Less is more. Quality over quantity. Active Enterprises had obviously never heard of these phrases when they put out Action 52, an NES game cartridge packed with 52 underwhelming games. Before you read my short, overall review of the game, take a gander below at mini-reviews of each of the 52 games. I’ve made video footage of all 52 games so you can see these train wrecks in action and see the pain that I’ve gone through, wasting a week of my life reviewing this compilation for you all. Enjoy.
1. Firebreathers (2-Players only) - 4/10
Honestly, this game should be more fun than it is. You and a friend are supposed to battle head-to-head as dragons trying to drain each others’ health by shooting fireballs at each other. Granted, since you’re battling another human being, it can be a little fun...However, when you start to fly downward in an attempt to hit your target and your dragon is still firing to the left, it almost becomes more frustrating than anything else. The only comfort that you really have in the game is that your friend is having the exact same control problems as you, which makes it an even match...I just wish it could have been an even match with tight, accurate controls. This game could have been so much fun...But alas, Action 52 dropped the ball.
2. Starevil (1-2 Players) - 3/10
This is a top-down, vertical-scrolling shooter that is just so very, very bland. The controls do work, but in such a way that you don’t quite feel like you’re in control. The graphics make it look like you’re playing a game based in a world made of cheap, knock-off legos. The AI on this game is terrible. In most scrolling shooters, you have to avoid the enemy. In this game, the enemy often avoids you. Some ships swerve diagonally...But often times, these swerves are away from you. The ships also like to fly through the scenery in places that you can’t get to. What’s the point of a scrolling shooter when you can’t fire at the enemies? They don’t even fire back at you...So aside from the obstacles in the scenery itself, you’re not really trying to avoid any danger. On top of that, the levels aren’t long...within 30 seconds or so, you’ll see that the level has looped before your eyes. I suppose you’ve gotta loop stuff to pack 52 games in one cart. My final gripe is the boss fights. Sometimes they just don’t appear. The second time I played through, for example, no boss fight. Just an endless batch of ships due to a lovely glitch. To put it simply, this game’s a mess.
3. Illuminator (1-2 Players) - 5/10
While it needs polish, Illuminator is actually pretty fun. The premise is simple, you want the lights on and other folks want the lights off...And you’re willing to kill each other to make sure you have your way. With the lights on, you can see everything. With the lights off, with the exception of ladders, floors, lighting fixtures, and your brick-shaped bullets, which glow in the dark apparently, you can’t see a thing. This makes it kind of a frantic fun...However, when you’ve climbed to upper levels and a light switch has been flipped, it’s very hard to make it back down since the ladders don’t extend past the ground for you to place your shadow in front of. When this happens, you’ve gotta use your bullets to kind of see where your position is, then take a few steps and fire again until it looks like you’re above a ladder. It’s an annoying trial and error process that could have easily been remedied. The graphics aren’t great, but they’re alright. The controls are pretty well done. Overall, it’s one of the best games on the Action 52 cart...Unfortunately, that doesn’t say a whole heckuva lot.
4. G-Force (1-2 Players) - 4/10
Have you ever wanted to just hit a button repeatedly while staring at a screen? Well, then G-Force is for you! This side-scrolling shooter is so incredibly boring and terrible. You can actually just position your ship in one spot and then hit the fire button. By doing this, you can blaze through all four levels in a matter of two minutes. That’s right. You can beat this game in two minutes. What happens when you move around and try to make the game entertaining? Frustration. It becomes less of a shooter and more of an ‘dodge the enemies’ simulation. These ships never fire back at you, either. They’re kamakazes, I guess. They just want to ram their ships into yours. On top of the awful gameplay, the graphics are lame-o and the controls work, but just don’t feel tight. It’s better a better scrolling shooter than Starevil...But not by a whole lot.
5. Ooze (1-2 Players) - 4/10
Ooze must’ve had lots of love because it’s the first game I’ve come across with an actual title screen. Unfortunately, I feel that this ‘love’ came from developers that lock their children in the basement for not clipping their toenails properly. Ooze looks like it could have been a somewhat enjoyable platforming game...However, the controls feel odd. It takes a while to get used to them, and even when you do, there’s still a decent chance of you accidentally killing yourself by slipping in a pit or something. The biggest issue that’ll throw off your timing is the animation...It’s just so choppy. Nothing feels fluid. So, you’re left with a game that looks and plays terribly. I’m pretty sure the developers knew this, too. Ooze does make you feel love, though...You’ll love when you’re not playing it anymore.
6. Silver Sword (1-2 Players) - 4/10
I’m not quite sure what this game was supposed to be. When you first start to play it, you think, “Oh! A Zelda rip-off! Maybe this’ll be somewhat decent!” Then after a few seconds you realize that it’s nothing like Zelda and that you had gotten your hopes up. Silver Sword is basically a scrolling shooter without the scrolling. You control when you advance up the screen...Which is kind of a shame. Had they turned this into a scrolling shooter, it probably would have been fun. Afterall, unlike Starevil and G-Force, the enemies in Silver Sword will actually shoot at you and try to kill you. For that, I give it credit. There’s actually a challenge here. What I don’t understand is that eventhough this is not a scrolling shooter, you can still die from touching the scenery. For example, I died from walking into a tree. Granted, I understand that trees are vicious, murdering beasts...But c’mon. And one final gripe before I go, why is this dude’s sword black when the title is called ‘Silver Sword’?
7. Critical Bypass (1-2 Players) - 3/10
Well, we’ve already gotten ourselves another Brown Blooper here, folks. Critical Bypass is a side-scrolling shooter that has good ideas and bad execution. You can shoot in four directions (up, down, left, right) which could have made this game decent if it weren’t so horribly, horribly broken. While you have the ability to shoot in four directions, it’s not as simple as heading in that direction to do it. You have to tap the directional button twice to shoot in that direction. This can be rather difficult to get used to. I don’t know how many times I died for running into an enemy because I was shooting in a direction I didn’t want to shoot in. It also seemed like the easiest way to dispose of enemies was to lure them off the left side of the screen rather than shoot them...Which I’m assuming is a glitch. Also annoying are the obstacles in the level. Obstacles would be good if the shooting system was better, but since you have to do multiple taps on the directional buttons to fire where you want to fire, you’ll find yourself hitting obstacles on a fairly regular basis. This was a game I wanted to like...It’s just a shame that it’s awful. You should take this game’s name to heart; it’s critical that you bypass this game.
8. Jupiter Scope (1-2 Players) - 2/10
Jupiter Scope is a single-screen shooter that feels and plays like a poor Atari 2600 game. If it was released on the 2600, I’d likely give it a slightly better score...But since this game was released in 1991, there’s really nothing good to say about it. You shoot at stuff that looks like flaming firewood, which I believe are supposed to be comets, and that’s about it. The graphics are awful. As I stated, the comet/meteor things look like firewood, but the ship looks like those things that you use to send bursts of air at a fire to keep it burning. You know, they’ve got two handles on one end and the blower on the other and you put your hands together, which pushes all of the air out and into whatever the blower end is pointed at. I don’t know the name of them, but I think you folks know what I mean....But anyway, along with bad graphics are bad effects. There are absolutely no effects when you shoot the firewood comets...They simply disappear. Another, very boring aspect of this game is the fact that, like several other titles in Action 52, there’s no real threat here. The comets don’t spew rocks or anything...And you don’t get penalized for letting any by. The comets scroll down completely straight...so, they’re easy to avoid. The only way you can really be hit by them is to try to be hit by them. For the record, this game is like those comets, it’s easy to avoid...And you should do so at all costs.
9. Alfredo (1-2 Players) - 3/10
Wow. That’s all I can say. Want to smash living hotdogs (or are they noodles?...hotdogs are more entertaining) with a frying pan? You won’t after playing this game. The animation is just as choppy as the kind found in Ooze, but the platforming is worse. It’s not uncommon to find yourself lodged within part of the level because you tried jumping up a stairway-type platform. There are also cheap deaths galore in this game. Sometimes just being near an enemy is enough to kill you. The only real satisfying part of this game is when the chef you control dies because he twists his neck when he perishes, allowing you to make believe that one of those hot dogs snapped his neck. Hot dogs commiting murder = good times. You playing this game = bad times.
10. Operation Full Moon (1-2 Players) - 5/10
While still sub-par compared to most games, in comparison to other games on this cart Operation Full Moon is not too shabby. It’s a standard vertical-scrolling shooter. No power-ups or anything...BUT the enemy does fire back at you. This gives the game some challenge and make it feel like a halfway decent game. But, there are some problems here...The first time you play, you’ll likely die a few times just because you try to drive over something that will kill you. Some of the hazards aren’t clearly labeled as such, and because of that, you could die a few times prior to figuring it all out. Next are the graphics. While they’re good in comparison to some other games in Action 52, they’re still pretty bland...And they don’t really change from level to level aside from the color. But those things aside, the controls are tight and the gameplay can be fun for a while. But, like I said at the beginning, while it’s very good compared to most other games in Action 52, it’s still sub-par when you compare it to other games on the NES.
11. Dam Busters (1-2 Players) - 5/10
Dam Busters is a decent little top-down action title. Much like Operation Full Moon, it’s sub-par to other NES games, but in comparison to the other Action 52 titles, Dam Busters is pretty sweet. You control a beaver that throws what appears to be dice at other, evil beavers. The evil beavers also have dice, though, and don’t hesitate to throw dice your way, too. This would be welcome if it weren’t for the fact that your movement is severely limited most of the time due to roads and trails that you’re unable to leave...So, if a ton of dice are being thrown your way, you have no chance of dodging it because of this confinement. It’s the cheap deaths that arise from this problem that really bogs the game down...Otherwise, it may have gotten a respectable score. The only other issue I had with this game was the poor graphics. While they do look good in comparison to some of the other Action 52 games, they’re pretty awful for an NES game that came out in 1991...I’d say they’re more on par for a game that came out in 1986. But those gripes aside, this is one of the better Action 52 titles and worth checking out.
12. Thrusters (1-2 Players) - 4/10
Yet another top-down, vertical-scrolling shooter, Thrusters has some of the stuff that I complained about some of the others not having, like enemies that fire back, but none of it is particularly done well. The enemies do fire back, but not necessarily at you. For some reason, their ships can only fire diagonally, so if you’re directly beneath them, you’ve got nothing to worry about. Also, the ships themselves don’t move. They’re all easy targets. The only thing preventing this game from being a complete bore-fest are the obstacles. There are obstacles you must dodge as you blast away the ships...Unfortunately, they sometimes blend in pretty well with the background. They’re easy to see, but they’re also easy to forget about. It’s another scrolling shooter Action 52 has failed at...Even if it has failed less than some of the others.
13. Haunted Halls (1-2 Players) - 3/10
When folks think of famous women in video games, they think of Samus Aran in Metroid, Lara Croft in Tomb Raider, Chun Li in Street Fighter, and Haunted Halls Lass in Haunted Hill. Alright, maybe they don’t. It is nice to see a female lead character in Haunted Hill, but that’s almost the only praise I can give this game. The game controls poorly, the animation is choppy, and it’s just an overall mess. You sometimes have to backtrack in order to kill an enemy because they’re out of your reach, only to find that while backtracking another enemy has appeared to give you a nice, cheap death. But, I can say that the soundtrack for this game is one of my favorites in the Action 52 cart...Good luck staying alive long enough to hear much of it, though.
14. Chill Out (1-2 Players) - 2/10
When you’re an Eskimo that freezes to death after getting hit in the face with a snowball, you’re not cut out to be an Eskimo. When you’re a game that tries to use this premise for a fun time, you’re not cut out to be a game. This game is bad. The animation is choppy and the controls are just as bad. On top of that, there’s no real way to stop a snowball once it’s headed for you at the two-mile-an-hour pace it’s thrown at. You just have to avoid it...Which can be difficult when there’s multiple Eskimos on one level hurling snowballs in your direction. On top of that, there are common glitches that see your enemies just pace back and forth on a single block as if it can’t walk on any other part of the floor. If you get off of a ladder too soon, you ‘fall’ to your icy death. There’s terrible, noticable slowdown (even in the music) if there’s more than a few snowballs currently floating in the air, too. It had the potential to be the frantic fun that Illuminator was, but it just plain fails at just about everything. It’s terrible.
15. Shark (1-2 Players) - 1/10
Stay away from this game. It looks innocent enough. In fact, it almost looks like Seaquest on Atari 2600...But it lacks all of the depth that makes Seaquest such an enjoyable game. You just sit there and wait for sharks to appear...And sometimes you will wait for a while. My longest waiting period was roughly ten seconds. It doesn’t sound like much, in these days where loading screens are common. But this is an NES cart...No loading necessary. There’s no reason for these large gaps of nothing. If the gameplay was so intense that I needed a few gaps of nothing for a breather, that’d be fine....But this gameplay is so lame....so tame. There’s absolutely no need for it. The sharks do nothing except swim in a straight line. That’s it. Then you shoot them. And then you’ll face sharks of a different color that act exactly the same. Then you get to face jellyfish that randomly appear and disappear. So, you go from easy to shoot sharks to rely-on-luck-to-hit jellyfish. While the jellyfish do add some much needed difficulty to the game, it’s not the kind of difficulty you can easily overcome with skill. It’s mostly luck. This game is just awful. The only good thing I can say about it is that they managed to get the controls down fairly well...But that doesn’t mean much when the rest of the game is trash.
16. Megalonia (1-2 Players) - 3/10
This side-scrolling shooter actually looks like it’d have some personality when you see the graphics. They’re not as bland as most other games in the Action 52 collection. However, it doesn’t really have much else going for it. The music is absolutely annoying, for starters. It’s a sequence of notes just looped...Which would be fine if it was catchy...But it’s high-pitched and irritating. Next, Megalonia has the G-Force syndrome. If you want, you can easily advance through the levels by positioning your ship in one spot and mashing the fire button. Unline G-Force, though, you can take damage this way since the enemies do occasionally fire at you...That and sometimes the game doesn’t register when you hit an enemy...So, they might ram into you. It’s also got the Starevil boss fight glitch. The first time I reached the end of the first level, I had to reset the game because the boss decided it didn’t want to show up. Overall, if Action 52 was a high school, Megalonia would be that really attractive, but stupid girl; she’s one of the prettiest in the school, but there isn’t a whole lot else to her.
17. French Baker (1-2 Players) - 5/10
If it weren’t for the insane amount of cheap deaths this game provides, it would actually be pretty fun. Basically, you’re a French Baker and you throw wisks at various baked goods like donuts and file cabinets. It’s actually a fun little action game. But then, the cheap deaths begin. Whenever you kill an enemy, another one will randomly appear on the screen...And there’s a decent chance that it’ll spawn right where you’re standing for an instant death. This could have easily been remedied and would have made it a very enjoyable game. Graphics-wise the game is pretty lacking. It looks terribly basic, but since the gameplay is somewhat fun, it’s pretty easy to overlook that. As it is, it’s not absolutely terrible, but those cheap deaths will definitely get on your nerves.
18. Atmos Quake (1-2 Players) - 4/10
Yet another top-down, vertical-scrolling shooter. You’re shooting at stuff. There’s obstacles in the way. The enemies don’t move. Blah, blah, blah. There really isn’t much to say here. It’s basically like the other vertical-scrolling shooters on this cartridge. The only difference here is that, like Thrusters, the enemies fire at you but do so very poorly that you probably won’t even realize they’re shooting unless you actually look for it. Otherwise, this game is what seems to be the standard fare in Action 52 scrolling shooters. It’s just more of the same. It’s not really even worth a look if you’ve played any of the other ones I’ve mentioned thus far.
19. Meong (1-2 Players) - 2/10
I honestly have no real clue what the premise of this game is. It seems to be a maze-type game where you need to get to the end without falling into a trap. In order to do well in this game, you have to go very slowly and watch all of the hidden traps, ‘cause they’ll open and close at random, and then pick your path on memory. The problem is it’s boring. Very boring. If you go to fast, you’ll likely die pretty quickly. But if you take your time and go so slowly that you’re nearly falling asleep at the controller, then you’ll make it to the end. If you decide to play this game, I suggest having an alarm clock nearby. You’ll need it.
20. Space Dreams (1-2 Players) - 4/10
Space Dreams is yet ANOTHER top-down vertical-scrolling shooter. This one has a more unique look as you’re shooting children’s toys like teddy bears, dolls, and unsafe pins. The enemies do shoot at you in this one, and not diagonally, either...They shoot straight down. However, when and if they shoot is random...So, you could be on the other end of the screen and see a teddy bear shoot straight down. Likewise, since the shooting is random, you could be busy blasting everything in sight, then move over in hopes to blast a doll at the last second only to get there just as a random shot is triggered. Then you’re dead. A doll killed you. As far as graphics go, they’re not good but they are kinda unique from any other game listed thus far, so I’ll give them credit for that. Overall, Space Dreams is alright...But I just wish one of these scrolling shooters in Action 52 actually had enemies that tried to fire a you rather than just randomly spew out bullets. This is an alright, yet boring, addition to the compilation.
21. Streemerz (1-2 Players) - 6/10
This game caught me completely off-guard. While it’s no masterpiece, it’s actually quite fun. Basically, you’re some guy that climbs stuff using a streamer. It sounds dumb, but it’s not bad. Unfortunately, it’s also got some negative stuff preventing it from being as fun as it could be. First off, items kill. That’s right. When you play a game and see a bag of money, or any other inanimate object for that matter, it’s simply instinct for you to walk over and collect it. Do that here and you’ll get a green frown face. Yup, try to collect items in Streemerz, and you’ll likely die from picking up a bag of money. Also, like most other games in Action 52, there is no pattern in the movement of enemies...So, they just walk around randomly. This would be fine if you had a weapon, but you can’t attack anything in this game. Instead, you need to try and sneak by with your streamer...Which is sometimes impossible considering the random nature of their movements. This often makes advancing to the next level based more on luck than skill. Overall, Streemerz is one of the best games on Action 52, but still, it’s not without its faults.
22. Spread Fire (1-2 Players) - 1/10
Absolutely no challenge here. You move your ship from side-to-side and fire at other ships that fly all over the place. They don’t fire at you, so the only way you can die is if they ram into you a few times....But it’s rare that even one will ram into you let alone several. This game is so easy that it gets boring almost immediately. If you need a self-esteem booster, this game does a good job because there’s almost no way to lose. This game fails at everything else, though. It is prettier than some of the other Action 52 games, but that doesn’t mean much. Avoid this game at all costs.
23. Bubble Gum Rossie (1-2 Players) - 1/10
This game is one of the most broken games I have ever played in my life. I’m not going to list all of the bad stuff because it will take me way too long. I will however list the good stuff this game offers....Ah, who am I kidding? There isn’t anything. The controls are frustratingly terrible. They’re so bad, I actually thought that my controller was glitching. I plugged in a different controller and same result. Half the time, your character won’t jump when you want them to, and when they do, good luck getting them to jump to where you want to go. You have the ability to shoot something (bubble gum, maybe?) at enemies, but what’s the point when most of them are immune to it? This game is one of the most awful games I’ve ever played. Discovering Bubble Gum Rossie is like discovering a chunk of chewed gum underneath your desk in school and getting it all over your hand...Very disappointing.
24. Micro-Mike (1-2 Players) - 1/10
I’ve complained a lot so far about Action 52's games being way too easy...Well, this one is way too difficult. In Micro-Mike, a side-scrolling shooter based off of Defender, you have to navigate through the level, which scrolls quite fast, by shooting and avoiding enemies while you make your way through a maze in hopes that you get through it before the scrolling crushes you. Avoiding the obstacles is difficult enough...But when you add the enemies, this game just becomes near impossible. The enemies are randomly placed and are often blocking the way you need to get through...And since the screen scrolls so fast, it’s very difficult to shoot them out of the way, so you end up ramming into them. Do this too many times, and you’re dead. There are also bullets that seemingly spawn from the walls to try and hit you, which can make things difficult. On top of all of that, the game is also extremely glitchy...If you somehow happen to survive more than a few seconds, you need to hope that the game doesn’t glitch up...’Cause if it does, you’re not going to see where to go and you’ll be crushed by the scrolling. Playing a challenging game is fun...Playing an impossible game is not. Unfortunately, Micro-Mike falls into the second category.
25. Underground (1-2 Players) - 4/10
Underground is another interesting game that could have been good, but was held back by awful flaws that almost make it unplayable. The game plays fine and controls fine...In fact, this would probably have been a blast to play....Except for the random enemies. Oh, Action 52 loves their random enemies. The problem here is that you need to get to the end of the level...However, some of the platforms you have to reach are very small...And it’s hard enough to get by them when one enemy is patrolling up there, but when two or more are randomly running around, it can be impossible to advance on. Ironically enough, the first level seemed to be the hardest one to get past, too. I had little to no trouble after the first level. Overall, this would have been a pretty fun game....But the random enemies often lead to very cheap, unavoidable deaths. Another botch by Action 52.
26. Rocket Jockey (1-2 Players) - 4/10
Another boring side-scrolling shooter, Rocket Jockey is a little better than some of the others simply because the difficulty was raised a little. Not much, mind you, but enough to let you know that they somewhat tried. Most of the enemies are like the Action 52 scrolling shooter norm; they move in a straight line and don’t shoot. However, the enemies that are sitting on rockets, like your character, will swoop in and try to hit you AND fire at you, as well. It adds a little bit of a challenge to the game...But, since the majority of the enemies you’re shooting at are basically harmless, it’s still a rather boring game. Overall, it’s just mediocre.
27. Non Human (1-2 Players) - 2/10
Non-Human...That’s what you have to be to willingly unleash a game like this into the world. This action platformer is awful. The folks who made Action 52 need to face facts, they have absolutely no clue how to make a playable platforming game. While not as broken as Bubble Gum Rossie, Non Human’s controls aren’t very good. With bad controls, the platforming can be difficult and you’ll often end up falling into a pit full of abnormally large heads. Overall, this game is just a wreck...Not nearly as big of a wreck as Bubble Gum Rossie, but a big enough of one that you’ll want to stay away.
28. Cry Baby (1-2 Players) - 4/10
This is a bit of an odd game...You control a giant baby that pees on people to kill them. Some may argue that the child is squeezing milk out of a bottle to kill folks, but I disagree. It looks like he’s peeing. Anyway, the point it to pee on people and fires by climbing up and down furniture to get to the enemies. Overall, this game isn’t really bad...It’s just dull and boring. This is yet another Action 52 game that could have been decent had it been given some polish...But it didn’t, and thus, you should stay away.
29. Slashers (1-2 Players) - 1/10
Most brawlers can get repetitive after a while, but Slashers is the only one I’ve ever played that got repetitive after beating up the first enemy. This is less of a brawler and more of a ‘take a few steps, then mash buttons, and repeat’ simulator. When brawling with the enemy is almost seems random when you actually get hit. On top of that, all you can do is mash buttons. There is no strategy here at all. It gets very repetitive very fast. This game is absolute trash...Not even die-hard fans of brawling games will find any enjoyment here.
30. Crazy Shuffle (1-2 Players) - 3/10
Normally, I’d say that this game was called Crazy Shuffle because it was crazy that a game this bad made it into the shuffle of games in this compilation...But considering the other games I’d reviewed in Action 52 thus far, Crazy Shuffle seems like a nice fit. Apparently, the point of crazy shuffle is that you’re a leaf that shoots insects...And you have to shoot at specific bugs before you can advance a level...But you usually can’t tell by appearance. Oh, and you’ll die if you touch a flower. It controls fairly well in comparison to some of the other games, but it’s still not all that great...You’ll often accidentally fly into a flower for an instant death. The game also becomes boring very quickly. It’s also pretty easy...All you really have to do is stay in one location behind some leaves and fire in one direction and you’ll likely advance a level. There isn’t really much else to say...Crazy Shuffle is just another underwhelming title in this underwhelming compilation.
31. Fuzz Power (1-2 Players) - 2/10
I appreciate that Active Enterprises tried to make this more than just a collection of 52 awful scrolling shooters and threw a few other game genres in the list...But dang it, I’d like to meet the dummy who played these platforming games and said, “Yeah, people will like these.” Fuzz Power is another awful platforming game...Although, this one is very interesting and probably would have been one of my favorites if it wasn’t so dang broken. You control an old man with giant feet that’s covered in hair. Your enemies are hair brushes and hair dryers that try to remove your hair until you’re completely naked. When you’re naked, if you get blasted with any hot air, you die. Your only offensive move is a rolling attack that you’ll usually be in the middle of doing when you die. The deaths in Fuzz Power are cheap due to the fact that the air waves are simply black lines that easily blend in with the backgrounds and that enemies tend to fire as you kill them...Which, in turn, kills you. Your only real hope to advance is to hope to avoid the air (good luck) otherwise, you’ll likely see the ‘Game Over’ screen within a minute of play. Fuzz Power is yet another poor platformer...And I hope and pray to the guy in the sky that this is the last one I play in this compilation.
32. Shooting Gallery (1-2 Players) - 2/10
Yay, another bad shooting game with no challenge! Shooting Gallery seems to be based off of the old carnival game of shooting stuff from behind a counter while absolutely no audio plays while you do it. No skill is needed. Moving from side to side and firing will get the job done with no effort...Even if your bullets aren’t on target, the enemies will often walk into them. I don’t blame them, if I were part of this awful collection of games, I’d walk into a bullet, too. If those carnival shooting games were as easy as this in real life, I’d be able to win fifteen teddy bears for every child in the world. This game, however, doesn’t give you a teddy bear for playing. Your reward is knowing that this game stole precious moments of your life that could have been spent enjoying the aroma of a flower or giving a wedgie to someone smaller than you. It’s not the worst game in the compilation, but I’d still avoid it unless you’d like to make yourself feel like you’re a master of 2D shooting games.
33. Lollipop (1-2 Players) - 4/10
I was amazed with Lollipop...While it definitely isn’t a very good platformer, it’s playable; a big step forward for Active Enterprises. The controls are slightly better than some of the other platforming games in Action 52, which helps a lot. As far as the theme goes, you’re some dude wielding a comically large lollipop as a weapon as you battle candy and gum that have apparently grown angry that you chose the lollipop over them. Other than that, I really can’t say much that hasn’t been said with the other platforming games. This game is more of the same, but a little bit better. It’s playable, but still very far from good.
34. Evil Empire (1-2 Players) - 5/10
Evil Empire is yet another game in Action 52 that actually had promise, but falls flat. It’s
actually pretty fun. You just climb up and down ladders, going from platform to platform shooting at enemies. It’s simple and fun. However, it suffers from a major flaw that has bogged down a few other games in this compilation as well; random spawning of enemies. Some platforms in the game are so small that if an enemy spawns on it, your only option is to climb the ladder up to your death. These cheap deaths are somewhat frequent and really hinder what could have been a pretty fun experience. Evil Empire is still one of the best games on the cartridge and worth a try if you’re willing to deal with the forced suicides they make you commit.
35. Sombreros (1-2 Players) - 1/10
This game is so pointless. You collect hats and kill people that generally avoid you...I guess because you don’t want them to take the hats you find. They could have just taken all enemies out of the game and it would play the exact same, boring way. The only enemies that really pose as a threat are the automobiles in the first level...But once you’re past the first level, you don’t see ‘em again. Even the vehicles aren’t that hard to avoid...Simply walk along the dotted line and you’ll have a safe passage. This game is just so easy and boring that it’s ridiculous. I think it’s supposed to be a shooter, but you don’t have to fire a single shot to advance a level...Or collect a single hat for that matter. Technically, you can finish the game with a score of zero if you really wanted to. This game is just so pointless and horrible...The folks who made it should pull a sombrero over their faces in shame.
36. Storm Over the Desert (1-2 Players) - 2/10
This is the second game that has its own title screen prior to playing...Which leads me to believe that this is another game that the developers were proud of. If that is the fact, I’d like to meet these developers so I can feed ‘em a knuckle sandwich...heavy on the pain mayo. Apparently this is supposed to let gamers understand what it was like to be in Desert Storm...It accurately portrays this war with tanks, stick figures, and an indestructable, 30-foot-tall Sadam Hussein. This game may have been fun if you could move somewhat fast and if there was a feeling of danger...But you’re in a tank and everything goes down in one hit except for that giant Hussein character. Sadam Hussein, and his countless giant clones, randomly appear on the screen and only disappear if you collide with him. Anyway, this game is lacking of any real challenge and is frustratingly slow. It’s pretty much trash. Avoid it.
37. Mash Man (1-2 Players) - 2/10
You’re some dude with giant feet that’s supposed to stomp everything in sight unless it happens to he a sharp object that’s floating in mid-air. This wouldn’t be a problem except that this game suffers from all of the flaws that made the other platforming games bad, too. Surprisingly, though, the biggest problem isn’t the game’s poor controls. The problem is that the choppy frame rate mixed with the poor color selection means that you’ll likely run into things that will kill you without knowing that you’re running into things that will kill you. After a while, you eventually learn to spot that stuff you need to avoid...But most folks won’t want to suffer through the gameplay to gain that knowledge. Mash Man is just another game that you’ll want to avoid in Action 52.
38. They Came... (1-2 Players) - 2/10
I claimed that Storm Over the Desert was bad partially because it was slow. I stand corrected. They Came...is basically the same terrible game except it’s faster, takes place in space, and doesn’t have a giant dictator roaming around the screen. It’s just as horrible as Storm Over the Desert was, which proves that bumping the speed up helps nothing when the gameplay is this boring and terrible. There’s not much else to say that wasn’t already said about Storm Over the Desert...It’s faster, but just as awful.
39. Lazer League (1-2 Players) - 3/10
Bo-ring. I’d love to say that Lazer League is in a league of its own, but it’s not. It’s just as boring and tedious as most of the other scrolling shooters in Action 52. The only threats you have are running into a ship and running out of ammo since you can only fire one shot at a time. If you miss, you can’t shoot again until your lazer leaves the other end of the screen. It’s quite annoying. If any of the enemies fired back at you or posed a threat (aside from the boss fights, which are still ridiculously easy), then this game would be a lot less painful to play...
*CONTINUED IN PART TWO.*