|★ AMSTRAD CPC ★ GAMESLIST ★ TAI-PAN (c) OCEAN ★|
|Computing with the Amstrad|
THE setting is the China Seas of the mid-nineteenth century when trade in tea, silk and jade could make the right person disgustingly rich. Your aim is to rise from complete obscurity to become the most successful trader of all... the Tai Pan.
You start in the maze-like town of Canton which bustles with sailors, privateers and smugglers. Your first task is to borrow enough money to buy a boat. Trips to the bank, ware house, restaurant, inn, supplies, and armoury provide the necessaries, along with a ship, crew and food.
Money can also be raised (and lost!) in a sub-game situated in the back room of the restaurant. Assets can be procured from the smugglers who will often offer you contraband which, though profitable, can land you in gaol.
Buying and selling - as well as loading and saving - are done by choosing the appropriate icon from a panel at the bottom of the screen. Beneath that are displayed your assets and cash reserves.
Having bought a ship it's time to set sail on the treacherous waters of the China Seas. As you move from port to port pirate ships, typhoons lor Tai-Fung) and a jagged coast can all make life difficult.
At sea a number of options are available. You can raise or lower the sails and a map shows the coastline, ports and the position of your ship. A telescope scans the horizon and a food icon means that you can sustain your crew during the long journey ahead - if you don't, they might mutiny!
Just as you can be attacked, it is possible to attack other ships with cannon balls purchased from the armoury while in port. Once a ship has been disabled you can sail alongside and seize its cargo.
The game alternates between the two modes - sea and port -using a multi-load system which interrupts the game and constitutes a real drawback. The graphics lack finesse and the scenes are similar.
Tai-Pan has a good scenario, is strong on atmosphere and quite addictive but play is frequently interrupted. Overall, a Chinese takeaway that might not suit every palate.
Tony Flanagan, CWTA
CPCrulez[Content Management System] v8.7-desktop/c
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.