Mr. BASIC Meets Bits 'n' Bytes
"Now here's a unique title. First of all, it implements Mattel's bankswitching method used to design other multicarts such as Go for the Gold and Triple Challenge. Second of all, it integrates the built-in BASIC interpreter into each of three miniature games. The idea is to give users familiarity with BASIC in classic edutainment style.
"Vampire Bats is a one-player game in which the player controls an exterminator, walking along the roof of a barn, picking up bombs from a stack, and dropping them on bats. The bats bounce around aimlessly and eat away at sections of the roof on contact. The exterminator must jump over gaps made in the roof to avoid plummeting to his death. Bats will fly through gaps in the roof and bite the exterminator on contact, stunning him momentarily. If he is bitten a second time while stunned, the exterminator dies. The exterminator fights back by picking up bombs one at a time from a stack and dropping them. A bomb will explode on impact with either the ground, a bat, or the bomb stack. Explosions will kill bats and the exterminator as well. If the entire bomb stack is blown up, the game ends immediately.
"The Cannon Game is a two-player game that plays similarly to a shareware PC game known as Scorched Earth. The left player controls a cannon which can move back and forth, adjust angle, and fire cannonballs. Every four shots fired by the cannon causes it to randomly adjust its power to a different level, requiring the player to readjust his angle. The right player owns a missile launcher which bounces back and forth on its own but fires guided missiles that are controlled by the player. Separating the cannon and missile launcher is a brick wall that is pushed to the left every time the missile launcher bounces into it and moves to the right every time the cannon shoots the missile launcher. Shooting the missile launcher or an oncoming missile earns points for the left player, while shooting the cannon earns points for the right player. When the wall moves far enough to one side, the dominating player earns a point bonus and the game ends.
"Mr. BASIC is a one-player game pitting Mr. BASIC in an ancient computer room against a malfunctioning computer. Bits and bytes come flying out of the printer and bounce aimlessly all over the room. Mr. BASIC must avoid being hit in the head while trying to catch the bits and bytes and throw them back into the terminal. Not long does a bit or byte stay in the computer before it comes flying back out of the printer. Get all the bits and bytes in the computer and earn an extra life and bonus points. Play continues at a faster pace until all lives are lost.
"The games themselves are quite uninteresting simply to play. As a whole, there are no frills: no fancy title screen; no SuperGraphics; no BGM; nothing of the sort. The real charm of the games is in 'reprogramming' them to an extent. I have a few small BASIC programs for the Vampire Bats game for smart bombs and gravity settings that make falling objects bounce off the ground or oscillate in the air. The Cannon Game is also fun to reprogram to handicap one or both players somewhat. Mr. BASIC is just aggravating and there isn't much to reprogram there. I recommend this title to anyone, as it is fun for young and old, experienced and inexperienced alike. Just don't expect a wonderful stand-alone title, because that is not what this is, nor is it intended to be." Rating: 3/5 -- Mike Hayes