Dr. Micro © 1983 Sanritsu.
An early platform game in which the player must defeat a mad scientist, avoiding and destroying his evil creations in the process.
The game consists of 3 single-screen levels :
On the first the player must move from the left to the right of the screen, dropping down onto constantly moving metal pillars and shooting the enemies.
On the second level, the player must steer a floating ball around the screen, killing as many enemies as possible. Once enough enemies have been killed, an exit will open which the player must enter. The floating ball gradually diminishes and the player will have to drop to the bottom of the screen several times to get a replacement ball.
The final screen takes place on the scientist's production line; with machinery that must be carefully negotiated. Two large robots bar the route to the scientist and must be destroyed before the scientist can be reached.
Main CPU: Zilog Z80 (@ 3.072 Mhz)
Sound Chips: (3x) Texas Instruments SN76496 (@ 4.608 Mhz), OKI MSM5205 (@ 384 Khz)
Screen orientation: Vertical
Video resolution: 224 x 256 pixels
Screen refresh: 60.00 Hz
Palette colors: 32
Control: 4-way joystick
The gradually deprecating platforms in this game (in the form of beach-balls) may be the first occurrence of this mechanism in the platform game genre. Numerous other examples would follow, including such examples as the perishable missiles in Contra 3 (SNES) which the player would cling to mid-level for want of sterner grounding.
While much of the content herein resembles the original Donkey Kong series, little else can be detracted from Dr. Micro in terms of originality.
The 'Evil Doctor' nemesis may also have established its video gaming roots here- subsequent incarnations are most obvious in the RockMan / MegaMan series.
Even the title's font seems to resemble Capcom's fine platform / shooter.
It is also fair to say that Dr. Micro pioneers unusually detailed features for it’s time- the lifeboat beneath our hero's feet, for example, follows him meticulously throughout the first screen.
The music that plays in the background is the song 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang', originally from the Metro Goldwyn Mayer musical of the same name. You're pretty much going to sing the song at some point if you play the game.