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What appeals to me most about this rather run-of-the-mill arcade adventure is the superb scenario around which the game is based. It really does make the game more enjoyable to play, although it does become tiresome after many hours on/off play. Otherwise, it's a fairly simple affair with pretty graphics and a very nice soundtrack to match, but it really should be cheaper.

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Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!
Mermaid Madness
1986 Electric Dreams
Programmed by Richard Kay
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the fifteenth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: June 12th, 1986).
 

MERMAID MADNESS
Electric Dreams, 9.99 cass, 14.99 disk, joystick only


Sunny seaside resorts are oft filled with beautiful bouncing females with lovely long legs, firm br . . . (shut up and get on with the review -- ED) who lounge on the sands. Everyone notices them. What they don't notice are the old crones who cripple about the place with the aid of Zimma frames, walking sticks or, it they're lucky, their own two corny feet. Mermaid Madness is a tale of woe about one of those old crones.

Myrtle is 112 years old and fed up. OK, so she wouldn't admit that she was pretty but in her long, long years she had never, not ever had a man. That's why she was fed up. Anyway, one afternoon she was sitting on the prom, sucking seductively on a long stick of pink rock, when she glimpsed the man of her dreams, a certain Gormless Gordon, the Deep Sea Diver, and her heart began to pound. He was dressed in a wetsuit, and she being a rubber fetishist had her lust heightened to an unknown degree. 'Come to me oh babe of my dreams' she wailed and instantly gave chase.

Now, Gordon was a man of little brain with an IQ about that of a member of the National Front (ie less than his shoe size) but one glance of this elephantine mass of warty flesh wobbling towards him along the prom caused him to panic and he took to his heels and flapped wetly off at speed. The sea was the nearest place to hide so in he went -- sploosh -- right to the bottom (not before turning his oxygen tank on) and sat there quivering.

Fatty hag watched him do this and a gummy grin spread itself over her road accident like fizzog. Little did Gordon know that the vile and ugly femme fatale was, in fact a mermaid. So there was Gordon, sitting on the sea bed, waiting for the crone to toddle off when there was a sudden mass of air bubbles above him. It was ugly fatty, her oak-like lallies transformed to a rotting kipper-like fish tail. The chase began afresh and Gordon dived deeper to the ocean's inhospitable depths. Suddenly he spied the hulk of a wrecked ship and swam to a small cave underneath it. Fatty, being of obese proportions, couldn't reach the fellow and cursed to herself. 'I know,' she said in her underwater burbly language, 'I'll find a way of getting to the man of my dreams,' and she immediately set about scouring the sea bottom to find the means to achieve said task.

Mermaid Madness puts you in control of the old sea hag and it's you who has to help her in her quest to reach her rubber-clad heart throb. The playing area is made up of many screens which flick as Myrtle moves from one to the other. The sea bed isn't just a sandy bottomed affair but has caves and all sorts for Myrtle to explore. There are also lots of different objects littered about the place which can be picked up one at a time by the world's most vile mermaid and be used to help her complete her quest. Picking an object up is done by pressing the fire button and it's considered 'used' if dropped in the right place.

Throughout the quest Gordon's air is being used up, his air dial is shown on screen, and if Myrtle doesn't free the hapless lad quick enough and it reaches zero then he dies of oxygen starvation, which he considers to be a better fate than being clasped to Myrtle's boily bosom. Also the energy which fires Myrtle's own disgusting personage is in mortal danger. The sea is filled with various fish and other underwater animals and if the foul femme touches one some of her energy is lost. Unluckily this energy can be replaced by picking up one of the many bottles of stout littered about the place. If Myrtle manages to free Gormless then true love can, and we're sure that the female tatty will make it, prevail . . .

     

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Although having a very amusing scenario, Mermaid Madness is a rather average arcade adventure and basically boils down to being a 'trudge around the place collecting the right objects and dropping them in the right place' sort of thing. The graphics and sound are both very nice though, and add colour to an otherwise dull game. If you like arcade adventures then have a look at it and decide for yourself whether it's worth buying or not.
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Presentation 80%

Title screen with music and the inlay comes with a humourous scenario.

Graphics 83%
Lots of fishy characters along with the gruesome twosome, and they're all nicely drawn and animated.

Sound 86%
Three nice tunes which jolly you along
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Hookability 81%
The nature of the game gives instant appeal...

Lastability 74%
...but not the urge to play for ages and ages.

Value For Money 76%
A bit over the odds considering there's nothing exceptional on offer.

Overall 78%
It's a case of (sea?) horses for (fish?) courses -- if you like arcade adventures then this is worthy of your attention, otherwise look elsewhere.
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Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (17 Jan 2006)

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