Commodore User1st November 1986
Published in Commodore User #39
You can be forgiven for being confused about the title of this game - it's called Video Meanies on the inlay, but the screenshots state clearly Video Nasties.
All of this is forgiven when you read the name of the author. Yip, yip, yippee, it's Tony Kelly - author of the excellent Mr. Puniverse, Big Mac and Squirm. That's one thing I like about Mastertronic - they always tell you who the game is by - an invaluable pointer as to its quality.
Tony's latest offering is set in a millionaire, video tycoon's castle. The place is overrun with nasties and with videos bleeping away in every room. Your job is to get inside and turn them all off (the videos, not the nasties).
You have six droids to send in on your behalf. Well - you wouldn't expect Granada's maintenance man to risk his own neck with all those creatures about, would you?
The game started with a jolly tune. A stab at the F1 key and I find myself in one of the castle rooms. After blasting one of the meanies I started to shoot down a wall of bricks (it was just an automatic reaction). I was just getting into this demolition when a meanie appeared - taking the place of the one I'd destroyed - and blasted me. One droid dead - only five left.
Next time round I was ready for the second 'Meanie' and turned off my first video. The loud 'Meeoowing' noise ceases when you turn off a video - a nice little acknowledgement of your skill.
It gets more difficult to silence the videos as the game progresses. You need to get keys just to get into the areas where they are located and many of them are guarded by pulsating lasers.
The whole point of turning these videos off is to spell out - letter by letter - the title of the game. Each time you turn one off, you are given a letter which appears in the box at the top of the screen.
It's a tough game. I have to confess that after four days solid play I still had four letters to get. Some of the Meanies are incredibly fast and there is the added difficulty of your energy running out.
The game features twenty four screens of action. They are well animated with some neat touches - like the way your droid bobs up and down. There are just a couple of moans though. The whole thing appeared a bit jerky - smoother scrolling would have improved it tremendously.
The sound effects and music were up to the high standards set in Tony Kelly's previous titles. Overall, the game plays like an improved version of Berks III.
I enjoyed it - and it's the first Mastertronic game that I haven't managed to crack in under a week. Well worth two quid.