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Formed in 1983, Mastertronic established itself as a one of the premier budget software houses of the 8-bit era, producing games for the CPC as well as its main competitors the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64.

Mastertronic identified a gap in the market for low cost games (originally retailing for £1.99 in the United Kingdom, 9,95 DM (= 5,09€) in Germany & $9.99 in Australia) and as well as producing titles for 'The Big 3' specialised in releasing original games for some of the lesser served systems like the BBC Electron and Commodore C16.

Mastertronic paved the way for companies like Alternative Software and Codemasters to follow in their stead (and in fact published The Darling Brothers first game - the C64 only BMX Racers).

Success allowed the company to expand and as well as their self-titled orginal label, they were soon releasing games under their offshoot labels most notably M.A.D. (Mastertronic Added Dimension) which retailed at a slightly higher price than the basic line.As well as M.A.D., Mastertronic also ran the shortlived Entertainment USA and Bulldog labels designed to showcase the best in American and British releases respectively.

Mastertronic continued to grow and in 1988 acquired the Australian software outfit Melbourne House. Keeping the label name alive, Mastertronic used the Melbourne House moniker to enter the full price software market. Around the same time, Mastertonic launched Ricochet a re-release label that they used to re-market games from publishers such as the afore-mentioned Melbourne House, Bubble Bus and Activision.

With great expansion comes great risk and as the budget market became saturated Mastertronic's position as the leading light began to wane. Several big projects for the group (including an attempt to enter the arcade market) proved to be finacially challenging. Thanks, however, to being able to secure the distribution rights to Sega's Master System console in the UK, France and Germany, the company remained a viable acquisition. Spotting an opportunity to expand, Richard Branson's Virgin Games bought a controlling interest in Mastertronic, eventually merging the two companies into Virgin Mastertronic.

Two final labels appeared bearing the Mastertronic name after the merger Mastertronic Plus and Tronix. These were used for original and re-release budget titles while Melbourne House was finally retired in favour of Virgin Mastertronic's self titled label.


Please also see Virgin Games for details of games released under that banner following the Mastertronic merger.



Entertainment USA



Melbourne House (Post Mastertronic takeover)

Virgin Mastertronic

Mastertronic Plus


Missing in Action / Vapourware

As with all major software companies (and a number of minor ones!), Mastertronic didn't manage to release every game that was originally planned or rumoured. The following are a list of titles that don't appear to have been released publically. If you have any further information on any of these titles please share with the community in the discussion forums, we've love to hear some more about these or any other titles.

Action Biker

Mentioned in a feature on Mastertronic on Page 44 of Issue 7 of Amstrad Action (April 1986), very little is given away about the game other than a brief blurb that it was a joint promotion with KP Skips, a popular brand of crisps in the UK. Looking to other 8-bit machines and Action Biker was released on the ZX Spectrum, Atari 8-Bit & Commodore 64. Interestingly, while the Spectrum and Atari provide the same, generally panned maze exploration game, the C64 version was a completely different game from a more 3D perspective and while not universally loved, appeared to be a far better proposition. Of course, any Amstrad version was likely to crib heavily from the Spectrum but we'll never know... unless it's found... because a purported cover of Action Biker has been doing the rounds for a number of years. First appearing on the late CPC Zone website, it's still unclear whether the game ever was actually released or produced and the providence of the scan is unknown. It is possible that even if the game was not fully released that a prototype exists with the game potentially being pulled either because of Action Biker's poor recepiton on the Spectrum or Skips dropping of the Clumsy Colin character, on whom the game was based, around the same time.

You can view the scan for yourself at CPC Power