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Mon, Mar. 23rd, 2009, 09:17 pm
loganberrybunny: Amstrad PCW games

Since I was asked about this when I posted this recent picture of the Kempston joystick and interface for the Amstrad PCW, here are a few screenshots of the PCW playing games. These were made with Joyce, the only PCW emulator that I know of. It's a bit of a pain to get going, partly because system disk images are not easily available: in the case of the earlier PCWs the machines used 3" disks, not 3.5" ones. (Joyce's writer is much stricter about copyright than most writers of 8-bit emulators these days, so doesn't include the system files.) It does work pretty well in the end, though.

First up, Head Over Heels, an isometric arcade adventure by Jon Ritman and Bernie Drummond which shouldn't need much introduction to British readers who were around in the 1980s. This is the game for which I bought that joystick, and despite being fiendishly hard (to me, anyway; I was never much good at gaming) I spent hours and hours playing it. The PCW port even managed to play a little tune.

Click to enlarge

Next, here's a screenshot from a just-started game of Cyrus II Chess. I actually preferred the very similar 3D Clock Chess, which had more options to fiddle with, but I couldn't get that to work properly with Joyce. This seems to have been more or less a direct port from the CPC version, which had a blue board.

Click to enlarge

Our next stop is at Match Day II, probably the best of the very small number of football games available for the PCW. I am truly, truly appalling at football games and get lost trying to remember all the buttons (this from someone who loves Elite!) so can't really tell how well this plays. The animation is quite good, though.

Click to enlarge

Finally, perhaps the most ridiculous conversion ever made for a monochrome computer: Steve Davis Snooker. The PCW version - which can also play pool and billiards - has no computer player option; it just deals with the table and physics. I have this for the BBC Micro, and in that more colourful incarnation it's not at all bad (though still has no computer player).

Click to enlarge

Tue, Mar. 24th, 2009 11:40 pm (UTC)

Ahh, there it is - did you complete it? Judging by the plot synopsis on Wikipedia I don't think I got very far myself, but I certainly spent a long time trying!

Wed, Mar. 25th, 2009 02:05 pm (UTC)

Head Over Heels, you mean? I semi-completed it, with the help of magazine hints. I managed to get to Freedom, but never managed to liberate all five planets first.