Mayhem in Monsterland (Commodore 64)

by PaulEMoz

This is a biggie. Mayhem in Monsterland is renowned as being the last really big game released on the Commodore 64, and regarded by many as the best game ever to hit the old breadbin. I was pretty much finished with my Commodore 64 by the time it was released... I still used it, but I wasn't buying any new games, and even though it looked really nice I didn't have the urge to get it. And so, I hadn't played it before tonight.

I was very disappointed at first. Speeding through black and blue landscapes, occasionally jumping on the resident critters, proved a touch dull. And then when I got to the far right of the level and it was blocked off, I was stumped. What the hell was I supposed to do now?

The problem was, the version I played didn't come with instructions, and so I didn't get the gist of the game. A quick Google search turned up plenty of information, and it clicked. Another play of the game saw me bouncing on enough heads to collect the magic I needed to unlock the level's second objective.

What you do is collect the magic that is occasionally dropped by a stomped-on creature, and when you've got enough, you drop down a designated area where you meet a dopey looking dragon-thing. The dragon-thing takes the magic and puts colour into the world, and you then have to collect the stars that become scattered around the landscape. The level layout remains the same, but it's now nice and colourful, and littered with different types of creatures.

It's quite a clever game mechanic for its time, and the whole thing is nice and fast and smooth. It's certainly a very technically impressive Commodore 64 game. That said, it didn't really grab me that much in the time I spent with it. I feel that further investigation is necessary, but I don't have as much of an urge to continue with this one as I do with The Sentinel. That's a bit of a shame, but it's not like I haven't got enough games to be getting on with...