Screenshot of Mazie


(Zeppelin Games, 1988)

This Breakout clone was actually written by the same guy who programmed Masters of Space and Star Driver for Radical Software several years later. It is different from other games like it; there are 36 levels arranged in a 9×4 grid, and at the start of each game, you can choose which direction you want to go along the grid. The other big difference is the amazing plethora of special bricks; you really won’t believe your eyes! The game is a feast of colour, and playing it is just wonderful, with explosions, flashes and whizzy noises assaulting your senses – great stuff!

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Screenshot of Mega Bucks

Mega Bucks

(Firebird, 1986)

Professor Maxibillion III has passed away, and his American nephew Rock Carrington is set to inherit $1 billion – but he won’t see one cent of it unless he solves a lot of puzzles and finds all the pieces of the professor’s will. This graphic adventure starts with Rock standing outside the professor’s mansion. There are many objects to be found, and a system of windows and icons is used to pick them up, drop them and use them. Although the graphics and sound effects are nothing special, the adventure is very easy to get into once you’ve deactivated the mansion’s alarm system; fortunately, the Professor has left a notebook containing lots of subtle clues. It’s not the most taxing of adventures, but it is a lot of fun to play.

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Screenshot of Mega-Apocalypse


(Martech, 1988)

Out there in the universe are millions of objects – planets, stars and comets – which have yet to be explored and which may contain strange worlds. But your orders aren’t to see what these worlds are like. No, your orders are to blow every world you encounter to smithereens! Such a waste... This Asteroids clone is anything but mega. It’s an ugly Spectrum port with flickery graphics, and it’s dull to play. Your spaceship is tricky to control, and the game alternates without warning between two control methods, one of which makes the game even more difficult than it already is. I don’t like the music either. The moving field of stars in the background is a nice effect, though.

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Screenshot of Megablasters


(Radical Software, 1994)

The magic twins have been captured by the evil sorcerer Cobron, and Bart and Bob set out to rescue them (it’s their fault that they were captured, anyway). Their journey takes them through many mysterious worlds, each with five levels and an end-of-level guardian, although you may be able to find some secret levels... This is actually an absolutely brilliant Bomberman clone, and it takes up two whole discs; it’s a big game! As well as being great fun to play, the graphics and music are both wonderful, and there’s a battle version where up to four players can take each other on, in traditional Bomberman style. There’s also a password system so that you don’t have to play the worlds you’ve already completed. This is a beautiful game, and everyone should play it!

See also: Megablasters: Escape from Castle in the Clouds.

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Screenshot of Megablasters: Escape from Castle in the Clouds

Megablasters: Escape from Castle in the Clouds

(Project Argon, 2015)

Reviewed by Missas

Megablasters returns to the CPC twenty years after its original appearance. For the few CPC fans who do not know, Megablasters is one of the biggest and most advanced games that was ever produced for any 8-bit machine. This new version features eight levels and a final boss. It is far smaller than the original game, but it is more challenging and has better presentation, including a good intro and in-game images. The graphics are superb and the sprites move like they were powered by the hardware – many frames of animation with very smooth and fast movement. The sound is really good and crystal clear with catchy tunes playing simultaneously with many effects. The gameplay is awesome, a true must, while the grab factor guarantees that you will be glued once more to your CPC! Overall, the good days have come again!

See also: Megablasters.

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Screenshot of Meganova


(Dinamic, 1988)

I’m afraid I don’t know what the story behind this one is, but I’m sure there’s an evil alien baddie who’s going to take over the galaxy in there somewhere. It’s a standard horizontally scrolling shoot-’em-up, but despite the pretty good graphics and a sweet tune on the menu screen, the game is very difficult; I cannot get past the first level. The playing area is too small, and there are so many alien formations that it’s easy to forget what’s coming next. There are also a lot of other obstacles which get in your way.

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Screenshot of Megaphoenix


(Dinamic, 1991)

This is a Galaxian clone that really isn’t very good at all. The aliens that you’ll meet include bog-standard spaceships and eggs that mutate into bat-like creatures, and by the fifth wave, you come face to face with the Megaphoenix itself – and it’s rather nasty. The graphics are impressive and the techno music is quite marvellous, but getting past the first two waves seems to be a matter of luck, which isn’t fair. The shield you get is nearly useless, too.

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Screenshot of Megawar


(Genesis Software, 1990)

Get into a spaceship and blast lots of aliens in a quest to save the whole galaxy. This is a standard vertically scrolling space shoot-’em-up – nothing that you haven’t seen before. It’s a matter of learning the formations and how best to deal with them, as well as the much larger aliens at the end of each level. The graphics are marvellous, although the music and sound effects aren’t so impressive. As shoot-’em-ups go, it’s not that bad, although there are only four levels, and power-ups are few and far between.

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Screenshot of Meltdown


(Alligata, 1986)

Reviewed by Piero Serra

In Meltdown, you must make your way through the offices of a lunar reactor building, shooting robot workers and solving puzzles, before heading to the core to prevent a nuclear meltdown using an RMV (remote manipulation vehicle). This is an isometric exploration game, but you must frequently log on to computer terminals scattered throughout the building, to play puzzle games against a rogue computer system. Winning these games gives you letters of passwords to the next floor, a bit like an isometric Impossible Mission. The graphics are blocky but quite stylish, and there’s some excellent music and speech. The gameplay is varied and later levels involve complex tests, including remote vehicle programming, but with only one life the challenge seems overwhelming.

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Screenshot of Mercenaire


(Rainbow Production, 1986)

Reviewed by Robert Small

Defend your futuristic city from giant robots in this shoot-’em-up that owes a huge debt to the classic game Defender. The game features some lovely colourful graphics. Special mention goes to the cityscape in the background and the way your ship spins and explodes when you die. The scrolling is all right but it leaves a bit of a shimmering effect on the background. Fans of Defender-style games will find this one limited in the gameplay department. On a technical level it’s almost there but the game it takes its inspiration from is so much better.

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