PLAY 8-BIT!

With 1990 well under way, this new decade is going to be a testing time for the Speccy. Software houses are cutting down on releases and appear to be concentrating their efforts on the 16-bit side, with games initially developed on the ST or Amiga, then converted to the Spectrum. And as 16-bit games become more intricate and involved, the more impossible it gets to squeeze them onto the Spectrum. But don't fret - we Speccy fans do have a white knight in shining armour (well, okay plastic), called SAM, the SAM Coupé. Spectrum compatible with power and style equal to the 16-bitters we believe he might just take us through to 2000! So let's play 8-bit!

THRILLS ON TAPE

ESKIMO EDDIE

Mega shiverama game from Ocean!!

It's the game that makes you put on your thermals!! Indeed it is, because this addictive arcade adventure is set in the Artic, or is it the Antartic? Y'see, it's a tad confusing as Eskimo Eddie features both polar bears and penguins! And, as you all should know, polar bears live up north and penguins down south! This fact goes some way to explaining why polar bears don't scoff penguins (though they probably would given half a chance!!).

Loading screen

Eskimo Eddie is a two part arcade game. In the first part (a bit like an icy Frogger) you, Eskimo Eddie, must rescue Percy Penguin three times. He's at the top of the screen and you're at the bottom. In between are two polar bears and three jagged ice holes which slide all over the place. The polar bears wrap around, one going to the right and the other, at a slower pace, to the left.

The objective is to cross the screen vertically, collect Percy, and then bring him safely back down. Completing this screen three times moves you onto the more traditional looking Pengo game.

The screen is filled with ice blocks and a maze forms as some ice blocks disappear; finally Percy emerges in the middle of the maze. Four evil snowbugs pop up and the game begins. As usual in Pengo games, Percy can push the white ice blocks around the screen in the hope of squashing the snowbugs, or melt the ice to let him pass. The edges of the screen may be electrified and any snowbug touching the edge becomes dazed and can be run down! Squelch! The further you get into the mazes the more intelligent the snowbugs become!

IT'S SNOW GOOD... playing Eskimo Eddie if you can't master the controls which are: Keys: Q/up, A/down, N/left, M/right, SYM SHIFT/push. You can use a joystick on any of these interfaces: Kempston, Protek, AGF or Sinclair (ZX 2).

OUR COINCIDENCE EDITOR WRITES: Holy baloney! Strange but true; just as the PowerTape people had loaded Eskimo Eddie it began to snow!! And then, in the now-raging blizzard sweeping the streets of Ludlow, Richard had to trudge down to the post office to post the Eskimo Eddie mastering cassette - but luckily he was protected by an Ocean brolly!! It's a mad, mad world, eh truth-seekers?


APACHE GOLD

Warm the cockles of your heart with Incentive's Gold Medallion adventure!!

Winter, eh? Who needs it?! It's cold, wet and utterly miserable. Bobble hats ahoy! Ooo, if only we could take a trek under the blazing sun of America's Wild West! But you can! Because you are Luke Warme (!), Lonesome Cowboy!!

Lonesome because, not having a dime to your name, everyone hates you for never buying a round at the saloon! Haw haw! But there is a legend, a legend of riches in an Indian burial ground, the legend of Apache Gold (Cue music).

It's 2am in the saloon bar of the Old West town Skintsville. Among the smoky, noisy atmosphere, you just manage to pick out the voices of some old timers sitting at a nearby table: 'Yep Jake, the legend goes that them pesky Injuns bury their gold in the grave of their chief. I hear that one of the Apache chiefs has just kicked the bean-can. Only trouble is, there's some mighty strange powers at work in their territory...'

Gold? GOLD! Blimey! Erm, make that 'yee-har!'. Strange powers or not, you're going to go for that gold!!

PLAYING THE ADVENTURE

To move around and perform any actions in the game you must enter instructions in the form of sentences. Simple commands: North moves you norht; Examine the canoe gives you a closer look at the canoe.

More complex commands: Enter the wagon and feed the horse or Go north and go east then cut the rope and take it. The sentences can be connected together with and or then or a comma.

The word it will be interpreted as the last noun you type in. Don't forget to talk to some of the characters you meet. If you want to switch off the pictures type words. To switch them on type pictures. If you forget where you are or what you have taken type look and inventory respectively. So, don't sit there looking like some son-of-a-rattlesnake hornswoggler, go grab the gold!

TO GET YOU STARTED

If you're finding it a trifle difficult to get into Apache Gold have a look at these cryptic clues to give you some pointers.


EGGHEAD

Another brill PowerTape game! By Jonathan Cauldwell

My word! Eggs are in favour at the moment aren't they? We've had Dizzy and now here's another poultry production - Egghead! Well, it makes a change from all that turkey left over from Christmas, doesn't it viewers?

Who the hell does JONATHAN CAULDWELL think he is anyway?

Jonathan has been writing and selling his own games since 1987 under the name of Graphix Wizards. He duplicates the tapes, designs and photocopies inlays and sends games out to clubs and fanzines for review. 'It's hard work,' says Jonathan, 'but it's been great fun so far!'. Egghead is the first game written by Jonathan that's been exposed to the public en masse and, at 18, he hopes to get a career in the software world. Well, he's started the same way the Darlings did before CodeMasters - and look what's happened to them!! (Indeed! - Ed)

Platform leaping and bounding ahoy! Indeed, 40 screens of precision jumping. Take Egghead through 40 deadly screens and collect all the items littered about the place. Egghead can only II progress to the next level once all objects are picked up. But it's not exactly that simple!

For a start there's a time limit for each screen, shown in the top left corner of the screen by a disappearing circle (must be an Egg-time, har har! - Jonathan's 'joke'). Deadly green spikes must be avoided, as well as the 16 different species of aliens.

Falling too far induces the Humpty Dumpty syndrome, ie: death, so judge those leaps correctly. Oh, and beware of the conveyer belts! With only five lives getting through all 40 screens is going to take some time... Five minutes and you're hard boiled!

(EGG)HEAD UP CONTROLS

Egghead travels around the screen controlled either by keys: Q/left, W/right, ./JUMP, or by joystick using a Kempston interface.


JASON'S GEM

Mastertronic puts Jase in space!!

Jason illustration

Who is this Jason chappie? Is he the internationally famous popster? Is it he of the Argonauts and the Golden Fleece et at? Or is it Jason Ramsbottom, a space adventurer who has misplaced his gem? Erm, it's the third Jase, actually. Which is just as well as he's the one in this groovy game!!

Mastertronic, who originally published Jason's Gem, relate Jason's tale in rhyme...

The epitaph enscribed on Jason's tomb,
Does not speak of his eventful life,
But of his careless doom.
On embarking his mission he was given chances four,
But the gem was undisturbed
(For he needed somewhat more).
How sad a tale of failure for one so close to glory
But you could yet rewrite the history of this story.

Oh dear. It is painfully obvious, is it not,
Why Mastertronic into poetry books branched out not. (Haw! Haw!)

Anyway, what this piece of, erm, 'literature' is saying is that you've got to guide Jason, in his spaceship, onto the teleport platform. If you land successfully you'll be awarded a hefty bonus and automatically grab the cargo.

Then it's down, down, down into the underground caverns which lead to the lower platform. Often the caverns are blocked; well, whip out your trusty laser gun and blow 'em away leaving your path free to fly down. Having hit bottom leave the space ship behind and continue Jason's adventure on foot a-leaping and a-bounding the labyrinth of cavernous tunnels. And to get you under starter's orders, here's a subtle and cryptic clue: Keep left at the exit of the first cave (Oi! That was neither subtle nor cryptic, you're fired! - Ed).

CONTROLS

Help Jase find his gem by using keys: Z/left, X/right, SPACE/fire & Jump, Q/quit. Or plug a joystick into any of these interfaces: Kempston, Protek, Sinclair (Interface 2).