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.
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?
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
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?
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!
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!
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
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?
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).