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Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends
Box artwork for Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends.
Developer(s)Enigma Variations (ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64), PeakStar Software (Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS)
Publisher(s)Alternative Software
Designer(s)Ояв (Oyav), Jeff Coetzee, David Bland
Release date(s)
Sinclair ZX Spectrum icon.png Amstrad CPC icon.png
Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC
Commodore 64 128 icon.png
Commodore 64/128
Commodore Amiga icon.png Atari ST icon.png
Commodore Amiga, Atari ST
MS-DOS icon.png
MS-DOS
Genre(s)Action
System(s)Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS
Players1
ModesSingle player
Followed byThomas the Tank Engine 2
SeriesThomas the Tank Engine
TwitchThomas the Tank Engine and Friends Channel
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This guide is for the 1990 Alternative Software game. For the 1993 THQ game, see Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends (1993).
This is the first game in the Thomas the Tank Engine series. For other games in the series see the Thomas the Tank Engine category.

Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends is an action game, that was developed by Enigma Variations for Alternative Software and released upon the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC and Commodore 64 in 1990; it is based on the British children's television series of the same name, itself an adaptation of The Railway Series books by the Reverend W. V. Awdry (1911-1997), and was later redeveloped for the Commodore Amiga, Atari ST and MS-DOS by PeakStar Software in 1992. The 8-bit versions are infamous for being impossible to complete on "normal" difficulty due to the placement of rocks on the tracks being randomly-generated, Thomas' so-called "friends" whom, in the '90 versions, were limited to Duck and Diesel appearing at varying points, and Thomas himself derailing if he tries to turn a corner at a high speed - and going back two screens each time he got "repaired" did not help.

Story[edit]

This is from the back of the cassette's inlay card, the front of which is shown in the image to the right:

It's full steam ahead once again for Thomas. He's had a busy week at
the Station and now it looks likely this week is going to be just as
busy. The Fat Controller's head is spinning with all the special trips
he has to organise. It is a good job that he has Thomas and his
friends to rely upon. He calls Thomas over:
"Now Thomas," he says, "I have selected some very important jobs for
you to do this week. I know that you will do your best and that you
will be very careful."
"Oh yes, sir," says Thomas. "You know you can trust me. I want to be a
really useful engine."
"These are the jobs you must do," the Fat Controller replies. "Take
the children to the seaside, take a tractor over to the station by the
broken bridge, take some medicine to the hospital, deliver some logs
to the sawmill and coal to the power station, deliver the mail and
finally take some oil over to the oil refinery. Now there is a lot to
do so do not waste time. You can do the jobs in any order but each one
must be finished before the sun goes down."
"All right, sir. I had better get started," says Thomas as he hurries
over to the turntable.
© Britt Allcroft Limited 1990

This is the first of games based on Thomas the Tank Engine, and was followed up by three sequels: Thomas the Tank Engine 2 (Commodore Amiga, 1993), Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends (1993) (SNES/Sega Genesis, 1993) and Thomas the Tank Engine Pinball (Commodore Amiga CD32, 1995). An NES version of the third game, which was developed and published by THQ instead of Alternative, was also planned, but was never released, possibly because that console was too dated by that time.

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