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Page 1: Macadam Bumper – Magicland Dizzy
Page 2: Mag Max – Manic Miner
Page 3: Le Manoir de Mortevielle – La Marque Jaune
Page 4: Marsport – Match Day
Page 5: Matchday II – Megablasters: Escape from Castle in the Clouds
Page 6: Mega-Bucks – Metal Army
Page 7: Metalyx – Miami Vice
Page 8: Mickey Mouse – Mike Read's Computer Pop Quiz
Page 9: Mike the Guitar – Mindtrap
Page 10: Miss Input – Mr Heli
Page 11: Mr Pingo – Monte Carlo Casino
Page 12: Monty on the Run – The Moors Challenge
Page 13: More Than a Prison – Motos
Page 14: Mountain Bike Racer – The Munsters
Page 15: Murder Off Miami – Mystical
Page 16: Myth: History in the Making – Mythos
Screenshot of Mag Max

Mag Max

(Imagine, 1987)

Reviewed by Pug

A conversion from the arcade original. A sideways shoot-’em-up in which power-ups change the shape of your fighter into that of a powerful robot. Sadly, this game looks like it was rushed out in my opinion. The gameplay is just too difficult. The projectiles aimed at you move too quickly, and this, mixed with the structures that must be avoided, results in loss of life. Sure, you can time your position to take out these turrets, but if you don’t destroy one in time you soon run into trouble as the next one aims at you. It’s a real shame, as the graphics start off looking interesting with a few bleeps and bangs audio-wise. To survive more than ten seconds is a world record!

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Screenshot of Le Maître des Âmes

Le Maître des Âmes

(French)

(Ubi Soft, 1987)

The Kingdom of the Unicorns has fallen under the malign influence of the Master of Souls. A team of four brave heroes has travelled from afar to defeat him and restore harmony to the land. This French role-playing game is heavily inspired by Dungeons & Dragons, and it features all the typical elements of the genre – exploring dungeons, conversing with friendly characters, engaging in combat with not so friendly characters, gathering objects, and finding secret passages and keys to open doors. However, right from the moment you enter the dungeon, you’ll find that making any progress is painfully slow. Nearly every action, no matter how minor or trivial, results in the game having to read data from the disc. It’s a shame, because the graphics are very nice indeed and there’s a lot of exploring to be done and secrets to be uncovered.

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Screenshot of La Malédiction

La Malédiction

(French)

(Lankhor, 1991)

A long time ago, the sorcerer Xarton cast a curse on the family of a man who had witnessed him using his book of spells. Now only one descendant of that family remains – a man called Tom. While exploring a cave, you stumbled upon Xarton’s diary, and read that he wanted to create a machine which would allow him to meet a race of aliens. Your task is to build this machine, but first you must heal Tom, who has become ill, and then find seven keys which will open the stone coffin where the book of spells is stored. If you’ve played French text adventures, you will know that while the graphics are often well drawn, there is not much actual text to read, leaving you to guess what objects might be in the rooms you visit. This game takes this concept to extremes, and getting anywhere is frustrating. For me, this is probably the worst game that Lankhor released.

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Screenshot of Le Maléfice des Atlantes

For centuries, the kingdom of Neptune has fought with the Atlanteans for control of the oceans. Now the Atlanteans have cast a spell on Neptune, and unless this spell can be overcome, the world will suffer catastrophic storms and floods. Can secret agent Karl Adrix succeed where the Neptunians have failed? This is the fourth in a series of six games starring Karl Adrix, and if you’ve played any of the previous games, you’ll know what to expect – colourful graphics, the same music, exploring rooms and collecting objects. Like the third game, 20000 Avant JC, there are too many areas where you can fall and become trapped because you can’t get access to a backpack to enable you to swim upwards, and this basically ends the game. Many of the exits are also arranged in a confusing and illogical manner, which some players may find annoying.

See also: Le Crépuscule du Naja, Le Talisman d'Osiris, 20000 Avant JC.

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Screenshot of Mambo

Mambo

(Positive, 1989)

The mysterious Cosmic Sisters have sent Mambo to a military base deep within the Amazon jungle where he must disarm some nuclear missiles that are ready to be launched. You can’t help laughing at such a daft plot, but you won’t get a great deal of fun from playing this game. As Mambo, you must find and beat up four captains who hold the target codes for the missiles, and there are also two switches which need to be activated before you can disarm the missiles. You must also watch out for mines; if you step on one, you’ll become stuck and must use some precise timing to deactivate it, or you’ll lose energy – and you can’t jump over them! The game is an obvious Spectrum port and it looks unappealing, and while the sound effects are OK, the tune at the beginning of the game is terrible.

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Screenshot of Manchester United

Manchester United

(Krisalis Software, 1990)

Here’s a football game based on one of the most famous football clubs in the world. The game is noteworthy for mixing both arcade and strategy; you play matches like any other arcade-based football game, but you can also buy and sell players on the transfer market, and train them in certain techniques and increase their fitness. Some people might like this, but I felt that this is rather technical and adds an unnecessary level of complexity. But even if this was omitted from the game, I still wouldn’t like it. The action during the match is fast and there’s nothing wrong with the graphics or scrolling, but controlling the players is really difficult – they seem to have a mind of their own – and getting hold of the ball while it’s in the air also seems to be impossible.

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Screenshot of The Mandarin

The Mandarin

(Mananuk, 2022)

Our hero Mandarino has been recruited by the resistance to infiltrate a secret enemy base called the Dying Orange, where a small creature is being held captive. Mandarino must explore the base and rescue the creature, but he will need to find some energy cells as well, in order to activate an emergency walkway that will enable him to escape from the base. Behind the rather crazy plot is a nice little platform game. There’s nothing remarkable about it – there is the usual range of enemies to shoot or avoid, traps to dodge or jump across, and locks to be deactivated. The graphics are colourful but functional, although it has to be said that the music isn’t great and becomes a bit annoying after a while. Mandarino is easy to control, particularly when jumping, and it’s not a bad game overall.

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Screenshot of Mandragore

Mandragore

(Infogrames, 1986)

Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard

This is a role-playing game, much like the Ultima series, in which you lead a party through forests, swamps and dungeons. The map is huge, there are many places to explore and monsters to fight. Well, the graphics are really awful, but it isn’t a problem in this kind of game. The parser helps you find the right commands (for instance, A means ‘attack’, D means ‘enter dungeon’, and so on), so it’s rather easy to play. A good and complex game. Try it if you love killing dragons and unlocking chests, and don’t mind blocky graphics and poor sound effects.

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Screenshot of Mange Cailloux

Mange Cailloux

(Ubi Soft, 1987)

‘Eat little stones’ is the rather strange English translation of this French Pengo clone. Guide the penguin around the maze, pushing ice blocks to destroy the blob-shaped monsters that are pursuing him, and try to align the three diamond-like blocks in a row to earn bonus points. Unlike most other derivatives of Pengo, you don’t have to destroy all of the monsters’ eggs; you just have to survive until the time limit has been reached, although there’s no indication of how long the time limit is! For some reason, the CPC’s default colours are used in the graphics, and yet despite this, the game is not that bad. The music on the menu is rather pleasant as well.

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Screenshot of Manic Miner

Manic Miner

(Amsoft/Software Projects, 1984)

Reviewed by John Beckett

Manic Miner has long been regarded as a classic game, and rightfully so. The prequel to Jet Set Willy, the game has you playing Miner Willy as you traverse underground caverns, collecting enough keys in each one to open the exit and allow you to proceed. Each cavern is only one screen in size, but they are jam-packed with enemies (weird and wonderful!), platforms, keys and other obstacles, making them seem a lot bigger. The graphics are fairly simplistic but still good, and the music is pretty catchy, and the whole game is a heap-load of fun. The levels are brilliantly laid out, and the difficulty is set just right – each go will take you further than the last one. Some of the later levels are a bit punishing, but not overly so. Great for a quick blast, and sometimes unbelievably addictive, Manic Miner is a game I recommend to anyone.

See also: Jet Set Willy.

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