Review: Megamania (Atari 5200)

In this review, we destroy household appliances and food in the Atari 5200 game Megamania. We find out how well this top down shooter plays.

This game was released in 1983. It was released along with a couple of other versions at the time.

The game pits your ship against various objects. These include dice, skill saws, ice cream sandwiches and hamburgers. Destroy every enemy in the wave to move on to the next.

You have an energy meter. At the start of every round, you get a full bar. As the level progresses, your energy decreases. Allow the energy meter to deplete and you die.

While it’s not obvious at first, if you come into contact with any of the enemies, you immediately die as well.

In later levels, the enemies do fire shots. So, if you take a hit from a hamburger for instance, you also die.

You have three lives to work with. If you earn 5,000 points, you get a free life. At 10,000 points, you earn a second free life. From there, you have to earn 20,000 points before you get the next free life. Don’t know if you get one at 30,000 because I ended up being 200 points short of that to find out.

One thing this game has going for it is the fact that the different waves move in very different ways. The first wave just moves more or less from left to right. Others move side to side. A few move diagonally. A few of them even move straight down from the top. This ensures that you, as the player, stay on your toes.

Another thing going for this game is the novelty of the enemies. Most shooters like this pit you against aliens, but in this game, you get to go against various objects that don’t really shoot you in real life. This adds to a mild amusement factor here.

One thing this game could have used is some power ups. While the ability to earn lives works, it would have been nice to have some minor weapons upgrades or maybe even the ability to replenish some of your energy along the way. Otherwise, combat can be a little stale in spite of the variety in movement.

Graphically, this game has strengths and weaknesses. A strength is the nicely detailed enemies. Each enemy was nicely drawn out. The downside is the large black bleak background that sadly adds little to the gameplay. It is decent enough, but not amazing in my books.

There is no music and the sound effects are OK, but nothing huge. So, not a lot to hear in this game.

Overall, this is an OK game. It has the novelty of the kind of enemies it throws at you. The movements in each wave adds a lot of variety to the gameplay. Combat can be quite stale form time to time, so it would have been nice to have some kind of weapon or energy upgrade to spice things up. The graphics are decent enough, but the sound left a fair bit to be desired. An alright game overall.

Don’t know which wave I was on when I died.
High score: 29,800

General gameplay: 18/25
Replay value: 8/10
Graphics: 7/10
Audio: 1/5

Overall rating: 68%

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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