"The Ultimate Challenge" here would be to convince yourself that this was actually worth $200.Action 52
is a collection of 52 games for the NES — well, perhaps "games" is too kind — released by Active Enterprises and advertised in the back of many gaming magazines of the day. It was famously sold for $200, which would be a bargain for 52 games worth playing. However, these games... weren't.
The truly amazing part? The folks at Active were apparently big dreamers, and accompanied the grand unveiling of Action 52
with a press release, proclaiming the upcoming release of Cheetahmen
action figures and a "Disney-quality" Saturday morning cartoon, and the Action Gamemaster
, a portable system that would play games from nearly every console available at the time. None of these products ever came to fruition, as Action 52
wallowed in obscurity, but it has gained a new lease on life in the Internet age as Snark Bait
This isn't to say that Active Enterprises never did anything again; indeed, there was a second Action 52
compilation on the Genesis (which Active farmed out to another developer, Farsight Technologies, who did a much
better, though still just barely passable, job), and a third was planned on the SNES (likely scrapped when they couldn't figure out a way around Nintendo's lockout).
Additionally, several years after the game was released, a very unfinished sequel to Cheetahmen
on the Nintendo Entertainment System
was discovered. Cheetahmen II
had been programmed onto hundreds of crudely relabeled Action 52
cartridges, but was never officially released. Then
Active Enterprises never did anything again.
A history of how the monstrosity came to be is in The Other Wiki
. The Angry Video Game Nerd
reviewed the game here
(part one of two; the second part, covering Cheetahmen
and its unreleased sequel can be found here
). Even though his review contains some inaccuracies, it still sums the games up pretty well. A more detailed series of all 52 games note
can be seen here
This collection of games is almost universally considered a pile of crap. However, the background music used in Cheetahmen
(and reused in Cheetahmen II
) is an exception: it is surprisingly well-regarded, with a large number of musical remixes.
Action 52 has been given a shot at redemption with two projects: the Action 52 Owns Project,
(in which indie game developers are collaborating to remake each game in the collection) and Action 52 Revisited
(which tries to relate all games together). Hey, it's not like they can make the games worse, right? Also, there's plans of a company for releasing an official
Cheetahmen 3 game for the Xbox LIVE Arcade
The games on the cartridge (NES version):
- Fire Breather
- G-Force Fighters
- Silver Sword
- Crytical Bypass [sic]
- Jupiter Scope
- Alfredo (aka Alfred N The Fettuc)
- Operation Full-Moon
- Dam Busters
- Haunted Hill
- Chill Out
- French Baker
- Atmos Quake
- Space Dreams
- Spread Fire
- Bubblegum Rosy (aka Bubble Gum Rossie)
- Micro Mike
- Rocket Jockey
- Cry Baby
- Crazy Shuffle
- Fuzz Power
- Shooting Gallery
- Evil Empire
- Storm Over the Desert
- Mash Man
- They Came...
- Lazer League
- Billy Bob
- City of Doom
- Bits and Pieces
- Beeps and Blips
- Hambo (aka Hambo's Adventures)
- Time Warp Tickers
- Ninja Assault
- Robbie Robot (aka Robbie N The Robots)
- Cheetahmen (aka Action Gamemaster)
Action 52 includes examples of:
- Action Girl: Haunted Halls and Bubblegum Rosy have female protagonists.
- After Boss Recovery: Applies to any game which has a health bar and bosses.
- All There in the Manual: The manual summaries for the games appear to be based on the projected versions rather than the final ones. They talk about features that don't appear, or give descriptions of the games that are just flat-out wrong. For instance, the description of Bits and Pieces in the manual makes it sound like a Tetris-esque game, but the actual game involves Frankenstein jumping over monsters. The description of Shooting Gallery describes several different modes of play, but there's just one style with several levels of increasing difficulty.
- The summary for Billy Bob reveals that the aim is to escape from a prison and rescue your girlfriend, neither of which are made clear in the actual game. Likewise, the manual makes clear that the Action Gamemaster featured in the introduction to Cheetahmen transforms into the three title characters throughout the course of the game, while the actual game never even mentions him after the intro sequence.
- Anachronism Stew: Sometimes. Look at Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot.
- Antagonist Title:
- Megalonia, if the manual is to be believed.
- Non Human. The title refers to the abominations the player faces, not the player himself.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Averted with Apollo, the leader of the Cheetahmen. He's got a long reach but a narrow attack range in the NES version, and the levels where you control him are generally considered to be the hardest in the game mainly owing to this. In the Genesis one his arrows take three hits to kill most enemies, while his brothers can kill any enemy in one hit.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: "Satan Hosain," the gigantic version of Saddam Hussein that appears in Storm Over the Desert. Due to the general incompetence involved in the package, it's hard to tell whether his size was intentional, or a screw-up on the part of the developers.
- Bedsheet Ghost: Present in Haunted Hill/Halls.
- Big Boo's Haunt: Haunted Hill/Halls takes place in that setting.
- Blackout Basement: Illuminator
- Blatant Lies: According to the box◊, as displayed on The Other Wiki, its creators gave it the "Action Seal of Quality Assurance". What kind of quality they were talking about is unclear, but it certainly doesn't mean what most of us would think "quality" means. Hopefully, it means "We're saving the best for last". Also: the manual.
- Blob Monster: The enemies in Ooze.
- Boss Rush: Sort of. The last game, Cheetahmen, uses an array of Palette Swapped enemies from previous games. A few of them are actually based on bosses, but they don't put up any more of a fight.
- Boss-Only Level: Level 2 of Ninja Assault.
- Bottomless Pits: There are many of them. Some cause unintentional vertical Wrap Around.
- Bullfight Boss: White Rhino in Cheetahmen is this.
- Buxom Is Better: The protagonist of Haunted Hill has breasts bigger than her head.
- Captain Ersatz: The Action Gamemaster from Cheetahmen is a pretty obvious knockoff of Captain N: The Game Master.
- Carry a Big Stick: Aries likes to use clubs in combat.
- Cartoon Bomb: The enemies in later Fuzz Power levels. Cartoon bombs are also thrown in Boss.
- Catchphrase: The Cheetahmen comic attempted to give the trio a pair of these. "Let's sink some subs!" being their battlecry (the villains being mutants called "sub-species," you see), and "Livin' large!" as their version of "Cowabunga!", apparently.
- Cat Men: Cheetahmen
- Character Title:
- Bubblegum Ros(s)ie
- Micro Mike
- Billy Bob
- Hambo's Adventures
- Checkpoint Starvation: There isn't a single checkpoint in any level, in any of the 52 games. If you die at any point, you're starting that level from the beginning.
- Chest Monster: Money from Streemerz damages you.
- Cinematic Platform Game: Attempted with Billy Bob.
- Cloudcuckooland: Time Warp Tickers
- Collision Damage: Collision damage, came-within-two-feet-of-it damage, whatever.
- Copy And Paste Environments: It even goes so far that some sections of levels in many games are repeated over and over with the same enemy placement (if it's not random).
- Damn You, Muscle Memory: The "jump" and "attack" buttons are B and A respectively, the opposite of the vast majority of similar games on the system.
- Deadly Walls: Most of the Shoot 'em Up games. Poor collision detection kills you before you actually touch them. Star Evil is the worst offender, as you can get killed less than a second after starting it up due to the speed of the level scrolling.
- Dem Bones: Skeletons from Bits 'N' Pieces.
- Demoted to Extra: Cheetahmen was the main attraction of the NES version but it's just another title in the Genesis version.
- Likewise the bosses from the NES version of Cheetahmen show up in the Genesis one, but are just generic one-hit-kill enemies.
- Denial of Diagonal Attack: Extremely noticeable (e.g. Stage 5 of Cheetahmen).
- Most noticeable in Dam Busters, where you can only fire in the cardinal directions but the enemies can fire in any direction they want.
- Department of Redundancy Department: From the intro of Cheetahmen: "The Cheetahmen ran off... ... and now... The Cheetahmen"
- Descriptiveville: In the Genesis version, Segaville in Sunday Drive.
- Disc One Final Boss: Despite being the Big Bad, Dr. Morbis is actually the first boss of Cheetahmen II, and extremely easy to defeat.
- Difficulty Spike: Some of the games have this:
- Cheetahmen has level 5, which gives you the worst weapon in the game (a crossbow which is ridiculously hard to aim properly) and unfairly quick enemies, most of whom home in on you.
- Illuminator has bats from level 4 onwards, which are the toughest enemies in the game.
- Haunted Halls introduces spiders in level 2, which can render the level impossible depending on where they spawn.
- Beeps n Blips' enemies vary depending on the level, with most from level 3 onwards being too quick to react to.
- Robbie n the Robots is ridiculously easy in level 1, but the rest of the game is quite difficult.
- Starevil starts off directly in front of a nearly-impossible-to-avoid wall. This comes after the first game, Firebreather, which was relatively slow-paced and 2-player.
- Directionally Solid Platforms: Some of the platform games have them.
- Doomy Dooms of Doom: City of Doom
- Double Meaning Title: Chill Out
- Down the Drain: Some levels in Cheetahmen take place in sewers.
- Dummied Out: Seeing as the game crashes on most cartridges when trying to play Alfredo and the Fettucini (also known as Alfredo or Alfred n the Fettuc) or Jigsaw, the two games are effectively Dummied Out and can only be played with an emulator. Same goes to later levels in some of the games (Thrusters, Shooting Gallery etc.). Ooze even had cut level 8 and a screen for the Unwinnable contest. Additionally, ROM hackers have discovered art assets for yet more games that didn't make it onto the cart, as well as a title screen for French Baker.
- Dungeon Bypass:
- It's possible to skip most of levels 1 and 3 of Cheetahmen by finding the secret exits. This should also be possible on level 5, but a Game-Breaking Bug causes the game to break if you try to do that.
- You can also skip level 2 of Slashers by walking into one of the doorways.
- Early Game Hell:
- The first two levels of Billy Bob are noticeably harder than the rest of the game.
- Also applies to Fuzz Power, as the first section is nearly impossible to do with pure skill but the rest of the game is fairly manageable. (At least until the insurmountable wall in level 3)
- Engrish: The manual. Very surprising because it was made in the US.
- Endless Game: Most of the games loop around from the last level, if they don't crash first.
- Enemy Summoner: The spider bosses in Haunted Hill/Halls shoot baby spiders at you, which are standard mooks from level 2 onwards.
- Everything Trying to Kill You:
- The classic example: the clearly-marked bags of pain sitting on the floor in Streemerz. Not to mention the deadly bouncing balls and clowns.
- Haircare products in Fuzz Power
- Chains in Haunted Halls.
- Windows, bowling balls, insects and rubble in City of Doom.
- Candy products in Lollipops.
- Some weird... things in Spread Fire.
- Pasta in Alfred(o) N The Fettuc(ini).
- Food, file cabinets and envelopes on wheels in French Baker.
- Child toys in Space Dreams.
- Weird... things in Timewarp Tickers
- Utility tools in Jigsaw.
- Green Elton John heads in Non-Human.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: "Shooting Gallery" is well, a shooting gallery.
- Excuse Plot: Most of the games that have them.
- Fake Difficulty: So many examples...
- Fake Trap: The spikes in Bubblegum Rosy are an unintentional example.
- Flunky Boss: Star Evil's bosses.
- Follow the Leader: According to The Other Wiki, Action 52 was conceived when the creator observed his son playing a pirated 40-game multicart from Taiwan. As the cart itself was popular in his own neighborhood, he decided to create such a cart legitimately.
- Frickin' Laser Beams: The player character in Sharks.
- Game-Breaking Bug: So, so many.
- If this article is to be believed, the programming duties were done by college students.
- The Genesis version is a lot less buggy... but somehow manages to find a way to still suck.
- Some games don't even load at all, unless you're using certain emulators.
- Cheetahmen II has a particularly cruel example. If you take too long to defeat the second boss, the Ape Man, then he'll eventually walk off the screen and never return, forcing you to restart the whole game. If you actually do defeat Ape Man however, the game fails to load the next level, leaving you no better off than you were before.
- Giant Eye Of Doom/Oculothorax: A few of the enemies in Non Human.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: The creative title "They Came" seems like something the creator intended to be taken as an innuendo, despite the game being nothing more than another generic space shooter.
- Goomba Stomp: In two of the games, you can do that. Namely in Mash Man and Bits 'n Pieces.
- Graffiti Town: The odd-numbered levels of Boss take place in this.
- Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: Certainly the case in Haunted Hill/Halls.
- Hard Mode Filler: The only difference with different levels of Space Dreams, Spread Fire and Shooting Gallery is that the enemies gradually move faster with each level.
- Hitbox Dissonance: Very severe in some of the games.
- Hyperactive Sprite that looks like doing the Moonwalk
- Improbable Weapon User: Johnny Jawbreaker from Lollipops uses a large lollipop as a weapon.
- Infinite 1-Ups: Evil Empire and later levels of They Came... have this, as 1-Ups spawn infinitely.
- In Name Only: Several of the games on the Mega Drive version reuse names from the NES original despite being completely different games.
- Inconveniently Placed Conveyor Belt: They're present in level 4 of Cheetahmen.
- Interface Screw: The life bar in some levels of some games isn't visible. In a few others, the life bar isn't visible at all.
- Invincible Minor Minion: A lot, including the bouncing enemies in Bubblegum Rosy.
- Invisible Block: Some pits in level 3 of Alfredo can be walked over, making this a rare case that invisible blocks make a game easier.
- Invisible Wall: Especially bad in the game Sombreros. The first level requires you to walk down a very narrow street against the flow of traffic and avoid getting hit by cars. For some reason, it's completely impossible to step on the clearly visible sidewalk where there are no cars!
- Johnny McCoolname: Johnny Jawbreaker, the protagonist of Lollipops.
- Jump Physics: All of the platformers have stiff, sloppy physics that will only let you move in mid-jump while you're descending. The jumps also have no momentum or weight, whether you're rising or falling.
- Kid Hero: In Illuminator and Bubblegum Rosy
- Kill Screen: The second-closest thing to an ending. Particularly frustrating in Ninja Assualt — the cave is right there, and moreover, it's actually been pretty decent so far.
- King Mook: The bosses in Manchester basically look like the standard enemies with their hair on fire.
- Ladder Physics: Work as ladders in video games do (unless they're glitchy) except in Lollipops where you can go up the ladder only by jumping up them.
- Leap of Faith: Made worse with jumping controls.
- Level Ate: Lollipops is entirely made out of food. French Baker and Alfredo have food themed levels.
- Living Toys: Many of the enemies in Space Dreams.
- Luck-Based Mission: So many:
- In some games, enemies appear in random places. In some games, a bad enemy placement means death, or an Unwinnable situation, e.g. in Under Ground. Hambo is probably the worst offender for this, as not only do you start the game with just one life, it's possible for enemies to spawn right on top of Hambo, killing him as soon as the level begins. Stuart Ashen, who played the game as part of his second "Quickest Game Overs Ever" video, managed to die in 0.4 seconds, the quickest Game Over he found in either video, and had this happen twice in the five times he played the game. Additionally, he noted that whereas every other game featured in the two videos required stupidity on the part of the user (or, at worst, a nasty Guide Dang It moment), Hambo was the only one where the instant Game Over was purely a result of developer incompetence.
- In other games, enemies which are able to shoot, do it at random times. Sometimes they don't shoot at all while other times they shoot several bullets at you, resulting death.
- Mind Screw: Non Human, Spread Fire, Time Warp Tickers, among others.
- Mini Game Game: Ideally, Action 52 is supposed to be this.
- Mooks but No Bosses: A lot of the games have this.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Satan Hosain
- Night of the Living Mooks: Bits and Pieces
- Ninja: Ninja Assault
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Possibly the crowning achievement of Ninja Assault: big-nosed, coonskin-wearing hillybilly ninjas. Strange indeed are the ways of the Zin-Zan.
- Nintendo Hard: Games with enough coherence to begin with usually wind up in the worst excesses of this.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: The evil "Satan Hosain" from Storm Over the Desert. Running over him gives you an extra life. In Cheetahmen, he becomes an easily-dispatched midget.
- No Ending: Most of the games. In some you just keep doing the same level(s) over and over, and in some you can't even reach the ending (if they DID program one) for various reasons. Another thing is that a lot of the levels have no proper indication for when they end; they just end abruptly.
- Sometimes averted with Ooze, which has an ending screen telling you to enter a code and send it to Active Enterprises. Pity a lot of the cartridges have it crash after level 2.
- No Fair Cheating: An unintended example. Most of the games become a lot easier to beat if you play on a PAL-format NES or an emulator switched into PAL mode, which slows the games down. The lone exception is the one game where it would have helped the most, Micro Mike, which in PAL mode quickly glitches out and becomes unplayable due to graphics corruption.
- Non-Ironic Clown: The protagonist of Streemerz.
- Non Standard Game Over: Ninja Assault goes the Karateka route and replaces the standard Game Over screen with a "The End" screen instead.
- Not the Fall That Kills You: Falling can kill you, and you need not actually touch the ground from a long jump for a character to begin his death animation.
- Billy Bob is a notorious example of this. If he drops off a ledge, not only does he die before he hits the ground, but he stops in mid-fall, lies flat on his face, and stays there levitated in mid-air.
- Obvious Alpha: Some games are worse than others, but at one point or another, it becomes clear that most of them were just getting started, especially when compared with the way they are described in the manual.
- Cheetahmen 2 was an Obvious Pre-Alpha, and they still programmed it into cartridges. Did they really intend to distribute it in that state?
- One Hitpoint Wonder: The vast majority of player characters are this, the main exceptions being the Cheetahmen, Bubble Gum Ros(s)ie, and the tanks in Storm Over the Desert.
- 1-Up: Some games have 1-up pickups. Games with these include Evil Empire, Dam Busters, Crazy Shuffle, Cheetahmen and more. In Beeps 'n Blips, the 1-Ups don't increase your life count but rather give you more hit points.
- One-Word Title:
- Palette Swap: The hero of Mash Man is the "defeated" sprite from Fuzz Power with clothes.
- Plagiarism: Most of the songs are lame ripoffs of other musics from the Music Factory on Atari ST. The title music itself is shamelessly ripped from "It Takes Two."
- Platform Hell: Some of the games fall right into this. Unusually, this seems to be unintentional.
- Poison Mushroom: Money bags kill you in Streemerz.
- Power Glows: According to the manual, Rocket Jockey was supposed to have a lasso which would glow brighter as it gains power. the idea was scrapped. It was added in the Action 52 Owns remake, though.
- Press Start To Game Over: As this video from Stuart Ashen demonstrates, it is very easy to kill yourself immediately at the beginning of Starevil and Hambo's Adventure.
- Public Domain Soundtrack: Jigsaw uses "Long, Long Ago." Cry Baby uses the Alphabet song.
- Pun: "Lights! Camera! Action 52!"
- Also in the intro is the usage of Rob Base's "It Takes Two".
- Punny Name: Hambo
- Rail Shooter: Many games, particularly the side scrolling space shooters, but almost all the games are side scrolling.
- Ratchet Scrolling: Dam Busters has this, and it can easily get you stuck in an area that keeps you from moving forward, forcing you to reset the game.
- All of the platformers have this as well.
- Real Song Theme Tune: The intro uses a sample of Rob Base's "It Takes Two".
- Recurring Boss: Most bosses reappear from level to level with minimal variation.
- Recurring Riff: Space Dreams and Dam Busters use similar melody at some points. Also, you can hear the level 1 motif of level 3's theme in Lollipops sometimes.
- There's also the theme for They Came and Beeps 'n Blips, which uses the same melody from level 2 of Haunted Halls.
- Recycled Soundtrack: They Came and Beeps 'n Blips have the same music, while the themes from Fuzz Power and Cheetahmen end up being reused in Cheetahmen II. (and Syobon Action, in the case of the latter)
- A lot more noticeable in the Mega Drive version, where the entire soundtrack (bar the title and menu themes) is used in multiple games.
- Refugee from TV Land: The Cheetahmen enter a kid's living room via a TV in the commercial for the game.
- Rocket Ride: What you and some of the enemies do in Rocket Jockey.
- Rolling Attack: The main character in Fuzz Power can do that.
- Rouge Angles of Satin: Several of the game descriptions in the manual have this:
- Micro Mike - "He's only the size of a flea, and it's difficult getting from her to their when you're smaller than the stand of hair. It seems like your in the land of the giants."
- Streemerz - "Try climbing to the top of this one by throwing steamers and climbing them"
- Bubblegum Ros(s)ie manages to combine this with Gender-Blender Name.
- Sadly Mythtaken: The Cheetahmen, the characters of Active's flagship property that never was, consisted of Apollo, Hercules, and Aries. Considering Aries is supposed to be a master of martial arts and the group's combat expert, he was probably supposed to be named after Ares.
- Save the Princess: You have to rescue your sister in Illuminator and a woman in Billy Bob.
- And Princess Lolli in Lollipops.
- Schizophrenic Difficulty: Level 3 of Sharks is much harder than the rest of the game, due to the sharks being replaced with jellyfish which are hard to hit.
- In Billy Bob, it's extremely noticeable where the game goes easier each level.
- Secret Level: Level 9 of Cheetahmen (a single room containing a 1-Up), which can be accessed by a secret exit in any of the odd-numbered levels. However, doing this in level 5 will cause the game to go level 10 where the game completely glitches up.
- Sentry Gun: Some games like Robbie Robot have these. Sentry Guns are sole enemies in Operation Moon
- Shifting Sand Land: Some levels in Storm Over the Desert
- Shoddy Knockoff Product: Several of the games are bad attempts at ripping off other games:
- Skippable Boss: The bosses in Megalonia can be skipped by shooting down enough ships.
- Some Dexterity Required: To move while jumping in most of the platformers, the B button has to be released - it can't be held down. However, the B button is also a jump button. In 4 of the platforming games, the player can jump only when moving. It makes it HELL trying to jump across pits.
- Averted in Haunted Halls, Bits 'n Pieces and Cheetahmen which don't have this problem.
- Space Is Noisy: Many space shooters in this game collection.
- Space Western: In Rocket Jockey.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Rosy, Rosie or Rossie?
- Spikes Of Doom: Bubblegum Rosy features some which won't work at all. In Mash Man, spikes have much larger hitboxes than it seems. And in Underground (where these take in form of mushrooms or spears) it's safe to fall on top of them but not safe to walk past them.
- Stealth Pun: A possible example with Thrusters, which has a rather suggestive looking spaceship as the protagonist.
- The characters in Boss are amphibious gangsters, effectively making them cold-blooded killers.
- Super Drowning Skills:
- Aries in Cheetahmen
- The protagonist in Sombreros
- Billy Bob
- The ninja in Ninja Assault
- Take That: The Saddam Hussein analogue in Storm Over the Desert can be killed in just one hit. As a double Take That, he is basically a slightly modded sprite from Super Mario Bros. Yeah, take that, Mario! What's more, his name is Satan Hosain. Because subtlety is for wimps.
- Also worth noting that the Iraqi tanks are pink and that running over Hussein gives you extra lives.
- Technical Pacifist: Hercules in Cheetahmen doesn't want to attack unless provoked, as backstory tells.
- Thirteen Is Unlucky: Possibly the reason that Haunted Halls is the 13th game on the cart.
- Title by Number
- Title Drop: Meong provides an odd variation, with the main character being an "A52" logo.
- Trap Door: Meong has a lot of them.
- Trapped in TV Land: The plot of Cheetahmen, as some kid called the Action Gamemaster is pulled into the game. Then the Cheetahmen show up, tell him not to worry, and run off to fight things. The Action Gamemaster never sees them again.
- Trial-and-Error Gameplay: Averted in Meong, where the traps reveal themselves if you wait long enough.
- Underground Level: Underground and Dedant are entirely that for obvious reasons but some other games have underground levels as well.
- Unexpected Gameplay Change:
- Bubblegum Rosy and Ninja Assault both fall victim to this, for the worse.
- Cheetahmen has more of a non-indicative first taste of gameplay — its first level is an isometric 3D sidescroller a la Battletoads, but after that, all the levels are strictly 2D.
- The Unfought: Dr. Morbis isn't actually present in Cheetahmen despite being presented as the main villain in the comic book.
- Unsound Effect: Time Warp Tickers has "Time?" as the stock death animation.
- Unwinnable by Mistake and Unwinnable by Design:
- Many of the games contain tough, nasty and cruel examples. Most famously Ooze, which was part of a back-of-the-box competition where anyone who beat said game would be entered into a raffle. Since the game is impossible to beat, this raffle saw extremely few entries.
- In Starevil, when too many sprites are onscreen when it's a boss time, the boss itself doesn't appear at all.
- The fifth level of Atmos Quake is unbeatable since your ship always randomly explodes.
- It's possible to get stuck at a dead-end in Dam Busters thanks to the game's Ratchet Scrolling. If that happens, your only option is to reset the game.
- Micro-Mike is nearly completely this.
- Fuzz Power's third level has a jump that's impossible to pass. This was possibly a mistake by the lazy developers.
- The fourth stage in Starevil is unwinnable for being extremely glitchy (a pink background with no way to pass the level).
- The eighth stage of Beeps and Blips, which glitches up, and there's no way to die or kill anything.
- The second stage of Thrusters; if you happen to die, your ship glitches out and it becomes invincible, but you can't pass the level. If you do manage to clear the level without dying, it just repeats the same screen in an endless loop.
- The first stage of They Came...; if you die, the game crashes. If you complete the level, the game crashes. If you try to exit the game, the game crashes. Welcome to Hell.
- The fourth stage of Ninja Assault; your character is horribly glitched up but you can still move around and defeat enemies as normal. When you defeat the boss however, you don't advance to the next stage, you are simply stuck in limbo.
- Go Bonkers' ninth and final level cannot be completed since an area featuring blocks that must be destroyed to finish the level are blocked off by other blocks, including those that kill you upon contact. The small openings that exist between these blocks are small enough that your ball could pass through... if only one side of the tunnels wasn't a death block.
- Variable Mix: Unintentionally in level 3 of Lollipops where walking and hitting things changes the tones.
- Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The last level of Cheetahmen takes a stab at this.
- Very False Advertising: The TV commercial.
- Wackyland: Where Time Warp Tickers takes place. Also, Manchester. There are unintentional examples too. Like Micro Mike, due to tiles chosen for the level.
- What Could Have Been: "Cheetahmen" was supposed to become a huge franchise, with a comic and TV series planned, but due to obvious reasons the idea never got past a second gamethat wasn't even finished.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Cheetahmen: So what happened to the Action Game Master? Granted it contradicts what the opening cinema shows, but according to the manual he transforms into each of the Cheetahmen.
- A Winner Is You: In Cheetahmen you don't even get a "Conglaturation!" screen for your troubles. Beating the final boss instantly returns you to the title screen.
- Sharks and Dedant will give you Game Over screen when the final mission is completed.
- Word Puree Title:
- Alfred n the Fettuc (Although this is supposed to be Alfredo and the Fettucini)
- Wrap Around: 2-directional horizontal variation is present in Chill Out, Cry Baby and Dedant. There are unintentional examples too.
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: Streemerz and Lazer League.
- Unintentionally done in Crytical Bypass.
- Zero-Effort Boss: Ironically applies to the Recurring Boss in Boss, where you can just go to the left and shoot constantly because he never goes beyond the right-hand side of the screen or attack.