Excellent City! It’s the All Time Encyclopedia
This is it folks — the ultimate chart of your all-time fave 50 Speccy games and you know what? I’M NOT A HAPPY CHAPPY!!! (probably ’cos I’m a girl, actually — it’s Lucy here, by the way). Compiling this list has reduced me to a blithering wreck! It took me weeks to finish and the lads had to carry me out the office a few times ’cos I kept sort of screaming and foaming at the mouth and things. We had hundreds and hundreds of entries and somehow you lot managed to dream up an incredible 582 different game titles! Muggin’s ’ere had to scribble down all the names in alphabetical order, go through all the entries and write out around TEN THOUSAND TICKS!!! AAAAARGH!!! That’ll teach me. Mark Caswell was supposed to do it but being a nice, kind pillock, I volunteered. However, it’s going to cost him — a pint of lager per tick should do it (hic). Anyway, here goes...
Armed only with a canary, Miner Willy explores the caverns below
Surbiton and faces weird and wonderful creatures such as pirouetting rabbits
and manic robots. Collect the keys that are scattered around to escape. The
limited amount of air in each cavern, equals a hair-tearing game.
BEST BIT: The addictive fun-filled action.
WORST BIT: After seven years it’s very dated.
The idea is to slot the differently shaped (and coloured) blocks
together to make horizontal lines. Once this happens the line disappears, but
if you allow the blocks to build up it’s Game Over.
BEST BIT: The game may be frustrating, but it’s fun.
WORST BIT: Putting a block in the wrong place.
Messrs Barbarian, Elf, Dwarf and Wizard stomp through dark and
dank caverns to complete their missions. As in all good stories there’s a nasty
black-hearted villain — the computer-controlled Morcar. Hero Quest is
initially confusing for general games players, but it’s fun nonetheless.
BEST BIT: Not having to set up the plastic figures of the board game original!
WORST BIT: The slightly confusing icon control system.
Brave Arthur is back to kick arse in this sequel to the
Ghosts ’N’ Goblins. Princess Hus has been kidnapped again (Flippin’
princesses, they’re such girls blouses — Ed). Demons, spooks, zombies etc are
out to him, but our Arfur is ready to face the hordes of hell.
BEST BIT: The addictive gameplay and the great graphics.
WORST BIT: The ‘disappearance’ of some of the yellow creatures against yellow backgrounds.
When the the going gets tough the Special Weapon Interdiction
Vehicles are sent in to nuke the sons of dubious parentage. In a one or two
player, four level game, a helicopter and a jeep work together to trash
billions of dollars’ worth of terrorist hardware.
BEST BIT: The very detailed sprites and the action.
WORST BIT: In one player mode the game is very tough.
These off-road racing games are pretty popular, it seems
Enduro Racer is no exception. The aim’s to stay in the seat of a fast
moving off-road bike as you tear across muddy tracks and leap over obstacles.
There’s a vicious time limit that adds a certain amount of angst to the
BEST BIT: The speed of the player’s bike.
WORST BIT: Crashing into an obstacle.
In Shadow Of The Beast you’re a huge shambling beast
who’s out for revenge. You were once human, but the evil Beast Lord experimented
on your frail body and turned you into monstrosity. But it won’t be easy to get
near to old Beastie: plenty of his minions are out for your blood. But with
tooth and claw you’ll fight your way to his castle and regain your
BEST BIT: The brilliantly-detailed beastly graphics.
WORST BIT: Some of the attacking meanies are camouflaged by the backgrounds.
With a sub-machine gun and a handful of grenades our hero has to
destroy two fortresses, swarming with enemy troops. There’s no reasoning with
these guys, it’s a case of shoot first and ask questions later. A great game
for closet psychos everywhere.
BEST BIT: The ‘tally-ho chaps’ blasting action.
WORST BIT: Not being able to put the joystick down (Oo-er, know the feeling — Ed).
Berk, Boney and Drutt are the long-suffering servants of ‘Him
Upstairs’, trying to cook up some very strange dishes. There’s a problem,
however: many of the ingredients have to be caught first. Also many of the
weird and wonderful creatures from the trapdoor appear and make poor old Berk’s
life a complete misery.
BEST BIT: The large and colourful graphics.
WORST BIT: With a bit of practice, it’s a bit of a doddle.
The Confederate or Union armies are at your command as you and a
mate blast your way across the US of A, trying to knock each other’s blocks
off. The game contained some of the best graphics we at Crash Towers have ever
seen, and the final result was a highly enjoyable romp.
BEST BIT: The superb graphics, the addictive gameplay and the atmospheric sound effects.
WORST BIT: If you can think of one, we’d like to know about it.
You’re in the driving seat and launched at breakneck speeds
round masses of tricky tracks. There are 20 cars in the race, one can be
controlled by a friend. If alone, your opponents are all computer-controlled,
and beware because along with the computer’s demolition derby-style driving,
there are on-road obstacles to be avoided.
BEST BIT: The zippy sprites and the high addictivity factor.
WORST BIT: The car isn’t real.
There are four courses on offer and a four player option; each
course is viewed in a behind the player 3-D perspective. Each player has 14
clubs at their disposal, and choose your weapon depending on the distance
between ball and hole. It’s an oldie now but still worth considering.
BEST BIT: The 3-D perspective.
WORST BIT: Learning which club to use where.
Slightly is a wizard’s apprentice who must save the princess
from the dragon Sunburnt. Slightly needs your help to find and use the various
spells dotted around Dizzy style.
BEST BIT: The rainbow-hued sprites and backdrops.
WORST BIT: The resulting colour clash.
Collect 23 bombs scattered around the single screen levels to
move onto the next. The horrid creatures are out in force, but to Jack’s aid
come a variety of icons that bestow vital help. But don’t let the horrors touch
you, because their embrace is fatal.
BEST BIT: The high playability factor.
WORST BIT: The game is a bit repetitive and easy to complete.
You play a WWII POW who must escape from a German prison. The
game’s presented in a 3-D isometric style and the morale of your character is
the main concern: if it drops too low he loses the will to escape.
BEST BIT: The ace presentation and graphics.
WORST BIT: Again, write and tell us if you find one.
Officer Bob must fill an arrest quota within a tight schedule.
Litterbugs, Honkers, Hitchers and Dopers etc have to be arrested or the Chief
will kick your butt out of the force. Bob in his car is viewed from above,
while the status panel tells how many more slimeballs have to be arrested.
Basically a racing game, but the comedy element makes it a star.
BEST BIT: Even though the sprites are monochrome, they’re nicely detailed.
WORST BIT: Accidentally driving the wrong way up a one-way street.
Escaping from a plane taking him to a zoo, CJ must make his way
back home to Africa. The game’s a simultaneous two player affair where CJ and a
pal travel through different countries (levels) to get home. Colourful and
hectic, it’s a cute game with a high addictivity factor.
BEST BIT: The addictive gameplay.
WORST BIT: The annoying tune.
The Machine’s a nasty being who’s terrorising the planet
Landorin. Turry is back in his power suit and in the middle of the action. As
before a range of power-up weapons are available. A fast and frantic blaster
that contains some of the best graphics seen for a long time.
BEST BIT: The action and the big, bold sprites.
WORST BIT: There are only 24 hours in the day to play the game.
After nabbing his school report in Skool Daze, our hero,
Eric has to return the report he forged over the holiday.There’s so much
mischief that Eric can get up to.
BEST BIT: Being a complete pain in the neck and the snog-up with Tracy at break time (perv perv).
WORST BIT: The kid who always says ‘Please Sir, I cannot tell a lie.’
Lucy’s the girl’s blouse who needs rescuing in Renegade
(what’s the CRASH Ed doing in there?) (It certainly isn’t me, I’m no wimp! —
Ed). A vicious gang’s kidnapped her and it’s up to the black-belted Renegade to
punch their lights out.
BEST BIT: The rip, mangle and maim fun!
WORST BIT: It’s a bit sluggish.
In a distant galaxy lie four worlds enslaved by an evil empire,
the Emperor of which resides on the planet Blacktooth (find that man a
dentist!). Two spies from the planet Freedom named Head and Heels (weird!) are
sent to the enslaved planets to retrieve the crowns that’ve been lost.The
puzzle element and great graphics mark this as one of the classic Spectrum
BEST BIT: The 3-D graphics and the hair-tearing puzzles.
WORST BITS: The hair-tearing puzzles!
That egg with the mostest is here for fun, merriment and loads
BEST BIT: The graphics and the fairly frustrating puzzles.
WORST BIT: The egg jokes that are always cracked (groan) whenever Dizzy is mentioned.
Contains sub-games ‘A Fete Worse Than Death’ and ‘A Bird In The
Hand’ with The Penguin and The Joker as the foe. The graphical presentation of
this game’s fairly unusual; a comic book style flick screen routine was
incorporated, to good effect.
BEST BIT: The graphics and the comic book-style presentation.
WORST BIT: It’s fairly easy to complete.
The LucasfilmTM toys are so popular, that Industrial
Might & Logic have hired a nightwatchman called The Beast. You have to get
the set amount of toys off the assembly line before time’s up. Many pairs of
eyes are needed when supervising The Beast, and add to that the vicious time
limit, this game is literally hair-tearing.
BEST BIT: The non-stop mayhem and the detailed graphics.
WORST BIT: The fact that you end up in a straitjacket (speak for yourself Mark — Lucy).
The game concerns a bunch of tough soldiers in Arab territory to
retrieve a lorryload of Stinger missiles.
BEST BIT: The amount and quality of the action keeps you coming back for more.
WORST BIT: The way people keep throwing fish to the men, as they try to do their job.
The classic space trading game. You and your Cobra Mk III battle
wagon have to become ‘Elite.’ but this is only achieved if you do very
suicidal things You start the game with the rating ‘Harmless,’ and must work
your way up the ranks by trading and blowing the rocket fuel out of everything
BEST BIT: There’s plenty to do and see, and the graphics are good even by today’s standards.
WORST BIT: Working out the keyboard commands.
Dameron is your archetypal evil god, who’s turned good gods bad
and completely changed history. Face fieresome creatures and stop Dameron.
BEST BIT: The atmospheric graphics in each time zone.
WORST BIT: The final battle with Dameron.
Willy owns a 60-room mansion at which he’s just held a party.
The guests have all left, but the place is in a terrible state. It’s up to [you
to avoid the] myriad strange creatures to tidy up the mess.
BEST BIT: The excellent Matthew Smith graphics (whatever happened to him?)
WORST BIT: Martha [sic] the housekeeper.
You control Elf, Barbarian, Wizard or Valkyrie. There are over a
hundred rooms waiting to be explored, and many nasty creatures waiting to
pounce on you. It looks good, it’s very fast and is simply one of the best
BEST BIT: The small but perfectly-formed sprites that bash merry hell out of one another.
WORST BIT: The guy in black nicknamed ‘Desmond Death’ by Corky!
The evil Wizard Zak has eggnapped Dizzy’s pals, so he has to
save ’em. Dizzy has to negotiate the maze-like screens and avoid the minions
sent out by Zak. Dizzy can heft blocks around and squash the meanies. Great
fun to play, and even better to look at. Kwik Snax is a definite
BEST BIT: The intro screen and the detailed in-game sprites.
WORST BIT: Easy to master; players who want a challenge will soon look elsewhere.
The story of Doug Quaid, a secret agent who knows too much.
There are four riproaring levels with top notch graphics and gameplay and
BEST BIT: The ace presentation and the graphics, though the Arnie sprite looks nothing like him.
WORST BIT: The game’s great, but the video isn’t on sale yet.
The normal rules of football apply, with seven players on each
team. A classic footy sim with amazing sprites and gameplay.
BEST BIT: The brill graphics and the nifty footwork by the players — I’m over the moon, Brian.
WORST BIT: Is there one?
Max Force and Hit Man are the stars of this one or two player
blast-em-up that’s in a league of its own. Mr Big’s the villain and it’s up to
our hero(es) to reach his HQ, while fighting off his henchmen. With machine gun
and grenade launcher in hand, Max and Hit must clean the criminal scum from the
streets. Plenty of good old fashioned blood, guts and violence.
BEST BIT: The coin-op quality sprites, despite the fact that they’re monochrome.
WORST BIT: Give me a few days and I might be able to think of one.
Our eggy hero is marooned on a deserted island by Long John
Silver. There are two ways to complete the game, either collect all the gold
coins scattered around, or find some other way to escape. The graphics are all
cartoon-style, with great attention to detail, and a rainbow full of
BEST BIT: The puzzles, the graphics and the awful egg jokes.
WORST BIT: You only get one life to play with.
The turtles must face the evil Shredder as he’s kidnapped April
O’Neil and battle the minions of the Foot Clan. Cowabunga dudes, this is
one bodacious game.
BEST BIT: The large, fast-moving sprites.
WORST BIT: Ideal for younger players; experienced blasters may find it too easy.
Build your own city. A sum of money and a plot of land are
provided. Keeping the citizens happy is your main priority, not easy ’cos they
moan about everything.
BEST BIT: The choice of icons and the vow to make your version of the M25 work!
WORST BIT: Tough to master.
Bub and Bob are cute little dinosaurs. Originally they were
human but the evil Baron von Blubba put a spell on them. So they have to leap
and bounce their way through a hundred levels to reach Blubba in his lair.
BEST BIT: The fun of leaping from platform to platform, blowing bubbles at the villainous henchmen.
WORST BIT: The irritating title tune.
Pang takes you with to 17 locations throughout the world, where
you must harpoon balloons to save your life.
BEST BIT: The great two-player mode, the detailed graphics and the essential pick-up weapons.
WORST BIT: Those *%#!! balloons
Tikki and his Kiwi friends are happy at the Auckland Zoo. until
a nasty walrus breaks in and grabs Tikki and Co for supper. Tikki escaped and
must search for his chums. There are plenty of nasty creatures after Tikki’s
hide. But he can use his little bow and arrow.
BEST BIT: The weird and wonderful attackers and the fact that you can’t put down the joystick.
WORST BIT: When cute likkle Tikki dies.
Dizzy must save his kidnapped girlfriend Daisy. Either collect
all the coins or use the objects in the correct places.
BEST BIT: The cute sprites, colourful scenery and excellent sound.
WORST BIT: The alligators that bite your botty.
As a result of your grandpa’s top secret lab work, your whole
family has been kidnapped by a vile alien entity. So with unfeasibly large gun
in hand you yomp across the nine levels of the game and kick some alien butt.
Some are humanoid, others defy description, but all are after your blood, so
get that trigger finger twitching.
BEST BIT: The mindless blasting and the ace graphics.
WORST BIT: The control system is a bit of a swine to master.
Your chums have been taken hostage by a terrorist group, and
it’s up to you as a mercenary to rescue them.
BEST BIT: The rat-a-tat-a-tat of the machine pistol, and the wonderful graphics.
WORST BIT: Having to drag myself away long enough to write this comment!
The graphics are little short of brilliant, so go with a smile
and purchase the best Batman game around.
BEST BIT: The sheer size of the game, the graphics and the immense playability.
WORST BIT: It’s fairly tough to
Dizzy’s family have been nobbled by one of Zak’s worst spells,
and it’s up to our eggy hero to save the day.
BEST BIT: I’m fed up saying it’s the brain-teasing puzzles and the cartoony graphics, so I won’t.
WORST BIT: Having to wait for the next Dizzy game.
This is the high-kicking sequel to Renegade, Lucy has
been rescued (she returned to the office the other day, the kidnappers are
still in hospital) (see, I told you I was no girl’s blouse! — Lucy), but
Renegade’s brother has been murdered. Mr Big is the villain behind the crime,
so Renegade must fight his way through Mr Big’s henchmen to gain his revenge.
Gameplay is very much like the original, but Target Renegade is
BEST BIT: Beating the living daylights out of the myriad henchmen.
WORST BIT: Some of the adversaries are very tough to beat.
Zak is brewing some nasty spells, so it’s up to Dizzy to create
a potion to put a spanner in Zak’s works. There are loadsa nasty creatures out
to harm Dizzy, but he’ll win through.
BEST BIT: Thank gawd it’s the last time I have to write this... the addictive playability and cartoony graphics.
WORST BIT: Some of the graphics are a bit simplistic.
Robo stomps around eight levels shooting bad guys, collecting
Nuke and finally facing RoboCop 2. Both graphically and sonically, the game is
BEST BIT: The menacing figure of Robo and the detailed backdrops.
WORST BIT: The difficulty level is set a tad too high.
When OCP unveil their latest robot cop, the ED 209, it misfires,
killing an OCP employee (Ahhh, shame!). Enter one dead cop with a titanium
steel body and a computerised brain. Various villains face the justice
dispensed by the tin-plated lawman. Fast, violent and very playable.
BEST BIT: The graphics, and non-stop action.
WORST BIT: I can’t think of one, not with Robo’s gun at my head anyway.
In their beautiful black Porsche 911 Turbo Tony Gibson and Ray
Brody chase the big boss of each level, and when they catch up, they smash the
bumper off his car to stop him.
BEST BIT: The fast, vertically-scrolling sprites and the title screen presentation.
WORST BIT: With a bit of practice, it’s easy to complete.
Bub and Bob decide to take a long holiday in the Rainbow
Islands. But Baron von Blubba has kidnapped the inhabitants of the islands, and
so Bub and Bob must stop him. Instead of blowing bubbles as in Bubble Bobble,
they now fire rainbows (aahh, how pretty). The fast moving sprites,
rainbow-hued backgrounds, catchy tune, and the fact that Lucy likes rainbows
make it the top readers game (and quite right too — Ed)!
BEST BIT: The graphics, speed of movement and in-game tune.
WORST BIT: The tune that you whistle all through the day, annoying everyone else immensely.
So there you have it readers — your all time Speccy favourites in a really neat ’n’ brilliant list (the things we do for you). Anyone who violently disagrees with our fab encyclopedia should put pen to paper and send your letters to the bin before August 4th 2076... Oh, and by the way, the CRASH TOP 100 COMPO winner was Miss M Lawrence (Hurrah, it’s a girly! — Ed) who has a £100 software voucher winging it’s way over to her (lucky blighter!). She’s extremely privileged ’cos Nik Wild who’s an ex-Newsfield peep but of late an enormous big-wig with Psygnosis drew the winning form.