Mabus Mania
By Matra
Spectrum 48K/128K/+2/+3

Published in Crash #4

Mabus Mania

We've all had the nightmare, and some of us even the reality, of our significant other, having enough of our games' collection taking up space and their threatening of throwing it all out.

Luckily for most of us, this is usually an idle threat that can be resolved with the offer to give the house a clean or something. Unfortunately for Mabus (the game's protagonist) his significant other has gone straight past the usual first step of just the threat, and straight into the action of banishing his collection to the outer world.

This may not be the end of the world in real life, just collecting your things from the garden is no biggie (we've all been there!), but sadly for Mabus, the outside world he finds himself in has been swarmed with a plethora of monsters which stand between him and his beloved games.

Mabus Mania

You must guide him around a number of areas, collecting disks and computers as you go, and progress to thenext area to pick up the others. There are a lot of disks out there, and incidentally a lot of monsters, so he has quite the task on his hands.

Maybe next time Mabus, you should just get your game purchases delivered to a friends' house instead like the rest of us? Oh well, you live and learn.

Paul Davies

Another platformer to get stuck into here but there's just that little something about this one. Each level is well set out with nice sprite animation, especially on Mabus as the sweat flies from his brow from under his cap, as he scarpers left and right across the screen.

Mabus Mania

The monsters are big and well done also, their mouths opening and closing whilst you try and make your way around them or plan to make your move so as not to fall foul of their fangs. Each of the disks you need to collect are placed in various areas of the screen, along with their respective computer - collect all of the disks and the computer screen changes from 'FAIL' to 'OK', meaning that you can now collect it, allowing the level's door to open and for you to make your escape.

There are other bonus items too, notably extra lives and the odd handheld console which, although it gives you bonus points, also cuts your remaining time in half, making your escape that little more difficult to achieve.

Collecting these is not a necessity to progress, so it's up to you if you want to take the points in exchange for adding a bit more excitement to the game (or fear, if you're that way inclined). The in-game music is uplifting, delightful and I for one couldn't resist tapping my feet and smiling whilst playing because of it (it's still stuck in my head), and is a very strong feature of the game. This, coupled with the cute, cartoony graphics, make it a winner, with all you'd want in a platformer - well laid out levels, sweet music and a high level of playability. One of the nicest looking (and sounding) games you'll play this year.

Gordon King

Although cheery and instantly playable, Mabus Mania falls into the 'just another average platform game' category. The levels are reasonably designed, and the graphics are bright and colourful, but these are but a mere veneer. The game is clunky to control, and the collision detection is over-sensitive. Above all, this is another single-screen collect-'em-up that we've played countless times, and ultimately, it gets lost in an ocean of saturation. There may be people out there that like this run-of-the-mill kind of thing, and it's not terrible - it's just uninspiring.


Control Keys: Q, A, O, P, SPACE.
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair.
Graphics: Bright, clear and colourful.
Sound: Not much going on in 48K mode though that AY tune is simply lovely.
General Rating: A solid platformer that epitomises the word 'charm' and makes you feel warm inside. Awww, charming and pure arcade experience.

Paul DaviesGordon King

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