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3 in 1 Supergun (FamilyComputer Clones)

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3 in 1 Supergun was made in 1993 by TXC and was released under the Micro Genius brand for clone Systems of the FamilyComputer. It is a multi cartridge consisting of the games Clown, Snake Charmer and Shooter.

In Clown a certain amount of bottles have to be shot during a limited time. The bottles are juggled by a clown and change their color over time. Shooting red bottles will cause a time and a score penalty.

Snake Charmer is a Whac-A-Mole type of game in which snakes appear form baskets. In every round a required amount of purple snakes have to be shot during a time limit. From time to time magenta colored snakes appear which cause a time penalty upon being shot.

Shooter is very similar to Nintendos Hogan’s Alley for the NES. The player is facing three targets which flip all at the same time. The aim is to shoot armed monsters while avoiding targets of civilians during a short period of time. The number of non hit monsters and hit civilians is counted in every round. If this number exceeds a threshold the game ends unsuccessfully.

In front of each of the 3 games is a selection screen which allows the player to choose one of three difficulty settings. Each difficulty class is composed of 10 levels. Finishing a set will make the game to continue with the next set automatically. Therefore the highest scores are achieved when playing from the low difficulty all the way to the high difficulty. Sadly the game goes back to this difficulty selection screen without an ending screen and without telling the player the final score upon conclusion.

This multi game cartridge is exceptional for its hit detection. Normally zapper type light gun games go black for one or more frames, than show white rectangles where the targets were, than redraw the background and some sprites and finally react based on the light gun input. 3 in 1 Supergun works similar, but leaves away the white rectangles. Instead the targets themselves are cycled in front of a black background until the gun detects one of them. This has of course the disadvantages that the hit box can’t be artificially enlarged, but on the other hand it looks much more pleasing and less disturbing. It works quite well. Personally I had no issues during my play through.

Personally I dislike the game. The difficulty increases just very slowly and often just by making the requirements more stringent, rather than making the game play more challenging. This causes the game to get dull within a short time. I was disappointed by the missing ending screen and the missing scores screen decreases the replay value. In spite of the very pleasing presentation of the game, the good graphics and the decent music the game left me very bored. I like the game even less than the rather basic games made by Sachen which makes 3 in 1 Supergun my least favorite NES light gun game.

The cover is basic and shows a generic clown which is different from the one inside the game. The slogan “The pursuit of wealth, power and eternal life” matches the game very poorly.