Mag Max
By Imagine
Commodore 64/128

Published in Computer & Video Games #70

Mag Max

Fancy changing the destiny of a whole planet? Not an offer that comes your way every day, is it? But Mag Max gives you the chance to save a world from the evil Mechanoids. Haven't we just had an election to do much the same thing? Enough of this biting social satire - on with the review.

Mag Max, if you remember, was advertised ages ago, but like many a game failed to appear on schedule. But now, this conversion of the Nitchibutsu coin-op is here and raring to take you on a zap-packed adventure.

The game is set on a once civilised planet which has been destroyed by the awesomely nasty Mechanoids. They are the sort of people who like ripping the tops off flowers as they walk past your front garden.

Mag Max

Which is what happened on the planet where the Mag Max project was being carried out. Mag Max, an advanced robot with more deadly gizmos than a food processor, was created by the Sci-Crops who, when threatened by the Mechanoids, buried bits of Max all around the planet. They left the main bit in a secret bunker.

The Mechanoids went about, spitting horrible laser death, joyfully unaware of Mag Max sitting, waiting to pounce.

And this is where you come in. You control the mighty robot and direct his attack on the mean old Mechanoids. Guide him across the surface of the planet, and through underground passages, searching for his long-lost spare parts.

Mag Max

You begin by flying the main bit of Max over the 3D perspective surface of the planet - full of animated hazards, pillboxes and flying mechanoids.

Your best bet is to grab the body section you see waiting by a crater and then dive underground to familiarise yourself with the controls and idea of the game.

The underground sections are pretty straightforward, horizontally-scrolling shoot-'em-up. But watch out for the homing missiles fired by the various types of aliens you encounter.

Collect more parts of Mag Max - you'll find them scattered around at pretty regular intervals - then find a hatch which leads back to the surface and have a crack at the more difficult surface defences with your increased firepower.

By no means a classic - but well presented, with good graphics and nice sound. It's also very challenging and very playable.