We haven't seen one of these little Codies compilations for a while, as they've been concentrating on big-money efforts like Dizzy's Excellent Adventures. After the debacle of Crystal Kingdom Dizzy, it's nice to see that they haven't given up totally on the cheapies that made their name.
Quattro Power Machines gives you four games for less than two quid each, so you'd have to be a pretty mean-minded and nasty sort of individual to pick fault with it. Hey, someone call my name?
Grand Prix is a Super Sprint clone that looked fairly respectable when it first appeared, er, quite a while ago, but its slippy-slidey control and stop-start gameplay look really poor now when set up alongside something like Carnage. There are a lot of options to fiddle with to extend the game's life (well, you can race lots of different kinds of vehicles, anyway), but, sadly, none of them make it very much fun to play any more.
Nitro Boost Challenge is one of the Codies' first-ever Amiga games and it shows. It's a vaguely Spy Hunter-ish game about a stuntman performing impressive feats of driving against the clock, but that's about where it turns out of good points. There's very little control, very little gameplay, and no variation to speak of, despite the different scenarios. A bit nob, even at two quid.
I really liked Pro Powerboat when it was first released about two-and-a-half years ago, and I msut admit I've still got a bit of a soft spot for it. It's even more Spy Hunter-ish than Nitro Boost Challenge, except set on water, and while it's very basic and none too fast, it's got some really nice ideas and there's many an hour's simple fun to be had. Sweet, and for two quid it's possibly the bargain of the month.
...Or maybe that honour should go to Violator, since it's the best for the four games collected here. A vertically-scrolling shot-'em-up borrowing heavily from Flying Shark, this is a top example of what Code Masters do best - no nonsense, no frills, just good old-fashioned arcade japery - and I like it, so there.
So, in time-honoured compilation-reviewing style, here's the bit where I sum - NO! NO! FIGHT THE ROUTINE! BUCK THE TREND! SMASH THE SYSTEM! WE DON'T NEED NO THOUGHT CONTROL! I SAY, I SAY, I SAY! WHAT DO YOU CALL A MAN WHO'S REALY USEFUL TO HAVE AROUND THE OFFICE? ANDY! WHAT'S PINK, FLUFFY AD UNEMPLOYED? BAR - (Take two of these and go and lie down in a darkened room forever. - Ed)