The Let's Play Archive

Compute!'s Gazette

by Chokes McGee

Part 8: ManxomeBromide - Astro-PANIC

Let's Play Astro-PANIC!

This was published a bunch of places: first in the Feb 1984 issue of COMPUTE! Gazette, but the copy I had typed in was actually from COMPUTE!'s Second Book of Commodore 64 Games. Full disclosure: I typed this in awhile ago, during a week of no internet but many Commodore books.

The version of MLX that book had looked way more badass, too:

Also, for whatever god-forsaken reason, everything was in decimal:


Blow shit up.

Click image for video

The Good

Unpredictable, fast-paced, a real difficulty progression. My personal best is level 8. It's actually fun to play in a mindless sort of way.

The Bad

"Unpredictable" can sometimes mean "game-overs the Hell out of you for no reason". Graphics and sound are a little half-hearted, but I certainly paid more for worse occasionally.

Scoring is literally random.

Splitscreen display is visibly unstable. Sloppy, and trivial to fix (COMPUTE! itself ran about six articles on how to), but the machine was only 2 years old at this point, so perhaps I am judging it unfairly.

The Weird

As you can see from the video, it loads itself into a location that confuses BASIC's idea of how memory works. I'll make a D64 for this (and maybe some of the others I recall fondly) but I'm going to need to slap a loader on it to make it actually run with RUN like a civilized C64 program.