I had the chance today to download a new game which has appeared on OS4 Depot, namely a SDL2 optimised version of the Classic Amiga game Super Methane Bros for Amiga OS4.1.
Whilst this isn’t the first OS4 native version of Super Methane Bros to appear (there was actually one released back in 2008 and is also available to download at OS4 Depot) the latest version released on 12th September 2017 has been done by Finnish coder Juha Niemimak who is also known in the Amiga scene by the handle Capehill, making use of the SDL2 libraries to add to the source code from the 2008 conversion. The main difference you will notice in this new version is the higher 640×480 resolution and also the ability to play the game with two joysticks.
One thing you will need to ensure before you can play this game is that you have downloaded the latest SDL2 Library and ensure that once this is installed. Thankfully the install is automatic.
Super Methane Bros was originally released way back in 1993 in both OCS floppy and CD32 versions for the classic machines by Apache Software and I remember first playing this on my CD32 and still have a copy of the game. Released by Apache Software, this is a shameless Bubble Bobble clone where you take control of Puff and Blow who appear on-screen looking like Walter White and Jessy Pinkman from Breaking Bad complete with bio-hazard suits and gas masks.
The game play of Super Methane Bros is very similar to Bubble Bobble in so much as your task is to rid the screen of the bad guys by sucking them in and blowing them out and then collect all the goodies that come from their eventual disappearance and then it is on to the next screen which will be different in layout, with some other different creepy crawlies and some more goodies to collect.
As you progress through the screens, the items that you end up collecting can form an entire set, for example the pack of cards which will then open up secret rooms full of extra bonuses and points.
Similar to Bubble Bobble, the simplicity of the actual gameplay is the game’s main appeal. Truth be told, there is no real need to think too much and it is just a case of getting stuck in there, clear the baddies, collect and rack up the bonuses as well as your score. Two player modes of the game take on a more competitive nature as you try to beat your opponents score by trying to pick up more of the goodies and bonuses that appear on screen.
So how does this version look under OS4.1? Well the original classic version was not too shabby looking when it was released back in 1993 and even turned a few heads at the time. Thankfully this new port is quite a faithful re-creation of the classic version which now runs natively and looks gorgeous when displayed in full screen via my Radeon 7750 graphics card. There are some subtle differences between this and the classic version. For example, the title tune runs a little quicker in this new version as does the game as a whole compared to the classic version, it was only when went back to the CD32 version to draw a comparison that I appreciated just how much quicker and more responsive this version actually is. The layout of the levels and the on-screen creepy crawlies are identical to the original, as is the in-game tune which will have you humming along whilst you are playing the game within seconds, although my only criticism is that come level 20 of the game, it does start to annoy you by that point and induce mania.
You have the option to change the clothes and hairstyles of Puff and Blow by pressing the Tab key. For me the main advantage to this latest port compared to the 2008 port is the ability to use a joystick or joypad via Amigainput, which when using an Xbox style controller makes the game very responsive and slightly easier to play, so much so that I find the game a little harder and less responsive when going back to the CD32 version and using the CD32 joypad.
In all I think the coder Capehill has done a good job here to ensure that Super Methane Bros loses nothing of its original appeal and this game is as fun to play now as it was back in the day. If I had to give this a score out of 10, it would probably score a good 8 out of 10.
If you have a wonder over to his website http://capehill.kapsi.fi. you will find a few other goodies that he has ported across including OS4 native port of Sega’s Outrun released under the title of Cannonball. More importantly donate some cash to him for his efforts in return for anything you download as I am sure it will motivate him to do some other conversions.
Now if you will excuse me, I am off for another crack at trying to beat my last high score, but until next time have fun with your Amigas!