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Mastertronic Plus
Arcade: Maze
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K

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Chris Jenkins
Chris Bourne

The other day I was burning some toast in the kitchen when I thought I heard a squeaky, scrabbly noise behind the cooker. Ever vigilant for signs of venomous vermin crawling over my condiments, I put a mousetrap down, and the following day there was a pop-eyed pest crushed to death in it. Sorry, I said, but if you pooh on my cooker, that's what you get.

So as you can imagine I'm not to keen on mouses, and Micro Mouse (Goes Debugging) would have had to be a lot better than it is to overcome my prejudices. After wading through the inane blurb, which is all about circuit-testing, robot-controlled repair droids and cybernetic intelligences, you soon figure out that this is a Pac-man variant, devoid of any real originality. Remember Alligata's Hypercircuit? It's the same idea; you control a little mousey droid scuttling around a printed circuit board, avoiding electrical discharges and attempting to repair damage to the track. It's a whole heap of yawn.

The gimmick is that scattered around the board are first aid stations where micro-mouse can pick up sections to repair damaged tracks. Trouble is, they have to be the right shape, so first you have to find a spot of damage, then find a station, then scroll through the selection of available parts until you find the right shape, then take it to the damage and drop it in place. Trying to fry you along the way are randomly wandering Pulsers, Homers which chase after you, and Drillers which cause the breaks on the tracks.

Meters show your remaining strength (as a block of cheese, ho-ho), and the amount of unrepaired damage. To complete the game you have to have the board fully repaired when the timer for each section runs out.

The graphics are unimaginative, the sound's average, and though the scrolling's quite fast and smooth, it's not enough to add any excitement to this pile of rodent droppings.

Label: Mastertronic
Price: £2.99
Reviewer: Chris Jenkins

Undistinguished mousey mazey (mankey) mish mash.


Screenshot Text

Make a dash for the red cross boxes to collect the extra bits of pipe.

Out of the coloured wires and onto the next level! A broken section in the bottom left needs attention.

Comprehensive options. Joysticks are too inaccurate, we found.

Heading for his escape, Micromouse, having fixed the damage flees to the next board.