Action 52

From Sega Retro


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

Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
$199.00[1] ?

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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 Studios 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.

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.

  1. Bonkers — 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.
  2. Darksyne — 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.
  3. Dyno-Tennis — 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.
  4. Ooze — 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.
  5. Star Ball — 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.
  6. SidewinderAfter Burner/G-LOC clone, except you can move freely to the left and to the right (with scrolling too!). C fires.
  7. Daytona — 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.
  8. 15 Puzzle...15 puzzle. D-pad to move cursor; C to move block.
  9. Sketch — 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.
  10. Star Duel
  11. Haunted Hills — Known as "Haunted Hill" in-game.
  12. Alfredo & the Fettucinni's — Known as "Alfredo" in-game.
  13. The Cheetahmen
  14. Skirmish
  15. Depth Charge
  16. Minds Eye
  17. Alien Attack
  18. Billy Bob
  19. Sharks
  20. Knockout
  21. Intruder
  22. Echo
  23. Freeway
  24. Mousetrap
  25. Ninja
  26. Slalom
  27. Dauntless
  28. Force One
  29. Spidey
  30. Appleseed
  31. Street Skater — Known simply as "Skater" in the game.
  32. Sunday Driver
  33. Star Evil
  34. Air Command
  35. Shootout
  36. Bombs Away
  37. Speed Boat
  38. Dedant
  39. G-Force Fighter — Referred as "G Fighter" in-game
  40. Man At Arms
  41. Norman
  42. Armor Battle
  43. Magic Bean
  44. Apache
  45. Paratrooper
  46. Sky Avenger
  47. Sharp Shooter
  48. Meteor
  49. Black Hole
  50. The Boss
  51. 1st Video Game — Referred as "First Game" at the in-game menu. The game itself is a rendition of Pong.
  52. Action 52 Challenge — 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.

All games have pause with Start; hitting C while paused returns to the title screen.

Promotional material


GamePro US 054.pdf

Print advert in
GamePro (US) #54: "January 1994" (199x-xx-xx)

EGM US 057.pdf

Print advert in
Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #57: "April 1994" (1994-xx-xx)

EGM2 US 05.pdf

Print advert in
EGM² (US) #5: "November 1994" (1994-xx-xx)
also published in:
  • Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #65: "December 1994" (1994-xx-xx)[2]

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
40 №56, p52[3]
Sega Mega Drive
Based on
1 review

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