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The cute little fellow looks like the ideal pet, right? Wrong! As a Mogwai, he's sweet and cuddly. But just feed him after midnight and watch him turn into a Gremlin - otherwise known as a monster! Not since Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde has there been such a charming/dangerous character. Or is that characters?

A game with more personalities that you want to meet!
  • Super-realistic graphics!
  • 32 captivating game levels!
  • 3 enchanting variations!
  • Filled with constantly changing challenges!
  • For one or two players
~ from the back of Gremlins Atari 5200 box

I saw the original Gremlins when I was way too young to see it. If was one of the first films we had recorded from TV on Betamax and it scared the living bejesus out of me as a 6-year-old. Not the films itself - I kinda loved it actually - but the little audio clip at the end of the credits. There was a stereo audio clip of the gremlins' iconic laughter and my dad let each of his children listen to it on some headphones before bed. I didn't sleep that night.

But enough about that, what about the game tie-ins? Gremlins has been something of an evergreen name in the gaming sphere. Even if it's reputation is not a stellar one, games were being released over 20 years after the last movie. The first came from Atari way back in 1984 and came out to coincide with the original movie's theatrical release. Being exclusively released on their popular Atari 2600, it was a simple arcade affair that used the license competently if not imaginatively.

Gremlins for the Atari 2600. The final release (left) vs the leaked prototype (right).
I guess Atari didn't get the memo that it takes place at Christmas until late in development.

You begin by catching Mogwai to stop them gorging on food after midnight. This section is basically a Kaboom clone, but once eight of them slip by you're off to the next screen. Here, gameplay shifts to a static shooter like a less frantic Space Invaders. Newly hatched Gremlins descend from the top of the screen and you have to shoot them before they reach you. If you get them all, the game continues at the previous screen, your score intact. Fail and it's game over.

To emphasise how early the developers were working on the game, there was a prototype leaked to the internet. It plays exactly the same, but instead of snowy landscapes and wintery scenery it's entirely set to the greens of summer. To my eyes, it looks a lot better in the prototype, with the rolling hills of the second screen looking like a confused mess of pixels when recoloured to frosty greys and whites. It's a fun five minutes of may, but the simplistic and extremely unoriginal gameplay was getting old even back then. No wonder the video game crash was in full swing...

Gremlins of the Commodore 64 (left) vs PC DOS (right). Billy will keep walking even after
you let go of the joystick in the DOS version making it the worst one to play.

...Or was it? With our microcomputers, the crash didn't really happen in Europe and the UK. In fact, for our market Atari took a completely different approach. A new, much better arcade game was developed and it's actually something you may actually want to play. As a sword-wielding Billy Peltzer (Zach Galligan), you fight off Gremlins from a top-down perspective while rounding up Mogwai into their cage.

In later stages, an impressive amount of sprites litter the screen making it just as chaotic as the movie. Different foods lie around enticing the cute critters to turn evil while puddles of water duplicates any creature who steps over it. This can be a double-edged sword as a hoard of Gremlins can easily overwhelm, while harvesting more Mogwai does wonders for the high score. Other features include a TV which will mesmerise anyone nearby when turned on, and a fridge that will spit out treacherous food should a Gremlin get in arms length. They also have a nasty habit of freeing already caught Mogwai too, so there's a surprising amount of stuff going on for a fairly simple game. I found it enjoyable enough to play through all 32 levels on the Commodore 64 at least. This is the best version, with the Atari 5200 coming in second. The DOS port is completely butchered so stay away from that one.

The non-licensed Gremlins (ZX Spectrum) is just a lame Space Invaders clone (left). Guide Gizmo to
the bottom right before the gremlin reaches the bottom left in the unlicensed Gremlins (ZX Spectrum) (right).

Before we get into the rest of the official games, let's briefly mention some unofficial ones. Released on the ZX Spectrum in 1984, Gremlins was called that just to confuse unsuspecting punters and make a quick buck in the process. It was developed by Liverpool-based Thor Computer Software and is the worst type of Space Invaders clone imaginable.

The fan made unlicensed game by Stephen Nichols - also for the ZX Spectrum - is just a unplayable, but at least it attempts to tie in to the movie. Much like Frogger, you have to guide Gizmo in his toy car around the moving shelves of a department store before a Gremlin reaches the fountain. Even on the easiest setting I had trouble doing this even once. The hit detection is insanely bad which is only exacerbated by the unresponsive controls. These two unofficial titles are the worst of the package, but at least their here for curiosity's sake.

Gremlins Adventure on the Amstrad CPC (left), Commodore 64 (middle) and ZX Spectrum (right).
Only the Commodore 64 version has an image on every screen.

Back to the good stuff now. 1985 saw a completely different type of game hit UK shelves; a text adventure called Gremlins: The Adventure. If you've played similar game of this ilk, you know what you're getting in for - type actions to stumble your way through the story. Any false move or wasted action and it'll likely be game over.

You can't even experiment on the very first screen without dying. It takes place in Billy's bedroom and a Gremlin has just hurled a knife at you. You can 'Duck', but that will just loop round again. Anything other than to go 'Down' the stairs leads to a game over. It's an issue I have with a lot of interactive fiction; it forces you to think like the designer, removing any attempt experimentation. Frustrating, but at least every screen is illustrated, at least in the Commodore 64 version. The Amstrad CPC and ZX Spectrum both have scenes missing.

The New Batch on the Amiga (left) and Atari ST (right).
If you have to play it, stick to the Amiga. The DOS version isn't worth bothering about.

A few years after the second movie came out in 1990, I managed to persuade my dad to get the computer game adaptation of its sequel for the Atari ST. It was the Movie Premier package that came with three other games, but as I increasingly becoming that 'weird horror kid', I wanted it mainly for Gremlins. Pity it was pants.

Like most platformers on the micro computers, Gremlins 2: The New Batch features that European ethos of game design. Enemies come a you  relentlessly requiring some quick reflexes to dodge. As a kid, I never got past the second screen, despite my constant attempts. Going back to it now, I got a little further but the erratic patterns of each green critter coming at you is just too much. This version features on the 16-bit micro computers such as the Atari ST and PC DOS,  but the best playing version comes to the Amiga.

The New Batch on the Amstrad CPC (left) and Commodore 64 (right).
The CPC was only released in Spain but the C64 plays the best regardless.

While a little known developer Movietime handled the big-boy versions for Elite Systems, the Spanish company Topo Soft was brought in to help them with the ports for less powerful systems. Coming to the Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, MSX and ZX Spectrum, this is a basically a completely different game. The static, colourful platforming screens are replaced with simplistic scrolling but those pesty Gremlins are just as persistent as ever.

Both the MSX (left) and ZX Spectrum (right) versions of The New Batch have those system's characteristic
blocky colours. Neither play well but at least the MSX offers a stage select.

Some power-ups remain the same, such as the tomato bombs or torch lasers, but from what I've noticed, we're missing the frisbee. Gizmo's only appearance is as a power-up too. When summoned, he will drop from the sky, Rambo bandana on his head and makeshift bow and arrow in his hands shooting blindly to the right. He's ineffectual to be honest, but it's always a kick to see him.

Gremlins 2 on the NES. Find the hidden doors (left) to spend crystal balls at a shop (right).
Extra lives, health and balloons that save you from a fall are on sale.

Elite Systems managed to scrounge up the worse official games in the package, but they weren't the only ones that too a stab at licensing the Gremlins sequel. We're entering the console phase now, with Japanese developer SunSoft creating an absolute gem on Nintendo's first system. We're finally getting to play as the real star of the show - Gizmo - in a well-designed top-down action platformer. 

Starting with an arching tomato projectile as a weapon, we navigate the partially destroyed maze-like levels that take place on each floor of the high-tech Clamp Center. You'll fight through some recognisable locations too, including celebrity chef Microwave Marge's kitchen set and the fake graveyard of vampiric horror host Grandpa Fred's late night show. Every other level, we end with a memorable boss fight after which a new weapon is awarded. They get more powerful as standard enemies migrate from spiders and bats to genetically powered super Gremlins. If you need more power of health, midway through each stage is a shop where you can spend collectable crystal balls for extra lives, health or increase you attack spread.  

Finding a pencil that can be used to stab bad guys in Gremlins 2 for the GameBoy (left).
Super GameBoy advancements. Collect boom boxes to give you a one-off projectile (right).

SunSoft also had a hand in the GameBoy version, but this one is more of a standard side-scroller. It's far better than whatever Elite put out, but compared to the NES, it's standard fare. Gizmo starts each stage defenceless. Single-use attacks are scattered around in the form of boomboxes, and a suitcase provides temporary invincibility. It you want any kind of consistent method of attack, you'll have to hunt down the pencil. Wielded like a sword, it could be half a level before you come across if you're able to find it that is. It will hit any enemy in the adjacent tile, but it's very hard to gauge. I often found my self taking unnecessary hits by getting a little too close or misjudging my timing. It's one of those games would be fine enough if there was nothing else in your collection, but when Mario Land 2 exists, I'd prefer to just complete that again for the nth time.

That's not all for this New Batch. High Tech Expressions took a leaf out of SunSoft's book and gave much better attempt for DOS computers in 1991. Taking a step out of SunSoft's NES outing, this too features a top-down perspective, though the gameplay is far different. The aim here is to scour each of the 50 floors clearing them of pesky Gremlins. With each level available at any time via the elevator, you can complete it in any order you choose, though there isn't much different with each of them. The floors share the same square-footage but the office cubicles and corridors change it up, though not nearly enough to slog through 50 of them.

Hight-Tech Expressions attempt at Gremlins 2 for PC DOS. Access the elevator at any time to change levels (left).
The express elevator will take you up or down 10 flights at a time (right).

Gremlins are downed by shooting beams of light from your torch like a gun or flashing your camera to clear an entire room. You have a limited number of each, but can be fully replenished by collecting batteries for the former or camera rolls for the latter. Gizmo can join you early on, covering your back with his makeshift bow and arrow but that's about it for attacks. Even the test tubes and Erlenmeyer flasks scattered about offer nothing but points. With its garish EGA graphics and PC speakers, it may look and sound far worse that Elite's offering, but it is a far better game overall.

It would be over 10 years before another game came about at the turn of the millennium. I don't know what happened around that time to spur on a resurgence, but I suspect enough time had passed for the license to be purchased on the cheap. As such, notorious budget developer LSP (Antz: Panic in the Anthill, CT: Special Forces) took a stab at three games.

Unfortunately, their most ambitious simply titled Gremlins for the PS2 never came into fruition. By all accounts, it was supposed to play like a cross between a standard 3D platformer and Pikmin with Gizmo and his army of Mogwai pitted against Stripe and his Gremlin goons. It could've been fun, but all the company gave us was two standard platformers.

Gremlins Unleashed. As Gizmo, search the large, Gremlin-filled levels to find 5 pairs of sunglasses (left).
Or, if you're Stripe, go on an exciting hunt for plastic water bottles (right).

Gremlins Unleashed for the GameBoy Color sees you play as either Stripe of Gizmo as they blindly jump around large levels looking for five specifically arbitrary items. Gizmo's on the hunt for sunglasses while Stripe's after water bottles. Each control a little differently, but not enough to make a difference. It's the way the levels change that really change it up. Gizmo navigates the stages in a fairly standard manner but Stripe has to deal with more dangers. Light bulbs will crash down on him while those firmly in their sockets shine a deadly circle of light on the floor. With some god awful level design and blind jumps aplenty, it's one to miss for the Nintendo's handheld.

For a better platformer, seek out Stripe vs Gizmo released on the GameBoy Advance in 2002. It's obvious a lot more effort was made here, with great graphics and animation supporting colourful levels. It's still a collect-a-thon, but it is far better thought out. The aim - as either Stripe or Gizmo - is to collect a certain number of Christmas presents before delivering them to the Christmas Tree hidden somewhere in the stage.

Gremlins: Stripe vs Gizmo. No matter who you play as, both Gizmo (left) and Stripe (right)
have to retrieve a number of presents before reaching the Christmas Tree to end the level.

Unlike Unleashed, the levels don't differ much depending on who you play, with enemy Gremlins replace with like-for-like Mogwai depending on who you play as. The way each plays is vastly different. Gizmo's main attack has him roll into a ball to bash into his foes, stunning them in the process. While they're stunned, the cute creature can practice his flash photography to melt Gremlins in a surprisingly violent fashion. Stripe, on the other hand, only has a claw attack but after a successful attack, he can force-feed donuts to the Mogwai instantly turning them into a Gremlin in a surprisingly violent fashion.

For such a cutesy Christmas game (yes, I realise I'm releasing this on Halloween, but so what!), the violence is a little jarring but such a twisted contradiction can only endear me to it. The game as a whole is nothing special, with floaty controls and a whiplash-inducing camera, but I had a lot of fun with it.

Gremlins: Gizmo on the DS. There are 4 rooms in which to find a number of mini-games (left).
You can unlock and select a variety of Mogwai, and each can be dressed in some embarrassing costumes (right).

It would be another 10 years for the next game in the franchise, and if you thought the festive shenanigans of the previous entries were too cutsie, you haven't seen nothing yet. Playing like a mix between a virtual pet and a mini-game collection, Gremlins: Gizmo for both the Nintendo DS and Wii are shovelware games aimed at the very young. I must admit, they are on the higher end of such games in terms of quality, but I can't really recommend them to concerning gamers out there.

Between the two, the Wii version is the best. You begin in an attic, guiding Gizmo towards points of interest such as a exercise running machine, a computer or a toy train. Some will offer a cute little animation that offers some amusement, but others initiate a mini-game of varying quality. Be it bouncing on a trampoline via quick-time-events or reducing Dance Dance Revolution to its most basic form, most have been seen far better elsewhere. Others control abysmally, even if its a little better that original hardware now that input has been remapped to a mouse and keyboard. Even the racing stage is a frustrating mess of wall-hugging and car-crashing (though it is impossible to really lose at anything).

The Wii version of Gremlins: Gizmo is far more featureful. Complete tasks to earn points to unlock
barely playable mini-games, embarrassing costumes, less interesting Mogwai and new room to get even more!

My favourite mini-game involved the train set. In this puzzle you have to manipulate the train tracks to guide your engine around to collect all the coins while avoiding the other locomotive. It's not Mensa-level difficult, but it's enjoyable enough. Regardless of how you do in these games, you will earn some points for your effort. The same with all those animations too. Gather enough and new costumes, Mogwai and rooms in the house will open up. There are six rooms in total, each playing host to their own mini-games or different variations of the same. It's cute. Nothing more.

So that's how a bitingly chaotic Christmas-themed creature feature lost its bite. I still love the movies, but it saddens me how it is now little more than an intellectual property for little kids. Even the recent animated show (which I actually weirdly like) is a shadow of its former self. These games are all over the place in terms of quality, but I still have a great nostalgia for them. If you don't they're best played for curiosity's sake.

To download the game, follow the link below. This custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses the DOSBox-X build of DOSBox to bring the PC games to modern systems. The Amiga games are emulated using FS-UAE with WHDload. Other formats use Retroarch with the Caprice32, Stella, Atari800, Hatari, VICE 64, fMSX, DeSmuME, TGB Dual, VBA Next, Nestopia, Dolphin-emu, Mesen-S and Fuse cores to emulate the remaining console, handheld and micro computer games. X-input controllers supported for most games. Manuals for most games and other extras included. Read the ChamberNotes.txt for more detailed information. Tested on Windows 10.

File Size: 1.48 Gb.  Install Size: 1.90 Gb.  Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ


Amstrad CPC
Atari 2600
Atari 5200
Atari ST
Commodore 64
GameBoy Advance
GameBoy Color
Nintendo DS
Nintendo NES
Nintendo Wii
ZX Spectrum






ATARI 2600



ATARI 5200
































Gremlins (the movies) are © Warner Bros
Gremlins (the game) is © Warner Bros, Inc & Atari, Inc
Gremlins (non-licensed) is © Thor (Computer Software) Co, Ltd
Gremlins (unlicensed) is © Stephen Nichols
Gremlins: The Adventure is © Warner Bros, Inc & Adventure International (U.K.)
Gremlins 2: The New Batch (I) is © Warner Bros, Inc & Elite Systems Ltd
Gremlins 2: The New Batch (II) is © Warner Bros, Inc & Hi-Tech Expressions   
Gremlins 2: The New Batch (III) is © Warner Bros, Inc & Sun Corporation of America
Gremlins Unleashed is © Warner Bros, Light & Shadow Production & Wanadoo Edition
Gremlins: Stripe vs Gizmo is © Warner Bros & Light & Shadow Production
Gremlins: Gizmo is © Warner Bros Entertainment Inc
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me

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  1. God-awful games.

  2. Thanks for taking the time and effort in putting these altogether. I am familar with the AtariST and Amiga versions, but didn't know the game was released on the NDS too. Much appreciated :)

  3. Having some issues with the extracting. Would that be on my end, or are some of the files corrupted?