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Arcade: Maze
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Graham Taylor
Chris Bourne

Mermaid Madness is an arcade comedy apparently. That probably means the same as 'hilarious' in PR blurb-speak. Mermaid Madness is awful.

For a start the plot is sexist. That, you may say, is taking a political line not suitable for a software review, but the idea of a mermaid called Myrtle chasing divers looking for love is in itself, moderately stupid.

Making her a fat ugly mermaid 'with the face that sank a thousands ships' who chases after a diver called Gormless Gorden is simply pathetic. Alliterations like Gormless Gorden should be strangled at birth.

To details. Myrtle is a largish yellow sprite with breasts that wobble (yes, think of that, a character on your very own Spectrum that has real naked breasts, gasp) as she swims. Aside from that her light yellow colour ensures that at times she is very difficult to see. Perhaps guessing where Myrtle is is part of the game.

Mostly it's collect the objects, find out what they are used for and don't bash into the obstacles (in this case avoid the sea creatures).

Some of the background graphics are rather clever, I quite liked the shipwreck. Others are just naff - your standard all-purpose jelly monsters. Since the sprites are large there are some psychedelic colour attribute problems and this being the sea a vast amount of the screen is blue making some of the sprites extremely difficult to see.

If this were £1.99 I could try to muster some sort of charitable remark along the lines of it being not bad except for the plot presentation and colour problems, but Electric Dreams are trying to ship it out at £9.99.

They cannot possibly be serious. The game also has, incidentally, some of the most moronic promotional copy on the blurb I've ever read.

Label: Electric Dreams
Author: Soft Design
Joystick: various
Memory: 48K/128K
Reviewer: Graham Taylor


A failed joke. This aquatic mess should have been drowned the second after somebody thought of it.