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Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (42056)
Written on  :  Jul 12, 2021
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

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A very good Berzerk clone for the Commodore 64

The Good

In 1980, Stern Electronics released Berzerk in the arcades, and the object of the game is to get through a maze shooting various types of robots, while avoiding electrocution by touching walls, “Evil Otto”, or the robots themselves. The game saw a release on early Atari consoles as well as the Vectrex, and was so addictive that it actually caused the death of a man, who had been playing the game for two days straight.

A small company around the time called J. Morrison Micros was known to produce awesome games, and Cybermen is no exception. John Morrison normally released titles for the Commodore 64 and Dragon 32/64, but he decided to make this game a C-64 exclusive. Now, with a title like this you would expect the actual Cybermen from Doctor Who to feature in the game, but this is not the case. The enemies in the game are drawn exactly like the Stern ones, but without the rotating heads.

The cover art for the game is in the same vein as Bonka, with the company name and title at the top. The red Mighty Morphin Power Ranger is back, but this is a far cry from the protagonist you control in the game. During the game, he looks more like Charlie Chaplin - black outfit and all - than a Power Ranger, he even has the same walking animation. The cover claims that the game is written in machine code, which meant it runs much faster than it would if it was written in BASIC.

When I first played this game, I was impressed at how smart the enemies are. They shoot at you from the get-go, and refuse to bump into walls and get themselves electrocuted. You go around each maze trying to find this mineral known as Platignum. I like how it wipes to the next maze rather than just going to black. The equivalent of “Evil Otto” is the Overseer, a black UFO that shoots at you. The only way to get rid of him is to move to the next maze. Just like Stern’s games, the way you came is blocked off by a door.

I like how John Morrison got creative with the title. Below it is a zoomed-in animation of the protagonist shooting one of the Cybermen. It is even replaced by the amount of points you receive during the game. From the title screen, you can also choose whether you want to read the instructions. During the game, the background color is dark blue, not black. Sound-wise, standard shooting sounds exist, but the warning sound to tell you that the Overseer is about to enter the screen is a nice touch. This sound can be killed off when you enter a different maze.

The Bad

The game sometimes has the tendency to make you lose a life whenever you enter a new maze.

The Bottom Line

I would say that Cybermen is much better than Stern's offering. There are a few additions such as the mineral you need to collect and the nice warning sound when the Overseer appears. The enemies in the game are drawn like Stern's ones, and the sound effects are your standard shooting and electrocution sounds. Bottom line: if you are a C-64 owner who really likes Berzerk and are disappointed that it only made its way onto console, then Cybermen is for you.