Commodore User

Mermaid Madness

Author: Colm Clarke
Publisher: Electric Dreams
Machine: Commodore 64

Published in Commodore User #35

Mermaid Madness

Myrtle wants a man, a husband, a fella. "...someone to eat oysters with while the sun sinks down over the heaving sun". So begins the blurb for Electric Dreams' latest, Mermaid Madness. That's right, Myrtle is the aforementioned sea maiden.

Exotic as Myrtle might sound, she is, in fact 112 years old and looks, smells and feels about as good as a hippopotamus. Yet like everyone else, Myrtle has certain carnal desires which, not surprisingly, have yet to be satisfied.

But the answer to her prayers, in the shape of Gormless Gordon, is sitting on the beach. Gordon is an unsuccessful scuba diver who unfortunately isn't 100 per cent upstairs.

Mermaid Madness

So Myrtle, fuelled by her hundred-year old passion, discards her clothes and makes for Gordon. Gordon may not be clever but he knows when to make a quick getaway. So he dives into the sea and hides in an old wreck unaware that Myrtle, being a mermaid, is an Olympic class swimmer.

That's where the game starts. You play the finned Myrtle, swimming around the hazardous waters in her quest for Gordon. You'll find many different objects to help you, which must be used in their correct locations.

The fishy inhabitants of the sea are also repulsed by Myrtle and attack her with ferocity. This diminishes her energy which, thankfully, can be replenished with the bottles of stout that are lying around.

Mermaid Madness

Now I know that this all sounds like an arcade adventure (and not one of the classic ones) but what sets this game apart is the hilarious scenario and the amusing gameplay. The graphics are also quite funny, although they lack polish.

While Myrtle and Gordon are well represented on screen, the sea animals are not. The seabed is nicely drawn but tends to become unclear and muddy in places [Sounds pretty realistic to me - Ed].

The three pieces of music (identified by my sister as famous ballet tunes) and unfortunately rather hard on the ears and had me reaching for the volume control. Which is a pity, because it detracts a lot from the game.

Mermaid Madness is very enjoyable, it's tough and challenging and there's a nice light-hearted feel to it. Playing it certainly brightened up my day.

Colm Clarke

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