I recently did a feature on one or two games that came into the
collection. Amongst them was Thomas the Tank Engine for the Amiga.
I had intended leaving it at that and had already put the game
onto the games shelf. However, whilst mucking around on the C64
playing The Hobbit I came across the C64 game of Thomas and decided
to check just how it compared to the Amiga version.
Amazingly the C64 version ran a lot faster and more fluid than
the Amiga version. The graphics were not as detailed but that did
not detract from the quality of the game.
To play you simply have to dice with crashes on a screen in an
effort to memorise the track layouts and then dodge back one
screen and return to the previous now having the obstacles
and or speeding train removed. The same process continues until
you get to your challenge destination.
The game is described as a memory game and I have to say I have
always found the game to be frustrating yet addictive. The thing
I always seem to forget is hitching up the cargo wagon. Sometimes
going back is way harder than going forward.
I first tried the game on a flat screen Samsung which gave a very
poor picture. However played on my large Toshiba TV the picture
was just fine.
Like I say I did compare with the Amiga version of 1992 which
looked better but played slower. With the Amiga version you get
the 2nd game which basically is a racing game on a split screen.
The concept may appear a touch childish but after you try it a
few times it really does become very challenging. It even has a
hard mode for those that want a real toughy.
The game was released by Alternative Software.
I do have the Railways Series by The Rev.W Awdry which I am
always amazed by, given the quality of the artwork. I was a
very keen railway spotter in my day and had a quite massive railway
setup complete with buildings, streets, roads, railway sidings
and goods sheds. The illustrators for Volumes 13 to 18 which I
have include John T Kenney, Gunvor and Peter Edwards. For me
the images are what make these stories come to life.