The Boggit: Bored Too (1986)- no manual
After Bored of the Rings parodied JRR Tolkien’s classic Lord of the Rings series, Delta 4 did the same thing with its predecessor The Hobbit, preceding New Line Cinema’s identical sequence by 20 years. There is a logical 3-part structure to the adventure, but there are also jokes such as the Old Ford location on the map being near a New Ford – a new Ford Sierra car.
This interactive fiction with graphics game thus features reluctant adventurer Bimbo Faggins and devious magician Grandalf attempting to gain treasure, ultimately by appearing on a TV game show. VERB NOUN inputs are used for most instructions, although you have to TALK someone before SAYing anything to them. EXAMINEing objects is crucial to progress, and to finding the best jokes.
Killed Until Dead (1986)
Killed Until Dead is a sophisticated mystery game with a leaning towards humor. The player has to solve every aspect of a murder case before it happens. The five biggest mystery writers in the world have gathered together at a hotel and one of them will be offing another unless Hercule Holmes can crack the case.
Gameplay is a cross between the board-game Clue and the paper-based logic puzzles in which the player must eliminate clues in sequence. To solve the forthcoming murder, you will have to search the suspects’ rooms and confront them with the evidence and set the hotel’s security cameras to record secret meetings.
By questioning the suspects as to what they know about certain people, rooms and objects, they may reveal combinations they know will not be involved in the murder – perhaps if it involves the gun, the killer will not be Lord Peter Flimsey, for example. However, there’s a catch. If he accuses the wrong suspect, he might be the one who’s Killed Until Dead – they don’t take kindly to false accusation.
The Neverending Story (1985)
The Neverending Story is a text adventure based on the movie by Wolfgang Petersen (rather than the novel by Michael Ende).
The world of Fantasia is about to be destroyed by the “All-consuming Nothing”, it needs someone from the “Real World” to believe in it again in order to be saved from falling into oblivion.
The player takes control of the young hero Atreyu who is the only one who can find the savior of Fantasia. The game uses different pictures to show the player’s current location as well as the items he is holding, which companions are with him and any events that might be taking place. The game’s parser has been deliberately kept simple (it has a vocabulary of about 40 words) in order to allow more room for the game data.
The original Breakout concept involves controlling a bat at the bottom of the screen and using it to catch and direct a ball so as to hit all the bricks which are arranged at the top of the screen. It was unpopular for over a decade, before Taito revived it with some new ideas in this arcade game.
The game’s plot redefines the bat as a Vaus spaceship, the ball as an energy bolt, and the bricks form a mysterious wall stopping the ship from progressing to safety.
By the mid-80s, power-ups were popular in most types of arcade games, and Arkanoid features them. They are caught by positioning the bat below them as they fall (meaning that you risk missing the ball if you go for them at the wrong time). The power-ups include lasers (which are mounted to each side of the ship and allow you to shoot out the blocks), a catching device (so as to be able to fire the ball off at a different angle every time you hit it) and one that slows the bolt down.
Enduro Racer (1987)
Enduro Racer is a racing game featuring dirt bikes. It is very similar to its immediate predecessor Hang-On, originating on the same arcade hardware, but besides moving the action off-road, there are also several gameplay changes and additions.
As in Hang-On, the game is seen from behind the player’s biker. Besides the usual turns in the road, the tracks now also feature hills and declines. Obstacles include not only other bikers and trees or signs at the side of the road, but also rocks or other objects on the road. Logs or sand barriers crossing the road can be jumped over, launching the bike into the air. The controls not only allow for steering, accelerating and braking, but also for performing a wheelie for a speed increase at the expense of manoeuvrability.
In typical arcade style, the race takes place from checkpoint to checkpoint, with the line having to be crossed within a time limit to continue. All in all, there are five different stages, with environments including grasslands, two different deserts, a forest lake and a beach.
Druid is an action game inspired by the arcade hit Gauntlet. As the eponymous hero, your job is to destroy four magic skulls hidden over eight levels.
The game is presented in a top-down view. The druid walks around the terrain seeking out the staircase that leads to the next level. On the way, he is harassed by hordes of monsters that come out of every direction and attack him, decreasing his health. To defend himself, the druid can use the spells of water, fire or electricity to toss projectiles. However, these magical weapons have limited ammo.
The druid also has three other magical spells at his disposal – an invisibility spell which prevents the monsters from automatically approaching him, a golem spell which summons a helpful golem (which can be controlled by a second player), and a skull spell which destroys all on-screen enemies. The druid also carries around keys which open locked doors. But all these have very limited supplies.
On his way, the druid finds many shops. Each such shop contains some keys or charges for the druid’s spells, but the druid can only pick one item from each shop.
The druid can also come across a pentagram on the ground which will restore his lost health.
Kikstart 2 (1987)
Based around the Kikstart TV show, the game allows you to recreate all those death-defying stunts in the comparative safety of your home. Viewed from the side, there are many hazards to avoid along the way. Some of these include steps to jump over, tyres and hedges to plough through at maximum speed, and mud which will slow you down.
24 courses are built in, and you can choose a set of 5 of these to race at a time, or let the computer choose them at random. More importantly, a course designer allowing you to create one of your own is included, with full control of the placement of the many hazards.
Ghetto Blaster (1985)
Ghetto Blaster or Street Beat is an adventure in the land of good groove. You basically have a ghettoblaster, and you go around the streets of London and you get them to dance to the music. Once you have made the required amount dancing, you take the tape into a record company. Watch out for the policemen, the tone deaf walker, the gangster of groove and the psycho killer because they can make you start over, or kill you. This game is inspired by an unknown rasta and his ghettoblaster at Battersea Park in London, England.
Playing a witch, you must assemble the six ingredients required to kill off your arch-rival, an evil pumpkin. The ingredients are all located in underground buildings, each of which can only be entered once you’ve found the appropriate key. The keys are located overground, and you must fly around on your broom to collect them.
The overground sections play like standard shoot ’em ups, as your broom is not affected by gravity and can fire bullets using your magic energy. Bats, fireballs and even seagulls are among the many creatures trying to stop you – contact will cost you more energy than shooting at them would. There are energy recharges on offer.
Once you go underground, the gameplay becomes a test of precision platform jumping, including some Manic Miner-esque blind jumps. The six underground sections can be completed in a variety of orders, but you will sometimes reach points that can’t be completed without objects from other sections, so a lot of back-tracking is required. Although you start with nine lives, they won’t last all that long at first.
Cauldron II: The Pumpkin Strikes Back (1986)
An evil witch has brought evil and darkness to the enchanted wood, wiping out all but 1 of the innocent pumpkins. As the poem in the instructions sheet explains, the only way to put things right is to capture a lock of her hair, then take it to the cauldron and cast a spell to undo things.
Controlling the pumpkin is difficult at first, as it has a very high bounce, the exact level of which can be toggled using the 5 key. Direction can only be changed when the ball is on the ground. Ricocheting into enemies costs energy, and you only gain weaponry by landing into magic pools. The starting positions are random, making mapping advisable and increasing the initial challenge.
Even then, enemies respawn quickly, so all you’re doing is buying a little time to pass them. Others can’t be shot, and must be passed by possessing the right object – possibly one of the 5 you will ultimately need to vanquish the witch.
Koronis Rift (1985)
You play as a techno scavenger in the year 2049, exploring the Koronis Rift, in one of Lucasfilms earliest games.
The Ancients abandoned the planet, leaving behind many different artifacts and ships, which you can loot. Send your droid to retrieve modules and try to figure out what the ancient technology is for. It could be batteries, shields or even weapons, to help you fight the trigger-happy saucers that want you dead.
The game uses fractal graphics, the terrain is vast and detailed, and the story behind it is quite complex, considering the type of game.
The Sentinel (1986)
The game plays out on a 3D landscape with hills and valleys made up of several levels. At the highest vantage point stands The Sentinel, a statue-like being with an energy draining stare, you begin at the lowest. “Energy” plays an important role, there’s a constant amount in the game world and each object is worth a certain number of units – including you.
The object of each level is to absorb The Sentinel and Hyperspace to the next from his vantage point.
The Sentinel scans further round the landscape every few seconds – if you’re caught in his gaze, or rather the square you are standing on can be seen, you’ll have about 5 seconds to teleport to another location (or hit a key to teleport to a random location – which will never be higher, and may be lower than your current level) before the Sentinel begins absorbing your energy, when it reaches zero you will be destroyed. To travel a “robot hull” must be created on a visible square then teleported to, making sure you absorb your old hull to avoid losing energy. Boulders and trees can also be created, trees to block The Sentinels view and boulders can be stacked to gain higher ground.
There are a few other elements to the game – on later levels there will be other Sentries positioned around the landscape. If only part of you can be seen i.e. not the square you are standing on, a nearby tree can be changed into a “Meanie” which will ultimately force you to teleport. There are 9999 levels in the game but the next level number is based on the current level + how much energy you have remaining.
International Karate + (IK+) is a simple side-on beat ’em up. 3 characters appear on the screen – either 1 player and 2 AI, or 2 player and 1 AI – and proceed to kick seven bells out of each other via various karate moves.
Each of the moves scores a different number of points and if you come last in a particular round you are eliminated.
There are some sub-games too, involving your karate-master holding a shield and defending himself against bouncing balls from both directions, and kicking bombs off the screen before they explode.
All in the pursuit of that elusive black belt.
Buggy Boy (1987)
Buggy Boy is a race game, but not just an ordinary race game. There are five different routes, offroad, north, east, west, south. The offroad course loops around back to the start, the others are long runs with a distinct beginning and ending. You must complete each leg before the time runs out.
Along the way you can pick up all kinds of bonuses. The colored flags are 30 points each, collect all colors in the order as indicated at the top of the screen to get 1000 bonus points. There are several gates the give you 100, 250 or 500 points, and a time gate. Drive through a time gate to collect it, you receive two seconds extra time upon completing a leg. Occasionally there will be a soccer ball on the road, hit it and it will fly away and you get 2000 points.
There are bridges and tunnels, be careful not to fall off the bridge into the water or crash into the tunnel wall. There also are obstacles like boulders, logs and fences. If you hit them it will cost you valuable seconds off your leg time. But if you hit a log or small stone just right, the buggy will ride on two wheels until you hit something again.
Ghosts’ N Goblins (1986)
Ghosts ‘N Goblins is a sideways scrolling action platformer spread over six levels, each of which must be completed within three minutes (or a life is lost), taking in forest, village, mountain and cavern settings with increasing difficulty.
Arthur the brave knight must rescue his beloved Princess from the Demon King Astaroth and his forces – amongst them are the various undead (ghosts, zombies), bats, ogres and goblins. Other challenges include moving platforms, ladders and water/fire hazards.
The player can walk left and right, jump, and is also equipped with a lance to use as a weapon. Getting hit by enemies causes Arthur to lose his armor and run around in his underpants, getting hit again will cause the player to lose a life. As in most games in this genre, the player can pick up power-ups such as daggers and bombs during the course of the game, giving the player greater firepower.
Indiana Jones and the Temple Of Doom (1987)
The computer versions of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom are conversions of the Atari arcade game based on the second movie in the series. As Indy, the player must complete several cycles of the following three types of levels:
Mine level: Whip your way through a mine in order to free children that are held captive. Use your whip to swing across chasms, climb ladders, ride along conveyor belts and defend yourself against attacks from Thuggee guards, bats, snakes and the fireball-throwing Mola ram. Escape with the mine cart after you’ve freed all children.
Mine cart level: Pick the right route through a network of tracks while riding in a mine cart. Avoid potholes, broken tracks & guards in carts and safely reach the end of the track.
Temple level: Make your way to the altar and grab the Sankara stone while Mola Ram, bats and Thuggee guards attack you. Watch out for that lava.
With every cycle the mine & mine cart levels become more complex, the layout of the temple levels is always the same. After several cycles there’s a showdown with Mola Ram on the rope bridge.
In Wizball the player takes the role of the friendly wizard Wiz who can turn himself into a green ball that is able to defend his world against the color-sucking enemies who have turned his once brightly colored Wizworld into a drab planet. With his trusty feline companion Catelite, the wizard will restore the colors to the world by retrieving them from defeated enemies. There are eight levels to be completed.
The player starts out as a bouncing green ball that can shoot and be put into more or less heavy rotation to move slowly or faster, physically correct through the side-scrolling levels. The first task is to upgrade the ball by shooting the first non-moving enemies, and collect the green bubbles that are left by them. In order to stand a chance against the following moving enemy waves, some upgrades are a must. First and foremost, complete control over the ball should be activated (i.e. flying through the levels), a shield sheltering the top and bottom of the player’s should be acquired, and two-way fire (left/right) should be obtained.
The game also features a bunch of multi-player modes, there’s even a two-player cooperative mode amongst them.
Dragon’s Lair Part II: Escape from Singe’s Castle (1987)
Following the first adaptation of the laserdisc-based arcade classic Dragon’s Lair, Software Projects followed it up with Escape from Singe’s Castle, again loosely adapting scenes from the original game for the capabilities of contemporary 8-bit machines.
After defeating the dragon Singe and rescuing Princess Daphne, Dirk the Daring still yearns for adventure. He ventures into the domain of the Lizard King, where according to legend a large pot of gold awaits bold adventurers. The player controls Dirk through eight distinct scenes
Paradroid is a top view shoot-em-up set aboard eight large space freighters filled with droids. After going through a storm in space, the rays affected the droids and they malfunctioned and killed the crew.
You now have to destroy all the droids on the fleet of eight ships. You control an “Influence Device” which can temporarily control other droids and use their weapons to destroy the others. When your power is low or your damage is high, you will need to find a power point to recharge or transfer to another droid, or risk losing your Influence Device. The player can also access computers on each deck which provide information on droids, deck plans and an overall ship plan.
Once all of the robots on a level have been defeated the lights are automatically dimmed. The player can then travel to another level using a lift to continue their mission.
The Last Ninja (1987)
You are the last living member of your ninja clan after they were brutally slaughtered. Now, you seek to exact revenge on the evil shogun responsible.
The Last Ninja is an action/adventure game set in medieval Japan. The game is shown in isometric view, and the eponymous ninja can walk in four directions, jump, fight the enemies and collect necessary items on his way.
While fighting, the ninja can use several different blows and block. There are a couple of weapons to find, including smoke bombs and shuriken.
Dragon’s Lair (1986)
The first home conversion of the legendary Dragon’s Lair laserdisc arcade game was originally released for the Coleco Adam home computer in the USA; UK-made ports released by Software Projects followed two years later. While mostly maintaining its trial-and-error gameplay concept, the computer versions adapt the original only loosely: the player controls Dirk the Daring on his quest to rescue Princess Daphne from the dragon Singe through nine distinct scenes
Rock Star Ate My Hamster (1988)
The player takes the role of Cecil Pitt, a wannabe rock star manager. They must choose from 1-4 rock stars (with names such as Tina Turnoff and Wacko Jacko) to manage by viewing their audition tapes. Once the player has chosen their artists then they have to choose what kind of gear to get them – spanking new, second hand, or dodgy. The dodgy gear is dirt cheap but the player might pay for their choice later on in the game.
To make the group a star the player has options such as practicing, publicity stunts, and buying gifts for their stars. Each action choosen advances the calendar by one day. The player has until December to achieve their ultimate aim of superstardom – represented by a line graph which rises or falls depending on the performance of the band’s releases.
Once the player’s band has recorded their first album the player can choose to release the single and/or the album. The single needs a video to go with it which costs varying amounts of cash depending on which director is chosen to direct it. The player can choose to go for publicity, but this can be risky as there is a chance that one of the rock stars will be in the papers as an ex-rock star who died in any of many strange ways (all that’s missing is a ‘bizarre gardening accident’). Publicity affects sales directly and also affects the crowds who attend the gigs. The player loses the game if either they run out of money or all of their rock stars die.
Electric Dreams’ game based on the 1986 film Aliens is a first-person strategy game somewhat similar to Space Hulk. The player controls six characters from a remote terminal, guiding them through a 255-room complex in search of the Alien Queen. Each character has a helmet camera and a smart gun, each controlled by the player acting in the role of overall operational commander.
The player can switch to any character at any time, and must consider coordinating their movements and finding a safe location before switching to the next character. Characters occupy one room at a time, and can pan their view a full 360-degrees inside each room. Doors can be locked to halt Alien progress, or blasted open to get through (at the cost of permanently destroying the door). Alien bio-mass must also be destroyed before it spawns facehuggers, and the Aliens themselves leave lethal puddles of acid when killed (and so shouldn’t be killed in front of doors!).
Aliens prowl the complex and are attracted to gunfire. They will home in on nearby characters and attack, requiring the player to aim that character’s gun to defend against the rushing Alien (a headshot kills instantly, while three to the body do the same). If an Alien attacks a character the player is not controlling, they will “capture” that character (indicated by a yellow status light). The player must guide another character to the position of the hostage and kill the guarding Alien to rescue them. If not, the captured character will be lost.
Ammunition for all characters is limited, and refilled only by making a trip to the complex’s armory. Similarly, a medical bay can replenish any damage. Characters also have limited stamina, used up with every move made. When stamina is low, the player must find a safe spot for that character to rest up. The complex also houses a generator controlling the lights, which the Aliens can destroy, or the Marines can then repair.
Pac Man Cartridge (1983)
One of the most popular and influential games of the 1980’s, Pac-Man stars a little, yellow dot-muncher who works his way around to clear a maze of the various dots and fruit which inhabit the board.
Pac-Man’s goal is continually challenged by four ghosts: The shy blue ghost Bashful (“Inky”), the trailing red ghost Shadow (“Blinky”), the fast pink ghost Speedy (“Pinky”), and the forgetful orange ghost Pokey (“Clyde”). One touch from any of these ghosts means loss of a life for Pac-Man.
Pac-Man can turn the tables on his pursuers by eating one of the four Power-Pills located around the maze. During this time, the ghosts turn blue, and Pac-Man can eat them for bonus points. This only lasts for a limited amount of time as the ghosts’ eyes float back to their center box and regenerate to chase after Pac-Man again.
Survive a few rounds of gameplay, and be treated to humorous intermissions starring Pac-Man and the ghosts.
International Soccer Cartridge(1983)
International Soccer is an arcade action soccer game. No league or cup tournaments available, only friendly matches (2 halves at 200 seconds) against a human opponent or the AI (9 levels of difficulty are offered). Corner kicks and throw-ins exists, but you can’t play foul – so no yellow or red cards required. The game is played with the joystick; with your joystick you control the player of your team (7 against 7) next to the ball (your teammates will be controlled by the AI). Push the fire button to pass or shot, you can move to all eight directions.
You only see about a quarter of the playing area on screen which automatically scrolls to the left or right. If the ball comes near to your own goal, you get automatically control over your goal keeper – hopefully you can do a brilliant save: after a save the goal keeper needs some time to get back into action, be fast enough to help him with your fielders.