The Menacer is a light gun peripheral released by Sega in 1992 for its Sega Genesis and Sega CD video game consoles. Sega producer Mac Senour was responsible for the Menacer project and designed the six-game pack. The Menacer is remembered as a critical and ready To Flow flop. Critics found the six-game pack subpar and repetitive, and criticized the peripheral’s lack of games.
Earl spinoff game was held in the highest regard, and reviewers recommended the Menacer-compatible Terminator 2 game. A direct-to-TV light gun that includes the six-game Menacer pack was released in 2005. The gray, white, and red Menacer is a light gun peripheral for the Sega Genesis. The light gun’s shots are controlled by its aim towards the television. It operates on batteries and works in conjunction with a sensor plugged into the second controller port and placed atop the television display. The Menacer was produced in response to the Nintendo Super Scope released several months earlier, though Sega intended to support the peripheral as more than a clone.
Mac Senour, a producer at Sega, was responsible for the peripheral and its six-game cartridge as the company’s “hardware boy”. Sega announced the Menacer alongside the Sega CD at the May 1992 Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago and the peripheral was released towards the end of that year. Mac Senour left Sega in 1993 for Atari, where he received an increase in pay and status. In 2005, Radica created a Menacer-based direct-to-TV dedicated console with the original six-game cartridge built into a light gun controller as part of their Play TV Legends line of Sega Genesis dedicated consoles. Pest Control, Space Station Defender, Whack Ball, Rockman’s Zone, Front Line, Ready, Aim, Tomatoes!
Earl series enemies for points as the screen scrolls. The scroll speed increases with game duration. Zone, the screen scrolls through streets of houses as the player shoots criminals and refrains from shooting innocent bystanders, for which the player loses a life. In later levels, the criminals return fire faster. Space Station Defender is similar to Tomatoes! In each level, players shoot enemy-filled pods as up to eight drop in a memorizable sequence.
There are 999 levels, a Power Zone to charge shots, and power-ups including extra shields. Whack Ball is comparable to Breakout: the player controls a large ball with the Menacer to push a smaller on-screen ball into color-changing bricks that line the wall. One all of the bricks change color, the player moves to the next level. In Front Line, the player defends against tanks and airplanes with a machine gun and missiles with unlimited ammo. In Pest Control, the player’s vision is limited to a small area of the screen around the Accu-Sight crosshairs while looking for cockroaches that attempt to eat an on-screen pizza. Two different power-ups briefly illuminate the screen and clear all bugs onscreen.
Probe Software, later began work on another Menacer-compatible game. Terminator 2 has a two-player mode that uses one Menacer light gun and one controller. Matthew Reynolds of Digital Spy wrote that the Menacer was a poorly executed “flop” that is much less likely to be remembered than its Super Scope competitor, even though the latter did not fare much better. Reynolds added that the Menacer was hurt by the poor quality of the pack-in six-game cartridge and a lack of titles in support of the peripheral. Sega arms race and wrote that the peripheral’s “Uzi attachment” was “just what every kid needs”. Andy Pargh said the Menacer was “definitely a winner” in comparison to the Super Scope. William Burrill wrote that the “Great Zapper War” would be decided by the strength of the light guns’ supporting games.
Mean Machines wrote that the gun’s shades of gray clashed with the glossy black console. Multiple reviewers found the pack-in six-game cartridge games subpar and repetitive. Gus wrote that the games were all too simple and easy. Of the pack, reviewers held Ready, Aim, Tomatoes!