• Graeme Mason

World Animal Day on Anstream Arcade


This week, in honour of World Animal Day, we celebrate some of the diverse, carefree and

beautiful animals of videogames on the Antstream Arcade. World Animal Day was created

by German writer and animal welfare activist Heinrich Zimmerman in 1925 and is designed

to raise awareness of the importance of animals in our lives, as well as improve their well-

being throughout the globe.


There’s a pile of videogames featuring our furry and not-so- furry friends on Antstream Arcade, so we’ve picked out eight of our favourite valiant heroes of the animal kingdom.


Mouse

Starring in:

Murray Mouse Super Cop

It’s back in time to 1930s Chicago for our first animal hero, Murray Mouse, who is on the

trail of the dastardly Mouse Malone, leader of the Mouse Mafia. This gang of degenerate

criminals are defying the cheese prohibition and planning to steal the moon, before selling

its delicious green cheese on the black market. Fortunately, the city can call upon Murray

Mouse, super cop, to locate the key members of the mob and bring them to justice. From

the countryside to city sewers and the cheesy moon itself, has this cop bitten off more

delicious cheddar than he can chew?



Mole

Starring in:

Wanted: Monty Mole, Monty On The Run, Auf Wiedersehen Monty and Impossamole

This loveable talpidae stars in four adventures on Antstream Arcade, all from Eighties

Sheffield publisher Gremlin Graphics. Appropriately enough, Monty is quickly involved in the

miner’s strike in Wanted: Monty Mole, stealing a bucket of coal to keep his family warm

during the cold northern winter. Rumbled after mistakenly surfacing in Arthur’s castle,

Monty is soon on the run in, erm, Monty On The Run. Now assisted by elements of the

criminal underground, Monty must collect the five pieces of his freedom kit before he can

escape Blighty for good; sadly, having eluded the local law enforcement, Monty is pursued

by Intermole across Europe, as he tries to collect enough dosh to buy his own private Greek

island, Montos. Finally, while sunbathing on his remote isle, Monty is given one more little

task to perform by a pair of mysterious aliens: destroy five god-like guardians who are

threatening the Earth’s very existence. Hopefully, one day, Monty will get to put his paws

up!



Bee

Starring in:

Bee 52

Bees are busy fellows in general, and Bee 52 is the busiest bee of his entire hive, given he

seems to be the only one seeking out pollen in order to make some lovely honey. But the

garden is a dangerous place for a small creature such as Bee 52, and having left the safety of

the hive, he is soon confronted by a range of enemies such as flies, slugs and beetles. There

are plenty of flowers too, and once our little gatherer is full to the brim with pollen, it’s back

to the hive for a hero’s welcome. Can Bee 52 keep the hive running? Or will there be a sting

to this tale?



Llama

Starring in:

Mama Llama, Metagalactic Llamas, Llamatron 2112

This shaggy member of the camelid family (which also includes camels and alpacas) has long

been a favourite of Jeff Minter and inspired the name of his software label, Llamasoft. In

1986’s Mama Llama, the player takes charge of the eponymous protective mother, ushering

her two children across a hazardous scrolling landscape. Three years earlier we had the

wonderfully-titled Metagalactic Llamas Battle At The Edge Of Time, another shoot-‘em-up,

apparently designed by Jeff while on a bus in Portugal. And finally, in 1991, Llamasoft

brought their semi-namesakes to the Commodore Amiga with Llamatron 2112, a frantic

shooter where only the advanced Llamatron can save the Earth from alien invaders!



Pig

Starring in:

Butasan

There are plenty of crazy arcade games available on Antstream Arcade, but few are as loopy

as this Jaleco effort. Starring as an unnamed porcine hero, the aim of the game is to pick up

randomly strewn bombs and hurl them at your piggy opponents, who range from the

obstinate Reddie, cowardly Blues and cheerful Lemonie. Each bomb has a number which

represents how many seconds it takes to explode, with bombs that connect directly with a

pig exploding on contact. Eliminate enough enemy pigs and there’s a Whack-a-mole style

bonus game to enjoy!



Frog

Starring in:

Ranarama

Sorcerer’s apprentice Mervyn is a silly chap. While practising casting spells, he’s only gone

and turned himself into one of nature’s most slimy creations, a frog. Fortunately, he’s

retained many of his magical abilities and is able to explore the dungeon he’s trapped in in

order to try and find a cure for his sudden transformation. Unfairly labelled as a Gauntlet

clone back in the day, Ranarama is in fact based upon the central idea behind Steve Turner’s

earlier Quazatron, and therefore the Commodore 64 classic, Paradroid, all of which are

available to play on Antstream Arcade now. Will there be a princess kiss at the end of this

tale?



Elephant

Starring in:

CJ’s Elephant Antics and CJ in the USA

Should Murray Mouse leave you yearning for more Codies cartoon japes, then you’re in

luck. Also on Antstream Arcade are two adventures of a cute little baby elephant named

Columbus Jumbo, AKA CJ. There are two CJ games available, on Spectrum, Commodore 64

and Commodore Amiga: Elephant Antics has our grey mammalian escaping from capture

while in a plane over Europe. Once back on land, CJ must work his way back to Africa on

foot, dodging the many hazards that lay in his way. For sequel CJ in the USA, our brave hero

has discovered his family captured and on their way to America – can he rescue his folks and

return everyone to their home continent?



Kiwi

Starring in:

The New Zealand Story

With Bubble Bobble proving a worldwide smash in 1986, arcade legends Taito upped their

assault on adorable gaming two years later with this antipodean tale of a little kiwi named Tiki. A sneaky blue leopard called Wally has kidnapped all Tiki’s friends – including his

girlfriend Phee – and it’s up to you to help Tiki rescue them all. With its delightful and sweet

graphics actually concealing an arduous yet entertaining challenge, The New Zealand Story

is a real joy for all retro gaming fans. Bow at the ready!


There are plenty more creature features on Antstream Arcade – check out Pengon

(penguin), Crystal Castles (bear), Squirrel King (erm, squirrel), Ninja Hamster (erm,

hamster!), On The Tiles (cat) and Venom Wing (an eagle).

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