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/// Send in the Clones:  Arcade classics available on the Net
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    By Marcus Albers
    (malbers@ns.ccsn.edu)


I have been playing video games for 10, maybe 13 years, ever since
we bought a Sears Pong Game System. It had Tennis, Squash, Single
Tennis, and Hockey. It was an amazing system for its time. Then I
found the video arcade. Such classics as Dig Dug, Donkey Kong, Pac-
Man, Space Invaders....
 
I always wanted to play these games again on my Amiga. When you
compare these games with the playability of some of the newer games,
the new ones stink. They like to replace flashy graphics and digitized
sound effects for good old fashioned playability.  I have more fun in
an arcade with Galaga than with Super C. Well, if there are any others
out there that feel the same as me, help is on the way. On the Net,
without much pain (just a little downloading time) you can have many
arcade classics, most Amiga-tized to take advantage of the superior
technology of the Amiga, without losing playability. Be forewarned,
many of these games are extremely addicting. Consult a physician if
constant replaying persists.
 
*** Pac-Man ***
 
This excellent game appears to be one of the most cloned games ever.
I have found a number of clones based on the Pac-Man theme, i.e.
little yellow man eats dots in a maze and stays away from the
ghosties.  I have found a few clones of this on the Net, some true to
the original, others a little further out there.
 
Deluxe Pac-Man
 
This is by far the best port to computer of Pac-Man that I have ever
seen, on any system. The graphics are superb, and the sound is quite
good.  Good theme music, as well.
 
This game is your basic Pac-Man, with a lot of extras, in the form of
power-ups that appear under the ghostie starting place (where the
fruit appears in the old game). Some of the power-ups include a
speed-up that doubles the speed of Pac-Man, to let you get that last
little dot before the ghosties gobble you up. Another one is the glue,
which slow the ghosties down a mite.  The best one, IMHO, is the gun.
This turns Pac-Man into a maze/shoot'em up. One of the best graphic
enhancements has to be the fact that when you die, or the level ends,
there is sort of a video zoom which looks extremely cool.
 
Wack Man
 
This is an interesting implementation of the Pac-Man theme. It does
away with the standard maze design and uses a more free design theme,
causing the mazes to look more like the blocks of the old Tank Combat
game on the Atari 2600.  The character view is a top-down view of the
Pac-Man character, and a side view of the ghosts (?). The movement of
the player's character is very unobstructed, unlike the linear
movement of the old Pac-Man game. There is no facility for diagonal
movement, making it feel more like an old Commodore 64 game. The music
is fairly good, making it about the only redeeming quality of this
attempt at a clone.
 
Mouth-Man
 
There is not much to say about this one. It looks like the Atari-Soft
implementation for the C64. Plays about the same and sounds about the
same as well. It is good for nostalgia, but not much more. One
difference that this one has is that it contains a maze editor.
Unfortunately, I found nothing more to attract me to this game.
 
Fruit Panic.
 
Its Pac-Man gone Jumpman! The characters are there, looking more on
the line of the characters from the Pac-Man cartoon and Pac Land video
game. You utilize jumping and elevators to gobble up all of the fruit
on the levels of the screen. I like the interesting approach, but
there are a lot of control enhancements that could be made, like
smoother movements, and better jump comtrol.  Overall, an OK game.
 
Snackman
 
I have two words for this one - stay away. It is an exceptionally long
file for such a poor program. If you like to listen to a good MOD,
take the music off of the intro and trash the rest. There is little
sound in the game, no graphic enhancements, and the ghosts have no AI
system, which even the first Vic-20 conversion had (by the same name,
interestingly enough).  Not worth the download time, IMHO.
 
*** Space Invaders ***
 
The first ever alien shoot'em up game to hit the arcades, Space
Invaders took the video game industry by storm. It has been ported to
just about every home system and computer system. Not much has changed
(not counting Super Space Invaders) from the original, which remains
one of my favs.
 
Ameoba
 
This is the only conversion that I know of for the Amiga, and an
excellent one it is, too. It stays very true to the original, keeping
graphics colourful, yet not obtrusive. This is enhanced by game
responce that is as good, if not better, than the original arcade
version.
 
Not to appear two-faced, I have to say that I like the fact that this
was a direct port from the arcade version, whereas I liked the
enhanced version of Pac-Man. The reason that I like this direct
conversion is simply because I seemed to like Space Invaders more than
Pac-Man, and I always wanted to know what Pac-Man would be like with
more stuff (not having played Super Space Invaders, I may be somewhat
biased). Also, the "direct" conversions of Pac-Man where simply not as
good as this one. Enough of the disclaimer....
 
Ameoba is very user friendly, and multi-tasks excellently. As I said
previously, the game has no major graphical enhancements, but the game
itself is sold on excellent game play.  Who cares if it is ancient!
 
 
Next week, we will look at clones of Asteroids, Boulderdash (a C64
CLASSIC), Omega Race, and others, including the not so ancient (but
definitely cloned) Tetris, in Send In the Clones II: I Think I'm a
Clone Now.
 
 
Internet FTP sites, authors, and addresses are available upon request
from me via E-mail, malbers@ns.ccsn.edu. Maybe I was too lazy to write
all of the information down before I started this article. Maybe I
just like to recieve E-mail.