Action 52

From Sega Retro


Action52 Genesis.png
Action 52
System(s): Sega Mega Drive
Publisher: Active Enterprises
Game total: 52
Sound driver: GEMS
Genre: Compilation

Number of players: 1-2
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive

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Action 52 is an unlicensed collection of 52 original games on one cartridge which was originally released on the NES by Active Enterprises. It was originally sold for $199 US dollars under the guise of each game being worth $3, and all of the games are infamous for being of terrible quality. Later in 1993, Active contracted FarSight Technologies to create a new Action 52 for the Sega Mega Drive.

A Super NES version was also advertised in the same year, but it was cancelled presumably due to Active Enterprises' bankruptcy.

Games included

Each game is color coded, with a legend on the first screen when the cartridge is booted up: Expert, Intermediate, Beginner, Two Player, Special. All of the games can be exited by pausing then pressing C while paused; which will return the game to the title screen.

Notavailable.svg 1: Go Bonkers (expert)
Known simply as "Bonkers" on the in-game list. You control a green ball that will bounce all the way up and all the way down on a vertical field. You can move it left and right with the D-pad. The ball will destroy blocks of matching colors; touching a grey block with a different color will change the ball's color (however, the ball cannot be changed back to green using the gray blocks with green in the middle). Hitting a grey block with a black + in the middle will make you lose one ball and revert the ball color to green. After all colored blocks are removed, simply remove the remaining blocks with green in the middle to clear the level. Also worth mentioning, this is one of the few games of the cart to have a title screen.
Notavailable.svg 2: Darksyne (expert)
You are a ship stuck in a room with enemies. As in Asteroids, you are bound by gravity, and holding B and using the D-pad will allow you some limited form of motion. Holding C gives you a shield with limited energy. A shoots. Destroy all the enemies without hitting the walls of the level to move on to the next.
Notavailable.svg 3: Dyno-Tennis (two player)
Simple tennis game. Player 1 is the orange dinosaur; Player 2 is the purple one. Left and Right move. C swings. Most points after 10 sets wins.
Notavailable.svg 4: Ooze (expert)
Platforming run-and-gun where you play as the Ooze Boy. C shoots (notoriously, Ooze Boy is not able to shoot while jumping); B jumps. Down crouches; moving while crouched crawls. Falling from too high a slope will kill Ooze Boy. You are tasked to collect keys throughout each level, in order to progress to the next.
Notavailable.svg 5: Star Ball (expert)
Simple pinball game. Left flips the left flipper; C flips the right. There appears to be multiple tables; the manual mentions that collecting all bonuses and destroying all the enemies you can, will take to the next table.
Notavailable.svg 6: Sidewinder (expert)
After Burner/G-LOC clone, except you can move freely to the left and to the right (with scrolling too!). C fires.
Notavailable.svg 7: Daytona (expert)
Simple 3D racing game. Hold C to accelerate; let go to brake. Steer with Left and Right. Hit A to switch gears. The only real goal appears to be "get 3 laps" but the game has no indicator telling lap count or finish line — the level will just fade out.
Notavailable.svg 8: 15 Puzzle (expert)
...15 puzzle. D-pad to move cursor; C to move block.
Notavailable.svg 9: Sketch (expert)
Line art canvas. D-pad moves the pencil. Hold C to draw. B changes line thickness. A changes line color. This is similar to Art Alive! by using the same pencil sprite and other features.
Notavailable.svg 10: Star Duel (two player)
Notavailable.svg 11: Haunted Hills (expert)
Known as "Haunted Hill" in-game.
Notavailable.svg 12: Alfredo & the Fettucinni's (expert)
Known as "Alfredo" in-game.
Action52 MD Cheetahmen.png 13: The Cheetahmen (expert)
Save all the encaged cheetah kittens in every level. B jumps and C attacks.
Notavailable.svg 14: Skirmish (two player)
Notavailable.svg 15: Depth Charge (expert)
Notavailable.svg 16: Minds Eye (expert)
Notavailable.svg 17: Alien Attack (expert)
Notavailable.svg 18: Billy Bob (expert)
Notavailable.svg 19: Sharks (intermediate)
Notavailable.svg 20: Knockout (two player)
Notavailable.svg 21: Intruder (intermediate)
Notavailable.svg 22: Echo (intermediate)
Notavailable.svg 23: Freeway (intermediate)
Notavailable.svg 24: Mousetrap (intermediate)
Notavailable.svg 25: Ninja (intermediate)
Notavailable.svg 26: Slalom (intermediate)
Notavailable.svg 27: Dauntless (intermediate)
Notavailable.svg 28: Force One (intermediate)
Notavailable.svg 29: Spidey (intermediate)
Notavailable.svg 30: Appleseed (intermediate)
Notavailable.svg 31: Street Skater (intermediate)
Known simply as "Skater" in the game.
Notavailable.svg 32: Sunday Driver (intermediate)
Notavailable.svg 33: Star Evil (intermediate)
Notavailable.svg 34: Air Command (intermediate)
Notavailable.svg 35: Shootout (intermediate)
Notavailable.svg 36: Bombs Away (intermediate)
Notavailable.svg 37: Speed Boat (beginner)
Notavailable.svg 38: Dedant (beginner)
Notavailable.svg 39: G-Force Fighter (beginner)
Referred as "G Fighter" in-game
Notavailable.svg 40: Man At Arms (beginner)
Notavailable.svg 41: Norman (beginner)
Notavailable.svg 42: Armor Battle (two player)
Notavailable.svg 43: Magic Bean (beginner)
Notavailable.svg 44: Apache Chopper (beginner)
Known as "Apache" in-game
Notavailable.svg 45: Paratrooper (beginner)
Notavailable.svg 46: Sky Avenger (beginner)
Notavailable.svg 47: Sharp Shooter (beginner)
Notavailable.svg 48: Meteor (beginner)
Notavailable.svg 49: Black Hole (beginner)
Notavailable.svg 50: The Boss (beginner)
Notavailable.svg 51: 1st Video Game (two player)
Referred as "First Game" at the in-game menu. The game itself is a rendition of Pong (which post-dates the first "video game" by many years).
Notavailable.svg 52: Action 52 Challenge (special)
Simply referred as "Challenge" in-game, is an endurance test which puts the player into a random series of the highest levels of the other remaining 46 single-player games.

Magazine articles

Main article: Action 52/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

Com 2001 advert 1 FI.jpg
FI advert (1993)
Compelit advert 1 FI.jpg
FI advert (1993)
Com 2001 advert FI 3.jpg
FI print advert
Print advert in GamePro (US) #54: "January 1994" (199x-xx-xx)
Print advert in Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #57: "April 1994" (1994-xx-xx)
Print advert in EGM² (US) #5: "November 1994" (1994-xx-xx)
also published in:

Physical scans

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Mega Drive, US
Action52 MD US Box Back.jpgNospine.pngAction52 MD US Box Front.jpg
Action52 MD US Cart.jpg
Action 52 MD US Manual.pdf

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 29ff58ae
MD5 4adf124ff9d111cb3946a65020918d5e
SHA-1 1d5b26a5598eea268d15fa16d43816f8c3e4f8c6
2MB 1993-05 Cartridge