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|Rating:||4 out of 5|
The only thing worse than converting a book into a movie is converting a movie into a video game. They almost always suck ass! We mention this because Gremlins for the Atari 5200 breaks this tradition by being both faithful to the movie and being a well designed and fun game. A nice surprise after the dreadful version of Gremlins on the 2600.
My only complaint is that the Mogwai and Gremlins use the same color scheme and look remarkable similar in the frantic pace of getting Billy Peltzer to grab the correct sprite as he dashes around, sword in hand.
The movie Gremlins is a 1984 horror/comedy, starring Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates and Howie Mandel as the voice of Gizmo, about a kid who receives a strange creature, called a Mogwai, as a pet. The pet-care rules stipulated: no bright light, don't get them wet and no feeding after midnight. His new pet then spawns other creatures who transform into destructive monsters. Gremlins is a black comedy set during Christmas. Our passion for 80's movies leads us to take a brief moment of reflection for the awesomeness of Phoebe Cates.
Faithful to the movie, Billy Peltzer receives an odd living creature for Christmas. His father explains the pet-care involved, but that goes out the window pretty fast and sweet little Gizmo hatches evil Gremlins. Soon he gets wet and his spawn go on a post midnight feeding frenzy. Corralling these furry guys is easier said than done an all hell breaks loose as Billy tries to curb the mayhem. The only upside seems to be that Billy is dating Phoebe Cates :)
One or two players can delve into this 23-level game of trying to get all the Gremlins under control. Your levels are broken down into nights. Since Magwai don't like light, most of the action takes place at night. Touching a Magwai captures him, then get him into the pen in the corner. You begin with 3 lives and must survive the night until 6:00 am.
The top fire button to activates a flash cube and the bottom fire button swings his sword. With 30 seconds to 6 minutes on the clock you must complete the task at hand. More difficult levels offer more time for completion - watch that clock! Slash the Gremlins with your sword while dumping Magwais into their pen at the top of the screen. The action is pretty fast paced and you have to keep the Gremlins away from the pen, else they'll release the Magwais you've captured.
You begin with 3 flash cubes that accumulate with each new life earned. Use them sparingly to stun the Gremlins. Another trick at your disposal is the TV in the upper left corner. Whenever touched it turns on and all the Gremlins and Magwai in range will stop to "watch" it.
The Peltzer Popcorn Popper (did we mention Billy's Dad in an inventor?) is in the lower right corner and begins spewing pop corn when ever a Magwai or Gremlin is close. Remember - eating creates more Gremlins! billy can turn it off and pick up the pop corn by touch. A refrigerator full of food sits idle until a Gremlin tries to get food for a Magwai. You need to stop them! The ice-maker spills ice which make wet puddles - that's bad too! Some nights (levels) are worse than others and each comes with combinations of dangers for Billy to thwart. Good luck!
Billy's sword can swing over room dividers, so try to get the Gremlins quickly over the dividers. You can let the Magwais multiply if you can handle the extra corralling which will generate more points. Try to get the Gremlins near the fridge first. That way they can't take food out of it. TV time is a good opportunity to kill and don't waste time picking up food - time is more valuable. Watch Phoebe Cates movies often - she's hot!
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