RISC World

Games World

Paul Brett with the latest gaming news.

Welcome to volume 5 of GamesWorld. For a column that was going to be dropped 2 years ago because of the low number of RISC OS games being made available we are are not doing too badly! Last issue readers may well remember that I gave you the details of AcornArcade's plans to re-release a number of older Tom Cooper games titles as freeware. Well the chaps at AcornArcade have more than lived up to their promise and have released 2 more Tom Cooper classics over the last few weeks.


Cycloids was written by Tom Cooper, and was released commercially by Software 42 in 1993. However, Imparo, who now own the rights to Cycloids and a handful of other games, have given permission for Cycloids to be re-released as freeware. So, here it is - freeware Cycloids, compatible with all versions of RISC OS from 2 to Select!

So what is Cycloids? Well it's a platform game featuring a unicycling clown, who, for some reason known only to Tom Cooper, has to navigate various levels collecting diamonds and other assorted items of treasure. To make the clowns job as difficult as possible a number of cunning badies will try and get in his way, if they succeed then the clown will fall of his unicycle and fall to his death. The game features a rather bright 256 colour palette and can get rather manic at times, especially when you need to do a pixel perfect jump whilst avoiding pink flying elephants.

Cycloids in action

To run the game simply double-click on !Cycloids. You can also redefine the controls by running !CycKeys. If you don't want to change the keys then you will need to use the defaults which are:

  • Z- Left
  • X-Right
  • ' - Jump
  • Return - Fire (once you've collected a weapon)
  • Escape - Quit to main menu/quit to desktop


For those that like a bit more meat on their games AcornArcade have also released the massive adventure game Darkwood. For those that have never seen this game before it was released to take some advantage of the more powerful RiscPC type hardware and offers a real 3D landscape to walk around, along with plenty of sub quests to undertake for the large number of non playing characters that you can interact with. In play Darkwood feels quite a lot like a Zelda game (for those that don't know the Zelda games are published for Nintendo hardware - Aaron). Like Cycloids this was also written by Tom Cooper and is quite an immersive experience.

Darkwood, in the wizards house

Darkwood can be played on RISC OS 3.5 to 3.7, Select and RISC OS 5 (if you use a copy of !A310Emu), there is a bug that causes the game to crash under RISC OS 4 if you fire whilst inside a building.

Darkwood, outside the wizards house

The controls are as follows:

  • Z and X - Turn left and right
  • ' and / - Walk forwards/backwards
  • Space - Fire
  • Return - Jump
  • P - Pause/ingame options
  • Ctrl-Escape - Quit to menu

Look a pub...

The mouse is used for interacting with many objects in-game, such as the action buttons in the bottom-right of the screen. Some actions such as dropping and throwing require an item to be selected in your inventory first. If the game is running too slowly on your machine, then it would be a good idea to look at the graphics options in the in-game options menu.

...lets go in.

Before I go I will leave you with a few helpful hints for playing DarkWood.

  • To go upstairs you have to keep pressing Jump
  • Try talking to everyone you meet
  • Some badies can be faster that you are so back away from them whilst firing
  • Wizards don't tend to swim very well.

I hope you enjoy these two releases, I will back with more games next issue.

Paul Brett