Monday, 8 July 2013

Review - ACTION 53 - Function 16 Volume ONE - NES Homebrew!

Don't Panic. There is no sign of Cheetahmen here!

Fantastic news for fans of the wonderful 8-bit Nintendo console. NES dedicated website 'Infinite NES Lives' have released a brand new NES cartridge featuring a large selection of homebrew NES games. Riffing on the name of the infamous Action 52 game,  Action 53 Function 16 Volume ONE "Streemerz Bundle" (to give it its full mouthful of a title) brings together many popular NES homebrew games that have surfaced over the last few years and slaps them together as a complete package for the first time. 

The full contents of the Cart / ROM are as follows:

  • Streemerz
  • Forehead Block Guy
  • LAN Master
  • Lawn Mower
  • Slappin'
  • Thwaite
  • Concentration Room
  • Driar
  • I Wanna Flip The Sky!
  • Mineshaft
  • Munchie Attack
  • NES15
  • NES Virus Cleaner
  • Pogo Cats
  • Zapping
  • Zoomin' Secretary
  • Music Toy: Axe (Application)
  • Russian Roulette (Application)
  • TapeDump (Application)
  • Zapper Calibration (Application

  • After play-testing the games on offer I can tell you that there are some extremely fun titles on offer, but also - much like the Action 52 cartridge whose name inspired this compilation - there are some real stinkers.

    Streemerz - the headline act but, unfortunately, not a 
    particularly good one.

    I had a lot of fun with several of the titles here. Driar is a cute single screen platformer featuring a character, who resembles a novelty condom, having to collect stars and avoid enemies. LAN Master is an enjoyable puzzle game in which you must rotate wires in order to connect up a computer network - It is basically Pipemania, without the water. 

    Driar is a fun platformer that brings to mind similar games of the 
    C64 and ZX Spectrum days.

    Lawn Mower is a fun single screen action game in which you must mow the lawn whilst collecting fuel pickups. It brings back (fairly hazy) memories of the classic Hovver Bovver on the C64, which can only be a good thing. It just goes to show that, often, the simplest ideas are the best.

    Lawn Mower is actually a great deal of fun, despite looking 
    (and actually, being) very simplistic.

    Zooming Secretary is another single screen platformer in which you must dash around, climbing ladders and answering phones while avoiding your boss and other co-workers. It plays a lot like 1980's arcade games like Burgertime and Popeye. Finally, Thwaite is an enjoyable clone of Missile Command that will appeal to fans of the 80's arcade classic.

    Just another day in the office with Zooming Secretary.

    The last 4 titles, under the tools section, are a waste of time, and many games are not worth playing - Concentration, NES 15, Pogo Cats, Munchie Attacks, Forehead Block Guy, and Zapping are all dross. Streemerz itself, despite being the headliner, is disappointing. It is a strange platformer that uses a similar grappling hook mechanic to Bionic Commando, and plays like a distant cousin of Kid Icarus, but is fiddly to play and not much fun. I Wanna Flip The Sky is another one of those horrible twitch platformers for masochists, this time borrowing the gravity flip mechanic from the outstanding VVVVVV. Some of you may like it, but these games fill me with rage and offer no enjoyment whatsoever.

    Many games, like Munchie Attacks, really should have been left off 
    this compilation. It should be about quality, not quantity!

    Overall, It's a mixed bag, but it is definitely worth downloading for the decent games I mentioned. It's just a shame there are so many bad games that should never have made the final cut - it goes to show that less can often be more. As a freebie it is essential for NES fans, but the full retail cartridge (costing $40) is only recommended for the hardcore collectors out there. 

    **After only 1 day, the cartridge has already sold out. Keep your eyes on the official site for further stock**

    Hop on over to Infinite NES Lives and check out the official page, as well as many other interesting gadgets and retro themed bits & bobs for sale.

    Download the ROM here: