Iron Man and X-O Manowar in
Heavy Metal
Developer(s)Realtime Associates
Griptonite Games (Game Boy)
Publisher(s)Acclaim Entertainment
Platform(s)PlayStation, Saturn, Game Boy, Game Gear, MS-DOS
  • WW: 1996
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Iron Man / X-O Manowar in Heavy Metal is a video game published by Acclaim Entertainment and developed by Realtime Associates for the PlayStation, Sega Saturn, Game Boy, Game Gear, and MS-DOS in 1996. It is a one or two-player side-scrolling action game in which the player battles villains from Marvel Comics' Iron Man and Valiant Comics' X-O Manowar comic book series. It was met with negative reviews which criticized it for dull gameplay and outdated graphics.


The storyline is revealed through onscreen text. Iron Man and X-O Manowar must team up in order to stop a team of supervillains from grabbing the lost fragments of the Cosmic Cube. During the game it is also revealed that the space aliens that Aric stole his X-O Manowar armor from, want it back. The two super heroes battle through several levels to stop the terrorists and their supervillain leaders from trying to rule the universe.


At the start of the game, the player(s) choose to control either Iron Man or X-O Manowar.[2] Both Iron Man and X-O Manowar can jump, punch, shoot an unlimited supply of energy beams (that can be upgraded through icons) and use a limited but replenishable supply of energy to fly. Iron Man can duck while X-O Manowar can block enemy attack by shield. At the start of each mission, a computer screen gives the player's objectives.

During the game, players can collect medical icons to restore their health, and other icons to give more fuel, stronger laser blasts and a special icon that allows one mega-blast from a character's armor chestplate. The game also allows the player characters to destroy various gas canisters, metal wiring and control panels to locate more icons, deactivate certain weapons, or advance in the game.

Two people can play the game simultaneously in a cooperative manner. Both can play as the same character if desired.[2]


Atari Corporation and Acclaim announced a partnership in March 1995 that included plans to release three game for the Jaguar.[3] Five months after this announcement, a conversion of Iron Man and X-O Manowar in Heavy Metal for the Atari Jaguar CD was licensed to Atari Corp.[4] The port was slated for an April/Q2 1996 release,[5][6] but work on the port was discontinued sometime in 1995 and it was never released.[7]

The Game Boy version was developed by Griptonite Games.[8]


The four reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly praised the animation in the Game Gear version but gave it an otherwise negative assessment, lambasting the poor controls and lack of variety in the levels.[9]

GameSpot, reviewing the Saturn version, said that "every aspect of Heavy Metal is a letdown — the graphics, sound, and gameplay," and concluded that the game "feels as though it was hastily thrown together. The result is a game that could have easily used another six months of development. People looking for a good action scroller should look elsewhere."[10] Lee Nutter of Sega Saturn Magazine commented that while the two playable characters have varying abilities yet are evenly matched, giving the game replay value, the action is extremely repetitive, the music is poor, and the graphics are barely above what consoles of the previous generation were capable of.[12] Covering the PlayStation version, IGN criticized the characters for being "interchangeable" and concluded: "It's just boring. The control is as sluggish as it gets, and the graphics, while decent enough for a 2D side-scroller, just aren't up to 32-bit standards."[11] GamePro called it "an apt, enjoyable, but not terribly complex, game." The reviewer praised both the action and platform jumping, the rendered player characters, and "simple, clean backgrounds", though he criticized the music and sounds.[14]


The video game was adapted into a 2 issue comic book crossover featuring the two heroes teaming up to save the world.


  1. ^ "Press release: 1996-11-14: Acclaim Entertainment releases IRON MAN/X-O MANOWAR IN HEAVY METAL". Sega Retro. 2016-06-18. Retrieved 2023-05-06.
  2. ^ a b "Iron Man/X-O Manowar in Heavy Metal: Two Comic Heroes Together at Last!". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 89. Ziff Davis. December 1996. pp. 282–3.
  3. ^ "ATARI AND ACCLAIM JOIN FORCES IN MAJOR SOFTWARE DISTRIBUTION AGREEMENT". Nine Lives. March 22, 1995. Archived from the original on December 14, 2004. Retrieved 2018-09-22.
  4. ^ Vendel, Curt (August 26, 1995). "Payment Schedule for Jaguar games to Developers" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-12-11. Retrieved 2018-09-22.
  5. ^ "Release Liste". Video Games (in German). No. 46. Future-Verlag. August 1995. p. 43. Archived from the original on 2018-09-14. Retrieved 2018-09-22.
  6. ^ Gore, Chris (August 1995). "The Gorescore - Industry News You Can - Upcoming Jaguar Software Titles". VideoGames - The Ultimate Gaming Magazine. No. 79. L.F.P., Inc. p. 14.
  7. ^ Dragon, Lost (July 5, 2017). "The Ultimate Jaguar Unreleased/Beta/Source/Dev Master List! - Page 5". Archived from the original on 4 November 2018. Retrieved 2018-09-22.
  8. ^ "Griptonite Games: What We Do". Griptonite Games. Archived from the original on December 16, 2002. Retrieved April 10, 2023.
  9. ^ a b "Review Crew: Iron Man & X-O Manowar in: Heavy Metal". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 85. Ziff Davis. August 1996. p. 26.
  10. ^ a b (December 1, 1996) "Iron Man / X-O Manowar in Heavy Metal Review" Archived 2008-07-26 at the Wayback Machine, GameSpot
  11. ^ a b (January 15, 1997) "Iron Man / XO Manowar in Heavy Metal Review", IGN
  12. ^ a b Nutter, Lee (April 1997). "Review: Iron Man/X-O Manowar". Sega Saturn Magazine. No. 18. Emap International Limited. pp. 68–69.
  13. ^ "Electric Playground Game Reviews: Iron Man & X-O Manowar in Heavy Metal". Archived from the original on 1997-06-16.
  14. ^ Scary Larry (January 1997). "ProReview PlayStation: Iron Man X/O Manowar". GamePro. No. 100. IDG. p. 104.