So it was recently my birthday, not the big one…….yet, but I got some fantastic gifts so lets dive in shall we?
Barratt’s Sonic the Hedgehog Candy Stick Cards
Released in 1991, these cards came from packets of candy sticks. There were 48 card in total, featuring screenshots of popular Mega Drive games along with a cheat code and plot synopsis.
Due to the small size of the cards they feature just a snippet of action rather than a full screenshot. Both first and third-party games featured, mostly from around 1993. Sonic, Sonic 2 and Sonic 3 each had their own cards. There were very few movie tie-ins also, which may have been down to licensing, Jurassic Park was the only one, which SEGA would have held the rights for at the time.
The cards were presented in alphabetical order, starting with Another World and ending with Zool.
Earthworm Jim – Sega Mega Drive
Earthworm Jim is a 2D side-scrolling platformer with action elements where the player takes control of Jim, a worm wearing a spacesuit. Jim can shoot enemies with his gun or use his body (the spacesuit’s “head”) in a variety of ways to overcome obstacles, such as whipping it at enemies, grappling hooks to swing from them, or making it spin very fast like a rotor to hover for a short time.
While most of the game is made of standard platforming levels with a boss waiting at the end, some of the levels introduce different conditions than just reaching the end to complete them, like escorting a computer-controlled character and making sure they don’t get hurt. Platforming levels are interspersed with some variations in gameplay as well, such as several space racing sequences or a bungie-jumping competition.
Rating – Complete
Ghouls ‘N Ghosts – Sega Mega Drive
Three years have passed since Arthur defeated the Demon King Astaroth and rescued his beloved Princess Prin-Prin (see Ghosts ‘N Goblins). A new villain, the Great Demon King Lucifer (Loki in some versions) has become the new leader of Ghoul Realm. While returning from a journey, Arthur sees the Princess’ castle and her village under attack by Lucifer’s forces. While rushing towards her beloved knight, the Princess is struck by one of Lucifer’s laser beams.
Players progress from left to right (from bottom to top in level 3), and have to hack down the aforementioned monsters with a sword. The journey includes ledges, ladders, lava pits and slippery slopes. Different weapons can be collected, by finding suits of armor inside chests. Each of the five stages has its own setting and a final boss.
In comparison to the first installment, gameplay was tweaked and some additions were made. Arthur can now fire vertically and is able to collect weaponry from fallen enemies. The landscape is littered with a number of treasure chests that erupt out of scenery, some of which are hidden and has to be found by way of a well-timed jump in a certain place. The treasure chest can be opened with projectiles resulting in one of three occurrences: the reward of a new weapon, some shiny new golden armour or a hostile wizard who turns the player into the old man or a duck. The golden armour gives Arthur a chargeable “super” attack which varied depending on the currently possessed weapon. These attacks range from a huge lightning bolt that cut a swathe both vertically and horizontally across the screen, to a spell that creates a mirror-like clone of Arthur, effectively doubling his attack power.
Rating – Complete
Zombies – Sega Mega Drive
In Zombies Ate My Neighbors, the player takes the role of a male or female protagonist (Zeke or Julia), fighting vampires, mummies, zombies, and other horrifying creatures. The goal is to destroy these monsters, survive the 50+ levels (not including secret ones), and rescue the neighbors that have survived the onslaught.
There is a defined number of neighbors who can be saved on every level. When they are all rescued, an “Exit” door opens, and the player advances to the next level. The levels range from mall and grocery store to beaches and football fields. Using different weapons such as bazooka or water gun, Zeke and Julia have to kill regular enemies and bosses (huge babies, dragons, ants, and others) at the end of the levels. Despite the horror theme, the game’s setting contains humorous elements as well. A two-player cooperative mode is available.
Rating – Complete (No Front Page On Manual)
Ms Pac-Man – Sega Mega Drive
In 1981, a sequel to Pac-Man was introduced in the form of his girlfriend, Ms. Pac-Man. This sequel continued on the “eat the dots/avoid the ghosts” gameplay of the original game, but added new features to keep the title fresh.
Like her boyfriend, Ms. Pac-Man attempts to clear four various and challenging mazes filled with dots and ever-moving bouncing fruit while avoiding Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Sue, each with their own personalities and tactics. One touch from any of these ghosts means a loss of life for Ms. Pac-Man.
Ms. Pac-Man can turn the tables on her pursuers by eating one of the four Energizers located within the maze. During this time, the ghosts turn blue, and Ms. Pac-Man can eat them for bonus points (ranging from 200, 400, 800, and 1600, progressively). The Energizer power only lasts for a limited amount of time, as the ghost’s eyes float back to their center box, and regenerate to chase after Ms. Pac-Man again.
Survive a few rounds of gameplay, and the player will be treated to humorous intermissions showing the growing romantic relationship between Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man, leading all the way up to the arrival of “Junior”.
Rating – Complete
Streets Of Rage Mug
This mug features the characters from the game Streets Of Rage
Lego Atari 2600
The LEGO Atari 2600 set is a nostalgic recreation of one of the most famous video game consoles of all time. The iconic Atari VCS/2600 was an instant hit when introduced in 1977 and the LEGO set is based on the four-switch revision which debuted in 1980. The release of the new LEGO set also comes in celebration of Atari’s 50th anniversary.
Activate challenge mode as you build your own console in brick form and take a nostalgic journey uncovering features such as the controller with a joystick that moves to feel just like the original. Brick builders and gamers alike will enjoy sliding open the front and unveiling a pop-up scene from an 80’s gaming room, reviving memories of hours spent trying to get a new high score.
The set also includes three video game cartridges of iconic Atari games in brick format: Asteroids™, Adventure and Centipede™. The cartridges can be stored in a case and built into mini versions of the games. In addition, the console includes a switch to select whether you have a colour or black and white television.
Please see Here for more info and build log.