So...what do we have here?

Thunder & Lightning [Repetitious Action Game]

Thunder and Lightning

U.S. Game Box Front

looks like a challenge...

Hit That UFO For Items!

Athena and Dezaemon

Athena Is Popular For Shooters,
Especially Their Dezaemon Titles.

-General Information-
Version: U.S.
Year: 1990
Publisher: Romstar
Developer(s) and Others: Romstar
# of Players: 1 or 2
# of Saves: None
Estimated Market Value as of 08/05/2007: $15 - $25 (U.S. Dollars, USD)
Other Info: It is said that Romstar closed their doors in 1992. There is also Mr. Chin's Gourment Paradise (Game Boy) which stars the character from Thunder & Lightning. The Japanese version of the game (published by Athena) is known as "Family Block". Thunder & Lightning also had a sequel that was released in Arcades. It is known as "Thunder & Lightning 2", though it also goes by the name of "Block Carnival". The T&L2 arcade machines were manufactured by Visco Games. Family Block image belongs to Aki and Masako.

Hello all Arkanoid fans! Wish you could play an Arkanoid-style/Breakout-style game, but can't seem to find any copies of Arkanoid (or Breakout, though that's pretty unlikely)? Well, if you saw a game titled "Thunder & Lightning" and passed it up, run back to where you saw it immediately. Not only is Thunder & Lightning an Arkanoid clone, it is considered by some to be one of the best Arkanoid clones ever! Despite this, the game saw limited success due to the game being made in relatively small quantities by a quiet game publishing warrior by the name of Romstar. Romstar is one unfortunate game company that just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. The majority of the games they published are considered niche titles and their games are only known by a small group of people. Nevertheless, even after the company passed over two decades ago, people may stumble upon a game that they published and find it enjoyable. Had they been around today, their niche titles may have been more appreciated since more and more people and getting into unusual games that they may not have given the light of day many moons ago.

Thunder & Lightning puts you in control of a tubby little dude named Mr. Chin...and he holy crap, is he in a world of trouble. In his travels to find legendary food, he has angered the Thunderwarrior. The Thunderwarrior's voice echoed, "There are foods better left uneaten, answers better left unknown, and places better left unseen..." In the end, you learn that you are stuck within "The Walls of Regret" and you can leave only by overcoming the trial the Thunderwarrior has placed in front of you. Mr. Chin must overcome 30 Walls of Regret if he ever wants to live a normal life. The story is somewhat original and unintentionally humorous (because they try to make something serious out of nothing), though the game never really puts any focus on the story. Like many games of the era, the plot has been ripped straight from the instruction manual.

The visuals are very average for 1990. However, if you've played Arkanoid, you PROBABLY didn't play it because of its graphics (that would be rather unfortunate if you did). With that being said, you will probably welcome the colorful but simple presentation that Thunder & Lightning gives you. There are actually things that animate other than your paddle and the ball. There are actually colorful backgrounds. I would like to think that this is an Arkanoid fan's dream come true as far as graphics. The music is pretty cool too. Unfortunately, there isn't really much of a selection. The game doesn't have many BGMs, but what little it does have, it does it well.

Mr. Chin must use a stick to bounce around a "Demoe ball", a magic ball that can break blocks and help him blast his way out of the 30 Walls of Regret. Let's be serious here; the Demoe ball isn't much different from the typical ball found in arkanoid. Still, T&L is fun just like the classic Arkanoid and there are several cool powerups too by hitting various objects that keep appearing on the screen. You can slow down the speed of the ball, get three balls at once, get six balls at once, get missiles to destroy blocks (If you grab 2 missiles power-ups, you can fire 2 missiles simultaneously) at will, 1-ups, and other things. Heck, by attacking certain enemy obstacles, they can become your pals and help you out. One enemy is a bird that, when hit, destroys blocks at random. On top of this, you can play with a friend! You can take turns OR you can play 2-player co-op. How cool is that? I find this game very addictive and if you are an Arkanoid fan, you should definitely grab this one ASAP.

- Written by Vyse the determined -

Game Screenshots

Title Screen Hey, we're twins! Let's try not to hit that pot... I got missiles!!! Time to clean the screen! Mr. Chin flies to the top of the screen when a stage is finished. Cool background with hearts, spades, diamonds, and clubs.

This review has 3 extra images.

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