Our next entry is a quick one as highlighted by contributor Sean O’Neill. It’s a title we’ve been aware of for some time, but just haven’t got round to adding it to the site.
The game should have been released by Mirrorsoft back in late 1985, and was reviewed by both Your Commodore and Zzap 64. However, the game doesn’t seem to have yet surfaced, begging the question of whether the game was ever actually released properly.
Thanks to Martin Smith, we learn that there were six Mr Men games planned for release – and this was to be the second. Three were released for the Spectrum – First Steps With, Here and There and Word Games With. Hi Bouncer was unreleased for the Spectrum (although was released on the C64) while two others are also actually missing (Mr Men Magic Storymaker and, aptly enough, The Invisible Mr Men). First Steps was developed for both Spectrum and C64 by Primer Software – David Janda and Steve Mercer are credited for its Spectrum version. Will either of those groups know what happened to this game and maybe the other two? (which we assume were never started).
Well, David Janda contacted us to confirm that he did the Spectrum version, but this was a conversion of the C64 game – which you can see in the game comments below. So the credits can be crossed off!
With the game actually reviewed, and with screenshots – the suggestion is that it was – but only in limited numbers. For more details on the game, check out the review scans and article details (borrowed from gamebase64.com)
Many thanks to Paul Dennison, who very kindly posted his original disk version to us to fully preserve, so you can now play what was a released game in the end. It’s not much to write home about, but great to see a piece of history preserved.
By pure co-incidence, Genesis Project had also preserved the game at the same time and have released a tidied up version earlier in the day, which you can also download from within the zip file. They have also very kindly provided the TAP backup that was made from the original tape game. The zip file contains the original disk image, and the cracked version with documentation. The TAP file is separate.
Contributions: Sean O'Neill, Martin Smith, Hedning, Paul Dennison
Most text of the present article comes from the feature on educational programs by Gary Penn, as published in the eighth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (December 1985) – sourced from gamebase64.com
From Turning from the American inspired programs (although purists would of course insist that Winnie is ‘ours’ and not ‘theirs’), there are some telly heroes on British software. Mirrorsoft have a package of four Mr Men games aimed at the 4 – 8 years bracket under the general heading of Here and There with the Mr. Men.
These do not avoid the ‘educational’ tag however. Mr Tickle’s Jigsaw Puzzle, Mr Tickle and Mr Grumpy, Mr Lazy and Mr Men versus Mr Tickle are all aimed to lead children in ‘an amusing and stimulating way’ to grasp the concept of ‘left and right’. The accompanying booklet is designed to be read by a parent as a story to go with the games. Unlike the US Gold offerings, the Mr Men games use rather simple, though brightly coloured, blocky graphics, and I would have thought the tasks may become repetitive to kids rather quickly.
For instance, in Mr Lazy you guide a worm up and along the branches of a tree in order to reach an apple and knock it down on Mr Lazy’s head as he snoozes under the tree. No doubt this very simple exercise might amuse a four year-old for a while, but I very much doubt whether it would appeal to an eight year-old for more than one go.
The important difference between these games and those from the Walt Disney stable lies very much in the graphics as well as the ideas, and in that department there’s little doubt that US Gold score heavily.