Personal Computer News

Dragon Fire
By Abacus
Dragon 32

Published in Personal Computer News #052

Jim Ballard and his Dragon do battle with all manner of foes - human and otherwise.

Dragon Fire

Jim Ballard and his Dragon do battle with all manner of foes - human and otherwise

Willy's Revenge

For the prudish this might have been titled "The Caterpillar Strikes Back". The tables are turned in this energetic game, and Willy feasts on creatures from other games to make up for being cut up in the past.

All you have to do is whizz him around the screen, gobbling up the characters as you go. Bumping into other bits of his body - don't try any swift turns - or colliding with the screen edge loses a life. You get another chance, but by this time you've grown an inch or two.

Ace High Mk 2

There are eight lives in all; by the end you'll have grown to an unmanageable length. You start about four inches long, but finally you've 18 inches to manoeuvre.

The other characters vary in size too: the smaller they are, the higher the points.

I chomped quite a few of the eleven different meanies, but my score still fell way short of the high score chart. The longer you survive on each life, the faster Willy moves, and the more points you'll gather.

Ace High Mk 2

Great fun, but you need a decent joystick to succeed.

Sea Battle

This relaxed and enjoyable game is a game for two, based on Battleships, with the computer acting only as referee. You play on a 12 x 12 grid. The three A4 pages of instructions were daunting but clear.

The aim is to sink the enemy's aircraft carrier or reach his side of the board with your carrier. The 18-strong fleet is well armed and contains destroyers, frigates, cruisers, minelayers, a minesweeper and an aircraft carrier.

Ace High Mk 2

Moves seemed slow initially, but this tactical game calls for planning and strategy.

Battles are decided by the micro which bases its decision of the outcome on a variety of factors. Attacks aren't always sudden death affairs. Only one gun ba ry is deducted from the los ship, so unless you're down to the last gun - in which case you'll sink - you'll live to fight again.

I was a little disappointed that a joystick option wasn't offered (using a menu like Beyond's Up Periscope) as this would have made for a far comfier game. Another choice might have been the chance to take on the computer.

Ace High Mk 2

But these were my only niggles: Sea Battle is a well-presented, enjoyable game, but be prepared for a few late nights playing it.

And All Because

If you've envied the man who delivers the chocolates to the lady's boudoir, leaving only his calling card and a trail of wet footprints across her carpet, you'll like this.

And All Because, is B&H's answer to the advert. The instructions tell you to expect mazes, skiing, jumping ravines, hang-gliding and parachuting to name but a few.

Some of the graphics let it down. For stage one you drive around in a pre-way style racing car in an attempt to get out of the maze of chocolates. By stage two, giant choccies fall iinto your path. Fortunately, these jumbo strawberry cremes don't land on you - they're at least twice the size of Action Man.

Stage three is the cross-country steeplechase, which gave me the most problems, it was certainly far tougher.

Perhaps I had the rag and bone man's horse as a jumper - he certainly ran as if the cart was still attached.

A fun game but I'll leave you to discover the rest. It raised many a chuckle - and quite a few snarls - in my household.

Ace High Mk. II

Meanwhile, back at the airfield you get the chance to earn fame and glory in a World War II dogfight. As a Spitfire pilot, you battle it out with the Heinkels and Messerschmitts in the skies.

It's not the easiest game to play, but shooting down the fighters and bombers beats space invaders any day.

While the instructions are printed, the famous dit-dit-dit-dah used by the BBC World Service during the war adds a touch of nostalgia.

Both joystick and cursor controls are on offer and surprsingly, it's possible to get more kills using the keyboard for firing. The object is to shoot down as many planes as possible before your kite cops it.

Your view is from the Spitfire's cockpit, and while lightning reactions don't appear to be needed, you must be swift to catch a fighter in your sights.

Should you knock out ten or more Jerries on your first sortie and use up your quota of sixteen rounds, your Spitfire is refuelled and rearmed. Then it's tally-ho and chocks away for a crack at Ace-dom (25 kills).

I didn't quite reach those dizzy heights, but after many flying fours, I'd bagged my 20 planes and picked up my wings.

Election Fever

Election Fever takes you into 1986. The Government has reduced the 600 plus MPs to 49 (hear, hear!). The major parties are now Red, Blue and Yellow, and there are three separate stages to the game. First the leadership elections, followed by the campaign and finally election day.

You are the person with the real power - the agent to the party leader - controlling the party funds. Up to three players can join in and the computer will make up the threesome if necessary.

A profile is offered on three potential leaders and each player must choose who will represent their party. Current news is displayed throughout the game, giving an idea of whose popularity needs boosting.

In the election run-up you pay out for research, media time and grooming. The computer will decide how much each party spends on entertaining and bribery. As the election approaches, the opinion polls and also printed (they appear unrealistically accurate).

For election night, a map is printed on screen and as the results trickle in, it fills up. The program is listable so you can adapt the names, profiles and newsflashes as you wish.

Certainly more fun than the real thing.

Jim Ballard

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