Magic Madness
By Anco
Commodore 64/128

Published in Computer & Video Games #67

Magic Madness

This is the best Anco release for ages. It's a fun, very playable and extremely addictive scrolling arcade adventure with enough features to keep you glued to the screen for hours. And at just £7.95, it's a real bargain buy.

The plot goes like this. A long time ago, in a country called Neverland, four magicians ruled and each one of them derived his knowledge from a magic scroll.

One day, the bright sky clouded over and with a deafening roar. Colo the sorcerer appeared. Powerful and wicked, he stole the scrolls and killed the magicians. The nightmare had began.

Magic Madness

The people of Neverland remembered a good witch and asked her for help to destroy Colo. They presented her with four items: a cape, a cross, a wand and a sand glass.

She has to enter Colo's burrow, which is well guarded by his henchmen, recover the scrolls and then destroy Colo.

The burrow consists of four levels: Divine, Forest, Caverns and Ice. One scroll is hidden at each level.

Magic Madness

You will have to search right through the cavern to find the guardian Ant Eater, who will hand over the scroll to you.

You can jump or drop to different levels in the burrow. During your search, you will come across chests. The chests may contain bonus points or time or a balloon to help you climb a level or a magic weapon.

Use the magic weapons to exterminate Colo's henchmen.

Sounds easy. But it isn't. And you'll have a whole lot of fun attempting to bring sweetness and light back to Neverland.

It will take you a bit of time to work out the magic weapon control system. You activate the one shown in the top left hand corner with the space bar. There's lots of stuff at the top of the screen which can demand too much attention when you're trying to get out of tight spots. But this is a minor quibble.

There are seven nasties not including Colo. They are: Marhko: Armed with a solid cudgel, he kills on contact. Not affected by shooting.

Goblin: Has a severe bite. Use any weapon to kill it!

Merry Goblin: Happily runs towards you and sprinkles an icy fluid to freeze your magic weapon! Use the Cross to fight him until the fluid evaporates.

Skeleton: Turns you into dust on touch. It can't be destroyed by shooting or fire.

Lift Genie: Desperately tries to catch you and take you down two levels. It can't be shot, but can be dodged.

Nicholas: He is very dangerous. You will get 5,000 points when you kill him and release birds worth 1,000 points.

As we've already mentioned, the game takes place on three scrolling levels. You have to explore all of them thoroughly in order to discover the four scrolls. And you need all four to defeat Colo.

The graphics are colourful, the sounds are good and gameplay is great! Get it - it's magic!