Colorado logo

PALACE £24.99 * Joystick or Keyboard

Palace have enjoyed a good deal of success since their signing up of French software house Delphine, thanks to great games like Bio Challenge and Future Wars: Time Travellers. Now they have signed up another software house, Silmarils, and are hoping for more of the same.

Colorado is an icon-driven arcade adventure. You play the part of one David O'Brian, a trapper, womaniser and drunkard in the American South at the end of the last century. After an uncharacteristic act of bravery, you were rewarded with a treasure map which you believe will lead to the location of a lost gold mine.

The game is viewed side-on, for the most part, and the idea is to explore the land, solve mysteries and fight unfriendly Indians. You are armed with a gun, tomahawk and knife and fighting involves holding the fire button down and moving the joystick around - as you would expect. When in non-aggressive mode, you are in direct control of Dave and can decide where to go and what to do.

At the start of the game you are standing on a river bank having just climbed out of a canoe: a pathway heading off screen leads to adventure. Clues and objects found scattered along the way can be picked up and carried.

Once an area has been explored to your satisfaction and you wish to move on, simply jump into your canoe and enter an arcade game. As you paddle downstream you must avoid boulders, logs and unfriendly Indians before pulling at a new location. Wander around, solve the puzzles, and maybe in the end you will make it rich.


A very nice-looking game. The backgrounds are very well drawn, the sprites are nicely animated and the overall look of the game is good. The sound effects and music are not so memorable but they do their job perfectly adequately.


The problems and puzzles require quite a bit of thought and some of it lateral as they are not as logical as they might be. It will take a long time to solve, but fortunately the game will save your position every time you pitch camp.


This could have been a lot better. The control of your character is awkward and frustrating which spoils the enjoyment. The basic game structure is not much more advanced than old Spectrum games like Pyjamarama and the thousands of similar games around in the early Eighties. Definitely one for those with immense patience and determination.

Go west, old man!

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Auf die alten Cowboys ist halt immer noch Verlaß! Während wir bei manch anderem, schon seit Ewigkeiten angekündigten Game immer noch auf die Veröffentlichung warten, hat es diesmal vom Preview bis zum Test genau einen Monat gedauert.

1880, irgendwo im Wilden Westen: Der Trapper O' Brian paddelt mit seinem kanu den reißenden Fluß hinunter, als er plötzlich schrille Hilfeschreie hört. Bald stößt er auf die Ursache - drei Rothäute prügeln auf einen hilflos am Boden liegenden Cheyenne-Indianer ein. Mutig eilt er ans Ufer und vertreibt das Gesindelt, doch für den Cheyenne kommt jede Hilfe zu spät. Mit Müh und Not gelingt es ihm noch, seinem Helfer eine geheimnisvolle Schatzkarte in die Hand zu drücken, dann verabschiedet er sich in die Ewigen Jagdgründe. Für O' Brian beginnt ein wildes Abenteuer...

Der Spieler hat selbstverständlich jetzt die ehrenvolle Aufgabe, den alten Trapper sicher zu dem verborgenen Schatz zu führen. Und das ist gar nicht so einfach, denn der Joystick ist mit zahlreichen Funktionen belegt: O' Brian kann springen, sich hinknien, sein Gewehr nachladen, die Hand zum Friedensgruß heben, Objekte aufnehmen und natürlich durch die Gegend laufen! Am unteren Bildschirmrand werden seine Waffen angezeigt: Eine Flinte, die man nach jedem Schuß nachladen muß, ein Messer und eine Axt. Diese Gerätschaften werden auch allesamt dringend benötigt, wenn die Energiesäule des Helden nicht bald auf Null schrumpfen soll. Denn wie es sich gehört, steckt der Wilde Westen voller Indianer, Banditen und hungrifer Wölfe, die es besonders auf gutmütige alte Goldsucher abgesehen haben - wie praktisch, daß sich unser Haudegen in Momenten höchster Gefahr beispielsweise hinter Büschen verstecken kann, um nicht gesehen zu werden...

Der Weg durch die Wildnis ist also recht beschwerlich, aber er lohnt sich: Für seine Mühen bekommt man jede Menge feinster Grafik in 3D-Perspektive geboten! Einzig die Animationen hätten noch etwas flüssiger sein können, und auch der Sound ist zu dürftig ausgefallen, abgesehen von der Titelmelodie und einigen Geräuscheffekten ist nichts zu hören. Spielerisch erfordert Colorado einerseits Geschick beim Umgang mit dem Joystick (Banditenangriffe!), andererseits sorgsam geplantes Vorgehen beim Einsammeln und Benutzen von Gegenständen.

An einigen Stellen finde ich das Game zu schwierig, eta dort, wo ein knieender Indianer mit Pfeil und Bogen durch die Gegend ballert: O' Brian bekommt sofort eins dieser Geschoße verpaßt, sobald er im Bild erscheint! Störend ist auch die unflexible Steuerung, die dafür sorgt, daß man in Ufernähe bei der geringsten falschen Bewegung auf Nimmerwiedersehen im Fluß verschwindet. Und eine letzte Rüge: Statt des andauernden Umschaltens wäre ein ordentliches Scrolling sicher angenehmer gewesen. Trotz dieser Macken ist Colorado ein sehr unterhaltsames Spiel, das vor allem durch seinen originellen Handlungsablauf überzeugt: Ein feines Abenteuer im wilden Wilden Westen, das auch mit netten Action-Sequenzen (wie z.B. der rasanten Kanufahrt durch einen reißenden Fluß) nicht knausert! (C. Borgmeier)

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Price: £24.99

You certainly cannot accuse Silmarils of being prodigious. Since their inception eighteen months ago they have released thre games, only two of which saw the light of day in this country. Things could be set to change with the release of Colorado and a publishing deal with software Francophiles Palace.

Colorado is a fairly standard arcade adventure, but its 'Last of the Mohicans' style setting and its careful treatment merits more than a passing glance.

A hunter saves an old Indian from torture by a rival tribe. Though mortally wounded, the chief gives him a map of a gold mine for saving his soul.

The characters and the backgrounds are impressively drawn. The big pictures are individualised in the same way they were in one of their previous games Manhattan Dealers. The lush American scenery is also well drawn which encourages you to explore.

A strip of information at the bottom of the screen allows you to see what you are carrying and what items you have selected. Your hunter is joystick controlled, although I found the numeric keypad more precise for accessing the direction commands the game requires. Your character can walk in and out of the screen as well as left and right: he can use weapons whilst crouching and standing and he will leap and climb too. You also have to reload the rifle after each shot which is a bit of a pain but fairly authentic I suppose.

There is more than enough variety in this game, although the action is slowed by employing a flip screen system. These days that is unforgivable.

The action is hardly frenzied, but the arcade elements are enjoyable enough and the canoe section is quite entertaining. Colorado's real appeal lies not in its components which deviate little from any other arcade adventure (with a bit of trading thrown in) but in its different subject matter and a nice attention to detail. There could have been more effort put into the sound, but it is certainly a step further on from their previous efforts (Targhan being the last) and, I am informed, merely a taster for greater things in the shape of a forthcoming release entitled Starblade. Until then there is gold in them there hills if you want it.

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Palace/Silmaril, Amiga £24.95

Old age is bad enough with rickety joints, wrinkly skin, and not being able to hear the TV properly, but the Red Indians had a sure way of making it worse. According to Silmaril they used to take their old folk out into enemy territory, tie them to a stake, and leave them so they could die the 'death of a warrior'! Makes your average, gestapo-run OAP home seem quite charming, doesn't it?

You discover this strange custom when trapping beavers in 1880 USA. Stumbling across a group of Indians you shoot them all, except for an old man who promises to give you a treasure map if you give him a proper ritual death. You oblige and start the game searching for a lost gold mine in a flick-screen arcade adventure of 100-plus screens.

Besides moving left/right and into the screen, you can also swap between having bare hands or holding weapons such as a musket, axe, and knife. You can also use, or if appropriate read, any special objets you might find via the function keys. In addition, if you find Mac Biggle the storekeeper you can barter anything you might find for the various items he has. You cannot save at will, but only at special locations.

Besides the core beat-'em-up, arcade-adventuring action there's an impressive canoeing section. To get to various locations you can jump in the canoe to zoom down the Mississippi river. But watch out for logs, rocks, and boulder-throwing and canoeing Injuns who'll try and stop you reaching dry land.

Robin Hogg Despite have a rather over-familiar game style, Colorado is very well executed. The graphical detail is a source of constant surprise - the way you reload your musket, the bird-like souls of killed Indians, and such baddies as the bear are all very impressive. This certainly contributes to the urge to explore, while combat is really quite good and the canoeing section works much better than Chase HQ's 3-D effect.
Scorelord Takes me back this one, what with all those flick-screen rooms, beat-'em-up action and working out which object to use where. It's an arcade-adventure in the classic format, with the addition of a top-notch canoeing section, 16-bit graphics, and sporadic sampled spot FX. Joystick response is a tiny bit slow, but once you begin exploring you soon remember what made all those aardvarks (as we used to call them) so popular. Fun to play with plenty to do and see, this is well worth a look.