Thursday, December 31, 2020

Happy New Year 2021

And so ends another year, and what a year it has been.

2020 has been dominated by the Coronavirus pandemic, culminating in my wife tragically losing her Mum and Granddad in November, I wonder what 2021 will bring.  My time on Worcestershire County Council's payroll has come to an end after nearly 17 years as the school joins a MAT and becomes an academy.  To say I am anxious about the whole thing is an understatement, but I'll just have to see how it pans out.  I've been assured that my role will not change, but since I am such a pessimist I can only think the worst.  Watch this space.

Gaming wise though, 2020 hasn't been too bad at all.  During the first lockdown between March and July, I was able to introduce my daughter Kayleigh to the wonders of retro gaming with our "Kayleigh's Retro Isolation" series - an opportunity to allow Kayleigh to play a different game every day until the lockdown ended when she had to go back to school.  It lasted 70 days, and the results can be viewed here on this blog.

Notable game purchases this year include (in no particular order)

The Last of Us Part II (PS4)
Daymare 1998 (PS4)
Resident Evil 3 Remake (PS4)
Doom Eternal (PS4)
Mafia Trilogy (PS4)
The Dark Pictures Anthology - Little Hope (PS4)
Call of Duty Cold War (PS5)
Train Sim World 2 (PS4) - A special Christmas present from my son Kieran!
Watchdogs Legion (PS5)

Of course, the big gaming event was the release of the PS5, and despite there being a lack of them available worldwide, I was lucky enough to get a pre-order in on time and receive one on release day.  I would like to say it's been nice having one, but my son has had it in his room most of the time due to I having a lack of any PS5 specific games for it.  I'm sure 2021 will see some stunners come out and I can bring it back downstairs again!  Resident Evil 8 Village in particular.

Not much else has happened in our little world.  A car hit my car in September which resulted in my beloved Zoe Zafira being written off.  All I got from the insurers was a measly £800 which doesn't even come close to the cost I had to pay out for a new car.  With that said, I'm now the proud owner of a lovely 2017 Zafira Tourer (Zara) and although I am now in debt and having to pay that off for a few years, it is actually really nice to have a new car.  

The Star Trek Starships model collection has of course expanded even more over the past 12 months.  The main collection has now ended, although they're still released the odd special model every now and then.  Just as well really because I am beginning to run out of space!

So here comes 2021. My 44th year on Earth, and my son Kieran's last year at secondary school.  Can't believe he is doing his GCSEs and will be finished in a few months' time.  We've still got the Coronavirus pandemic going on, but I'm confident we'll have things back to normal again in a few months.

Here's hoping for a better 2021

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Game Covers - Space Sweep & Invaders (Commodore 16 and Plus 4)

Navigate your Space Sweep through the planets looking for and destroying enemy spy satellites.  But don't lose the mother ship otherwise you face a cold lonely death in space when you run out of fuel.

3D View (hold and move to rotate)

Game Covers - Icicle Works (Commodore 16 and Plus 4)

ICICLE WORKS is a multi-screen game of snowballs, gift wrapped presents, polar bears and penguins.

Santa has returned from holiday to find that his presents have been scattered over the polar cap and are buried in the snow.  Your task is to help Santa dig his way through the snow, collecting as many gift wrapped presents as are required to complete the toy in each scene.

Life in the north, however, is fraught with many perils and poor Santa must be very careful not to get caught under an avalanche of his own creation.  His life is further endangered bu the many bad tempered polar bears and penguins which run up and down the passages Santa has dug.

Christmas is not as far away as you may think and Santa faces a horrible fate if he cannot complete the toy and escape to a new task before the time runs out.

3D View (hold and move to rotate)

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Game Covers - Fire Ant (Commodore 16 and Plus 4)

You are the last remaining soldier of an army of ants which has been destroyed by scorpions.  Your sole objective is to rescue the Queen Ant who has been taken hostage.  Negotiate the scorpion chambers collecting items which will help you on your journey.  You need a combination of quick reactions, careful planning, and observation if you are going to survive long enough to achieve your goal.

3D View (hold and move to rotate)

Game Covers - Exorcist (Commodore 16 and Plus 4)

 Sparkie is lost deep in the haunted catacombs underneath the ruined monastery.  All seems lost as ghosts and ghouls begin to gather in the dark.  But with your help Sparkie can move around the catacombs illuminating the walls.  Light up the whole room and the ghosts in that room are exorcised and the exits revealed.  Hidden in some rooms are treasures to help Sparkie escape and a map is created as he moved around.  But beware the exit is guarded.

3D View (hold and move to rotate)

Game Covers - Crazy Golf (Commodore 16 and Plus 4)

 You are about to tee off on the CRAZIEST golf course you've ever seen!  Featuring eighteen holes, each with its own unique set of obstacles which mist be wither avoided or used to your advantage.

3D View (hold and move to rotate)

Friday, December 25, 2020

Game Covers - Treasure Island (Commodore 16 and Plus 4)

Treasure Island is a multi-screen arcade adventure in which you help Jim Hawkins find buried treasure.  Use the map provided to guide Jim around the island.  Collect items which may be useful but avoid, or deal with, the cutlass-wielding pirates.  Having found the treasure you must then win the race to get back to your ship.  You can be sure that Long John Silver will do all in his power to stop you escaping with what he believes is rightly his.  Treasure Island is a game requiring careful planning and quick reactions.

3D View (hold and move to rotate)

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Game Covers - Monkey Magic (Commodore 16 and Plus 4)

Join Monkey on HIS FIRST Quest in search of the holy scriptures.

This involves a long and perilous journey on his MAGIC CLOUD, high in the air.

With the aid of his magic stick, Monkey battles with the evil creatures of the universe.

Monkey Quest 2 coming soon.

3D View (hold and move to rotate)

Game Covers - Purple Turtles (Commodore 16 and Plus 4)

Turtle Bobbing is a sport which can only be carried out with the very rare Purple Turtle.  The fabled Purple Turtles rise and fall as the whim takes them and due to their passive nature and unusual buoyancy they can be used as stepping stones.  A game for the young at heart and for people who have tired of alien bashing.

3D View (hold and move to rotate)

Game Covers - Hit Pak (Commodore 16 and Plus 4)

A collection of conversions from Elite :-

Frank Bruno's Boxing

3D View (hold and move to rotate)

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Game Covers - Scooby Doo (Commodore 16 and Plus 4)

In The Castle Mystery.

The Mystery Machine arrives at the ruined castle, and the gang climb out, ready to explore.  Suddenly, Velma, Shaggy, Daphne and Fred are seized by large hands and a chorus of voices cry out "Our experiments are almost complete. Nothing can stop us now!"  Though frightened, Scooby decides to look for his friends, but soon has the feeling that he is not alone.  Ghosts and demons of the strangest kind gather on all sides and appear out of doorways, intent to stop him freeing the rest of the gang.

Can you, as Scooby Doo, fight your way through the mad scientists' henchmen to rescue your friends, then seek out their captors?  Perhaps the trail of Scooby Snax may help you in your search.

3D View (hold and move to rotate)

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Game Covers - Computer Hits 3 (Commodore 16 and Plus 4)

  • Invasion 2000 AD
  • Skramble
  • Death Race 16
  • Galaxions
  • Circus
  • Space Pilot
  • Robin To The Rescue
  • Psychedelia
  • Space Freaks
  • World Cup

3D View (hold and move to rotate)

Game Covers - Four Great Games (Commodore 16 and Plus 4)

3D Maze

The original Maze game with a difference.  An animated 3D view with 256 different levels, 8 mazes and 2 speeds with variable amounts of monsters which ensures hours of unique Arcade action.

Apollo Rescue

Apollo Rescue is a two part game

  • Part 1 is to retrieve and re-assemble sections of the ill-fated Apollo 16 scattered over the Lunar surface.
  • Part 2 catch satellites floating in space for return to earth

A realistic simulation of a heated wild west street gunfight with superb graphics.  You are Jesse James, the Deadly Gunslinger, who takes his people only one way - Dead.

U.S. Drag Racing

Experience the thrills of Drag Racing with six different cars with varying performances against a computer controlled car - can you beat it?

3D View (hold and move to rotate)

Game Covers - One Man and his Droid (Commodore 16 and Plus 4)

Time is against you in your efforts to round up the Alien Sheep and to teleport them back to earth in this fast moving colourful arcade/strategy game.

Fortunately, your faithful droid who can fly, dig and tunnel is at your side.


3D View (hold and move to rotate)