Welcome retro fans to the Antstream Arcade new games update! This week we have another fresh selection of superb classic games available for subscribers, as we proudly present some of the new releases that you can play right now. Let the retro gaming begin!
Cauldron – Commodore 64, 1985
It’s a spooky start to this week’s round-up with Palace Software’s Cauldron. Playing a witch, the mission for this ragged hag is to fly across her dark and dangerous world, searching for the magical keys that lead to the underground caves. Once there, she must gather the ingredients for a spell that will rid the land of the evil Pumpking, while elevating her to the glorious Witch Queen status. Featuring two distinct gameplay styles, Cauldron is an atmospheric Commodore 64 game that will test your gaming skills to the absolute limit. Boo!
Ant-Tactic: Watch out for the keys while hovering on the broomstick – the green one is particularly tricky to spot.
Ant-Fact: Cauldron began development as an official videogame of the horror movie Halloween before it became apparent to Palace that the license would be too costly to secure.
Ant-ernative: For more mystical mayhem, try Hewson’s Ranarama or System 3’s Myth: History In The Making.
Cauldron II: The Pumpkin Strikes Back – Commodore 64, 1986
Having defeated the Pumpking in the first Cauldron, Cauldron II flips the action around as the player takes control of a brave pumpkin warrior. The Witch Queen has brought evil and despair to the land, and the orange fruits want revenge. Throughout the Queen’s castle and beyond, this brave bouncing pumpkin must obtain a lock of the witch’s hair before brewing up a spell to rid the land of her torment.
Ant-Tactic: Mastering the pumpkin’s bouncing mechanic is vital – learn how to use the controls to increase and decrease its jump, and life will be a lot easier.
Ant-Fact: Cauldron II was praised even more in the press than Cauldron, with Zzap! 64 magazine awarding it 94%, including a mighty 96% for graphics and sound.
Ant-ernative: There are plenty of bouncing ball type games on Antstream Arcade, but it’s hard to look past Sensible classic Wizball.
Gaplus – Arcade, 1984
We venture back to the arcades now with this fantastic shoot-‘em-up from Namco. This lesser-known shooter of the Galaxian family – it’s a sequel to Galaga, also available on Antstream Arcade – is nonetheless just as playable, if not more so than its famous forebear. Now the player’s space craft can venture up the screen, and can be boosted with a bonus ship upon eliminating a shooting star, creating a powerful and awesome destructive force.
Ant-Tactic: While the hypership power-ups are great fun, they present a larger target to the enemies. Keep that trigger finger working!
Ant-Fact: Gaplus has a huge range of power-ups and variation. For many arcade fans, it’s the best game of the series, despite being the least-known.
Ant-ernative: Galaga and Galaga ’88 are both available on Antstream Arcade.
Kick Off 3: European Challenge – Mega Drive, 1994
The Kick Off series took a new direction – literally – in 1994 with this Sega game from Anco. Instead of the vertical scrolling of previous games, now the pitch scrolls horizontally, akin to 8-bit classics such as International Soccer and Match Day. The shift of view helps Kick Off 3 improve graphically, and there’s a range of clubs, competitions and players to control and take part in.
Ant-Tactic: Despite a different control method to the previous games, players will still be rewarded quicker if they take time to learn how to trap and pass the ball with greater accuracy.
Ant-Fact: Kick Off 3 was the first Kick Off game not to involve original designer Dino Dini.
Ant-ernative: The original Kick Off and Kick Off 2 are both also available on Antstream Arcade. For more horizontal footie, however, try World Trophy Soccer, also on the Sega Mega Drive.
Top Gear 2 – Mega Drive, 1994
Known as Top Racer in Japan, this Vik Tokai Mega Drive racing game is one of the finest driving experiences on the Sega console, and we are proud to host it on Antstream Arcade. With its arcade style (similar to genre legends such as Outrun) and huge range of tracks spanning over 16 different countries, this is a fast-paced contest that’s perfect for any retro gaming petrol head.
Ant-Tactic: If the weather gets dicey, don’t forget to change to the appropriate tyres for wet conditions.
Ant-Fact: The tracks in Top Gear 2 are loosely based upon real tracks, while the cars themselves are completely fictional.
Ant-ernative: For more manic racing action, try Ocean’s Burning Rubber, available on Commodore Amiga.
Bobsleigh – Spectrum, 1987
A change of sport now as Antstream Arcade gives you the high-speed thrills of Bobsleigh, a ZX Spectrum simulation from Digital Integration. Facing a sharp downhill maze of rock and ice, this is one of the most breath-taking and hazardous of all winter sports. Compete in the world championship, guiding your team’s bob down the course as quickly as possible – preferably without crashing!
Ant-Tactic: Keep an eye on your split times as these help you judge how well you are doing in each particular segment of the course.
Ant-Fact: Britain’s top bobsleigh stars of the time, Nick Phipps and Alan Cearnes, helped the game’s developers fine-tune some of its realism and controls.
Ant-ernative: For more chilly sporting antics, check out Epyx’s brilliant Winter Games.
Barbarian II – Spectrum, 1988
Subtitled The Dungeon Of Drax, this famous 8-bit sequel expands the gameplay of the original smash hit slice-‘em-up as the player ventures into the insidious lair of the eponymous villain. Featuring all the bloodthirsty action of Barbarian, in Dungeon Of Drax the player can take on the role of the muscle-bound warrior or comely princess Mariana in a battle to defeat the evil wizard Drax.
Ant-Tactic: Barbarian II features magical objects that will greatly help the hero or heroine in their quest. Watch out for them.
Ant-Fact: Cover star Michael Van Wyk is better known as Wolf from the TV show Gladiators. Today, he runs his own gym in New Zealand.
Ant-ernative: For more muscle-bound action, there’s Rastan and Rygar, both of which are available in their original arcade form on Antstream Arcade.