If you enjoyed Cauldron the first time around, you'll certainly enjoy Cauldron II: The Pumpkin Strikes! The game was published by Palace Software in 1986 for the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 and Amstrad CPC 8bit home-computers
STORY / GAMEPLAY Cauldron II is the sequel to 1985's Cauldron. The game continues from the same story as Cauldron, but this time the roles are reversed: the player takes the role of a pumpkin and must defeat the evil witch. Oh yes, the evil witch wiped out all but one of the innocent pumpkins and brought darkness to the enchanted forest. The game takes place inside the witch's castle, where the pumpkin must find and collect eight magical items to vanish its nemesis. The magical items you must find and gather is an axe, a shield, a cup, a pair of scissors, a crown, a book, and the hair-lock of the sleeping witch. Although the scenario sounds good the game is extremely tough to play! Controlling the pumpkin is tricky at first as it acts like a loose basketball with very high bouncing, the exact level of which can be toggled using the fire button of your joystick (or keys). The direction can only be changed when the ball is on the ground. Be careful not to hit any of the upcoming minions that will cost energy! More on that, the enemies re-spawn quickly so all you'll be doing is to pass through them. Other enemies cannot be shot and must be passed by having the right object! Fortunately you may gain some weaponry by landing into magic pools. If you enjoyed Cauldron the first time around, you'll certainly like Cauldron 2. It's a cool game that puts emphasis on fun as long as you master the controls!
GRAPHICS / SOUND The CPC version offers nice and colorful graphics. The backgrounds may look empty but there are several colorful details here and there. There are even a few nice animated details at the backgrounds such candle fire etc. The Pumpkin (and all other sprites) move fast and quite smooth (running a bit smoother on the C64 version). The sound features an excellent intro music theme while the in-game sound effects are cool but minimal (actually the strongest sound effect is the Pumpkin's bouncing sound along with a few explosions when enemies are blown away).
CPU: ZiLOG Z80 4MHZ MEMORY: 64 KB or 128 KB of RAM depending on the model (capable of being expanded to 512k using memory extension boards) GRAPHICS: Motorola 6845 address generator, Mode 0: 160x200 / 16 colors, Mode 1: 320x200 / 4 colors, Mode 2: 640x200 / 2 colors, A colour palette of 27 colors was supported SOUND: The CPC used the General Instrument AY-3-8912 sound chip, providing 3 channels Mono Sound (via internal speaker) but capable to offer Stereo Sound provided through a 3.5 mm headphones jack (with pretty impressive outcome!). Also, it is possible to play back digital sound samples at a resolution of approximately 5bit. This technique is very processor-intensive though.