Gremlins is an action game based on the Steven Spielberg movie of the same name. The game takes place just after midnight when there are Gremlins and Mogwai running around Billy's living room!
You control Billy from a 3rd person point of view. On each level, your goal is to catch all of the Mogwai and return them to their cage (located in the upper right corner of the screen) and to destroy all of the Gremlins with a sword. Each level has a time limit - at 6:00 am when the sun rises. You move on to the next level by completing your tasks or just surviving until 6:00, although more points are awarded for the former. You will also receive bonus points for each Mogwai returned to the cage.
On many of the levels there will be various types of food lying about the screen. If a Mogwai eats any food, it will turn into a gremlin. There may also be puddles of water; if a Gremlin or Mogwai runs into the water, it will split into two. Some levels also contain a refrigerator or popcorn machine which will throw food out onto the screen, or a television which will distract the Gremlins.
You also begin the game with a limited number of flash cubes; if you get into trouble, you can use these to temporarily stun all of the Gremlins and Mogwai. As the levels progress gameplay becomes faster and the Gremlins and Mogwai more numerous.
Gremlins is a fun and very rare PC version of ATARI's action classic for on its 5200 console. Aside from being one of ATARI's early classics, the game also deserves mention as one of the first good adaptations from a hit movie.
Your goal in the game is the same as that of the main character in the movie: prevent the cute Mogwais from getting wet and multiplying, and above all else, don't let them eat anything, because it's after 11PM. To do this, you collect one Mogwai at a time and lock it up in the cage. Unfortunately, a few Mogwais have already turned into ugly Gremlins, so you must kill them with your trusty sword. If you become surrounded, you can stun the gremlins with flash cubes. You can also turn on the TV to freeze Mogwais and Gremlins in their tracks (probably because they can't stand watching Baywatch XXVI too many times).
It may sound easy enough... until you realize how much your task is complicated by your idiot father's stupid scientific inventions that get in your way, just like in the movie. He's got the fridge firing ice cubes out. Ice melts into water puddles - and if you've seen the movie, you'll know that Mogwais or Gremlins and water don't mix. Even worse is dad's lidless popcorn popper, which dutifully fills the room with popcorn when turned on. Since it's after 11PM already, I don't need to tell you why this is bad. Of course, the Gremlins and Mogwais love to turn on the popcorn maker, and neither can resist the urge for a midnight snack. A Gremlin might even open up the fridge and start tossing out food to his friends! And you also can't stray too far from the Mogwai cage, lest a Gremlin break them out.
If this sounds like it's a complicated game, that's because it is. Fortunately, the controls are very easy to learn and master, and the game plays beautifully. The 4-color CGA graphics in this PC version is a step backward from the superior graphics in the 5200 version, but they are still very detailed, with smooth animations that bring the Mogwais' lovable and the Gremlins' troublesome antics to life. Definitely one of the best arcade games you'll ever come across. A must-play for all action fans.
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