Kid Chameleon was one of the earlier standout titles on the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis. The plot involves a boy that daydreams his way in to different scenarios, these are represented by the levels. Each level contains a specific powerup mask that will transform the main character and give him new abilities. Notable transformations include the samurai warrior and the knight. Bizarrely there is also a hockey mask that turns the character in to a mini Friday 13th Jason Voorhees, it’s nice to see that the developers had a sense of humour.
The game play is surprisingly good for what is essentially a very simple game. There’s plenty to jump on, varied enemies and secret routes to uncover. I would say that the game isn’t particularly challenging but I think that this is likely to be for a younger target audience. There is also nice attention to detail in the graphics, the world’s seem bright and interesting. I’d also like to point out that each level appears to have been designed from scratch, so often in platform games you see sprites and backgrounds reused on each level giving the game a cheap look. The sounds are also very cheerful and the overall experience is a very pleasing platformer.
Kid Chameleon isn’t a game that’s going to set the world alight with innovation and slick graphics. It’s a game though that seems incredibly solid and has aged incredibly well. I’m confident that a newcomer to this game could sit down and really enjoy this game for what it is. The game is also very widely available so there really aren’t any excuses not to investigate this one. I’ve also included a short video below just to get you interested.
One of the all time great shooters. Simple graphics and simple gameplay but this game has stood the test of time as a hugely playable game on multiple formats. I liked this one so much I bought an original board for my arcade machine, hours of fun!
Great retro title on the NES. Lots of enemies and basic power ups. The game is a little easy by todays standards but still a classic. There were multiple releases in this series including several editions of 1944.
Classic Sega racing today. Turbo Outrun is a game that I remember very well from my childhood. Adapted from the arcade version you must race your way across the USA reaching check points at various key cities. This time though you have the added challenge of police to avoid and also a Turbo button that you can utilise. The game starts off fairly easy but gets very tricky. There's lots of blind hills and tight corners, so using the Turbo is both simultaneously useful and dangerous. Between legs of the race you have the option of upgrading your car, I find that I need the high performance tyres before anything else otherwise i'm off the road in seconds with the powerful engine upgrade. This is a classic game and still plays well even today. Well done Sega, this is a graet retro game and it's no wonder it is a yard stick for the driving genre.
Clown-O-Mania is one of those games I played at a young age and have always thought well of. The aim is to collect every gem/ball (what ever they are) on the level. There are various bad guys running around as well as razor blades to pick up and use as weapons. The game is simple and fun with catchy music. Having not played this for about 20 years it came back to me quite quickly. If I have a criticism of the game it would be the controls. Since it is an isometric grid I get easily confused about which button to press, I have exactly the same issue with Q*Bert though :-) It's more use error than bad game design. On level 5 the map turns upside-down, now this really hurts my brain as to how to control the clowns direction.
Still, this is a fantastic gem of a retro game and well worth 10 minutes of your time to investigate.
Classic dungeon crawling hack 'n slash adventure in Gauntlet 4. Fight your way through dungeon after dungeon packed with wave after wave of enemies. Along the way collect keys and potions to aid you in your quest.
An excellent vertical shooter from Toplan. Great music and frantic action. Overall very similar to to the arcade original. I'm a big fan of this one, there's decent power-ups, challenging levels and a crazy soundtrack.
Rainbow Islands for the Sega Master System. Faithful to the original arcade version as far as the limitations of the Sega Master System would allow. The sprite limit isn't great and does cause quite a bit of flickering. Overall though this is a very decent version of this classic game (I still like the Amiga 500 version most of all). Diamands to collect, thunder storms to activate and even double rainbows!