Welcome back to another The Games We Never Talk About (But Should) write-up, this time I have decided to try and make you guys check out one of the “best” games for the Amiga CD32. A game that sadly got overlooked by most people for unknown reasons, but I bet the reason is that it looks like a children’s game and the fact that few understood that this game was a great take on the gameplay mechanics of Bubble Bobble and Snow Bros.
First Of All A Little Story About How I Found Out About The Game And When I Actually Played It…
I bought the CD32 version on launch, the only reason I did that was that the guy working in the game shop couldn’t recommend it enough and most of all this was the only copy left that he had so if I ever wanted to buy it from his shop (Platon AS in Bergen) then I had to buy it now. This purchase is one of many that I will never regret buying as my gut feeling was right, this was the only time I ever saw it for sale, ever. I bought the CD32 version in July 1994 and the “much more common” floppy version about 5 years later.
I had next to no income at the time when I bought this CD32 version as I were in the middle of changing schools and had to get a new apartment as well buy several things for it, all my money went on the apartments really as I had to pay for both of them in August due to a misunderstanding with the owner of the old one.
Long story short it certainly didn’t help that I bought two games that day (the other one was Naughty Ones CD32 which is another game I might write about in this column).
I had to hitchhike with a lorry driver to get back home (about 50 Km), luckily I did not get raped, kidnapped, or whatever, and yes he didn’t take the Amiga games nor magazines as pay, an all-round nice guy that understood my situation (that I basically fucked up and spent all my money without thinking about the consequences).
It is a bit funny that many of the games I bought between 1993 and 1995 got a crazy story to them, the main reason was that I was living alone and I were still more interested in Games and Beer than actual food or such and that brought me into a lot of odd situations, to be honest.
The Perfect Game For 2 Players… That Is Where This Game Shines or Outshine Many Other Amiga Games.
I did play the game a bit on launch but thanks to so many other games it did get overlooked eventually and I sort of never did look back on it for many years.
I eventually picked the game up again in early 2000 when I and my girlfriend had just finished Wiz’n Liz by Bizzare Creations / Lunatic and published by Psygnosis and needed a new game to play In co-op.
I showed her a few 2player co-op game boxes and she picked SMB as it looked quite fun, it took like 10 minutes and we were both hooked on it, the jolly music and gameplay was exactly what we needed and we didn’t stop playing it until we had completed both modes many months(?) later, might have been weeks but it certainly got played a lot and she still remembers it really good too.
I am not 100% sure but I seem to remember that only the CD32 version got this intro, it is simplistic and rather short but it is an intro and it is animated which was always nice back then (still is).
The intro also carries that cute look but with unusual color choices as well as some really strange-looking creatures, but yes you do eventually get used to them even though they are like nothing you have ever seen before or will anytime in the future either.
“Super Methane Bros also takes advantage of the AGA chipset if present…”
Super Methane Bros looks much better in-game thanks to the huge sprites and according to the developer the game also offers AGA enhancements if available (like on the CD32) but, to be honest, I have absolutely no idea what those are (sorry).
The game though does offer 100 different levels in 2 different difficulty levels and yes all of them can be played in either 1 player or in 2 player co-op mode which is just like Bubble Bobble whereas the idea of SMB probably came from originally as they are very similar to each other in several ways (more about that below).
One of the reasons why I love Super Methane Bros so much is because it apes a lot to Bubble Bobble/Tiny Bubble in so many ways that it is sometimes a better sequel than Bubble Bobble 2 is to the first one.
Super Methane Bros lends ideas from Bubble Bobble, Snow Bros, and many others from the era of single-screen arcade platformers.
The genre is one of the most overlooked types on the Amiga and as some of you probably know there was a Snow Bros game in development for the Amiga by Ocean France but it never got released (for unknown reasons).
I will cover Snow Bros in the future on the blog, just realized now that I never did finish and publish that article (about 99% complete).
Super Methane Bros is a very clean looking game but also a very crowded game with tons of enemies and objects flying around the screen, it can get very hectic but never in a way that will annoy the player with either identifying the player or by getting distracted by background or foreground graphics.
The gameplay mechanics consists of shooting methane gas at the enemies and then sucking them into your Syringe type of weapon and then shooting it at either another enemy or a wall to kill it, this has t be done before the time runs out (just like Bubble Bobble/Snow Bros).
The enemies and methane gas are very nicely animated and it is easy to see if you hit the enemy or not, you never have to guess if you killed it too which is good as the game is far too hectic to start worrying about that kind of a thing.
“The Music And Controls Completes An Already Top Notch Experience”
The Jolly music from the floppy version has been upgraded to a very cool CDDA (Redbook Audio) set of tracks that plays nicely from the very start till the end of the game, it does get sort of samey over time but nothing out of the norm and never managed to piss us off while playing the game for weeks.
The controls are precise and responsive, they never punish the player for being stressed out or doing silly mistakes, there is also an option to select controls that fit your playstyle the most.
The Box Shots.
The box itself is OK, nothing spectacular but I have grown to like it over the years as it really ain’t bad at all much like the first impressions you might get of the game.
Tidy design and yes one more thing, the game comes in two variants for the CD32 version, and how to tell them apart is that the launch version is in a big A4 box (like the Amiga 500 version) and one in a Jewel Case only, the Big box version has no jewel case in it as it only comes with a yellow manual and a CD sleeve (see picture).
The Secret Game Mode?
I have mentioned a second game mode a few times already in this write-up and that for a good reason, when you complete the game you will be presented with a nice credits scroller and some info, and inside there you will read how to unlock the Expert mode version of the game.
To unlock this new mode you will have to pause the game and type in the code MANIC and this will automatically start the extremely crazy game mode where everything is just over the top difficult and confusing but at the same time showing how good the engine really is from a technical standpoint of view.
There are other codes hidden inside the game too, there might be more than the ones I have found but feel free to type in these to see some magic happening: DELVIN, CHEAT, CODES, MARK, and LLOYD as these will present some messages from the team.
Available Now On iOS, Android, AmigaOS4, Linux, And PC.
I guess most know about this new remake of Super Methane Bros as it came out over a decade ago now, that said, it has been updated quite a bit over the years since then to make it a 100% remake.
I found out about this when it came out for Linux a long time ago and I decided to port it to AmigaOS4 since the source code was available, I did a quick and dirty port which eventually turned out quite nice thanks to Spot/UpRough taking over the project when a better original build was made available by Mark Page (the original creator of both the game and remake).
You can download the game and source from Sourceforge here.
The Final Verdict No Less Than 24 years after I purchased the game.
I am glad I listened to the owner of Platon AS back on launch but I am a bit angry at myself for not trying the game more at the time as yes I did acknowledge to myself that the game was good but ended up not playing it for some reason (most likely due to a different game popping up) as this game turned out to be pure gold, especially In 2 player. The gameplay, mechanics, style, music, sound fx, etc is not only fun but also really good and it plays a lot better than most people will ever understand as it just seems to get ignored on social media and the likes. Is it a true gem or classic? Well, that is up to the player but as I mentioned earlier, this game is up there with Parasol Stars, Motorhead, Deluxe Galaga, WizKid, and Rodland when it comes to my Girlfriend anyway which means that this game is a proper classic. This game for me is simply one of the best 2 player games available on the Amiga, so do yourself a favor and give this game a proper go, you won’t regret it.
PS: I would like to thank Mark Page, Patricia Curtis, and the rest of the APACHE team for both making the game and keeping the game alive through open source.
PPS: Big thanks to Hall Of Light and Amiga Magazine Rack for info and Reviews as always, honestly the two best sites for Amiga info.Follow Us... Inspire Us To Get Better... Keep The Flame Alive