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Mastertronic
Lee gets out two quid and runs to the nearest all night garage to locate some Tronic goodies but he's too late....

Mastertronic was the one of the first companies to release games at a price almost anyone could afford along with BT's Firebird range.  In the early 80s, they released budget games with a budget price. 1.99 would buy you a nice cassette game for the big boys such as the Commodore 64, Spectrum, Amstrad. Other machines covered in the time were the C16 and even the Vic20 in the early days. The scope of the company was that you could buy the games from anywhere such as a Petrol Garage or corner shop. You would think that for little pence, you would get little game and in those dark days that was right. Everyone remembers the pitiful Bionic Granny on the C64 (made by Codemaster's later bosses, the Darling Bros.) and BMX racers on the Spectrum. Then times changed and good games started to get out. PeeknPoke first noticed Finder's Keepers (Spec) and later the tie-in with Skips crisps game Clumsy Colin Action Biker (Both C64/Spec but each game was produced and suited to its machine). The presentation was getting up to full price releases too. The Clumsy Colin game on the C64 for example came with two loading screens and an upcoming musician coding the music by the name of R.Hubbard.

MT goes MAD

Mastertronic after getting these great games made a second label up for more expensive games....well...one pound dearer in the shape of M.A.D. (Mastertronic Added Dimension) which released the superb and large Hero of the golden talisman (C64) and an quite good role playing type game called Master of Magic (C64). This was while other full price software houses were about to gear up with there own cheap releases. US Gold came with Americana that used  unreleased USA games in the UK and Ocean were coming up with Hit Squad which was the dredge through its own and Imagine's back catalogue of game although this was to come (Just dont mention Codemasters or the original and "first load of games were great but what happened" Zeppelin). This meant that Mastertronic needed to keep up its range of games as now it was competing with full price games which had larger production value and were big names. Although the company took these as ideas and seemed to pump the company with re-releases.

please Re-release me....

Another software label from them was created called Richochet after Tronic bought out Melbourne House so the company had some big releases to come such as The Way of the Exploding Fist. They even made a label to release "The best of British" called Bulldog which was rerelease old UK games. The Budget game was sliding though and it seemed the early new home made games were being replaced by old games in new packaging for little pence. It was when the company ditched its title to Troix when it seemed like all was lost.  Still Mastertronic still have an impact today although in memory as a great company who gave us cheap frills. Mastertronic, we salute you

 

The Hitlist (Games you should seek out by MT)

Finders Keepers (Spectrum), Hero of the Golden Talisman (C64), Magic Knight Trilogy (Spectrum), One man and his Droid (Spec for game-C64 for music), Master of Magic (C64), Action Biker (C64), Flash Gordon (Spec/C64).....

Avoid....

Bionic Granny, BMX Racers, Chiller.....

Company fact!

Mastertronic brought Sega's Mastersystem to the UK

 



 

 

 

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