Super Six: Codemasters
With many of its games playable on Antstream Arcade, we thought it was about time we revealed our super six of games from the software developer and publisher known as Codemasters. From its budget origins in the mid-Eighties through to the power house it remains today, this is the Antstream Arcade Codemasters Super Six. Renowned for its promotional prowess as much as the games themselves, you can now play them all on Antstream Arcade – for free!
BMX Simulator is where it all started for Codemasters. Released in 1986 on the Commodore 64 and a year later on the ZX Spectrum, both these fine versions are available on Antstream Arcade. Kickstarting the Codies’ obsession with games containing the word ‘simulator’ in the title, this is an attractive one or two player jaunt around a dirt track, furiously peddling astride the famous bikes. Programmed by Codemasters founder Richard Darling, the top-down viewpoint will be familiar to anyone who loves the arcade racer Super Sprint and there are seven different courses to compete in, each with its own hazards and sharp bends. Originally retailing at just £1.99, BMX Simulator is not just brilliant – it’s absolutely brilliant!
Following on from previous game, Fantasy Land Dizzy, Magicland Dizzy is considered one of the best of the famous series, first created by the Oliver Twins in 1987. The evil wizard Zaks is back and has taken six inhabitants of Dizzy’s world to his fairy tale realm and imprisoned them. Only our ovular friend can rescue Dylan, Denzil, Dozy, Dora, Daisy and Grand Dizzy from the wicked necromancer. As with all of the adventure-based Dizzy games, careful manipulation and combination of the many objects strewn around the world is the key to success. Also littered about carelessly are valuable diamonds, and Dizzy should pick these up as well as they helpfully replenish his health. Magicland Dizzy is available on three formats on Antstream Arcade: Commodore Amiga, Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum.
Time for a spot of shooting action. Fancy yourself as a bit of a hotshot? Don’t panic – Kamikaze doesn’t require any suicidal tendencies – this game is all about taking down the many enemies using your plane’s machine guns and bombs. There are three versions of Kamikaze on Antstream Arcade and strangely they’re all a little different. The Commodore 64 and Spectrum games hark back to classic arcade shoot-‘em-ups such as Choplifter, while the Commodore Amiga game switches to a vertically-scrolling format with enemy trucks yielding useful power-ups when destroyed. All three games are neat and fun shooters, but beware: this is no easy mission, whatever the format!
Such was the popularity of the Oliver Twins’ little egg hero in the Eighties and early Nineties that multiple spin-off games also saw release by Codemasters, and this is one of the finest. Released in 1990, Kwik Snax is the semi-sequel to Fast Food, and another delightful maze game that is hard not to love. Each screen contains fruit which Dizzy can collect in flashing order for a bonus, and enemies that can be squished by pushing certain blocks against them. With power-ups, a continual warp border and a pile of different enemies, Kwik Snax is an addictive Spectrum game for those who find the main adventures of the egg a little too slow for there liking. On Antstream Arcade we also have the beautiful Commodore Amiga game and a Commodore 64 version, which retains the maze format with a crucial twist on the gameplay.
Super Robin Hood
Before they hit the big time with Dizzy, The Oliver Twins created this entertaining and playable platform game based around the legend of ace archer and semi-philanthropist, Robin Hood. In a predictable turn of events, the heinous Sheriff Of Nottingham has kidnapped the comely Maid Marian and locked her up in his dingy castle. In order to free her from captivity, Robin must bravely combat the guards and monsters roaming the many rooms - fortunately the medieval hero is armed with his trusty bow and can leap deftly across the many platforms. Check out Super Robin Hood, also known as Robin Hood Legend Quest on Antstream Arcade!
DJ Puff is the sequel to Little Puff and once more stars the cute little dragon, now elevated to the position of disc jockey on the island paradise he inhabits with his friends. This raving idyll is broken by the notorious Captain Kripp who has banned fun and half-inched all of Puff’s CD collection, hiding them across the four corners of nearby Volcano Island. If the partying is to recommence, Puff must retrieve his CDs and get spinning those tunes. In his way stand restless natives along with all manner of weird and wonderful creatures such as ginormous jellyfish and boggle-eyed birds. This charming dragon can spit and breathe fire, but with his wings working sporadically, he is left to jumping across the many platforms of Volcano Island. Collect bombs to help despatch enemies and search every corner – we need to get DJ Puff’s island jumping to the music once more!