Gremlins, eh! What would the workman of today do without them? On diagnosing the broken washing machine... "Well madam, I reckon it's one of 'em Gremlins." And the TV repair man... "Don't titter missus but you've got a Gremlin in that there Toshiba." Well, I for one could do without them. But, no! We've had the broken ice cream maker, the book, the first film, the car that keeps conking out (David's Triumph Herald, I believe) and then Gremlins 2, the film. Now we've got Elite's game of the same name and it's not half bad... But enough of that. First, let's get on with the business of the scenario...
Many years have passed since the cuddly little Mogwai, Gizmo, got slightly moist and reproduced himself to the peaceful town of Kingston Falls. Now hero Billy and his bit of fluff, Kate, are working in the Clamp Plaza complex where they discover that Gizmo has been kidnapped from the Chinese storekeeper Mr Wing and is about to be used for scientific experiments.
Billy leaves Gizmo in a drawer while he's working until Kate can come and take the little beggar home. Unfortunately though, Gizmo escapes and gets wet again (well, it wouldn't be much of a story otherwise) and his hermaphrodite carryings-on produce four more Mogwai who ram poor Giz down an air vent and embark on a journey of yet more mischief, mayhem, death and destruction.
Can Billy stop the carnivorous copulation and dispose of the evil Gremlins before they spill out over the streets of New York? Or will the Malicious Mogwais turn him into a thick shake? Well, don't ask us, that's up to you - 'cos you happen to have landed the part of Billy...
You begin the game by alighting from an elevator that sounds just like the lift in Star Trek (Joke © Paul Lakin 1990) - only it deposits you in the complex and not the bridge. From this point on, you've got to total the Gremlins because they'll throw everything they've got at you - literally! Armed with your standard torch, you wouldn't think it would be a problem - well it is. There are at least ten different Gremlins, each with their own characteristics - like Daffy who hurls himself in a cartwheel at you and takes three shots to wipe out, Mohawk, who pops up anywhere and hurls whatever's at hand and Pogo who bounces up and down.
Along the way you can pick up bonus icons - for example a P gives you more points, R turns Gizmo into Rambo so he shoots everything on-screen, plus there are mystery ones too. You can also pick up different weapons - from Frisbies to Boomerangs, but beware the apples - they're crap! And if you complete a level, don't forget to pick up the end-of-level bonus, you'll need them later. You can buy weapons from here using the credits collected in the form of little bubbles whenever you slaughter a Gremlin.
Gremlins 2 features five horizontally scrolling levels and they're all bloody hard. It took me the equivalent of 180 episodes of Neighbours to reach the end of level one. There's no random element in the gameplay, so it's a case of learning when and where to shoot from.
Graphically it's a stunner: each of the Gremlins is yummily animated, from the cigar-smoking George to pouting Sexy-girl and her deadly tongue sarnies. Gremlins even appear on some of the little TVs in the complex and from within Microwaves. Sound is pretty nifty - I love the Gremlins' hyena cackles and the music and sound FX aren't bad either.
It all adds up to standard shoot 'em up arcade fare with some humorous touches and very good graphics. A witty interpretation of a film licence that's well worth a look, particularly for Gizmo lovers!
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