Friday, 30 November 2012

Collection Update – One Game Found and One Removed

Edging ever closer to completing the collection, with another hard to find title knocked off the list...

The latest addition is the Ricochet re-release of the Lucasfilm Games classic The Eidolon. This was another Ebay purchase, costing £4.88.

Also, as I mentioned in my last collection update, I had a strong feeling that two of the remaining games I need to find were never released on cassette. Of those two, I am now 100% confident that Shogun was only ever released by Mastertronic on disk in the USA, and never received a cassette release. Therefore I am dropping that game from the list, leaving just seven to go for.

The other game I suspect only ever got a disk release is Five-a-Side Soccer but I’m not totally sure about that yet so it remains on the list for now.

Finally, this week I got my first glance at what is certainly one of the rarest Mastertronic releases – Ski Writer. This word processing package sold less than 2,000 copies on cassette, and a similar number on disk, so is sure to be one of the hardest titles to find. Unfortunately the one that popped upon Ebay this week is the disk version, but at least I now have an idea what the packaging might look like!

So the quest continues. I’m hoping to at least pick up a couple more games before Christmas so if you can help, please send me a message!

Total games: 203
Average cost: £1.23

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Game Review – Hacker (1989)

Another Ricochet release, and another Activision classic. It may not be my preferred style of game but you can’t deny its originality and quality.

Game Review – Star Lifter (1987)

In an unusual twist, this review sees me change my mind about the worth of a game mid-way through playing it!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Game Review – Jungle Story (1984)

I think this sets the record for shortest review so far! To be honest you can see everything there is to see about this game in the first 20 seconds of gameplay...

Game Review – Molecule Man (1986)

An obvious attempt to replicate the success of isometric adventures like Knight Lore and Alien 8… which failed!

Game Review – Geoff Capes Strongman (1987)

This multi-event sports game has some interesting ideas but falls flat due to complex gameplay mechanics and poor graphics.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Game Review – Treasure Island (1987)

Return to Treasure Island, explore freely and, well, get rather lost in this innovative graphical text adventure.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Friday, 16 November 2012

Game Review – Phantoms of the Asteroid (1985)

It appears there was great confusion over the name of this game in the Mastertronic offices, but you can be certain that it involves one or more phantoms and one or more asteroids!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Game Review – Back to Reality (1986)

When the best thing you can say about a game is that the cover art reminds you of Star Wars, it’s not really promising is it?

Game Review – Alcazar (1989)

Back to the C64 reviews, and a look at the re-release of Activision’s 1985 free-roaming adventure game.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Collection Update – A ‘Holy Grail’ Discovered!

Nope, not the Quest for the Holy Grail game (I’ve had that for a while) but I have in fact found one of the few games in the Mastertronic line-up that is so rare it can be considered a Holy Grail of sorts…

Yes, as the video shows, I have picked up How to be a Complete Bastard (Ricochet) for £5.00 after spotting it in an Ebay bundle. This goes to show that it sometimes pays off to scan through all Ebay listings in case something you’re looking for is listed as part of a larger bundle.

The second title picked up recently is Frenesis (Mastertronic), which was also part of a bundle of four games, the other three of which I already had. Since I can’t see myself recouping any of the cost of these, I’m just putting this game down as costing £3.24, which was the price for the whole bundle.

That now leaves just nine games on my list to find, though I have a strong feeling that two of those were never released on cassette so may be dropped.

Total games: 202
Average cost: £1.21

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

‘Behind Enemy Lines’ Game Review – Hundra (1988)

Closing off this mini series with another Amstrad game, and another flick-screen action adventure. This one’s really nice looking but has some frustrating game design aspects!

‘Behind Enemy Lines’ Game Review – Terminus (1987)

There were no system exclusives from Mastertronic for the MSX, with almost every title being a conversion of a Spectrum offering. Terminus is one such game...

Sunday, 4 November 2012

‘Behind Enemy Lines’ Game Review – American Turbo King (1989)

Back to the Amstrad now for a look at a totally different style of packaging and a driving game that can be controlled with a lightgun!

‘Behind Enemy Lines’ Game Review – Galactic Patrol (1986)

Next up is a BBC Micro game, one of the few exclusives for the system from Mastertronic.

‘Behind Enemy Lines’ Game Review – The Apprentice (1986)

Something different for my latest mini series, as I take a look at Mastertronic games for other 8-bit systems, which never made it to the C64.

First up is an Amstrad CPC game called The Apprentice, a flick-screen adventure offering...

Saturday, 3 November 2012

October in Review

Well, not a lot to say about October as I’ve only just started reviewing games again after my Play Expo distractions. Those that I did review were pretty good though, with the exception of the dire Super Trolley!

So, it must be time for an updated ‘best and worst’ games chart. As mentioned a couple of months back, I’m splitting the original games from the re-releases so I now have two top tens, but am keeping a combined ‘bottom ten’. The most notable addition to these new charts is a brand new worst-ever Mastertronic game!

Top Ten Original Mastertronic Games

  1. Street Surfer (Entertainment USA, 1986)
  2. Kikstart (Mastertronic, 1985)
  3. Big Mac: The Mad Maintenance Man (Mastertronic, 1985)
  4. Bomb Fusion (Mastertronic, 1989)
  5. Kane (Mastertronic, 1985)
  6. Hero of the Golden Talisman (M.A.D., 1985)
  7. Mindtrap (Mastertronic, 1989)
  8. Night Racer (Mastertronic, 1988)
  9. Panther (Entertainment USA, 1986)
10. Protector (Mastertronic Plus, 1989)

Top Ten Mastertronic Re-releases

  1. Ghostbusters (Ricochet, 1988)
  2. Rock n' Bolt (Ricochet, 1988)
  3. Rescue on Fractalus (Mastertronic Plus, 1989)
  4. Gemini Wing (Mastertronic Plus, 1989)
  5. Aliens (Ricochet, 1988)
  6. Toy Bizarre (Ricochet, 1989)
  7. Tetris (Mastertronic Plus, 1989)
  8. Speed King (Mastertronic, 1985)
  9. Brian Jacks Superstar Challenge (Ricochet, 1987)
10. Erebus (Ricochet, 1988)

Bottom Ten Mastertronic Releases (In reverse order, worst at the bottom)

10. Super Trolley (Mastertronic, 1988)
  9. Munch Mania (Mastertronic, 1984)
  8. Rockford: The Arcade Game (M.A.D., 1988)
  7. Knightmare (Ricochet, 1988)
  6. Speed Zone (Mastertronic, 1989)
  5. Growing Pains of Adrian Mole (Ricochet, 1987)
  4. Double Dragon (Mastertronic Plus, 1990)
  3. FA Cup Football (Ricochet, 1988)
  2. Sport of Kings (M.A.D., 1987)
  1. The Election Game (Mastertronic, 1984)

I’m hoping to ramp up the frequency of reviews again over the coming weeks, so expect to see new additions to all the charts in a month’s time!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Game Review – Super Trolley (1988)

Now then, now then, what do we have here? A shelf-stacking simulator, which is just as interesting as it sounds!

Game Review – Hero of the Golden Talisman (1985)

Mr Chip Software comes up with the goods once again with this early M.A.D. release, coded by the always-reliable Shaun Southern.