Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
You know those games that are so frustrating they become almost mind-blowingly addictive? Marble Madness is one of ‘em! If you’ve never rolled ya bits ‘n’ bobs before, you’re in for a treat. The game concept’s simple. Guide a marble through half a dozen or so three dimensional mazes within a time limit.
Easy? Well... er... no! If you’re not careful, that ball of yours could tumble over a cliff! The D-button moves your marble around the mazes while buttons and give a quick turbo boost if time’s tight.
In round one you have 60 seconds to reach your goal. The time limits are reduced on later levels, plus there are trillions of meanies and marble-traps to avoid. Mutant marshmallows, pools of green acid, catapults, vacuum cleaners, gaping chasms... they’re all there to waste precious time.
Lives are unlimited — time isn’t! If you’re lucky, a magic wane appears and grants you extra seconds, especially handy if you’re near the finish line with only two or three seconds left. Time remaining’s added to the clock on the next round and bonus points are awarded.
Are you a man or a marble? Can you survive an aerial assault? Have you a fetish for undulations (is that a vegetable?! —Ed) and gravity-defying twisty pathways?
Marble Madness looks great. The 3D graphics are stunning. Animation of the bad guys is humorous — watch those spongy specimens bounce about and gobble your marble whole. No probs with scrolling or controlling, the marble moves at quite a pace! The options screen gives a preview of in-game tunes and FX. The main tunes are thigh-waggling material, for sure, and suit the game down to the ground. A change of control’s also offered (either normal or diagonal — the latter’s tricky!), along with a difficulty preference.
Now, the choice is yours! Marble Madness is a good GG game. I’d recommend you part with your dosh if you played and loved the arcade original or if you’re a newcomer to this classic.
If, on the other hand, you suffer from high blood pressure and have been warned not to lose your temper, or if you’ve played MM to death on other formats, steer clear. I can’t say fairer than that!
What a load of balls (Original Joke No.39)! I’m going to put my foot down with a firm hand here (aren’t mixed metaphors great?! — Prod Ed) — Marble Madness is about as entertaining as Ade’s novelty boxer shorts! The basic idea works okay but it’s not suited to the Game Gear. The ball’s too small and makes for a confusing game. The controls take some getting used to and can be damn annoying on the first few plays. Plums are smart, marbles aren’t!
A great conversion from Tengen and Domark