#008 – Action 52: Part the Second

Action 52


                                                         The games inside are a lot more surreal than this cover suggests.




                                                    No actual cheetahs were turned into men during the making of these games.


PLAYERS: 1-2 simultaneous/alternating

PUBLISHER: Active Enterprises

DEVELOPER: Active Enterprises

GENRE: Everything, but mostly platforming and shmups

RELEASE DATE: September 1991


First, catch up on Part One.


                                                                                                           #14: Chill Out




One nun’s fight for survival in a frost-bitten landscape only cements her faith in God while increasing her need for the warmth of alcohol and cigarettes – alcohol to warm the blood and cigarettes to blow second-hand smoke in the faces of the Yetis and their smoke-free Arctic lifestyle.


                                                                                                                  #15: Sharks




Deep-sea diving clears the head while it thins the blood, which doesn’t help the sharks who yearn for rich, thick red blood cells, a diet so voluminous in protein that, if consumed often enough, will give the hearts shark attacks, allowing for more pretentious divers to venture into deeper waters, unscathed by any threat that should control their population.


                                                                                         #16: Megalomania (Megalonia)




Why are all the white ships avoiding me? I’m trying to shoot them, don’t they want to be shot? That’s why they’re careening towards me, shooting at me is because they want their lives to be taken by a far superior spacecraft. I mean, look at me: I’m blue. They’re white. The world’s tired of white. It’s clean, it’s simple, it’s boring. I’M BLUE AND I’ M BETTER THAN YOU!


                                                                                                              #17: French Baker




The Great Fettuccine Rebellion was documented extensively in Active Enterprises’ seminal Alfredo (game #7 of Action 52), and now, The French Baker is a pseudo-sequel about the consequences of baking French pastries. Yearn with Pâtissier Jean-Luc as he battles both confusion, utensils, and his own sanity in this thrilling docu-drama.


                                                                                                         #18: Atmos Quake




“Atmos Quake,” they said to me, snickering, as if such a thing existed. “Make haste and go there,” they said, “Or go home and cradle your diapers in your arms. We know you have them. Everybody does!” Then they laughed, and I, red-faced and teary-eyed, suited up, and set out for the fictional land of Atmos.


                                                                                                                      #19: Meong




Gray blocks encompass my every move, my every thought. Surely I’m meant for death. I can feel the tension rising from underneath me. When will it happen? When will my fears become reality? Or perhaps I’m already dead and there is a second layer of death that one can succumb to. I will call this layer “Meong.” It needs no explanation.


                                                                                                      #20: Space Dreams




Slimy and covered with regret, the Space Lord Pacifier escapes from the evil B-Abies, a race of wee kid-lings who cry and wail and always want their way. Torrents of teddy bears descend upon your ship while lullabies try to send you to a deathly sleep. A grave you never you knew you wanted until it was built for you.


                                                                                                               #21: Streemerz




For your birthday, you’ve received an extend-o-tongue that turns you into a poorly drawn clown. Balloons and Greco-Roman architecture are your guides to your new product, while rabbits in hats and miscellaneous hooligans turn into green upside-down frowns whenever your extend-o-tongue. Caution: your sense of taste will increase.


                                                                                                               #22: Spread Fire




A scrolling lobster harmonica can only save the world so many times before its “spread firing” days are behind it. The lobster is tired, bruised, and actually wouldn’t mind if someone gave it a nice warm pot to sit in, a lid that closed out the brightness of the stars and the fading memories of youth.


                                                                            #23: Bubblegum Rosy (Bubble Gum Rossie)




HEY BUBBLE GUM ROSY! Can you save a piece of that yum-yum chew for me?! I don’t care what flavor you give me – mint, cinnamon, watermelon, cotton candy. As long as the gum’s sweetness, like your beauty, never fades. You have a game? Well, of course I’d like to play it! What’s it about? Blowing bubbles in an apocalyptic wasteland?


                                                                                                            #24: Micro Mike




So many masochistic protagonists who only want death. The more lives they have, the more death they want. Five lives for Micro Mike, five milliseconds before death. This is less of a game than a suicidal mission multiplied by five. I’ve never seen so many penis-shaped ships before in all my shooter days, but I’ve never played Cho-Aniki so….


                                                                                                            #25: Underground




Tunneling under the earth, searching for that moment that never comes, while you’re covered in soil, excrement, bone matter and creatures that you can’t see. The underground isn’t as dark as it should be, but once mushrooms have made you blind, it’s a lot darker than it needs to be.


                                                                                     #26: Rocket Jockey (Rocket Jock)




                                                                                 “Yee-haw!” – Dr. Strangelove.


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