4 MEGAGAMES FOR UNDER A TENNER!
Honest guv! Sounds well dodgy dunnit? That's what we thought so we sent David 'Miserly' McCandless out with a crisp new tenner to boldly go where no stingebag had gone before (shopping) and not to come back until he'd found four YS megagames. We didn't think he'd be back. He didn't think he'd be back. We were wrong.
Talk about Mission Impossible, this was flamin' Mission Inconceivable. Four megagames for under a tenner? There's no such thing. Well at least there wasn't until a cunning lobe at the back of my brain remembered that a load of old ripsnorters were being released on budget labels. Mind you, by today's standards these games may be a molecule less than kosher but - hey! a megagame's a megagame no matter what epoque you're living in.
But there was a problem.
There were mounds, piles and heaps of past corkers to be had in the shops. All the companies had realised the potential market in resurrecting games, jumped on the exact same bandwagon and nearly toppled over. So I, being what I am, (insert your own joke here) picked out the top four blasts from the ghost of the past, the best four raves from the grave, and then rounded the rest up for you to delight over during the post-turkey blues.
Reviewer: David McCandless
This game turned some heads and bulged some eyes when it first appeared eons ago, September '85 to be exact, mainly because of its colourful graphics and witch-orientated originality. And surprisingly enough there was a game behind the prettiness.
You play a hag zipping around on your bog-standard Acme broomstick on a quest for the legendary, all powerful, all gleaming golden broomstick and the extraordinary cleaning powers that come with it. In your way are bats, badgers and all types of nocturnal nasties hell-bent on preventing you. Your quest takes you across scrolling hills and dales, mountains and gorges and the customary underground caverns and tunnels.
Gameplay is fierce with the nasties tenaciously after your green blood. Both the witch and the creatures are represented in excellent stylish form and some of the underground caverns would stump even the hardest of the hard game-players.
Cauldron isn't technically exquisite and probably wouldn't stand up as a full price game now but it was brilliant in its own right with inspired graphics and fiendish difficulty.
Ben 'n' Skippy take a seat in the stalls to play their way through this month's cut-price offerings! With a bit of help from the usherette of course!
Reviewer: Ben Stone, Mike Dunn
But soft, what jiffy-bag thorough yonder postbox breaks? Why, 'tis one that holds Cauldron, a game the like of which hasn't been seen since the last time it was released and blimey, hasn't it aged?
Somehow, being a witch flying (or should that be flickering?) around, looking for the ingredients of a spell which'll give you a turbo-charged Golden Broomstick, just ain't the same kind of fun it was four years ago. And you don't even get a set of complimentary furry dice in the deal - bah!
Despite being a bit wrinkly however, Cauldron still doesn't play too badly and there are far, far worse games to be seen walking to the cash register with. If you haven't got a copy yet, Cauldron is well worth looking into. Just watch out for the eye of newt.
THE WITCHING HOUR...
Double, double toil and trouble:
Fire, burn; and, cauldron, bubble.
Take a dash of a Defender style shoot'em up, add a splash of an arcade adventure, throw in a handful of platform screens and top up with some magic graphics. Stir vigorously and you've got a rich brew from Palace Software called Cauldron that aims to have you bewitched, bothered and bewildered.
And now for a surprise bonus. On the reverse side of the Cauldron tape, appears the Spectrum version of The Evil Dead. It wasn't meant to be there but somehow the gremlins must've crept in at the duplicators. So, dare you risk the evil curse and play the game? Well, you could do worse than give it a go. But the real problem is that there aren't any instructions. A bit of a dead loss, you could say, but panic not, 'cos here at YS we've sussed the plot of this computer nasty.
You play the part of Ashly, shacked up on holiday with a group of friends deep in the Tennessee Woodlands. Cheryl, Linda, Scott and Shelly are clean cut ail-American kids who just happen to change into ghastly green mutants when they over-indulge with the spirit - Evil spirit, of course. Your aim at the beginning is to keep the evil one out of the shack by rushing round closing all the windows. When that fails as it inevitably does - well, you can't keep a good ghost down - you'll have to try and kill 'em with the weapons scattered round the shack. These will give you differing amounts of energy which you'll lose when you attack an enemy but your points will increase. Only when you've enough points will the Book of the Evil Dead ('a jolly good read' Daily Mirror. "Dead boring' Your Spectrum) appears - throw it straight on the fire in the main room and you'll have defeated the curse forever. Dead easy, really.
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