Batman the Movie was one of the first games I ever played, back in 1990 when I got my first Amiga A500 which came with the Ten-Star Games pack, plus Batman The Movie.
I still adore Batman today. Although it’s a relatively short game, it is just as playable and addictive as it was in 1990. The graphics are excellent, the difficulty level just right and the music & sound effects subtle and decent enough. It was also a good match for the basics of the Tim Burton’s film.
The Axis Chemical Factory level remains my favourite, as you climb and swing from platform to platform, up and down ladders, hurling deadly yellow Batman logos at anybody who crosses your path. Despite his Batsuit, Batman does feel a bit puny at times, as it only takes a few bullets and a grenade or a drop of a few to many feet, for you to lose a life (this never happened to Michael Keaton), but the game is so addictive, you just keep going – rewarded at the end of the level by watching Jack Napier fall into a vat of acid.
What was really unique about Batman was that each level was completely different.
Next up, we’re in the Batmobile, tearing around the streets of Gotham City by night. While the Batmobile does sound like a Flymo on overdrive, it has the revs and this is both a fun and challenging, fast-paced racing level. The most authentic sound effect in the entire game is the metallic ‘ping’ your Bat-grapple hook makes, as you fire it into lampposts to turn a corner.
The third level remains the hardest, when you have a matter of seconds to work out a 3-chemical combination, before heading back out into Gotham, this time in the Batwing, in order to sever the cords on deadly Smilex gas-filled carnival balloons. Now, where did I put that Prince soundtrack LP…
The game culminates in the huge ascent up Gotham Cathedral, in pursuit of the Joker, avoiding rats and killing henchmen as you go. Floors occasionally dissolve and it’s easy to get lost, but as Yazz once said, the only way is up. And when you reach the top, you have just a few seconds to shoot the Joker off the ladder up to his helicopter – and if you time it right, you get to follow his flailing body all the way down to the ground – and it’s quite a drop!
28 years later, I’m still not tired of this game. It’s remarkable for its age, too and it is evident now that Batman The Movie was way ahead of the game.