Mikie / Imagine 1986
Screenshots: play/stop

Mikie, all-American bad boy student, has girlfriend problems. The love of his life doesn't believe he loves her. So, he has to make it up to her in the only way he knows how – to write her name on the chalk-board of some of the school's rooms, while causing as much mayhem as possible.

In order to do this, Mikie has to collect the hearts in the five rooms (Classroom, Locker room, Canteen, Gymnasium and Schoolyard). Each heart represents a letter in the message he wants to send to his sweetheart. Once all the hearts have been collected and the message completed, Mikie can leave the room.

In between each room is the corridor, where the Mad Janitor is trying to clean the corridor. But he knows that you're up to no good and so will try to stop you, by capturing you or sliding his waterbucket towards you, trying to trip you up.

He's not the only thorn in our wayward hero's side either. The Teacher, Training Coach and Chef are lurking in the rooms trying to catch you too. You can temporarily put them off your trail by throwing something at them in certain rooms – for instance, in the gymnasium, you can grab a basketball and throw it at your nearest foe.

There are two types of hearts to get – normal ones, where you just walk over them to collect them, or triple-hearts (found in the later levels), where you face them and shout at them three times. If the heart you're about to collect is flashing, you will get a bonus. If you collect all the flashing hearts in order, you will get another bonus on top of that.

In the first room (Classroom), your classmates are a nuisance too, sitting on the desk where the heart is under. Just move to the side of them and perform the "Hip-Zap" – moving towards them a few times until they fall off and move to another chair.

There are secret bonuses too. You can shout at certain parts in different rooms for a bonus, or try to open one of the doors in the corridor that isn't flashing with "IN"... be careful though, there may be a teacher lurking, who will stun you!

And beware the teacher... if he becomes too annoyed, he'll throw his false teeth at you!

The Commodore 64 version of Mikie has done a good job of emulating its arcade beginnings. All the levels are there, and the gameplay has been faithfully reproduced. Incidentally, there were two versions of Mikie in the arcades – the Japanese one allowed Mikie to headbutt the teachers. They "censored" this slightly for the American release so that he only shouted, and didn't affect the teachers. The C64 version covers the U.S. version.

The colours are nice and varied, but not too garish. There is, however, sometimes a problem with the sprite multiplexing routine in that it puts the priority on the wrong sprites – something that should be in front is actually behind another sprite. This is a technical feature though, and doesn't really detract from the game when you're having to run around a lot.

The sound is from none other than Martin Galway. The in-game music is taken from the arcade counterpart, but he has composed an original tune, based on the 16-bar blues, for the title screen.

All in all, Mikie is a good arcade conversion that will leave you frustrated, but wanting to see that next room.

Reviewed by Boz.

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Imagine 1986
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