Freddy Hardest is an addictive -but rather difficult- action adventure shooter developed for the Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, MSX, PC (MS-DOS) and ZX Spectrum computers by the famous (Spanish) Dinamic software and released by Imagine Software back in 1987.
STORY / GAMEPLAY The game is split into two parts. The first part is a simple side-scrolling jump 'n shoot game where Freddy has to go through (from left to right) the planet's surface to reach an underground Base and get a code that grants access to the second part of the game. It's a tough quest though as you have to fight with several alien species from flying robots to mutant beings! Use either your high-kicks (for the flying enemies) or your laser-pistol (for enemies attacking on the ground). The second part is an action adventure style game in which you have to prepare one out of four available ships in order to escape the planet. You need to refuel it first, activate its hyper drive and find the code to open it. To do that, you must find and activate every single computer terminal scattered inside the Base! Once you finish all the tasks you can go down the hangar and fly away with the activated spaceship. Although this mission sounds easy, your quest is quite difficult as you're constantly being attacked (again) by alien species. Ok, both parts are tough to progress, but still, the game is great fun to play for a while! Oh, write down the MSX part 2 code: 897653 (same for CPC and ZX)!
GRAPHICS / SOUND The CPC version offers nice graphics, but sprites look a bit blocky. As with all the game's versions, chapter one is a classic horizontal scrolling gameplay on the planet's surface while the second part is a classic multi-platform arcade shooter. The backgrounds are nicely done: nothing to complain or to get too excited about. The colors are great and the sprites and backdrops move fast and smooth enough considering the CPC's hardware limitations. The second part runs in flip-screen mode (as is with the ZX and MSX versions), while the C64 version runs fluidly. Compared to the C64 version, the CPC uses a better color palette (as expected), but overall the visuals are better on the Commodore, a version that plays faster and smoother. The introductory theme is excellent on the CPC while there is a spot effect for every single bullet and explosion (but I personally prefer the C64 sounds).
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.