Wednesday 26 April 2023

Kid Niki: Radical Ninja (Irem/Data East, 1986)

Developed by Irem Corp. and released to the arcades by Irem in Japan as "Kaiketsu Yanchamaru", and by Data East in North America in 1986.

Nintendo NES/Famicom version developed and published by Irem Corp. in 1987.

Apple II and Commodore 64 versions ported by Quicksilver Software, Inc., and published by Data East in 1988.



Kid Niki is not a game I have ever heard anyone really talk about, likely because it was never actually released in Europe, even for the NES. The only time I ever even tried the game out was the Commodore 64 version, which also goes by an alternative name, "Kid Niki to the Rescue", even though the cover art has the same title as all the other versions. That one time I tried Kid Niki out on the C64 was an experience I'm likely to never forget due to the game's cringyness. Now, I thought I might try the other versions out, because it's such an unusual collection of versions of a game of this type, and I'm hoping for at least the Apple version being equally cringeworthy to the C64 port. Let's see.

Wednesday 19 April 2023

FRGR #14: Mr. Seek - Kaivosseikkailu (Teknopiste, 1985)

Written by Jari Paulin for the Spectravideo SVI-318/328 and MSX computers, and published by Teknopiste in 1985.

The cover picture here is a composite of two images, as an attempt to recreate a clean image of the original packaging as closely as possible.



Perhaps a bit unexpectedly, we have a review of a Finnish game to separate the April of Abominations' two comparisons. The area of Finnish game developing history that has always baffled me the most is for the Spectravideo and MSX computers. Basically, the two systems walked hand in hand, and were somewhat compatible, but had to have their own versions released, if the creator wanted to expand their audience a bit. This incompatibility issue didn't really occur to me, until I bought a bunch of SVI tapes for my MSX collection, and found out they weren't compatible - two of the games also being Finnish, the other of which I have already written about a few years ago - Space Satellite. The other game is Mr. Seek - Kaivosseikkailu (A mining adventure), which has taken me a few years to get to play on my MSX, which then helped me to get the game working on MSX emulators. By no means, Mr. Seek could be considered anything close to the best Finland has to offer for the MSX and SVI computers, but it is perhaps one of the more well-known ones, seeing as there are dumps and documentation of it available online. Anyway, let's see what this little oddity has to offer.

Wednesday 12 April 2023

James Bond 007: A View To A Kill (Domark, 1985)

Designed by David Bishop and Chris Palmer for Tigress Marketing Ltd.

Commodore 64:
Programming by Grant Harrison
Graphics by Grant Harrison, Nichola Blades and Robert Ritson
Music arranged by Antony Crowther
Speech synthesis by B. Jones

Sinclair ZX Spectrum:
Programming by Tony Knight, Daryl Bowers, Gary Burfield-Wallis, Grant Harrison, Garry Knight and Argentino Trombin (with thanks to Sadie)
Graphics by Nichola Blades and Robert Ritson
Music arranged by Antony Crowther
Speech synthesis by David Aubrey Jones

Amstrad CPC version by the Software Technicians.

Tangerine Oric-1/Atmos version by Severn Software.

MSX version's credits are unknown.

All versions published by Domark in 1985.



Many years ago, I did a comparison of James Bond 007 by Parker Brothers, where I was pondering on whether I would ever bother to write about any of the Bond games by Domark, because they're most of them more or less unplayable. Well, because of an equally unlikely event happening, that I'm taking part in two James Bond theme song concerts here in my home town (the concerts are tomorrow and the day after), I decided to prepare a comparison of the first Domark Bond game to go with the other thing hand in hand. Let's just hope this proves at least as a learning experience - I'm not expecting any enjoyment out of it. Thus, a new month theme starts here at FRGCB: April of Abominations.