Monster Bash for DOS

Monster Bash was released by Apogee back in April of 1993, and was designed by Frank Maddin. In the game you play as a youngster named Johnny Dash, who is trying to rescue his dog Tex that was kidnapped along with many other pets by Count Chuck. You get a slingshot to defend yourself as you travel through the underworld, rescuing pets as you travel.

We got this game of a cover disk from a shareware magazine, and hence only ever played the first episode. It is primarily a run and gun action game, with some puzzle elements. It only supports EGA graphics, but supports PC speaker or adlib for sound. Given when the game was released, it was a little behind in terms of technology support.

Given the limitations of the EGA graphics, they are very well drawn and animated. One of the boasts in the advertising for the game at the time was that there is “over 8 Megs” of graphics and animations. Whilst they are very well done for EGA, at the time it was released VGA had been available for several years, so there were many prettier games around at the time.

On the original 386 machine we had we only had PC speaker for sound, and the sound from this game could be annoying at times. Especially on the death of particular bad guys. If you play with adlib support enabled the sound is significantly better, and music is good like many of the other Apogee titles of the time.

The game play is very similar to the many other platform games that were popular at the time. The game is a little too slow-paced to be really considered as being a true fast paced action title, But there is enough enemies and variety in the game play to keep you occupied. It really wasn’t my cup of tea in many ways, mostly because I found the controls a little clunky when it came to actually doing some platforming. If you got the registered version there were some more interesting sections including a part where you fly around on a broom stick.

The game carries a heavy element of the Halloween flavour, which never really has been a very big thing here in Australia. So it may appeal more to people from countries where Halloween is a part of the cultural calendar. I didn’t really like this game so much as a kid, mostly because the controls didn’t feel right to me, and it didn’t really scratch a particular platforming itch the right way. I can see however how you might like this game if you either played it a lot as a kid, or like the whole horror/Halloween style that this game uses.


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