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Topo Soft
1988
Arcade: Maze
£7.99
Multiple languages (see individual downloads)
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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86,87
Phil King, Nick Roberts, Mark Caswell
Chris Bourne

GET FIZZICAL WITH NASTY GHOSTS

Michael Jackson and Tina Turner, move over - you've just been replaced by a computer! Although thousands of Spectrums are unlikely to be singing and dancing in TV commercials, a great many will undoubtedly be running the first Pepsi Challenge game - Mad Mix Game. The link with Pepsi-Cola is not just a gimmick though, as players who reach a preset score in the game will earn the right to take part in the Pepsi Challenge itself and automatically be entered in a tree draw with the promise of great prizes from Pepsi and US Gold.

After a particularly groovy version of Beethoven's 5th Symphony, play begins, with the pint-sized, but rotund hero scurrying around the first smoothly-scrolling maze Pac- Man-style with a horde of ghosts in pursuit. Gobbling up little dots is the hero's favourite pastime, and when all the current level's dots have been consumed he is magically transported to a new maze.

All sounds a bit like Pac-Man, you may think? Well the basic concept is identical, but Mad Mix Game offers a host of original features such as pills which turn him into a fat and well-animated, hippopotamus to crush those nasties and a sabre-toothed demon to guzzle ghosties - he obviously has a taste for spirits!

Whether you really like the game depends on if you love or loathe the genre; if you don't then steer clear. But with its many enhancements, Mad Mix Game offers Pac-Man fans some decidedly frantic fun. Mad Mix Game does to Pac-Man what Arkanoid did to Breakout, great fun'
PHIL ... 78%

THE ESSENTIALS
Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: although the play area is monochromatic, the hero transforms into a variety of well-animated characters
Sound: Beethoven's 5th Symphony title tune and good chomping effects
Options: definable keys

CRITICISM

'When I first saw this I thought it was just another attempt at sprucing up the ancient Pac-Man idea. After I had played it a couple of times, however, I found it totally addictive and great fun to play. Instead of the 2-D circle with a wedge cut out, Mad Mix Game has a superb 3- D muncher, along with ghosts and excellently detailed backgrounds. In addition there are icons to collect which turn you nasty (or should that be BAD - ow!), enabling you to munch the ghosts as well as the dots (yum, yum). Mad Mix Game is full of surprises and extras that make it highly addictive. You've just got to buy it!' NICK … 87%

'Okay, okay let's get this over with, yes Mad Mix Game does look like Pac-Man, but I must say that I find it much more playable. I've liked this type of maze game for a long while, but even I am starting to find it going stale. What's needed is a game to give the genre a new lease of life, and to my mind Mad Mix Game may be the one. Certainly it's an enjoyable mixture of mind-wrenching strategy and finger-flicking reflexes. One feature I particularly like is the method of destroying the baddies; when a power pill is collected you either change into a hippo (!!), or an evil looking version of your normal self (a touch of the old Jekyll and Hydes perhaps). But don't expect the ghosts to be a push-over, many hours will be spent practising how to turn a tight corner with a couple of nasties on your tail. If you like Pac-Man-type games, you can't miss this!' MARK ... 86%

General Rating: It may be an unoriginal variation on the Pac Man theme, but Mad Mix Game has many extras which make it very playable, and well worth buying.

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Save the ghost-stunning power pills till you really need them - there is nothing more annoying than having ghosts on your tail and nothing to zap them with.

Work out a route for clearing each screen. it will help you in future games, as you will know exactly where you're going.

Clear the right-hand side of Level One first; the left side is made easier by the spaceship transformer

Use a power pill to clear the area near the ghosts' den.

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Chomp, chomp as an extremely large hippo enters the arena.