Monster Max was a game made by Rare, published by Titus Software and was made for the Game Boy in 1994.
The game is an isometric adventure game, think along the lines of Knight Lore or Equinox in which you move around an isometric environment and solve puzzles and little tasks to progress through the game.
There seems to be variety to the puzzles with different pickups being used and more becoming available as you progress through the game. The problem for me was the view. A few times I died due to not being able to properly tell how close I was to blocks that will damage you, and would hit the blocks thinking I was getting past. It’s a shame as it’s rather good otherwise and it seems to be a game you have to think a little to tackle several rooms through each stage.
The music is really good, and for me it’s the best part of the game. Visually it’s not too bad either. It’s definitely a decent Game Boy game, just a shame about the view. I think with more time put into to it it’d get better, harder and more tricky to solve the puzzles,
Verdict: Tentatively recommended
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Another week in which I get a game I know nothing about, Tomb Raider: Curse of the Sword was released in 2001 on the Game Boy Color and was Developed by Core Design and published by Eidos, it’s also a sequel to Tomb Raider on the GBC.
Where do I begin with this? It’s hard to say because I disliked pretty much everything about it. Let’s talk visuals. The visuals in the game to me are pretty bland when it comes to the backgrounds and the like, the sprites while not the prettiest have great animations, Lara is really fluid and the animation of her hitting a wall and bouncing off and hitting the floor is great – but there wasn’t much to look at elsewhere.
The sound wasn’t much better. It starts off with this pretty good tune in the title sequence and then you have a cut scene with some more appropriate music, then you get to the level and no music, you just get sound effects of Lara running and that’s about it, and the sound effects of her running aren’t great either.
The gameplay to me was pretty boring, it’s a side-scrolling platformer where the controls are unbelievably awkward. You press up to jump and half the time you’ll jump forward instead of straight up. which can lead to you jumping off a platform, or you’ll run to jump a gap press up and boom, you didn’t jump and just fell to your death. What’s also odd is if you jump forward, even if you don’t press up again, but hold forward you keep hopping forward like some deranged frog. Honestly, I looked at reviews and see it got 7.5s and 9s and so on back in the day. Was gaming that bad back then that trash like this got highly rated? Or is it the case the game improves in the later stages? After what I played I’m not willing to find out if the latter is the case. A game needs to start off at least good/interesting to keep someone entertained to get to the best parts and sadly Tomb Rader: Curse of the Sword completely failed to do so.
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Kirby’s Block Ball is a spin-off game from the Kirby platforming series. it was made for the Nintendo Game Boy in 1995, it came out later in Europe in 1996 and it is was made by Hal Laboratory.
The game is an action game with a pretty simple premise, you move along a small paddle and hit blocks with a ball. Think Breakout. It’s more complex than Breakout though, it has paddles on the top and bottom for a start and your ball can change into a full-size Kirby with timing a button press precisely and it’s an ability that lets you break blocks that you normally wouldn’t be able to break. Later stages and boss stages include paddles on the sides of the stages too. It’s also more varied in the stages too, unlike Breakout where it’s basically hit a ball at blocks until you lose all you balls, this game adds enemies, bonus levels, obstacles and more, there’s also power-ups, that help you break more blocks and do a variety of things. I only got to try the Spark powerup, which breaks certain blocks and also continues through several blocks at a time, whereas normally you’d break one block and the ball will bounce back.
The game is fun to play, basic, simple, but jolly. I think it works really well, it has a really good ‘one more go’ feel to it, it’s also a perfect game for quick pick up and play. It’s interesting, taking something that’s been done before, but adding a lot of unique and interesting concepts to it. Visually the game is alright too, the sprites are all good, but obviously being a GameBoy game where you hit blocks, it’s a little bare, there’s not much to excite the eyes. Then there’s the music, it’s great, but there’s so little variety, it’s unfortunate that they used the same track for every stage as changing it up would have been much better.