Commodore User

Pepsi Mad Mix Challenge

Author: Gary Whitta
Publisher: U. S. Gold
Machine: Commodore 64/128

Published in Commodore User #61

Pepsi Mad Mix Challenge

I must admit that when US Gold announced that they were going to team up with Pepsi Cola I wasn't overly thrilled, the reason being I didn't believe that going into partnership with a company that makes fizzy drinks would result in a good game. And I was right. It hasn't.

When I read the press release for the first game in the Pepsi range, dubiously entitled Mad Mix I expected great things from it, as it claimed to be addictive, colourful and 'the most original computer challenge of the Century'. In fact, it is none of these tings. It is Pacman.

The object of the game is to control a jovial yellow ball with a smiling face around a large scrolling maze littered with dots which have to be eaten by running over them. To hinder your progress, a motley bunch of coloured ghosts are released from a chamber in the centre of the maze and begin to wander around the maze. Should you run into one of the ghosts, a life is lost.

The Pepsi Challenge Mad Mix Game

In each corner of the maze is a power pill thingummy that enables you to duff over any ghost it encounters. The effect of these pills are limited however. Also located at various spots around the maze are ugly faced icons that turn your ball into a mean and moody pink/brown grizzly bear that also has the power to show ghosts where to get off. The problem with being a bear is that you can't collect dots so you have to wait for the bear effect to wear off before you can get back to the job in hand.

At the bottom of the maze, next to the ghost chamber is a short runway that has the odd effect of transforming your ball into a laser cannon when it passes over it. With a stab of the fire button, you can now loose off a bolt of laser fire to kill any ghosts directly ahead of you. As soon as you leave the runway, you are turned back into a weedy little ball. Later levels see the arrival of extra features such as one-way doors and... er... well, that's about it really. Collecting all the dots on the screen will allow you access to the next level. Clear all fifteen and... you probably get sent back to the beginning.

Mad Mix is pretty weak stuff. All US Gold have done is to take an age-old games concept, tart it up with a few extra features like a scrolling maze and plaster the word PEPSI all over it to make it look all hip and trendy. I wouldn't mind if the game had been any good but it isn't. Cosmetically it's very poor indeed. Minute sprites and second rate bas-relief backdrops don't impress me at all, and nor to pathetic weedy sound effects that sound like a muffled doorbell and lame title screen music. Worst of all is the completely outdated gameplay. I took the Pepsi Challenge... and decided I preferred the other one.

Gary Whitta

Other Commodore 64/128 Game Reviews By Gary Whitta

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