The girders are initially hollow, but solidify as Bob walks over them. To complete each stage, Bob must walk over every inch of girder on the screen. Slow-moving, blob-shaped "mutants" patrol the girders, but these are easy to avoid and far less dangerous than the running jumps you'll need to execute. Touching a floating tool lets Bob attack the mutants for points, just like Pac-Man.
Yes it's all very derivative, but Miner's speedy pace and crisp graphics make it exceptionally fun and addictive. It's also intriguing to see what sort of imaginative challenge each new stage has in store. The second stage is clearly inspired by Chutes and Ladders, and the third has an elevator controlled by the numeric control pad. Miner 2049er is a whole lot better than it looks, and is regarded by many as a classic. © Copyright 2004 The Video Game Critic.
On my Atari computer Montezuma's Revenge was a monument to good programming, boasting crisp graphics and perfectly responsive controls. But despite sharing many of the same traits, this Colecovision edition is barely even playable! To call the controls "touchy" would be the understatement of the year. It doesn't help that your character can't survive a fall of any height. Gravity is not your friend, and it feels like your guy is wearing a freakin' lead vest! You'll fall off the same ledge over and over again, burning through all of your lives trying to make one simple jump.
I also hate how you need to be perfectly lined up with a ladder in order to climb it. Scratch that - you have to be one pixel to the left of the ladder, and finagling you way up and down these things is a chore. That's one problem that could have easily been rectified by a good programmer. The game's pacing is too frenetic in general, with scampering spiders and rolling skulls which give you little time to react. On paper, Montezuma's Revenge is an amazing game, but frantic controls render it nearly unplayable. © Copyright 2009 The Video Game Critic.
Various comets, meteors, and satellites slingshot around the planet, approaching quickly from the left. In theory you can shoot them down but they come in at such a severe angle I found myself losing ship after ship! The secret is moving from side-to-side which somehow causes objects to be evenly dispersed across the screen. That doesn't make any sense. Touch one of the small, colored marbles - umm I mean "planets" - and you're transported to its surface. Now you're flying into the horizon while picking up miners and blasting red towers.
Orbital spacecraft travel across the top which you can pick off like the motherships in Space Invaders (Atari 2600, 1980). They drop destroyer ships which antagonize you to no end. Momentum makes it hard to fire with precision and errant shots tend to blow up innocent miners. Save enough of those poor bastards and you can pass through white "accelerator" rings to escape the planet's atmosphere. There's quite a bit happening in Moonsweeper but I'm sad to report that none of it is particularly good. © Copyright 2021 The Video Game Critic.
Collecting scattered bones generates a cool "ruff" sound effect, and also lets transform into a dog (via the dog button) to turn the tables on those evil felines. Just remember to keep an eye out for the deadly hawk that constantly glides over the maze. Mouse Trap for the Colecovision is a nearly flawless translation with its crisp graphics, fast pacing, outstanding sound effects, and bouncy background music.
The one thing that could be improved is the controls. Instead of easily lining up with corridors, your mouse has a tendency to "stuck" on corners. I struggled with the controller and it took its toll on my hands, putting a serious crimp in the fun. Other than that, this game is money. © Copyright 2007 The Video Game Critic.
Apples serve the same role as the rocks in Dig Dug, allowing you to crush the baddies for big points. Unlike Dig Dug, these apples can be shoved sideways as well. Enemies can push them too, and sometimes you'll even find yourself in a shoving contest. This apple-pushing adds a new layer of strategy, but long-time Dig Dug fans may have trouble wrapping their brain around the concept at first.
Mr. Do's controls are a little stiff, and after tunneling under an apple, you need to move down slightly before moving over to get out of its way. I like how enemies sometimes inadvertently drop apples on each other. Mr. Do also has the ability to fire a "magic ball" which bounces around the maze until it hits something. Bonus items like cake, ice cream, and Wheat Thins appear in the center of the screen, but it's hard to predict the effect of grabbing these. Sometimes it freezes enemies in place, but sometimes it unleashes an army of purple "munchers".
A bonus system lets you earn a free life by spelling "EXTRA", but the indicator for this is cluttered by confusing symbols and colors. Coleco prided itself on its arcade-to-home conversions, but this one falls a little short. In the arcade Mr. Do was a colorful clown, but here he's just solid white. His magic ball had a lot more visual pizzazz in the arcade; it's little more than a bouncing pixel here. The maze is well defined however and the bonus items look sharp. In the final analysis, Mr. Do succeeds in taking the Dig Dug formula to the next level. It's a little convoluted, but those who dig in will be intrigued by its depth and strategy. © Copyright 2011 The Video Game Critic.
As you wind down into the maze, pipes extend to keep you connected to your starting point. If any creature touches your pipe you lose a life. You can't reverse direction, but you can quickly "wind up" at any time by holding in the fire button. It's like pressing the button on a vacuum cleaner that sucks in the electric cord. As you venture into the deeper parts of the maze you'll need to keep an eye out for critters and be ready to hit the button.
Then again, there's usually a bomb (that looks suspiciously like a power pill) near the bottom of the maze which freezes all enemies. This adds an exciting risk-versus-reward dynamic. During later waves the underground maze is replaced by a little town of buildings. The scenery looks a lot more interesting but the dots tend to be squirreled away in hard-to-reach nooks. I suspect most gamers have never heard of Oil's Well, but it's kind of an ingenious little game. © Copyright 2017 The Video Game Critic.
One of those was Omega Race, a poorly named shooter with sharp but colorless vector graphics. There was no "racing" involved, although I suppose the rectangular arena vaguely resembles a "track" of sorts. The big gimmick is how your triangular ship can carom off the walls, allowing you to find just the right shooting angle while remaining a moving target. Staying in motion is key because your geometrically shaped adversaries are pretty good shots.
Omega Race embodies the same reckless, halfway-out-of-control gameplay you get from thrusting around in Asteroids. This Colecovision edition not only duplicates the fun gameplay of the arcade, but spices things up with color, customization options, and even a two-player simultaneous mode. The "fast bounce" option makes the walls more elastic, but also makes your ship harder to control.
The "tunnel" and "astro gate" options make the vanilla playfield slightly more interesting, but these passages are really too narrow to make much of a major difference. The two-player mode would have been fun had it been cooperative, but instead you just bounce around shooting at each other, which is kind of lame. For the single player however, Omega Race is a worthy challenge, if somewhat forgettable. © Copyright 2006 The Video Game Critic.
Screen shots courtesy of Video Game Museum