|★ AMSTRAD CPC ★ GAMESLIST ★ SUDOKU (c) CRONOSOFT ★|
A rare new offering for the Amstrad CPC (the Speccy and C64 seem to have all the new games these days), giving Richard Goulstone the incentive to purchase a cassette copy and see how well the game fares on his trusty old machine.
It has been 16 years since I last bought a new game release for the Amstrad CPC, so I was very excited when I recently received my copy of Sudoku all the way from the UK. I bought mine from the official distributor Retrogamez, who I have dealt with before and are a top notch company.
First off, the packaging is first class: the cassette and inlay are of commercial standard and would not look out of place in 1988. The inlay printing is a tad small, but gives you all of the instructions you need to play the game. The game loaded first time on my 24-year-old Amstrad CPC464, and only takes a few minutes to load. The first thing you are greeted with is the title screen, which is a bit bland— if you are going to make us wait
As the title suggests, this is a computer version of Sudoku, which can be a rather addictive numerical puzzle game. Kevin Thacker has done an excellent job of converting a pen and paper game to the computer. Sudoku is a number logic game where you must have numbers 1-9 appear once only in each row, column, or sub-grid. The puzzle is completed when all spaces in the grid have been filled.
The initial development of the game started around three years ago, but was delayed due to the design of the puzzle function. Finally, in September, the game was announced as completed. A real CPC musician, Herve Monchatre, composed the game's soundtrack, and it shows as jaunty oriental themed music plays throughout.
The options and menus are very intuitive and easy to follow. There are three difficulty levels: Easy, medium, hard, and you can set the grid to be anything from 4x4 up to 12x12. There are also ten set levels or you can generate a random board of numbers. A timer keeps track of how long it takes you to complete each puzzle. Once you complete the game you get flashing stars and music, which is nice the first time, but it does go on a bit and you can't start another game until it finishes.
The controls in the actual game are easy to use and you can enter and erase numbers easily as you try to work out what goes where. The keyboard or a joypad can be used to control the cursor. The pen/pencil icon is for toggling between erm… pen and pencil mode, while the spanner icon is the options. The main difference between pen and pencil mode cell entries is that if you enter a pencil mark into a cell that already has a pencil mark then it will be replaced. However, if the entry is done in pen, then it cannot be overwritten by pencil mode. Clicking on the X icon can delete either pen or pencil entries.
Although the Amstrad CPC464 was the lead platform used for development of the game, the ZX Spectrum version is almost identical in every way: it looks, sounds, and plays just like the CPC version. If you like Sudoku, and own an Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum (or can even get hold of an emulator), then buy this game. My advice is to buy the cassette version - there is nothing like playing it on a real machine. I hope Cronosoft release further Amstrad CPC cassette games as I for one will buy whatever they make - any company that produces new software for the 8-bit machines deserves to be supported. Richard Goulstone
GRAPHICS : 65%
SOUND : 85%
GAMEPLAY : 75%
STAYING POWER : 85%
OVERALL : 78%
RETRO ACTION issue #1
L'alinéa 8 de l'article L122-5 du Code de la propriété intellectuelle explique que « Lorsque l'œuvre a été divulguée, l'auteur ne peut interdire la reproduction d'une œuvre et sa représentation effectuées à des fins de conservation ou destinées à préserver les conditions de sa consultation à des fins de recherche ou détudes privées par des particuliers, dans les locaux de l'établissement et sur des terminaux dédiés par des bibliothèques accessibles au public, par des musées ou par des services d'archives, sous réserve que ceux-ci ne recherchent aucun avantage économique ou commercial ». Pas de problème donc pour nous!
CPCrulez[Content Management System]
L'Amstrad CPC est une machine 8 bits à base d'un Z80 à 4MHz. Le premier de la gamme fut le CPC 464 en 1984, équipé d'un lecteur de cassettes intégré il se plaçait en concurrent du Commodore C64 beaucoup plus compliqué à utiliser et plus cher. Ce fut un réel succès et sorti cette même années le CPC 664 équipé d'un lecteur de disquettes trois pouces intégré. Sa vie fut de courte durée puisqu'en 1985 il fut remplacé par le CPC 6128 qui était plus compact, plus soigné et surtout qui avait 128Ko de RAM au lieu de 64Ko.