🐳 Featured Group: Gameplay feature: Auto-mapping

Bio Menace

aka: Bio Hazard
Moby ID: 236
DOS Specs

Description official descriptions

The CIA has learned that gigantic mutants are wreaking havoc in Metro City and their sources say that the destruction is caused by a scientist calling himself Dr. Mangle. For this reason, they send Snake Logan, the CIA's top secret agent, on a dangerous mission: fly over Metro City, investigate what’s going on, then report back to the captain. Unfortunately, Snake’s plane is shot down, forcing Snake to walk the streets and kill mutants.

There are three episodes in this game: In “Dr. Mangle's Lab” and “The Hidden Lab”, Snake must destroy two labs and Dr. Mangle himself. Just before he dies, Mangle tells him that he is forced by somebody known as Master Cain to do his bidding, or he would be killed, so in “Master Cain”, Snake sets out and destroy the creator himself.

All three episodes use the Commander Keen engine, which id Software used. It has a similar score box located at the top-left of the action screen, same menu system, same on-line help, and the same start-up screen where the game detects your sound card, video card, I/O devices, and the amount of memory you have. It even allows you to view the old status screen if you press [Space] during gameplay.

But the only differences are that Snake has eight units of health, so each time Snake collides with a mutant, he doesn’t get killed straight away unless he had one unit left. There are 12 levels in each episode. When you start a new game, as well as choosing the three difficulty modes, you get to practice every level except the very last one, which is the episode’s final boss.

Snake can use more than one weapon. For example, beside his trusty machine gun, he can also use lasers to fire through mutants, place land mines on the ground or throw grenades to blow them up.

Snake has to make his way through each level by blasting mutants while finding the exit. But to find it, he must first free a hostage located on each level. Some parts of each level are blocked off by a laser gate, and these include passages where the hostages are kept. To turn these off, Snake must search for a keycard or a crystal shard. There are lockers which store these, and can only be opened by obtaining gold keys.

Also in these locked doors are goodies that can boost your score, which could give you an extra life. You can also get an extra life by either collecting 50 gems or a mini-Snake. A few of the levels have a color sequence. This involves finding five different colors in a line, and then finding five switches that must be flipped in the correct order that corresponds to the sequence of colors. Doing this will allow you to get goodies that add many points to your score. However, failure to switch in the correct order will result in Snake falling down a pit of spikes or toxic waste. In some areas, you can also get a flask full of liquid that will make your invincible for 30 seconds. As normally, it does not work when Snake falls down a pit.

Groups +

Screenshots

Promos

Videos

See any errors or missing info for this game?

You can submit a correction, contribute trivia, add to a game group, add a related site or alternate title.

Credits (DOS version)

7 People

Producer
Programming
Music / Sound Programming
Level / Scenario Design
BBS Support
Graphics / Artwork
Music
Engine Programmer
Engine Tools

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 61% (based on 5 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 56 ratings with 7 reviews)

Snake Logan kicks three bad guys' butts in only 3 days.

The Good
I don't see why this game was discontinued! It works great on modern PCs. The game engine and graphics are great, the sound and music is very cool, and the plot is inspirational and fun. Another fun part is the apogee room!

The Bad
Some levels were only 20 seconds long. That's about it.

The Bottom Line
This game is awesome if you like Commander Keen or Duke Nukum, or classic sidescrollers. The graphics were pretty good for Apogee's last EGA game. I also am obsessed with the game engine, as I have found several games that have it:

  1. Commander Keen 4-6
  2. ScubaVenture (?)
  3. This Game
  4. Dangerous Dave 2-4

DOS · by Andrew Fimiani (3) · 2005

A fun shooter with funky graphics and music.

The Good
The graphics of Bio Menace are very nice: colourful and fun---with just a splash of gristle. The player is also treated to globby synth music and sound effects. Gameplay aspects that make this game somewhat unique are its crystal-shard system (usually the player must find crystal shards to unlock the exit to a level), its key system (almost all doors must be opened with keys---laser walls must be opened with special keys called key cards), its colour-codes (to unlock hidden stores of booty the player must memorize a sequence of colours and input them in the correct order using colour switches; if the player fails to put them in the correct order, the floor collapses and the player falls into a trap---usually a deadly pit or a room of monsters or spikes), and finally its weapons (there is a wide assortment of weapons to collect, some of the powerful weapons even going through multiple enemies). There are also a lot of enemies in this game (mutants and robots), and some are very unique; one never gets bored with fighting the same things. Finally, the backstory, while not very involved and a tad cliche, has classic appeal: a psychopathic doctor performing hideous genetic experiments and creating an army of mutants and robots to take over the world, and a shadowy, evil mastermind behind it all.

The Bad
The player cannot switch weapons. The most powerful weapon must be depleted before the player can use the next-most powerful weapon and so on. As soon as a player gets a more powerful weapon than the one he or she is using, the player must use that weapon until it is depleted. This can be annoying. For example, if you want to lob grenades over a wall and you just picked up some landmines you have two choices: (1) waste all ten landmines to get to the grenades, or (2) don't. This problem, however, is very minor; most often any weapon will suffice in killing hordes of enemies.

The Bottom Line
You play a mustachioed, mulleted, bad-ass CIA operative trying to save the world from masses of mutants and swarms of cyborgs all to modish, gloopy synth tunes.

DOS · by Jack L. (1) · 2010

No one-line summary available for users with contribution points less than 500,000

The Good
Snake Logan, a top CIA agent, is called in to investigate incidents where gigantic mutants are causing destruction in Metro City, and to find out where they are coming from. So he must fly over Metro City, investigate what is going on, then report back to the captain. Unfortunately, Snake’s plane is shot down, forcing him to walk the streets and kill mutants.

Playing this game reminds me of when I played the Commander Keen games – the start-up screen, in-game menus, and even the same sort of gameplay where you run to the other side of the stage, possibly finding crystal shards and using them to unlock barriers. You also have to rescue hostages before you reach the exit. When you do this, they will give you some information on the enemies on each stage and give you a keycard that you will use to open the exit.

One bit of the gameplay that I really like is collecting the gold keys and opening the cabinets that require them, in order to find items that increases your score. They are not floating in the air, making it less than easy for a player to stock up on infinite lives.

The enemies are clever and require more than one shot to destroy. There are much tougher enemies you encounter in the later stages, and these also go for hazards. (The turret guns, for instance, attempt to wound you before you can take action, even if you do not see them on screen yet.) The enemies that I enjoyed are the purple blobs, as well as the green alien that looks like Cosmo without the spots. I like how big and aggressive that the bosses are in all three episodes. In my opinion, they outnumber the bosses in other Apogee games.

Although the game uses EGA graphics, they are colorful and made me feel like I am actually walking through cities, parks, construction sites, sewers, and factories, each with their own dangers and annoyances.

The sound of the weapons that you use in the game are perfect, in that they sound similar to the weapons used in cartoon shows. The grenades make a cute explosion sound when they impact with something. The sounds of the robots are awesome when you kill them – they make a low, growling noise. There is some energetic music, some of them blend in with the environment that you are in.

Controls are easy to learn and use. [Ctrl] to jump, [Right Alt] to fire, and [Enter] to throw grenades. I like these controls. They were easy to learn straight away when I played my first Apogee game.

The Bad
You cannot just save anywhere in a stage. Part of the beauty of playing the Keen games is that you can save anytime at anywhere in the game – whether it be the world map or normal level. In Bio Menace, however, saving the game in the middle of a stage is useless, as restoring it will only take you way back to the start of the level. Sure, there are restart beacons, but I just am not used to them yet.

You cannot change weapons in the game, from a useless weapon to a weapon that does more arm to enemies. If you have the plasma bolts, for example, and you get the machine gun, then you will lose the plasma bolts, regardless of how much ammo is still left in it. And there isn't a key (on the keyboard) where you can change weapons. The same problem goes for grenades and land mines.

Bio Menace was released with a severe bug. Every time you kill the first purple blob or shoot it, the games just locks up. Since DOSBox does not fix the problem, you are forced to use a third-party patch or just add a STACKS command in CONFIG.SYS

The Bottom Line
Overall, a good game with excellent music. Bio Menace uses IDÂ’s Commander Keen engine. If you like platform games like Commander Keen, then this game is worth paying $5 for. ***

DOS · by Katakis | カタキス (43086) · 2007

[ View all 7 player reviews ]

Trivia

Compatibility

Found on Apogee's website:

Bio Menace is the only game that Apogee has not been able to get to run under Windows95/98 reliably under any condition.

Development

It took two years to create the game, mainly because Jim Norwood created practically every asset on his own, from game code, to art, to sound, to level design. The one significant area not created by Norwood is the game's engine. It was created by id Software, and was the engine original used for the second trilogy of Commander Keen games, starting with Goodbye, Galaxy

Freeware release

On December 23, 2005, Apogee/3D Realms made this game available as freeware. It was a "Christmas present" to their fans. The full registered game contains all three episodes and can be downloaded from their FTP server.

References

Among the hostages you have to save is Commander Keen, from id Software's series of games of the same name. When you rescue him (he's on level 6 of the 2nd episode) you say "Just doing my duty, Captain Keen" to which he replies "It's COMMANDER Keen!" For the curious, people mixing up Commander Keen's title is one of the in-jokes of the series.

Trilogy

Like most Apogee platformers Bio Menace is actually a trilogy. The first part of the trilogy came in two versions: a shareware version and a non-shareware version. The two other parts are not shareware. The names of the three episodes are:1. Dr. Mangle's Lab- The Hidden Lab- Master Cain

Information also contributed by Carlos Aquino, Maw, Roedle and Sciere

Analytics

MobyPro Early Access

Upgrade to MobyPro to view research rankings!

Related Games

Bio Hazard Battle
Released 1992 on Genesis, Arcade, Wii...
Bio Freaks
Released 1998 on Nintendo 64, PlayStation, Windows
Bio-Prototype
Released 2022 on Windows, Nintendo Switch, 2023 on Android
Bio-Ship Paladin
Released 1990 on Arcade, Genesis, 2021 on Nintendo Switch
Bio Soup
Released 2017 on Windows
Bio-Defense
Released 1984 on Atari 8-bit
Bio Challenge
Released 1989 on Amiga, Atari ST
Perfect Weapon
Released 1996 on PlayStation, Windows, 2010 on PSP...
Menace
Released 1983 on ZX Spectrum

Related Sites +

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 236
  • [ Please login / register to view all identifiers ]

Contribute

Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Tomer Gabel.

Windows added by 666gonzo666. Macintosh, Linux added by lights out party.

Additional contributors: Kate Jones, Patrick Bregger, Victor Vance.

Game added August 21, 1999. Last modified May 22, 2024.