Saturday, December 24, 2011

Batch 28 : A *big* one and a surprise !

Ho-Ho-Ho ! Dashing through the snow ... ( cough ! ) Ah ! It's time for another batch, racing past the 200 Tape postmark and with a surprise to boot as well. Just in time really for this festive post.
Although, we only have four Tapes, most of this batch has a sporting theme. Hole-in-One is a classic Golf game, although not in the same league as Leaderboard Golf, it's still a pretty cool game all the same. Sport of Kings is a run of the mill Horse Racing game that steadies you from splashing out on the hard cash in a betting form. Both Hole-in-One and Sport of Kings have nice colourful graphics, even if they look a little basic. Still bags of fun though ! Vectorball is football / soccer, score a goal in the opposing teams side type of game. Nice vector graphics though and it feels like Spindizzy might have inspired the game players a little.

Mastertronic ::

Mastertronic Added Dimension ::
Ball Crazy, Hole in One and Sport of Kings.

Now it's time for a little surprise ! I found ( bought ) a copy of Water Polo on the Mastertronic Label, but on Disk. Technically, it isn't part of my mission to collect titles on Disk, but it was cheap enough and I thought I would check it out. I have come to the conclusion though, that this title has been released at least twice.
The other software house that released it, was Gremlin. Despite this Disk, Box and Instructions being around 25 years old, it's done remarkably well. I took the liberty of creating an image file for use with an emulator like Vice. So, you can see, it seems to be a rare release by Mastertronic and I have not yet encountered a copy on Tape. As far as I am aware, no other sites have an copy of this version, just the Gremlin one.

So, we have actually reached ... 203 Tapes, leaving the few that maybe tough cookies to obtain next year, but we will see what crops up. Until the next batch, see you then.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Batch 27 : Short of another *BIG* one

Well, we are rolling up to another *big* one ! Hopefully, if the next batch of Tapes arrives before Christmas, the grand total will be ... 203 with only 30 or so to go. So, out of the remaining Tapes, I reckon that about 12 will be tricky to get hold of. I know I might have mentioned this before, but you can see it happening.
This batch contains a nice selection of shoot'em ups, a platformer and a nice Pool and Snooker game, On Cue. P.O.D. ( Proof of Destruction ) is a great little shoot'em up, perfect for releasing any stress through blasting away the baddies. It's also, another great game from the Shaun Southern stable, who is also responsible for giving us Vegas Jackpot, Kikstart and Lotus on the Amiga under the company name of Magnetic Fields.

Mastertronic ::
Hyperforce, P.O.D., Prowler and Rasterscan.

Mastertronic Added Dimension ::
On Cue and Wizards Pet.

Ricochet ::
5th Quadrant.

Hold on to your Hats and get ready for the next batch coming soon ...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Batch 26 : I am strong and into Budgies !

" I'm a Lumberjack and I'm okay " ... Immortal words as sung by the Monty Python crew. But also one of the sub-songs in Geoff Capes Strongman as translated to the great Commodore 64 SID by Rob Hubbard.
Did you know that Geoff Capes keeps and breeds Budgies ? It might seem like an unusual hobby, but what an excellent one, for one of Great Britains Strongmen.

Ricochet ::
Geoff Capes Strongman

Hopefully, there should be another batch or two before the end of 2011 ... Until then !

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Batch 25 : One of the earlier ones !

At last ! I have managed to get hold of one the earlier ones, from 1984 ! That would be Orbitron, another game with what appears to have the trademark and feeling of an early David and Richard Darling production. It's tricky to play and for some reason you just want to better your last attempt all the time. If you think about it, it's pure genius, create a game creation engine or tool and churn out stuff for all to play and cuss over. I don't think it really mattered then, I was more for buying and playing budget games. Not leaving out the games that cost up to £15, even back in the 1980's.
I don't seem to remember Camelot Warriors, it's another re-release and appears to be from Ariolasoft / Dinamic. For some reason, I kept thinking of Sacred Armour or Antiraid. Perhaps it was the suit ?

Mastertronic ::
Camelot Warriors and Orbitron.

Until the next batch ...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Batch 24 : Another Visitor ... Now, then ! Now, then !

Everyone loves most Saturdays and I for one, especially on BBC1 around Tea Time ( 4pm or 5pm ) when Jim'll Fix It was on back in the 1980's. Alas, poor Sir Jimmy Saville, the presenter for Jim'll Fit It, past away in October 2011, but we'll never forget him ! This a link to the game Super Trolley where it was developed after a wish by Andrew Collett was sent to the television programme.
Now, then ! Super Trolley is a game I simply don't understand. I have tried to play it, if only for a few minutes. Although, nowadays I tend to only play games that are easy to get into and don't require to much thought.

Another pleasing addition to the collection, is Impossible Mission. A true classic from the 1980's with amazing Speech Synthesis, well worth the money then and now. 

Mastertronic ::
Rapid Fire, Super Trolley and Treasure Island. 

Ricochet ::
Impossible Mission.

Coming soon and in progress ... Batch 25 !

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Batch 23 : Adventures we do !

What's life without a little adventure ? Boring or just plain tiring ? I didn't realise that Mastertronic had released that many adventure titles. Thankfully, most of the modern day ones or at the time of release, had a bit more than just text. Not saying that pure text adventures are boring and have no depth, but by adding some graphical aspects too, makes everything more interesting.
Although, the game Knightmare is like an arcade adventure, I would still place it into the adventure genre. It's also based on a Television Programme from the 1980's and 1990's.

Mastertronic ::

Ricochet ::

Rolling towards another Batch soon ... It's won't be long until the 200 mark is met !

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Batch 22 : Hello Again ... Dan Dare !

In a bizarre twist of fate I managed to get a sequel before a prequel ! No ! What I mean is, I got Dan Dare II, before Dan Dare. Apparently, there was a third Dan Dare, but not a re-release on the Mastertronic Label or even it's sub labels. I quite like the graphics in Dan Dare, they are clean and cartoony at the same time.
We also have X-15 Alpha Mission, a Flight Simulator type-game. I am not a big fan of this genre, I used to be many years ago with Solo Flight by Microprose / US Gold, being my top favourite. All I want to do in games now, is shoot or jump !

Ricochet ::
Dan Dare and X-15 Alpha Mission

Batch 23 will be around to warm your hearts soon ... Current Total in collection now, is : [ 184 ]

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Batch 21 : Ooo ... Laser Cycle-type-Tron !

Well, it's November 5th 'Guy Fawkes Day' ! No doubt there will be lots of Fireworks going off tonight, even though, some have been going off days before ! Quite a common occurance to be honest ! So, what do we have this time ? A Laser Cycle-type-Tron and great little Stock Car Racing game with great visuals and cool Sprites !
I hope you like the different backdrop for the Photo, taken on the Commodore 128 with a Dust Cover adding a nice background. The Commodore 64c has been put away, as the Atari 800 XL is in it's place. Perhaps I could start collecting Mastertronic Tapes for the Atari ? I think I should need more storage space and funds though.

Mastertronic Plus ::
Raster Runner and Super Stock Car.

Until the next Batch ...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Batch 20 : Turbo Loaders

Where would we have been, without Turbo Loaders on games ? Slightly more bored or a greater reason to sleep unlike Cats who seem to do that most of their lives ? Well, anything to speed up the time in waiting for your favourite game to load, isn't that bad ? Three questions in the first paragraph is asking for trouble, but despite the wonder of Turbo Loaders, there is also the terror of them failing at the same time ...
Just two for you this time, in between my rant about Turbo Loaders ...

Mastertronic Added Dimension ::
Storm Bringer

Ricochet ::
Dragon Skulle

I have some favourite Turbo Loaders and also some most hated ones, more so for their total failure in my experience on certain C2N Tape Decks. Don't get me wrong, Commodore's ROM Loader is fine on smaller games and programs, but we must praise Turbo Loaders !

Favourite [ 3 ] ::

1 : Burner ( Mastertronic )
2 : Novaload ( US Gold and Ocean )
3 : Bleepload ( Firebird )

Worst [ 3 ] ::

1 : Cyberload ( System 3 ) - Why ? : Some Backup Cartridges needed to be removed in order to play the game.
2 : Wildsave ( Thalamus ) - Why ? : The Loader is way too sensitive on certain C2N Tape Decks. I hated those thin multi-coloured lines when the loading failed !
3 : Virgin Loader ( Virgin ) - Why ? : Multi-coloured lines of pure hatred on load errors !

One of the two games from this batch, Dragon Skulle, has quite a long loading time. Counter 149, that's about 5-6 mins or maybe a bit more. Quite a chunky wait after a loading screen ! Some of Mastertronic's Ricochet releases have Invade-a-load and when the game has loaded you can see the decrunching process happen, as characters change colour and go slightly corrupt. Does this mean the original game was frozen and then restarted with a JSR e.g. ( $4000 ) ?

Anyway, the current collected total so far is ... 180 !

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Batch 19 : You just can't Beat-It !

N-i-n-e-t-e-e-n ! A line from Paul Hardcastles' 19 is more difficult to write in words, than it is pronoucing it verbally. So, just take yourself back to when you first heard the track and then go and listen to it on YouTube, is it how you remember it ?

Anyhow, it is Batch 19 with a few shoot'em ups and a real classic, Eddie Kidd Jump Challenge. Loosely based on the British equivalent of the USA Stuntman, Evel Kenievel.
Beat-it or rather Jammin' II is a pretty good game, where you must collect notes and use Escalator type areas on the level to reach them. Die Alien Slime felt like an enhanced Shoot'em up Construction Kit game. Though, there is nothing wrong with that, I could help feeling a reminder of this when playing it. Again, Try and check out some or all of the games that appear in the All About Mastertronic Blog, you are sure to find something of interest.

Mastertronic ::
Beat-it, Frenesis, Starforce Fighter, Starlifter and Zzzz.

Mastertronic Plus ::
Die Alien Slime and Mindtrap.

Ricochet ::
Aliens and Eddie Kidd Jump Challenge.

Batch 20 won't be far off ... 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Batch 18 : With a trusty Sword !

Whoa ! It's October and very hot outside, instead of it being cold and autumnal, like we all love and hate. Anyway, we have raced up to another Batch with a considered rare game from the Americana stable. I still found a copy from the usual source, eBay !
You might not think of Zorro being a hard to find title, but like many titles, there is always the odd one that becomes a challenge to track down. The graphical style of the game kind of reminds me a Conan and Goonies. Both Datasoft titles as well, ironically.

Americana ::

Mastertronic Plus ::

The other title of this Batch, is Leviathan. A rather unusual Zaxxon clone with some of the craziest controls I've ever seen on a shoot'em up. When you do get the hang of it, it's good to shoot the baddies out of the space sky and try to get ahead through the level. I did find loading different Landscapes from Tape a little crazy, loading from Disk must be a tad easier.

Coming sometime soon ... Batch 19 !

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Batch 17 : What a whopper !

With a little pause from the last post, we have a whopper here ! 25 games in this batch with four that appear on a compilation. All the games cover most genre's : Adventure to Shoot'em up's ! I do find though, that on some re-releases, particulary Ricochet, the game title has been renamed on the cover, but the game itself hasn't changed from the original name and release. A fine example in this batch is, Skate Rock Simulator. Originally from Bubble Bus and called Skate Rock with great music by Ben Daglish.
I also have to mention the game, Droids ( Star Wars ) ' The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO '. Just what is going on with this game ? Track it down, either the original or via emulation and give it a go.

Bulldog ::

Mastertronic Added Dimension ::
Amaurote, Droids, Ice Palace, Octoplex, Supertstar Ping Pong and Zub.

Mastertronic ::
Bomb Fusion, Fantastic Four ( 180, Coloby, Rasterscan and Zub ), Speed Zone, Sweep and The Quest for the Golden Egg Cup.

Mastertronic Plus ::
Fighting Warrior, Gemini Wing, Rad Ramp Racer and Street Hassle.

Ricochet ::
Dan Dare II - Mekons Revenge, Hacker, Starquake, Superstar Challenge ( Brian Jacks ), Skate Rock Simulator and Tau Ceti.

The Grand Total of Tapes collected so far is ... 166 !

Pending and coming soon ... Batch 18 with another Americana to the fold !

Friday, August 26, 2011

Batch 16 : Bizarre to a Manager !

Ah ! It's a little dark outside and raining ! So where did the summer go ? I can remember the summers years ago, when I was still at school, but they where more fun during the holidays. Can anyone remember the Cartoons for Cities of Gold or Battle of the Planets ( G-Force ) ? I have such fond memories of watching these whilst having a power sleep-in.
I think I've been quite lucky with this batch, I managed to get hold of Bruce Lee without over paying the odds and it loaded first time. I know I mentioned that some Americana Tapes might not load, but in this instance we've had success. However, I'm still on the look out Beach Head II on the Americana Label, as my copy is a bit poorly and crashes part way through loading. I know a copy will surface one day !

Americana ::
Bruce Lee

Mastertronic ::
Molecule Man

Mastertronic Plus ::
Rugby Manager and Yes ! Prime Minister !

Ricochet ::
Erebus and Toy Bizarre

Hopefully, the next couple of batches maybe bumper ones. Namingly, Batch 17 and quite probably Batch 18.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Batch 15 : Start at the Beach and fight your way through !

The first time I saw and played part of this batch, Beach Head, I was still at school and probably about 14 years old. The gameplay and sound effects were spot on, never to be forgotten and always revisited for blast or two. Admittedly, it was a pirated version with Bruce Lee on the same Tape. But, I did own the originals a while later where my collection grew and grew, until that fateful day when six years of Commodore 64 computing was sold in way for a Commodore Amiga. So, tears of joy and sadness at the same time.
I didn't encounter Fist II until way into the late 1980's, around 1989/90. Not a bad beat'em up with an adventure element, if a little long and confusing, mapping the areas did help though.

Americana ::
Beach Head

Mastertronic Plus ::
Fist II

I wonder what Batch 16 will hold ?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Batch 14 : Is that a Tom Selleck look alike ?

Does anyone remember Magnum P.I. [ ] from the 1980's ? You know, the T.V. Series where on the intro to each episode, a Ferrari skidded around [ ] and drove down the road at fast speed ? But to what connection has this to this batch ? Well, take a look at the cover to this ...
His specialist camouflage jacket does seem a little different, but the similarities are uncanny aren't they ? Don't you think ? Unless you read the reviews of this game, you instantly think it's some sort of shoot and beat'em up. Alas, it's a text adventure, but seemingly good, according to the extra Computer and Video Games Hit blurb on the front.
One extra note for this game, it's in two parts. Recorded conviently on both sides of the tape. Just in case one side fails, but that never happened did it ?

Bulldog ::
Rigel's Revenge

Batch 15 coming up later next week ... A beat'em up and war-type shoot'em up !

Friday, July 29, 2011

Batch 13 : A Bakers dozen and a bit more !

Mmm ... A Bakers dozen ! I could quite easily chomp away at a Cream Cake or some fresh Bread from a Bakery right now, but instead, I'll put that thought on hold and present a whopper of batch this time. We have 23 titles here with a couple of rare ones, Starace from 1984 and Beach Head II on the Americana sub-label. If I have not already mentioned before, Mastertronic had sub-labels and as in this batch : Americana, Bulldog and Rack It !

Americana ::
Beach Head II and Go For the Gold.

Bulldog ::
Destructo, Feud and Shard or Inovar.

Entertainment USA ::
Las Vegas Video Poker and Street Surfer.

Mastertronic Added Dimension :: 
Action Force, Kromazone and Strike.

Mastertronic ::
Bionic Granny / Jungle Story, Dynamix, Kentilla, Knight Tyme, Nonterraqueous, Pulsoids, Sailing and Starace.

Mastertronic Plus ::
Barry McGuigan World Championship Boxing, Tetris and Xenon.

Rack It ::
Battle Valley and Supercup Football.

The Grand Total of Tapes collected so far is ... 135 ! 

If you live in the United Kingdom you might have seen the adverts for a supermarket called Morrisons and term - " Price Crunch ". Well, three Mastertronic Titles for £3.99 from the 1980's or even early 1990's must have been a bargain then. It also goes to show, how long Morrisons have been around for.

Again, this pack was sealed and dutifully opened, so that the games could be tested and played. Kentilla is a cool graphic adventure game, Pulsoids is a breakout clone and Nonterraqueous is a nice little shoot'em up.

Now, moving onto the subject of the Americana Label. Whilst trying to load both Beach Head II and Go For the Gold, I ran into problems, where the tape either seized or encountered some sort of load error. Though, you must forgive the fact that it is truly amazing that any computer game tape would last over 20 years and still load. Of course, if the Tape or Disk was stored in the right conditions, then perhaps and in pretty much a high percentage that I have tested, has. Perhaps I have this paranoid thought or feeling, that the next Americana Tape will have the same problem. Although, perhaps a bad batch of Tapes were used during duplication ?

Pending and coming soon ... Batch 14 !

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Batch 12 : Some of us are sealed ...

Rolling up to a nice little batch here with a sealed collection of games, which I understandably opened and tested all the same. To some of you, this might sound crazy, but to me it's magnetic media that has been stored and never used ... So, it needs to be loaded and played ! Some collectors daren't open an item for devaluing it, but if an item is kept in a good condtion, then to me it's perfectly fine to use it ! Also, thank goodness for Emulation, for most of and pretty much 100% of the collectable titles, will already be available in the Commodore archives, as would most other formats, like the ZX Spectrum.

In this sealed pack we have : Werewolves of London, Revenge II and Crazy Comets !

And to now the wonders of this Batch ...

Mastertronic ::
The Captive, Lazer Wheel, Revenge II and Werewolves of London.

Mastertronic Plus ::
Knight Games, Psycho Hopper and Transformers.

Ricochet ::
Crazy Comets

A nice batch with a variation of genres. Now, Batch 13 will be an interesting one with 10+ titles and one *rare* re-release ...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Rare as ... Pigs in Space ?

Do you remember the Muppets and the sketch mini-series called - " Pigs in Space " ? Well, this really hasn't got anything to do with it, unless you truly want it to be !

" Pigs in Space " is a game that appears to have been released by Mastertronic in April 1984. Although, at a first glance, it does bear the uncanny resemblence of Pooyan from Datasoft.

Pigs in Space from Mastertronic

Pooyan from Datasoft 

Now, the Pigs in Space screenshot was actually taken from my original copy of Pigs in Space from Advanced Computer Entertainment ( ACE ). The Pooyan screenshot was taken from a .D64 image in the Public Domain, GameBase64 : [ ]. So, let's look at my original ACE Tape and Inlay :

ACE - Pigs in Space ( Tape )

ACE - Pigs in Space ( Inlay )

I personally haven't seen a single copy of Pigs in Space by Mastertronic and to be honest I didn't and partly don't, actually believe that it exists. There is some guessing that back in 1984, the Mastertronic game was pulled due to it being too similar as Pooyan. A bit like Great Giana Sisters being the same as Super Mario or Mario. Now, if the game did actually exist, it would be in the Commodore Game Archives wouldn't it ? There is some form of evidence that game does exist, but in a form of a Photo :

 The above Photo was sourced from the following Lemon 64 Forum :

If this is the official Mastertronic release, it should carry the hallmarks of the Loader similar to the ACE version of Pigs in Space :

Instead of the ACE logo, it would have the Mastertronic one. Also, more than likely with a good hunch of the programmers being, Richard and David Darling. The wonder boys responsible for some of the earlier Mastertronic games, then moving onto Codemasters.

For something even more spooky or strange, take a look at the ACE Inlay and then the Mastertronic one. They are pretty much the same, now we know that a company called Words and Pictures did all the Inlay artwork for Mastertronic, but which one came first ? ACE or Mastertronic ?

Pigs in Space could be labelled as one of the worst games ever, but if the original Mastertronic version appeared on eBay with proof of it's authenticity, either a video of it running or some documention ... I bet it would sell for an obscene amount of money ! Not so long ago, there was a rare copy of a game called - " Danse Macabre " for the Commodore 64 on Disk that sold on eBay for 550 EUR ( £490 ). It had never appeared in the Public Domain, but now it suddenly has !

Coming soon ... Pending delivery ... Batch 12 !

Batch 11 : Just the Two of them !

Two more Tapes arrived on Friday whilst I was out for the day in Stratford-upon-Avon and enjoying Harry Potter 7 Part 2 in the afternoon. This batch has a Beat'em up and Sporting element.

Mastertronic ::

Mastertronic Plus ::
Double Dragon

So, as I was scanning the Inlays for these, I thought, I know, I'll scan both inside and outside of the Inlays. It's a bit of a rewind job, but it will only apply to Instructions and not for International language Instructions. Then again, I'll probably end up changing my mind, At least all of the Inlays would have been preserved.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Batch 10 : All By Itself !

Awe ! All by itself ! Little ol' Batch 10 ! However, I was expecting two other Tapes to arrive today, but only this one turned up. It is another Fruit Machine title, although quite different in presentation and style compared to Vegas Jackpot from 1984. Only five years separates these two games.

Mastertronic ::
Super Nudge 2000 ( Fruitbank ) 1989

Now, this neat game was coded by none other than Ashley Routledge & David Saunders ( Ash & Dave ) ( Digital Design ) famed for their cool Demos on Compunet and then Games into the mainstream. Other Games of theirs to look out for on Mastertronic : Gaplus and Dynamix. You can also find some of their other releases, both Demos and Games here : [ ] / [ ]

Pending delivery ... Batch 11 : Double Dragon and Hyperbowl ...

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Cataloguing, Scanning and .TAP Files ?

With any collection or collecting, there involves a process of counting, creating an inventory and to some extent, labeling. This sounds like a seemingly boring process, but can also prove fairly interesting and important process when it comes to adding and accounting for any item.

Cataloguing ::

In true, geek fashion, here is a screenshot of a sample from my Mastertronic Spreadsheet :

Although, there doesn't seem to be any such order, the Code number when on an Inlay or Game Title can always be put into numeric or alpha order. I have even gone to the extent of recording the Tape Counter and .TAP file for use with an Emulator or modern day SD Card Reader Cartridges, like the 1541 Ultimate II which has a marvellous piece of hardware that allows the Loading of a .TAP in real-time through a *real* Commodore 64 Computer. Simply amazing !

Scanning ::

Just to make the collecting process a little bit more special, I decided to Scan every Inlay. Although, it this has only applied to just the front Cover only. Eventually, all Inlays will have the main part cropped. As an example, let's take Milk Race :
The above image doesn't really reflect on the true size of the resolution and quality of the original scan. All of the Inlays are scanned at 300 dpi, croppped and rotated where needed. I usually leave a bit of space on the outer sections of scan, but this could quite easily be tidied up if need be.

The above image ( not true size ) of Milk Race, is the cropped version from the original Inlay. The dimensons were measured from the front usually seen through the Cassette / Tape Case.The dimensions for these are : 6.5 cm x 10.2 cm. A defined crop area was used in Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0 and moved over the desired area of Inlay, then cropped. A spot healing and smudge tool was then used as a final touch to clean up any areas that appeared to have blemishes or scratches.

TAP Files ::

Just to go that extra bit further, I decided to archive and collect all of the .TAP Files that are associated with the original Mastertronic release. These were sourced from a couple of websites that host a fair number of Titles : [ ] and [ ]. A TAP File is basically an audio dump from the original Tape, which has been digitally cleaned through an audio process, all ready for use with all or most Emulation programs and Hardware based products.

The above is just a sample of the .TAP Files are have in the archive and can be easily used, currently any such File is used with C64 Forever or Vice. Emulation is one the greatest way of reliving old software and systems, it's a preservation that should always be accepted and appreciated, as with anything historical.

Batch 9 and we've hit 100 !

Delivered this morning and a cause for celebration ... Batch 9's addition marks the collection at 100 Tapes now ! So, according to the Anthony Guter List of releases : [ ] ( Tape ), I have around 139 to go ! Nearly half way then, eh ?

Mastertronic Added Dimension ( M.A.D. ) ::

Mastertronic ::
Bosconian 87 and Pipeline 2 ( Super ) 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Incoming ... Batch 8 ?

I bet you are saying to yourselves, batch 8 ? Where are the previous ones ? Don't worry, this is a series of batched Tapes that have come in from an eBay, Online Purchase or Trade. This one in particular was a Trade from : [ ] Based in the United Kingdom, they carry a great amount of stock on all Platforms and Systems, both Hardware and Software. Why not check the site out ? :)

In no particular order ...

Plus ::
3D Pinball

Mastertronic Added Dimension ( M.A.D. ) ::
Angle Ball

Mastertronic ::
Make Music with Mistertronic, The Quest of the Holy Grail, Wing Commander, S.O.S. Kobyashi Naru, Starforce Nova and Venom.

Batch 9 coming soon ...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

So, where do I begin ? Well, from the start of course ! :)

I have very fond memories of the Mastertronic Label, specifically on the Commodore 64, the very computer that my father bought me from an Electrical Store called Rumbelows in Oxford, instead of a Sinclair ZX81 that I saw in an advert whilst reading a national Newspaper ( The Sun ironically ) and wanted so badly. To be honest and to this day, I am so glad the Commodore 64 was the Computer of choice.

Now, I could dive straight in and cover the complete history of Mastertronic from start to finish, but in this instance I am going to blog my progress whilst trying to collect ... All Things Mastertronic ! Well, on Tape to start with or at the very least ! :)

My first memory and purchase of a Mastertronic Game, was back in the 1980's, around 1984. There was I, a mere teenager with two english pounds in hand with the tough choice of which game to buy. The computer game stores that I mostly visited were, W H Smith or sometimes Boots. The first two Games that come to mind were, Hektik ( Space Panic Clone ) and Munch Mania ( Pac-Man Clone ). Both were addictive and well worth the money spent on them, way back then.

The passion of Mastertronic was kickstarted again during an eBay bundle that I won as a buy-it-now back in March 2011. Amongst the various Tapes were of course, Mastertronic Titles. Don't worry if I mention Mastertronic alot, it's not quite tattooed on me yet ! ;) Now, this subset of Titles gave me an idea and that was to collect as many as possible or even the complete set, even if it takes a while, years or whatever.

The Tapes above, are a mixture of the first eBay bundle and early start wins, to the extent to which it has grown to now, currently 87 Tapes. These are mostly in good condition and working order. The only slight let down, is that some of the cases are cracked. Hopefuly, these will be replaced over time, so from a presentation point of view, they'll look good as new or near to, when they first placed on a shelf in a computer store.

The collective list at present, but not in alphabetical order :

Mastertronic ::
Bionic Granny, Hektik, Munch Mania, Duck Shoot, BMX Racers, Kane, City Fighter, One Man and His Droid, Spectipede, Hunter Patrol, Jungle Story, Kikstart, Squrim, Space Walk, Formula 1 Simulator, Finders Keepers, Magic Carpet, Phantom of the Asteroids, Excaliba, Space Hunter, Action Biker, The Human Race, Big Mac, Spooks, 1985, Skyjet, Challenger, Chiller, Vegas Jackpot, Sub Hunt, Video Meanies, The Curse of Sherwood, Kikstart 2, Motorbike Madness, Storm, BMX Trials, Speed King, Hollywood or Bust, Back to Reality, Milk Race, Kane 2,Hacker II - The Doomsday Papers, Gaplus, Masterchess, Pulse Warrior, Night Racer, Scout, Agent X II, Dark Star, Mind Control, Mega Play Volume 1.

Plus / 299 ::
Rescue on Fractalus, Continental Circus, Advanced Basketball Simulator, Silkworm, T-Bird, John Barrington Squash, Protector, Side Winder II, Election Game, Micro Mouse.

MAD ::
The Last V8, Master of Magic, Rockford, Voidrunner, Con-Quest, Countdown to Meltdown, Energy Warrior / Molecule Man, Flash Gordon, Motos, Hero of the Golden, Talisman, 180, Manic Miner.

Master Vision ::
Se-Kaa of Assiah

Entertainment USA ::
Ninja, Bump Set Spike, Panther, L.A. SWAT, Cage Match.

Ricochet ::
Jet Set Willy - The Final Frontier, Rebel, Rock 'n' Bolt, Little Computer People, The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole, Bazooka Bill, Ghostbusters, Knuckle Busters, FA Cup Football, Way of the Exploding Fist.

And currently, in the next few days ...

Pending Delivery ::
SOS,  Kobyashi Naru, Quest For The Holy Grail, Venom, Make Music With Mistertronic, 3D Pinball, Starforce Nova and Wing Commander.

Most of the collection is built up from eBay, Trades and Online Retro Computer Stores. As most collectors will agree, it's hard to resist the temptation to buy a lot of additions and at the same time trying not to go over the top in trying to complete a collection too soon and too quick. You'll be surprised how prices differ from place to place, but of course if one seller or shop has an item you require, then it's up to you to make that choice.

Hopefully, over the next few posts, I will be able to share some more fond memories of Mastertronic and other bits of information along the way. All, sources will be credited of course. So, here's to the next batch ...