Screenshot of Megablasters

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

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

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

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

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 Mercenary

Mercenary

(Novagen, 1987)

Reviewed by Robert Small

Can you escape the planet Targ, which is in the midst of a civil war? You won’t have to do it alone, at least, as you have a friendly AI called Benson to help you. Explore on foot, pilot craft, take on missions to earn money, and shoot unfriendly forces – all in a day’s work for a mercenary, and all essential if you’re going to get off Targ. Mercenary combines adventure, shoot-’em-up and strategy alongside some nice vector graphics. It’s a smooth experience with good controls. There’s plenty to do and the game even has a sense of humour. It’s a shame the CPC never saw any of the sequels, but a one-off visit to Targ is one offer I’d suggest you take.

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Screenshot of Mercs

Mercs

(US Gold, 1991)

A former US president has been kidnapped while touring central Africa, but instead of sending in an army, the American government has chosen an elite group of mercenaries headed by yourself to rescue him. You must shoot and blast your way through eight levels of non-stop mayhem as soldiers fire at you from all sides. It’s a fairly standard shoot-’em-up, but a rather good one. There are lots of weapons to be collected, and there’s a good variety of end-of-level opponents to be blown apart as well. The graphics are clear and colourful, the music is OK (but not brilliant), and the difficulty level is just about perfectly set. This is a game that is well worth checking out.

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Screenshot of Merlin

Merlin

(Bretagne Edit’ Presse, 1987)

Reviewed by Pug

In Merlin, you are tasked with collecting all the sacred objects that have been scattered among various screens. Each screen is essentially a small, maze-like layout that contains a few of these items. The solitary guardian found on each screen that chases you can pass through all matter – very frustrating at times. There are no weapons or spells to combat this threat, and frustration will gradually increase. The graphics are colourful, but the two sprites on screen do have a wooden look when moving around. This game is a very poor rip-off of Sorcery that looks and feels like a type-in listing.

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Screenshot of Mermaid Madness

Mermaid Madness

(Electric Dreams, 1986)

Myrtle isn’t a typical gorgeous, sexy mermaid; she’s tubby and overweight, and she has seen Gormless Gordon the diver. Unfortunately for Myrtle, Gordon doesn’t want to marry her and runs into the sea, with Myrtle chasing him. However, Gordon becomes stuck underwater and as Myrtle, you only have a short time to find him and rescue him. This is an arcade adventure where you collect objects and use them to access other areas of the map. While the graphics are great and have a nice cartoon feel, and the music is also atmospheric, the gameplay is frustrating – Myrtle can be difficult to control, and it’s far too easy to get stuck together with one of the many sea creatures and lose a lot of your energy.

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