial combat. You control a bi-plane, in which you should, according to the scenario, defend yourself whilst bashing the nasty Hun. In reality, this proves practically impossible, as your own planes get in the way, so you blast them as well. Much more fun.

A fairly attractive and entertaining game, but a bit awkward to control. It tends to slow down dramatically when there's a lot going on on the screen.

Yie-Ar Kung Fu (The Hit Squad)

Another re-released Ocean coin-op conversion, this time in the shape of Konami's oriental beat-'em-up Yie-Ar Kung Fu. Long since surpassed as a top combat game, this is still worth a look.

Take on a succession of fighters in an attempt to become a Grand Master it says, but Yie-Ar Kung Fu has nothing to do with chess. Expect plenty of hopping around, pirouettes and kicks in the goolies from this. Colourful and challenging, it keeps up the high quality of re-releases already set by Ocean on this label.

Advanced Basketball Simulator (Mastertronic)

Absolutely no prizes from guessing what this is. A straightforward version of basketball for the C64, not surprisingly. You control a team of two players, against either the computer or a friend, in a side-on view scrolling pitch. Imported from America, we suspect, it is certainly well programmed, and once the controls are mastered, it is surprisingly good fun to play.

Advanced Basketball Simulator is let down by an incredibly stupid loading system, but if you can put up with reloading every time you want a new game, it's worth a look. That's if you don't have one of the mass of basketball games already available.

Rescue On Fractalus (Mastertronic)

A re-release of the old Lucasfilm/Activision game, in which you must rescue various stranded pilots from the surface of the planet Fractalus. This involves piloting a craft through treacherous mountains, whilst blasting the UFOs and gun stations, and landing whenever you pick up a pilot on the radar.

As you may guess, the scenery of the planet Fractalus is generated using fractals, which makes for a smoothly regenerating planet surface, and the quality of the graphics greatly increases the appeal of the game. It looks a bit dated and blocky, but it does boast addictive gameplay and nice sounds. An unusual and for its time innovative game which is definitely worth the asking price from Mastertronic.

Saboteur II (Encore)

A re-release of the 1987 sequel to the best-selling Saboteur from Durell in which you must avenge the death of your ninja brother. This involves charging around 700 screens of platforms and ladders, collecting cards to redirect a missile and then escaping in one piece.

Strange way of exacting revenge if you ask me, but then I'm not a ninja. Nice big figures and plenty to do should keep those with a penchant for ninjaing happy for quite a while. One of the few games you get to play a female character in - though it's hard to see the difference.

Green Beret (The Hit Squad)

Ocean's conversion of Green Beret still remains a high point for them. The Taito beat-'em-up was faithfully reproduced in virtually every respect. As scrolling horizontal beat-'em-ups go, Green Beret spawned hundreds of imitators at home and in the arcades.

Ocean's conversion of the game was done by Dave Collier, with sound by Martin Galway, and it's a testament to the quality of their work that the game remains as playable as it is. The backgrounds are immaculate, with good effects and effective animation. The challenge is still a tough one and at three quid it's one you cannot afford to miss. Re-release of the month.