For the next six games RetroBear takes on the role of a soldier wanting revenge, a large ape, some kind of space warrior, a large headed boy in a nappy and the Last Slapfighter. Sounds like a cheese induced nightmare but it isn’t….



How I might look when the remaining 405 games have been played.....


Saturday 16th April 2011


Six more games, six more ranges of emotion. The task is proving very tough indeed if only for the failure of games to load. There are still hundreds of games to get through so let us waste no time and crack on with the next batch of games to see what joy/despair they bring.



Storm the enemy camp and rescue the hostages in this conversion of the ancient coin-op called Rush N Attack (there is a reference to the Cold War in there somewhere). Simply move from left to right dispatching enemies before reaching the end of the level. The game continues in the same vein with a small variety of weapons to pick up along the way to make things a bit easier.


For me, the difficulty level is set quite high and that is more than enough to put me off. I know my limitations as a games player is pretty poor but even for me after nearly an hour’s play I still couldn’t get off the end of the level. Sometimes it’s best simply to run from left to right and ignore what is behind you – until they start shooting then you have to deal with it. The other issue is instant death on contact with enemies, which is quite harsh. Couple that with the extra weapons available when you press the spacebar (these are VERY limited ammunition-wise) and you have a frustrating experience all round.


That said, the game is quite playable and does have that “one more go” factor. Graphically it’s nothing special and occasionally the collision detection struggles. A simple recurring drum beat plays in the background whilst the sound effects are pretty minimal but they do the job. I found Green Beret a fun but frustrating experience and one that will certainly reward with prolonged play, but prepare to pull your hair out along the way.


GRAPHICS : 6/10 – Functional without being fantastic

SOUND : 7/10 (MUSIC) 4/10 (FX) – Another great theme tune but sparce in game effects

PLAYABILITY : 6/10 – High frustration will put some off and unfair deaths don’t help

LASTABILITY : 8/10 – The toughness of the game means you will stick with it for a while yet.


OVERALL : 7/10 – A good game beset by a high learning curve, but good fun to revisit.





Ever fancied destroying big cities ? Crushing large buildings and helicopters ? Causing mayhem and madness as you go ? Well if so this is the game for you, though will have to assume the guise of a giant lizard, ape or wolf to do so. That is the game in a nutshell as you simply go round destroying as much as you can to progress to the next level.


Rampage excels as a multi-player game and as such should be best enjoyed that way. It is not the best single gamer experience as the computer opponents seem no more than window dressing. During the few games I played I completely dominated the scoring and I am by no means a good player of games ! The controls also take a little getting used to as climbing can be a little annoying, but this is made up for by being able to crumble large buildings. You also have to destroy helicopters and tanks which shoot as you as well as angry residents in the tower blocks you are demolishing.


I’d neither played the original nor bothered to play this before but I found it rather good fun. Yes it’s quite simple and repetitive but passes the time when you play it. Graphically it’s functional and the main sprites are well animated, although the sound is limited to simple effects. As a party game is where it is at it’s best and I think it would be prime for a retro remake given the popularity of these games nowadays. Get a couple of mates round and it will be great, but play it on your own and the experience isn’t as good.


GRAPHICS : 7/10 – Nice big main sprites and a good look to the game

SOUND : 4/10 (MUSIC) 4/10 (FX) – Sonically average in all respects

PLAYABILITY : 8/10 – Good fun on your own, better with friends

LASTABILITY : 6/10 – It didn’t take me long to crack through five levels so be warned


OVERALL : 6.5/10 – Could be a multi-player masterpiece, but as a singular experience very average.





Once again technology lets me down. Although the loading screen comes up it doesn’t go any further. Another one to come back to. Why is it always the ones I am looking forward to that fail ?




Take control of one of four intergalactic warriors and battle your way through hordes of space robots. At the end of each level you have to defeat the guardian to get the key and escape to the next level. All four warriors have different abilities such as jumping, firepower and speed. You can also collect power-ups such as limited invincibility and the ability to freeze time.


Converted from the little known Sega coin-op (I could be wrong but I have neither heard of it nor seen it in the arcades), this is another abomination of a conversion by Activision. This may be a fault with the original game but having seen it running on YouTube, the two games couldn’t be further apart. The original game could see four players at once on screen, but this version allows only two. The graphics of the original are colourful, the C64 version’s are drab and colourless. The original had easy-to-see power-ups, the C64 version has them blend into the backgrounds so you never can see what you pick up. And so on…..


The main fault of the game though it is just too damn easy. I got to level 15 without paying much attention beyond level 9. It is just too repetitive to offer any long term playing. Two gamers with good skills could mash through this in no time at all. It is just a horrible game in every respect and one that I can happily confine to the annals of history without losing any sleep at all.


GRAPHICS : 3/10 – Drab, colourless, samey, poor backgrounds although some of the enemies are OK

SOUND : 5/10 (MUSIC), 5/10 (FX) – Good renditions of the arcade tunes and functional effects

PLAYABILITY : 2/10 – The jumps are variable, the power-ups indefinable and the fact you can destroy the end of level guardians by standing a safe distance away from them are just some of the major flaws with this

LASTABILITY : 2/10 – Too easy and with two players and a breeze to get through


OVERALL : 2.5/10 – Shockingly bad game regardless of how good or bad the original was. A prime example of the lazy arcade conversions that littered the C64 during the 1980’s





Another one of those “rescue” games where your girlfriend Tina has been kidnapped by the evil King and you have to rescue her. Across four levels and four sub levels for each section you’ll encounter snails, frogs and fish that will harm you. Help is at hand with the breaking of giant eggs, which reveal power-ups of an axe, skateboard (for speed) and a fairy who will provide you with protection for a limited time. All the while you must eat fruit otherwise your energy bar will deplete and if it vanishes entirely you die and lose a life.


Everything about this screams “AVERAGE” in a very loud and booming voice. The graphics though cute and big in that typical Japanese way, are OK but Wonder Boy appears to be wearing a nappy. The music is truly horrible as are the sound effects. Whilst the whole thing looks cute, be warned that within is a game that would not take a hardened gamer long to get through.


Whilst Wonder Boy has gone on to enormous success through games on the Master System and at the time was as close as the C64 got to a Mario-type game in looks, there is nothing here that makes it stand out. Having made it look good it should play better than it does and it’s another of these games that has pixel perfect jumps required to progress. So bad was this with a joystick I actually resorted to the keys instead to play it !


GRAPHICS : 6.5/10 – Nice big sprites and the first level seems to be set at night, but not a bad game to look at

SOUND : 2/10 (MUSIC), 3/10 (FX) – Horrid tune, very basic almost Atari 2600 sound effects

PLAYABILITY : 5/10 – Easy to pick up but I struggled with the joystick

LASTABILITY : 6/10 – Not for hardened gamers. Also the four parts to each level are incredibly short so probably not one you will come back to at all


OVERALL : 6/10 – Distinctly average in every respect. Seek out the Wonder Boy games on the Master System instead.





Take control of the last Slapfighter (surely something got lost in translation ?) and battle the evil hordes through this vertical scrolling shoot em up. Collect power ups along the way that enable you to add to your ship’s firepower, such as lasers, side arms and homing missiles. Collect stars from destroyed enemies to keep bolting on the add-ons and help in your task to liberate your planet and people from the alien invaders.


Sadly I can’t really judge this game as the version I have appears to be broken. After loading it in I found it was impossible to die (and I never EVER use cheats or codes to do this), so I was able to saunter through the game with no real problems. It is certainly a blessing in disguise as the enemy attacks are fast and furious and I know I would have been shot down in a hail of bullets with no problem at all.


I can’t really rate this game because of that, but it appears to be one of the best examples of a shoot em up on the C64. These are plentiful and we shall get to some in the future to look at. Whilst it looks pretty good I should mention the music played throughout : it’s a jolly bouncy tune totally inappropriate for a game like this and belongs somewhere else. One thing is for sure, this will test the real shoot em up fans to the max.


OVERALL : UNRATED – Due to the forced invincibility I can’t score this fairly but it is a bloody good blast.


We are nearly at the end of this run of games which were re-released on the budget Hit Squad (Ocean Software) label. I started with these in particular for all the arcade conversions but as we have seen these do not the best games make. Still as Pete Tong says “We continue….”


Up next : The Vindicator, Salamander (or Life Force as it was known on the NES), Rastan Saga, Target Renegade, Driller (ooooh proper 3D games on the C64) and Bubble Bobble (yes !)