The CIA has learned that gigantic mutants are wreaking havoc in Metro City and their sources say that the destruction is caused by a scientist calling himself Dr. Mangle. For this reason, they send Snake Logan, the CIA's top secret agent, on a dangerous mission: fly over Metro City, investigate what's going on, then report back to the captain. Unfortunately, Snake's plane is shot down, forcing Snake to walk the streets and kill mutants.
There are three episodes in this game: In "Dr. Mangle's Lab" and "The Hidden Lab", Snake must destroy two labs and Dr. Mangle himself. Just before he dies, Mangle tells him that he is forced by somebody known as Master Cain to do his bidding, or he would be killed, so in "Master Cain", Snake sets out and destroy the creator himself.
All three episodes use the Commander Keen engine, which id Software used. It has a similar score box located at the top-left of the action screen, same menu system, same on-line help, and the same start-up screen where the game detects your sound card, video card, I/O devices, and the amount of memory you have. It even allows you to view the old status screen if you press [Space] during gameplay.
But the only differences are that Snake has eight units of health, so each time Snake collides with a mutant, he doesn't get killed straight away unless he had one unit left. There are 12 levels in each episode. When you start a new game, as well as choosing the three difficulty modes, you get to practice every level except the very last one, which is the episode's final boss.
Snake can use more than one weapon. For example, beside his trusty machine gun, he can also use lasers to fire through mutants, place land mines on the ground or throw grenades to blow them up.
Snake has to make his way through each level by blasting mutants while finding the exit. But to find it, he must first free a hostage located on each level. Some parts of each level are blocked off by a laser gate, and these include passages where the hostages are kept. To turn these off, Snake must search for a keycard or a crystal shard. There are lockers which store these, and can only be opened by obtaining gold keys.
Also in these locked doors are goodies that can boost your score, which could give you an extra life. You can also get an extra life by either collecting 50 gems or a mini-Snake. A few of the levels have a color sequence. This involves finding five different colors in a line, and then finding five switches that must be flipped in the correct order that corresponds to the sequence of colors. Doing this will allow you to get goodies that add many points to your score. However, failure to switch in the correct order will result in Snake falling down a pit of spikes or toxic waste. In some areas, you can also get a flask full of liquid that will make your invincible for 30 seconds. As normally, it does not work when Snake falls down a pit.
You are Snake Logan, a top-secret operative for the CIA. Metro City is being attacked by mutants, probably released by a scientist called Dr. Mangle. You are on a reconnaissance mission in your Cessna when you are shot down and crash-land in the streets of Metro City. You crawl out of the plane armed with an M60 pulse rifle, and the game begins.
Imagine Billy Blaze with a machine gun, splattering the aliens and turning them inside-out in a nice massacre. This is what Snake Logan is doing. The plot is simple: shoot every mutant and evil machine in the town and rescue civilians. This game uses the second Commander Keen engine made by ID Software (Keen 4-6) - one of the world's best platform-engines in my opinion. The biggest problem is that the game lacks variation, and after ten levels of pure killing and pushing a few switches... you need some time before you start with the second episode.
Bio Menace is a typical but quite enjoyable early platformer by Apogee. Despite the cliché defeat-aliens-that-invade-Earth plot, Bio Menace offers huge levels, fun power-ups, and detailed EGA graphics that is a step above Commander Keen (the engine of which powers the game). On the downside, the game has many annoying bugs. For instance, sometimes when you restore the game, you'll find yourself back on the previous level you've been through already. It is no wonder that the game includes a lengthy troubleshooting section, but it's still likely that you will come across one or two bugs before finishing the game. This nuisance aside, Bio Menace is a fun shareware platformer that isn't Apogee's best, but is by no means their worst either. Worth a look if you like platform games or Apogee's classics.
People who downloaded Bio Menace have also downloaded:
Alien Carnage (a.k.a. Halloween Harry), Commander Keen 4, Blake Stone: Planet Strike, Commander Keen 5, Commander Keen, Commander Keen 3, Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold, Commander Keen 6
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