29 comments

  1. In short, there were some pretty cool things that the game did for the day. We scored number 10 on the Games of the Year chart. We were always pissed that Miner 2049er was higher than us just because of the levels. The graphics on that game used only white and the gameplay wasn't even close to Mack. So much more I could share. Maybe another day. Obviously, I am proud of Mack and glad people still have fond memories of it. Thanks! PS I've got the ideas for a reboot, but I never could program well

  2. PPS I am the first to acknowledge that level 1 is a Donkey Kong "homage." Put the girders in instead of taking them out. The springboard came from Donkey Kong, Jr, which was the first game to use a springboard. Donkey Kong was a life-changer for me (next to Pac Man). I can remember the first time I played both and where and when they first appeared. There was no way I would design my first game without paying tribute to the greatest of all video games!

  3. PPS I forgot to mention that there was a level designed that we could not load into memory (it fit into the game flow). After dropping the steel blocks into the rivet-maker, the rivets were supposed to bounce around the current level 1 screen. Then Mack would have to run around catching them in a bucket. (make rivits, collect rivets, drop girders, rivet girders, have lunch). That was super-disappointing to loose as a level. It would have been fun. Instead, we let the machine up top spit rivets.

  4. you could only do so much. The early Apple II's had 16K, the later ones a bit more but remember, they tried to accomodate for as many systems as possible. Also they were kids programming these games most of the time – literally, kids who still had schoolwork to do, and usually just ONE person. These were the pioneering days, and even back then they were pushing the envelope, or at least trying to discover new tricks the machines could perform.

  5. dont know if you have already but you gotta speak to the lads at Retro Gamer.. tons of info you have written here that would go down a treat in an interview, would love to see it in the mag!

  6. I realize these computers had very small amounts of ram, I used a C64 for years… what I meant is I would like to see more multiload games, so that they wouldn't have to fit everything into memory at one time, allowing for some more levels.

    It really is amazing though how game development has changed… as you said, one or two people were often behind games back then (Shadow of the Beast for Amiga was developed by two guys in their very early 20s, I believe).

  7. Alas, those levels only exist on paper. We knew almost from the get-go that we would not be able to use more than the original three, and even the gameplay on those was adjusted to keep the game fast.

  8. Nice of you to call it music. Given that we actually used a piano keyboard to get the notes down I guess there is a hint of "melody" to it. Ha ha. I think I was responsible for that bit of annoyance. I think Jay was the one who wrote the end of level ditties, while I remember knocking out the death knell–a riff on some classic funeral music.

  9. i'll pass it on to Darran of RG, I'd love to see an interview with you anyway, thanks for your comments about the game, its been a fascinating read. 🙂

  10. Mr. Alexander, I just want to say thanks. This was one of my very favorite games when I was a little kid. I was a little disappointed that this video didn't show all of the really very clever ways to kill Mack. My favorite was always in level 3, if you didn't get off of the vertical conveyor before it dropped you at the bottom, it would dump you onto the left springboard and you'd plunge into the porta-potty with a splash. Classic!

  11. I love this game, and I remember playing it quite often on my Apple II/e. I finally got to see it in color when I took the floppy disk to the computer lab in elementary school once so that was awesome. And I can credit the game with teaching me what OSHA stood for when I was a kid so it was educational to some degree.

  12. You say that the jumping feels a little stiff compared to SMB. I'll take slightly stiff jumping with a fixed distance over SMB's inertia-based, variable distance jumps any day. In fact, I'll take just about any platform game over the SM inertia-based system.

  13. The bouncing things that harm mack are rivots I think. That's what I always thought they were anyway. nice review, I remember this game and am trying to find vids of others that I can barely remember the names of that I played as a kid.

  14. Very nice overview!  I enjoyed this game in the 80s and revisiting it through your video.  Thank you.
    Also, I have lots of old apple iic games on 5.25" diskettes – maybe there is an opportunity to collaborate.

  15. Yeah you eventualy mentioned it,donkeykong was also a game with a fabric level and be enable to let you jump over platforms.
    So would be not suprised if this game was inspirated from it, unless it's not and just become an coicidance.

  16. HHM was lots of fun. The randomness of where the girders turned up (the bottom right on level 3 was particularly tough) made for a real challenge. I agree it's aged well.

  17. I remember beating this game as a kid on C64. That thing in Lv 1 is a coffee can and it is spilling beans btw. 🙂
    OSHA stands for Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which means that one of the enemies is an overzealous white-collar regulator.

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