The Bear Essentials

 

The Bear Essentials

The humble platformer was a staple of the 8 and 16-bit eras, progressing from its basic, blocky beginnings to levels of detail and complexity that could barely have been imagined way back in the early days. Unfortunately this meant that the market often felt over-saturated, and for every good game there were at least half a dozen mediocre ones. Fast-forward 30-odd years and the platformer may have fallen slightly out of favour in modern gaming, but for developers still supporting the old micros it remains a very popular choice, and as such it takes a lot to stand out from the crowd. It's a delight, then, to discover a game that doesn't just stand out, it puts on a rainbow wig, drapes itself in flashing neon lights and blows a trombone down your ear-hole.

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Commodore

Twin Kingdom Valley

 

This is an old fashioned text adventure, which had options for limited graphics as well. You play the part of an adventurer on a quest for a secret treasure, which apparently contains the “meaning of life”. Novel I grant you. The setting is ancient times with a castle, inns, elves and trolls. The game has the usual text adventure commands (get, hit, drink, movement commands, look, etc.). In the game there are NPCs (Non Player Characters) that move around.

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Commodore

Thrust

 

This game was sort of inspired by the arcade game “Gravitar”. You take control a spaceship which is subject to the laws of physics (such as gravity and inertia). This makes controlling it very difficult – but that is the main point of the game. The spaceship is equipped with a laser, thruster, tractor beam and a shield. Your task is collect a pod from a series of planets and fly into space with them. You use the tractor beam for this collection and for the fuel cans, which appear on the planets as well. You burn fuel every time you activate the thruster or the shield.

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Commodore

Trap Door

 

This game was a tie-in to the old ITV claymotion animated children's TV show and is a rather unique puzzle game. Berk, the blue coloured man servant, is now under your control. He is charged with performing tasks for “The Thing Upstairs”. Berk is joined by Boni (a talking skeleton’s head) and Drutt (an oversized spider, which is his pet). The game is set across 6 different screens in the Monsters' Castle, with locations like a pantry, cellar and of course the room containing the aforementioned trap door.

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Commodore

Stella 7

 

Battlezone comes to the C64, courtesy of Damon Slye! Actually, there is a port of Battlezone for the C64 from Atarisoft, but that is another story. In this game, you are given control of a “Raven” type tank. This is equipped with a forward firing turret, shields and a cloaking device. The action takes place over seven separate Solar Systems, hence the name. Vector graphics are used very well here, running at a decent speed.

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Commodore