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The purpose of apprentice courses is for young people to learn a trade gradually, without putting yourself or your employers at risk. Unfortunately, nobody explained this to Wizard’s apprentice Mervyn, before he tried to cast a spell to make him irresistible to females, as the spell misfired, and made him attractive only to female frogs. However, his dungeon was soon invaded, and Mervyn was not killed, as he appeared to be a humble frog.

Viewed from above, the aim is to kill all 96 of the wizards who have invaded the dungeon, which is split into 8 levels, each made up of 16 screens and at least 50 rooms. To see what’s in a room he has to enter it, in a manner similar to the Switchblade games.

The game’s rather esoteric title comes from the way you obtain spells to upgrade the four different types of power you have (power, offence, defence and effect). When you meet a warlock you enter a mini game in which the letters RANARAMA are in random order, and by swapping pairs of letters in sequence you must form the full word in as little time as possible. This system of having a sub-game for collecting upgrades is similar to the ‘grappling’ concept in Paradroid.

This earns up to four of the Runes (Mysticism, Witchcraft, Magecraft and Runecraft), each of which can be used on one of the four types of power. The Magecraft offensive use is a fireball, defence for Runecraft makes you invisible to enemies, and the special effect for Witchcraft allows you to jump through space. Lose a life and you lose all these powers, and losing another life means it’s Game Over.


Rana Rama ZX Spectrum Someone to kill here
Rana Rama Commodore 64 A room with monster generators
Rana Rama Atari ST Puzzle complete
Rana Rama Atari ST Ready to play.

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Alternate Titles

  • "Ranarama" -- Alternate spelling

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Critic Reviews

Amstrad Action Amstrad CPC Jun, 1987 91 out of 100 91
Crash! ZX Spectrum Mar, 1987 90 out of 100 90
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) Atari ST Dec, 1987 890 out of 1000 89
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Atari ST Jan, 1988 35 out of 40 88
Computer Gamer Amstrad CPC Jun, 1987 87 out of 100 87
The Games Machine (UK) Atari ST Dec, 1987 86 out of 100 86
Zzap! Atari ST Dec, 1987 79 out of 100 79
ST Format Atari ST Dec, 1990 75 out of 100 75
Computer Gamer ZX Spectrum Apr, 1987 73 out of 100 73
Your Computer Atari ST Jan, 1988 69 out of 100 69


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  • ACE
    • October 1988 (issue #13) - Included in the Top-100 list of 1987/1988 (editorial staff selection)

Contributed to by Martin Smith (62904)