Gremlins

For: Apple II, Atari 5200, Commodore 64, IBM PC/Compatibles

Genres

Main Genre:
Action
Sub-Genre:
Licensed Title
Perspective:
3rd-Person , Top-Down
Visual Presentation:
Fixed Screen

Overview

Apple II version of Gremlins
Apple II version of Gremlins
Gremlins is an action game first released by Atari in 1984. It is loosely based on the Steven Spielberg movie of the same name. The game takes place just around midnight when the harmless Mogwai can turninto Gremlins and all are running loose; players control the character Billy Peltzer (the son from the movie who received a Mogwai as a birthday present) with the goal of collecting all of the stray Mogwai and destroying all of the gremlins.

Gameplay

Each level in Gremlins begins just after midnight with numerous Mogwai and gremlins running around Billy's room. The goal is to survive through the night to continue on to the next, more difficult level. To do this players can either destroy all of the gremlins and return any stray Mogwai to the pen in the upper right corner of the screen, or survive until time runs out at 6:00 am. The amount of real time until 6:00 am varies depending on the level; levels can last from anywhere from 30 seconds to 6 minutes with the easier levels having less time. From time to time both water and food may be present in the room; if either a Mogwai or a gremlin steps in a puddle of water, it will split into two. If a Mogwai eats any of the food, it will turn into a gremlin.

Depending on the level, there may be other objects in the room besides the Mogwai pen which can either help or hinder the player's task. On the left side of the screen a refrigerator will sometimes be present; if the fridge is closed, nothing happens but when the refrigerator portion is opened, food will fall out around the room. If the freezer portion is opened ice cubes are flung around the room which eventually melt into puddles of water. In the lower right of the screen is a popcorn popper; if this is turned on, popcorn is flung around the room. Lastly, in the top center of the room is a television; if the t.v. is turned on, some of the Mogwai and gremlins will pause and watch it. Depending on the level, some devices may already be on when the level begins, other times they will be off. Players can turn on and off the t.v. and popcorn make as well as open and close the fridge and freezer. Occasionally, a Mischievous Mogwai or gremlin may turn devices on or off and open the fridge and freezer.

Players lose a life anytime Billy comes into contact with a gremlin. Billy has two means of defense against gremlins: the first is a sword which can be used to destroy the gremlins. The second is a limited number of flash cubes. Both Mogwai and gremlins are sensitive to light, and the flash cube will temporarily stun all of the critters that are currently on the screen.

Level Variations

Gremlins features three different types of nights, each of which have a different combination of characters:
  1. Mixed nights: Both Mogwai and gremlins will be present along with food and water.
  2. Gremlin only nights: Only Gremlins and lots of water will be found.
  3. Mogwai only nights: Only Mogwai are present initially, but there is a lot of food, no water, and a short time limit.
Regardless of which type of a night, there may be various barriers in the room which can block the path and make completing the level more difficult.

Credits

Platform: Atari 5200
Designed and programmed by: John Seghers
Animation by: Courtney Granner
Sound by: Robert Vieira
Cover artwork by: Greg Winters

Documentation

Instruction Manual
Atari 5200
Instruction Manual
Commodore 64
Instruction Manual
IBM PC/Compatibles

Packaging/Label Styles

This game has releases with the following standardized packaging styles:

Game Features

This game has been tagged with the following features: