I promised you something good yesterday and so hopefully this post will fill you with plenty of Creepmas fear, as I take a look at various videogame versions of Chris Colombus & Joe Dante's Gremlins movie in this Gruesome Games Special. There's a fair few games based on the crazy classic, so this will be split into two parts, with the second part appearing sometime this week...Might as well extend Creepmas even more towards Christmas like I did last time! ;)
1 :Gremlins ~The Adventure (ZX Spectrum) :
First up, we have Brian Howarth's Gremlins The Adventure, a properly licenced text-adventure which manages to stay very close to the source material! Starting in Billy's bedroom, the game has you immediately facing off against one gremlin who is throwing darts at your face! You'll have to quickly work out how to escape, or you'll be seeing the "Game Over" screen almost immediately!
Not to worry though, as once you're downstairs the game eases off a little, and gives you time to get used to the rather annoying problem of guessing which words the game will understand..I suppose this is a problem with a lot of text adventures, but having to type "Go Door" instead of just moving "North" through it is the bit that annoyed me the most!
But you'll eventually get used to it, and learn that with a PELTZER remote control and several PUSH BUTTON commands you'll be able to enjoy the great animations as you blend, microwave, behead and otherwise dispose of the ever-growing gremlin horde and stop them from taking over your town! The graphics really are the best thing about this title, and as you can see from the gifs posted here, do a fantastic job of creating just the right fun mood for a Gremlins game!
So yeah, ignore the fact the game won't understand you half the time and you should have a great time exploring Kingston Falls and saving Christmas!
2 - Gremlins (ZX Spectrum) :
The Adventure wasn't the only Gremlins game on the ZX Spectrum though...hidden away on cassette 2, side 2 of 60 Spectrum Games from Magnum Computing was this effort by a Stephen Nichols...Clearly unlicenced, it sees you taking control of Gizmo the Mogwai in his little car! You have to try and speed to the bottom of the screen and pull a cord to open the shop blinds so that light will stream in and melt the nasty Gremlins before they can jump in the fountain, and start multiplying!
For some reason, killer chainsaws are running rampant in little groups, and in another shameless rip-off (Frogger) you'll have to avoid these saws to get to the cord. That's it really...not a game that will see you play for more than a couple of minutes, but it's not without some fun. It's really not good enough to recommend you trying though.......
3. Gremlins (Atari 2600) :
Another game that borrows heavily from arcade influences is the Atari 2600 game, which in the first stage has you collecting Mogwai as they drop from the rafters and try to snaffle your hamburgers, clearly ripping off Kaboom! Should the little furry freaks reach the hamburgers, they'll turn into pods ready to transform into Gremlins. Miss all the Mogwai and it's Game Over....
The second screen has you shooting the Gremlins that have now hatched from their slimy pods, as they advance down the screen towards you, like Gremliny-Space-Invaders! Blast them before they reach the bottom, or once again the game will end.
Back in the day I don't suppose you would be too unhappy if you got this in your Christmas Stocking, but now it's only really worth playing for a few minutes if you happen to have them spare. At least the graphics are decent enough to let you know you are indeed playing another Gremlins game!
Anyway, that's enough for now, or I'll miss my deadline again! Don't worry if you are slightly underwhelmed by this lot...there are far better Gremlin Games to come in the second part, which should be appearing here soon...so long as some Gremlins don't get into the computer or anything....wait....what's that music I can hear? Sounds like Johnny Mathis....*gulp*...