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Drain Mania

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Released: 1984

Genre: Platformer

Format reviewed: BBC Micro

Publisher: Icon

Developer: P A Morgan

Submitted by: Brian Day

A hapless surface dweller seeks to escape from a network of drains, struggling to evade a trio of monstrous nasties, as well as fireballs and gloops of water. Along the way, he manages to accumulate a small fortune in mysteriously numerous gold coins, which we can only assume have been flushed away by a filthy rich world above.

To dispense with the monsters, our hero Theodore has to floor them by heabutting the floor beneath them and then kicking them away, while if he gets into bother, there's always the zap button that he can press to clear the screen of enemies (only three times, mind) or an invisibility button which, again, has a limited lifespan.

And did I mention that he runs around on a bright blue floor, and that the nasties come from green pipes?

Yep, it's a Mario Brothers clone for the Beeb, but it's a good one – a very good one – with colourful graphics, eccentric touches like the (very English) instructions, and lovable monsters that you hate to squish.

All in all, a perfect port, albeit one which scores zero for imagination. Another example of how good the Beeb could be as a games machine.