Movie, Amstrad CPC

Duško Dimitrijevic ‘s brilliant isometric adventure, Movie, translates exceptionally well to the Amstrad CPC, as can be seen from these screenshots.

The game is essentially identical to the ZX Spectrum original although the extra colour does make a big difference.

What I would liked to have seen were 16-bit conversions later, but those never materialised.

More: Movie on Wikipedia

Movie, ZX Spectrum

A legendary ZX Spectrum game, designed and programmed by Duško Dimitrijevic and published by Imagine Software in 1986.

Movie is an isometric action/adventure in the style of Knight Lore, and it utilises a Marlow-esque ‘Film Noir’ type setting. It’s basically a detective story where you have to solve simple puzzles by using conversations and item manipulation.

What really made Movie stand out back in the day were the graphics, which are beautifully designed and stylised – a true work of 8-bit pixel artistry that still hold up today.

The rudimentary physics that underpin the game are impressive – for a 48K game. The gameplay is held back a little by the slowdown, and this is common with isometric games on the Spectrum, although the programmer seems to have compensated for this and it doesn’t mar the game too much.

Deciphering Movie‘s secrets is not easy, but it is worth a go, and using a walkthrough will help not waste time. As will learning how to use the game’s built-in text parser.

An arguably better Amstrad CPC version was also released the same year. No other conversions exist (outside of maybe homebrew), that I’m aware of.

More: Movie on Wikipedia

Kung-Fu Master, ZX Spectrum

This terrible Spectrum conversion of the mighty arcade game, Kung-Fu Master, was developed by Ocean and published by US Gold in 1986.

It contains none of the thrills of the original arcade game… The animated figures in the game are slow, badly-drawn and badly animated. When anyone raises a leg in the game – to make a high kick – it looks more like they are trying to squeeze out a tricky fart than kick anyone… And that includes you. The animation is pathetic. The colour clash is also bad. As is the (part-time) scrolling. The sprites have a horrible, distracting judder too. It wouldn’t have hurt to use a few different colours to differentiate the levels too – they all look the same…

The gameplay is also a pale imitation of the original, which requires precision, skill, and good timing to beat, and is fun to play. This is just a turgid shuffle through a soup of frustration and slowness.

There are some great arcade conversions on the ZX Spectrum. Kung-Fu Master isn’t one of them.

More: Kung-Fu Master on Wikipedia