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 MSX version is identical to the ZX Spectrum, in terms of visuals. As in all versions, part one is a classic horizontal scrolling "walk, jump 'n shoot" on the planet's surface. The screen scrolling is acceptable for an MSX game, while the sprites are large and nicely animated. The second chapter is a multi-platform action shooter, but with repetitive backdrops. Although it offers nicely drawn facilities of the alien spaceship's interior, gray color is mostly used in both backgrounds and sprites which makes gameplay frustrating as it is hard to clearly see the enemies and their gunfire. Note that the second part runs in flip-screen (as the CPC and ZX). Comparably, the C64 version plays faster and smoother to its other counterparts. The use of poor SFX is another negative detail for this version but at least the intro tune is fine and compares directly to the CPC and C64 versions.
CPU: ZiLOG Z80A at 3,58MHz MEMORY: 32, 64 KB and 128 KB exist, 32KB ROM (16Kb for bios, 16Kb for Basic) GRAPHICS: Texas Instruments TMS9918, Video RAM: 16 KB supporting a 16 color palette and up to 256x192 resolution (support 32 sprites). SOUND: General Instrument AY-3-8910 (PSG), 3 channels, 8 octaves