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Released: 1988

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: Commodore 64

Publisher: Ocean

Submitted by: James Evans

A quality port of an arcade shoot-em-up. Two players can run across the screen left to right shooting at buildings and enemies away in the distance. Kill everything and skip on to the next level.

The twist that the game had which was very well emulated in the C64 version too was the lack of running and gunning. Hold fire and your man stands still and you take charge of the crosshair to begin shooting. It is a unique clever idea that means you had to plan where to stand before shooting to make sure you could dodge incoming fire in time.

The game did take the feel of the arcade version quite well. The main gripe would have to be the graphics. The arcade version sees you shooting up what looks to be a Ki-Ora advert – bright colours all over the place. Whereas the C64 looks like your blowing up a mud hole on a windy day in Eithiopia. The main character sprites though were excellently animated.

Other than that though, get another mate round and the two player carnage is great fun. The levels are varied enough and there is a challenge to be had.


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Released: 1988

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: Arcade

Publisher: TAD Corporation

Developer: TAD Corporation

Submitted by: Neil Reive

Cabal is a third person shooter where one or two players control a soldier in a battlefield. The mission? To destroy enemy military buildings and anyone that gets in your way. Of course the enemy won't take this lying down and do their darnedest to stop you with gun tooting soldiers to rumbling huge tanks. Luckily, at your disposal, you had unlimited machine gun ammo and limited grenades to take them out.

As play progresses through each level, enemy gunfire and explosions slowly destroy the walls – which can provide partial cover from enemy fire. After successful completion of a level, all the buildings would somehow collapse and the player would then dance merrily onto the next level.

Control of the soldier was quite unique back then in that you used the joystick to move from left to right on the screen and to move the targeting cross hair, but not both at the same time. When you held down the fire button the soldier would stop moving and fire his machine gun in the direction of the targeting cross hair. This meant that the joystick now controlled the on screen target cross hair. This ensued that the player had to play with a balance of offensive and defensive manoeuvres.

Cabal had great graphics, great rumbling sound effects, and – most importantly – great gameplay. An excellent little game that was, unfortunately, overshadowed by Operation Wolf and its gun wielding cabinet.