Marble Madness (Melbourne House) Review | Your Sinclair - Everygamegoing

Your Sinclair

Marble Madness
By Melbourne House
Spectrum 48K

Published in Your Sinclair #12

Marble Madness

Wow! At last... something even those rarified air type Amiga owners want but cannot have... a blistering boll from the sky blue sky... Atari and Melbourne House link hands and swan dive into your Spectrum with a Marble Madness game creator! I don't believe it!!! (It's true!) Okay, I'll take it seriously if you will.

What a brilliant game! Not only can you build a megasuperb and straight-up Marble Madness game of your very own, but you can play it too! Unlike so many game creation programs this is a very playable game, making even Gyroscope (itself a very addictive and tricky MM clone) look as exciting as a drawing pin spinning on the table.

MM has the look of it's coin-up original with all your favourite baddies; green worms. acid slime, goals, red catapults, vacuum cleaners, all ready to chase you around the Marble Madness terrain. The baddies are all preprogrammed to react to whatever circumstances you care to put them in, and will surprise you in the amount of movement and intelligence they're capable of. You might think you can put them out of the way and cheat by positioning them so they can't get you, but they'll find a way!

The Editor is a dream to use. You simply position items, like floor sections, baddies and extra points, using a pointer, and press the fire button to place them. Any position you choose isn't final, as you can reposition and erase any section whenever you feel like it. You can also alter the colour schemes, and although the choice is limited to two colours (as individual items are the same colour as the background), having different colour schemes for successive screens is very effective. The most useful thing in the Editor's repetoire is the Free Ram indicator. This tells you how much memory you've got left for screens and other data. Having put 15 screens in and still having mounds of memory left, I can see that the possibilities truly are endless! After you've finished designing your worst MM nightmare, the Speccy computes the movements for you and the baddies. plus it also fills in the light and shade on the side of the platforms.

Is this the definitive Marble Madness on the Speccy? It's tough, it's changeable, it's addictive, it's cheap (it could have been £15 and still be value for money!), and you'd better buy it, or you'll never forgive yourself!

Phil South

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