ALIEN CARNAGE / Apogee / PC
Settle down, Mewtwo
Alien Carnage started life as Halloween Harry in shareware form. But apparently Apogee decided that naming the game after Halloween would tank sales outside of October, and someone else had some forgotten primitive Amstrad game or something by the same name, so the eventual retail release shifted names. Which works out because the game had about zero to do with Halloween anyway.
In a side-scrolling run-and-gun somewhat similar to pre-3D Duke Nukem, Harry takes on a pack of aliens who have camped Earth and are turning everyone into zombie slaves. His primary tools for the job are a jetpack and a flame thrower, both of which share the same gas tank. You can also pick up other weapons like missiles along the way from vending machines, which you pay for with coins dropped by aliens you've roasted. The full retail version is composed of four scenarios broken up into smaller levels and segments, which aren't really connected to each other.
Instead of jumping, Harry floats using the jetpack when you press up, which gives the game a bit more interesting dynamic than the usual cut-and-dry platformy shooter. Unfortunately this is also the game's greatest weakness. Jetpack use is constant and mandatory, and chances to refuel are slim with relatively few enemies about who drop coins for you, and only limited encounters with vending machines. With the flamethrower also eating on your fuel, all the coins you scrounge virtually have to go to fuel refills when you get the chance, leaving little room to play with any secondary weapons. And while the graphics are fairly detailed for the time and the gameplay is at least decent, neither is particularly remarkable, certainly not enough to merit putting up with the poorly thought out level design.
You may want to give it a go anyway though, as of 2007 the game has been released into the wild as freeware. Link is below.
* Download retail version (freeware as of 2007)
* Gameplay Video