Mayhem In Monsterland came very late in the life cycle of the Commodore 64 – 1993 to be precise – but it made a huge impression on any games-player who saw it and demonstrated that the machine was still a force to be reckoned with at the time.
It’s a Mario (or Wonderboy) style platformer and you play a little yellow triceratops (yes: a triceratops), called “Mayhem”, and whose plan it is to make the world happy by ridding it of monsters (see: you really can make this stuff up…).
Mayhem must hop, skip and jump his way through five different levels, collecting stars, and looking for ways to take out monsters, because it’s not always obvious how to do that – with some monsters you have to find their weak spot. Thankfully Mayhem does have a power dash special move, that must be built-up (via a power meter) by stomping on other monsters, and which can be used against more resistant enemies when the time comes.
Mayhem In Monsterland is graphically stunning, with smooth-scrolling backdrops, unusual colour schemes, beautifully-defined sprites, and some nice special effects – like the lightning flashes in the distance (a simple effect, but very atmospheric).
On release, Mayhem In Monsterland received rave reviews from the press (Commodore Format gave the game a 100% review score, which is ridiculous…), but it didn’t sell that well because – by that point – the C64 was floundering in the wake of 16-bit machines (at least sales-wise). Thankfully, though, Mayhem In Monsterland has been re-released a number of times since, including on the European Virtual Console online store, and on cassette and disk as a 15th anniversary commemorative special edition by Psytronik Software in 2009.