Mighty Max

1994 Ocean Software

Platform: Amiga 1200 (and possibly CD32)

Mighty Max was based on the popular toys and subsequent cartoon of the time (huge in the US!), and was initially developed on the Amiga 1200 as the primary platform, with possible plans for an enhanced edition for the CD32 shortly afterwards. It wasn’t long though until focus would switch over to console editions.


Developed by WJS, who had done a series of titles for the likes of Psygnosis, Ocean and Microprose, the team had approached Ocean with their very own platform title around 1993 time. Ocean liked what they saw, and asked the team to reskin the game into a Mighty Max licenced title.

The game was a 8-directional scrolling platformer, allowing you to play with two players simultaneously (via split-screen),. where you could choose to play as Max, Ben or Felix. There would be 25 levels spread across 5 different worlds including Volcanoes, Space Station, Egyptian, Jungle and Underwater. Each level would utilize up to 128 colours with a 272 x 220 resolution, with lots of sprites and smooth scrolling throughout.

The aim was to defeat the Skullmaster by finding 25 parts of his Anti-World weapon that has been spread across the 25 levels. The Skullmaster has been intending to use the weapon to destroy the world, but it could also be used to destroy the Skullmaster himself. You must find all these pieces and put the weapon back together to defeat him. The pieces are heavy, so you must use various mechanisms within the game to move the pieces, such as see saws and lifts.

Within WJS, the game was being designed by Wayne Smithson, with Paul Hoggart on programming duties, Daniel Cartwright, Chris Warren, Ian Warren on graphics and James Hawkins and Mike Delves on project management and had been underway for at least a year overall.

The aim was to release the game by December 1994, though unfortunately the 1200 edition would never see the light of day, and was likely due to the declining market at that time and Ocean deciding to move and focus on console titles.


What is quite tragic is that according to The One magazine interview (see scans), the game was pretty much complete and was just being polished off. Designer Wayne Smithson responded to some Amiga fans on EAB who tried to preserve the game, and responded with the following:

“Going back a bit here! I remember Mighty Max, we were asked to do it by Ocean but were pretty restricted on what we could do, I remember the game wasn’t great (we were pretty rushed to get it done). The Amiga version was never released, and it was by far the best version as I recall. Unfortunately nothing remains of it, I was always a bit slack at archiving my work I’m afraid.”

Others involved in the title don’t seem to have been contacted yet, so we hope to get hold of them to see if any of them may have kept anything.

Regarding a CD32 edition, this was listed as a format by some magazines, and seems to come from the developers, where they suggest that there was a “good chance Ocean will be doing a CD32 version”. As contributor AmigaJay flags up, there was no mention in the adverts and “like a few licensed Ocean Amiga games at the time, the deals were for Amiga floppy versions only, and were done before the CD32 became known to publishers”. So it is likely that nothing was ever started and there is nothing concrete to suggest a CD32 edition was in Ocean’s plans.

The SEGA Mega Drive and SNES editions were in the end released, so you can experience roughly how the game would have been on the Amiga, though of course we would love to see it on the original machine it was built for. Could it be found some day? We certainly hope so!

With thanks to Aaron White for the suggestion of covering, AmigaJay for input regarding the CD32 edition, Hall of Light, Archive.org, Abandonware Magazines and Stephen Stuttard for the scans.


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