£11.95 cass, £14.95 disk, joystick only
trading game for up to four players
initials stand for Multiple Use Labour Element, but
the creatures they refer to look very similar to the
animals we know and love. Put simply, this is a trading
game where mules produce goods for you and you try to
make as much money as possible by selling them. It is
also one of the few computer games for FOUR different
players, although the computer can control up to three
of them if you're on your own.
game is set on the planet Irata (Atari backwards --
ho ho ho), where the four characters, which you can
choose from eight aliens, try to develop its resources.
A spaceship lands you in the only town with each player
having a small amount of money and goods, depending
on which character he has chosen.
the town are a river, a number of mountains, and mostly
plains. This area is broken up into plots of land, and
at the start of each turn a cursor moves across the
screen allowing you to pick a plot. You can only get
one plot per turn on the beginner's game, and you will
be in competition with the other players for them.
selected your plot, you can go and buy a mule in the
town and outfit it. There are three resources which
can be tapped: smithore, energy, and food. Once outfitted
to get one of these goods, you can install the mule
on your plot where it will produce units of the good
at the end of the turn. Its success will depend on its
location, food going best near the river, energy in
the solar rich plains, and smithore in the mountains.
you've got any time left you can go and gamble in the
pub (you never lose), or go Wampus hunting in the mountains
(bet you can't catch one). Once all four players are
finished a random event may occur, like a planetquake,
acid rain, pest attack or pirate raid which can dent
mules now get on with producing and you may get the
occasional bonus or bad news scroll across the screen.
You take the fruits of their labour to the store where
you can trade them with other players or the store itself.
Each turn you will need certain amounts of energy, food,
and of course money, to keep your mules producing.
may have shortages or surpluses of goods so you can
buy some and sell others. This is done on an interesting
auction screen, where sellers at the top and buyers
at the bottom move towards each other so as to meet
at a mutually acceptable price. If no one is trading,
the store itself may be able to sell you goods. You
cannot sell below a critical level which are your essential
trading has finished you are shown the financial state
of each player and the colony's overall situation, before
returning to the land screen where you can choose another
plot. The beginner's game lasts for six months, at which
point the ship returns to check on the colony's progress
and award the title of first founder to the player of