A Fortnight of Fright: Monster Bash

Posted: October 24, 2011 in Retro
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

As Halloween night draws near, Chad has taken it upon himself to dig into the vaults to bring you some of his favorite horror-themed video games. Can you handle the madness? Read on, if you dare!

Bash ’till You…I Don’t Know, Crash?

Johnny is so totally stoned here.

In the early ’90s, when they weren’t yet known as 3D Realms and known for comically long periods between the start and end dates of games, Apogee was quite a respectable company, well-known as both a distributor of id Software’s titles like Commander Keen and Wolfenstein 3D, as well as their shareware classics like Raptor, Rise of the Triad and most prominently the Duke Nukem series. It was during their reign as the high kings of shareware that they released Monster Bash, which MOST CERTAINLY WAS NOT Commander Keen in a typical horror setting.

Actually, it WAS a lot like Commander Keen, right down to the kid protagonist, Johnny Dash. It is my duty to inform you that he is not nearly as cool as Keen, although considering his pink face compared to Keen’s ghostly pallor, he is probably healthier than Billy Blaze. Also, although he calls himself Johnny Dash, I really doubt he is in any way related to The Man in Black, Johnny Cash. Now that all that’s out of the way, let’s talk about the game.

Monster Bash is a pretty traditional sidescroller, and a damn good one to boot. It’s pretty simple – you run Johnny around graveyards, crypts, caves and the like, laying the smack down on the undead (both whole and bits ‘n’ pieces) with your trusty slingshot. Also, you let loose caged animals because…I don’t know, why would there be caged animals in a graveyard? Is it a Pet Sematary? Or maybe the Apogee folks were rabid animal rights activists. Yeah, the Duke Burger level in Duke3D could possibly support that allegation. But I really don’t think that’s it. Anyway, you have to free all the animals to complete the levels.

It’s been noted that it was an EGA game released at a time when VGA was the standard, released past its graphical expiration date. Which is something Apogge/3D Realms would later do once again with Duke Nukem Forever (I’ve been making jokes about it for half my life, why stop now?). However, Apogee co-founder Scott Miller said that he thought¬†Monster Bash was “one of the best platform-style games ever for the PC”. And it absolutely is.

View Previous Fortnight of Fright: Shivers 

View Next Fortnight of Fright: Alone in the Dark

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