Mastertronic today announced a number of key new titles for release in February 2005, giving the PC budget publisher a strong start to the year, and further consolidating its reputation for releasing the best possible games across its two labels.
The New Year sees Mastertronic looking to strengthen its ground-breaking PC Gamer Presents... and M.A.D ranges. February will see Codemasters' Prisoner of War and TOCA Racer Driver added to the PC Gamer Presents... range, while the first three M.A.D titles for 2005 will include Commandos 3 from Eidos, Ubisoft's Warlords IV: Heroes of Etheria and Wildlife Park Gold, originally released by Deep Silver.
The key to Mastertronic's labels is quality. Gamers are assured that the games released are of the very highest quality, with every addition to the PC Gamer Present... label scoring over 80% in the Future Publishing magazine, while acceptance to the M.A.D label is only given to games selling in excess of 100,000 units as a full-price title.
Prisoner of War is a detailed and realistic adventure title set in a German P.O.W camp during World War II. Working closely with other inmates and using the few meagre items available to them, players are charged with devising an escape plan while avoiding drawing attention to their movements. Thus, players must work out guard patrol patterns and explore every area of the camp as they work out a plan to escape the inhospitable camp. Prisoner of War's novel and engrossing gameplay saw it awarded 80% in PC Gamer.
TOCA Race Driver's addition of a unique story line to support its breath-taking racing sequences saw the game awarded 88% in the Future magazine. With over 42 fully licensed and authentically modelled cars, players assume the role of Ryan McKane, a cocky but talented driver out to attain race glory. During the course of the game, players must steer Ryan to victory in 13 recognised tournaments, spanning 38 circuits. Every aspect of the game perfectly mirrors that of the real TOCA season, while the engaging scenario serves to add further depth to the action.
The new M.A.D titles also show the diversity the label enjoys. Commandos 3 marks the pinnacle of the entertaining strategy series. With three campaigns spanning Stalingrad, Central Europe and Normandy, the player is involved with every aspect of each mission, overseeing the roles of the specialist combat troops, or can take on up to eight opponents via the game's LAN mode.
Warlords IV: Heroes of Etheria is a brilliant blend of role-playing game and turn-based strategy, with the titular Etheria torn apart by warring dwarf, elf and demon factions. Building an army of heroes, the player must use the individual skills of wizards, warriors and the like to forge alliances between the warring species, while the many races and the world of Etheria are brought to vivid life via the game's impressive aesthetics.
Wildlife Park Gold continues the strategy theme, but puts the player in charge of a wildlife park and all the hazards such a task throws up. Using a simple yet effective point'n'click interface, players are charged with rearing over 60 species of animals, including hard-to-breed rarities. Likewise, staff must be employed and the park itself maintained, all causing a succession of headaches as the game progresses.
"After an incredible 2004, it is vital that Mastertronic goes into 2005 with the aim of improving on its impressive debut," comments Adam Prichard, Sales Director, Mastertronic. "These games show that we attract the best PC titles to our labels, and we will continue to forge strong relationships with the best publishers, to ensure that both the PC Gamer Presents... and M.A.D labels thrive and flourish in the coming twelve months."
Headed up by Frank Herman, Andy Payne and Adam Prichard, Mastertronic is part of The Mastertronic Group Limited re-formed in 2003.
Mastertronic will seek to engender the values of its enviable heritage and become the leading value re-publisher of computer and video games working with publishers, retailers and consumers alike to continually innovate at all stages in the publishing value chain. Focus will be only on bringing the highest quality games to a mass market, delivered within a brand strategy that everyone can trust.
Originally formed in 1983, Mastertronic bought many a legendary 8 bit game to a true mass market (One Man and his Droid, Hunter Patrol, Spellbound, Phantoms of the Asteroid and Master of Magic to name a few). Mastertronic also brought the Sega Master System into Europe in the mid- 80's. The name Mastertronic all but disappeared from the industry in 1991 when it was acquired by Sega.