Molecule Man
By Mastertronic
Spectrum 48K

Published in Crash #30

Molecule Man

By a strange twist of fate you have suddenly become Molecule Man a round ball on legs, trapped within a nightmarish maze contaminated by radiation. All around you, abstract shapes block your every move. A time clock is counting down and the radiation is gradually shortening your life. The only way to escape is via the teleporter. However, there's a problem. You can only use the teleporter when sixteen circuits have been found and installed in it. These circuits am scattered around the huge 3D maze in Molecule Man and are the key to escape and survival.

Luck is not on your side. A maze contaminated by radiation is not the healthiest place to be stuck in. The only way to stay alive under these conditions is by taking anti-radiation pills. At the start of the game Molecule Man has a supply of twenty of these tablets, but in cider to survive he must eat one every few seconds, so his stock of pills deplenishes rather quickly. Dotted around the maze are anti-radiation tablet vending machines where new supplies of pills can be obtained. Life isn't cheap though, and tablets cost money. Molecule Man came unprepared his pockets are completely devoid of small change when he enters the maze. Thankfully the inhabitants of the maze are rather untidy fellows, as £1 coins can be found on the floor, and the dispensary is happy to exchange them for pills.

Apart from the money and the circuits, bombs also have to be collected during the game. When Molecule Man has found his money he must decide whether to spend the money on extra life-giving pills or bombs. The bombs come in handy for destroying sections of the maze wails, allowing access to new, unexplored parts of the maze. The status area keeps tabs on the number of bombs, tablets, coins and pieces of transporter circuit MM is carrying.

Molecule Man

The screen is made up of a variety of strange shapes that mark out the boundaries of the maze. These vary from traffic cones to magic toadstools each screen is different. Once you come to the edge of one screen, Molecule Man automatically trundles to the next one in his search for the way out.

The basic maze in the game would put the designers of Hampton Court maze to shame. If you become bored with the layout, an editor is provided so that you can redesign the playing area, altering objects that make up the maze to fit your requirements. The game can be made as easy or as hard as you like, and customised versions can be saved to tape for later sessions at the game of Survival.


Control keys: redefinable
Joystick: Kempston, cursor, Interface 2
Keyboard play: a little strange, but okay
Use of colour monochromatic
Graphics: large and detailed
Sound: adequate
Skill levels: one
Screens: 256

Comment 1

Molecule Man

'Gosh, what nice graphics! There are lots of good bits that make it both visually attractive and fun to play. I found Molecule Man pretty addictive. The maze designer knocks spots off, say the Caves of Doom editor, being colourful, easy to use, quick and efficient; creating new mazes Is almost as good as the game itself, though not quite! The price is one of the game's best features: for £1.99, kb a steal! Just goes to show that when Mastertronic aren't churning out rubbish like 1985, they can produce quite a good low price game'

Comment 2

'I'm always a little dubious about the quality of Mastertronic games - they tend to be either good, or downright awful. After loading it up and having a go, I was pleasantly surprised. The graphics are excellent: your character wobbles nicely about the place, and the backgrounds are superb. The sound is not quite up to the same standard as the graphics but it is adequate. The game itself is made a lot more playable by the easy-to-use Editor: if you decide that the maze supplied with the game is too hard you can design your own layout without the usual grief associated with screen Editors. This game would be quite a good deal for seven quid, so it is well worth the Mastertronics two pound price tag. What more can I say other than buy it?'

Comment 3

'Mastertronic have yet again come up with a beautifully presented game with all the options you could want, and more. The actual game is a lot of fun to play and a lot of thinking is needed to plan out your strategy and decide whether to buy extra life or a bomb. The graphics are well up to the usual 3D-ish type maze games and everything is big and well distinguished. As you change screens the next location is flicked up immediately which means there's no slacking in your quest for the circuits, or the pills. A very nice addition is the screen designer; this is very easy to use and can give the whole game a completely new look. It's a pity you couldn't change the look of the actual characters and can only affect their positioning. Molecule Man shows that a cheap price doesn't necessarily mean a cheap looking game.'

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