Gremlins 2: The New Batch
By Elite
Commodore 64/128

Published in Zzap #73

Gremlins 2: The New Batch

The original movie had to be one of the weirdest mainstream films of the Eighties, and made a pretty neat computer game from Adventuresoft (80%, Issue 2). The belated sequel had a weak plot, but spectacular FX with zillions of oddball Gremlins and ways to kill them - who can forget the 'Gremlin the shredder' scene or Rambo Gizmo? Now as the film hits the video stores, Elite finally unleash a conversion packed with the vicious little monsters.

The game is set in Clamp Tower, New York's newest and tallest skyscraper, which was built on the site of the old novelty store where Gizmo's Chinese master used to live. Now deceased his furball friend has been turned over to Clamp Tower's notorious genetics department, where Dr Catheter has dozens of different experiments planned.

By coincidence Billy, who temporarily owned Gizmo in the original movie, is also working at Clamp Tower and, once he finds out about Gizmo's captivity, sets out to rescue him. Catastrophe is the result, with Gizmo being sprinkled with water to create a vicious new batch of Gremlins. Billy must save the day by combating all the new Gremlins, incluiding pogoing, skateboarding, electric and sexy vamp tyres. Initially Billy is armed with a rapid-fire torch (!), but extra weapons can be picked up such as tomatoes and telephones. There are also bonus icons to pick up for extra lives, points and time, plus a Rambo Gizmo who flies in via parachute.

Gremlins 2: The New Batch

The action is shown side-on with Billy walking through flick-screen rooms containing platforms and lifts. On each of five levels a special item must be found to complete it. An interlevel shop allows Billy to buy a new default weapon with collected credits.


Despite some neat presentation on the Amiga (especially the interlevel scene where Gizmo warbles with fear!) and high-quality C64 graphics, Gremlins 2 is hardly a riot.

The Gremlins' antics are quite funny to begin with, but continually blasting them proves repetitive. All the levels are fairly short and feature the same basic gameplay which simply requires you to learn the preset patterns of where Gremlins appear.

Gremlins 2: The New Batch

Even so, it's frustratingly difficult at times, especially when you have a useless weapon (like the pathetic tomatoes).

With such an unoriginal approach, this is a waste of a promising licence.


Gremlins 2 was a bit of a disappointment as a movie, but the game is worse with a breathtaking lack of imagination.

Gremlins 2: The New Batch

The basic idea is stomp around, dodge or shoot the Gremlins and collect the special object on each level. The tendency of the Gremlins to spring out with little or no warning means good reactions usually aren't enough - you have to memorize each screen's attack patterns. This makes progress possible, but ultimately very dull.

Later on, the addition of platforms and lifts, plus Gremlins armed with guns and kisses (!), simply makes the game tougher, but hardly more enjoyable.

The Amiga version was first out and although the gameplay is poor, the Gremlin sprites are well drawn and animated, and accompanied by good samples there's some initial enjoyment. The delayed C64 version lacks the samples, but is even more impressive graphically with colourful, nicely detailed sprites and some good backdrops.

On both versions the flick-screen scroll is irritating, but at least the C64 game looks slick and professional. Fans of the movie might enjoy the faithful attention to detail, but for most people this extremely tough, repetitive game will be more frustrating than enjoyable.


Presentation 78%
Two-player (alternating) mode, demo, interlevel Gizmo screen.

Graphics 67%
Characterful Gremlins. Strangely out-of-scale, dull backdrops.

Sound 76%
Good sampled FX plus some jolly tunes.

Hookability 58%
The dull action's easy enough to pick up.

Lastability 35%
Only five fairly short levels.

Overall 40%
Don't take this out of its box - night or day!


Presentation 48%
Good title screen, music on/off, neat high score table, and alternating two player mode. Lengthy multiload couild be irritating.

Graphics 80%
Irritating flick-screen, but graphics are colourful, varied, nicely detailed and boasting some okay animation.

Sound 55%
Simple Gremlins tune gets irritating after a while, basic FX.

Hookability 48%
Frustratingly hard to begin with...

Lastability 35%
...and end with.

Overall 38%
Great graphics, shame about the game.