Toki

Overview / Review of Taito’s 1991 NES game, Toki.

Despite a box that prominently features some of the worst box art to ever grace the shelves of video game retailers, Toki is an excellent port of the underrated 1988 arcade classic of the same name. As is the case with many of Taito’s 8-bit releases, Toki’s late 1991 release buried it beneath the massive shadow cast by Nintendo’s aggressive promotion of their newly launched 16-bit successor to the NES. Though a quality title, the lack of media coverage and retail shelf… Continue reading

Wurm: Journey to the Center of the Earth

Overview / Review of Asmik’s 1991 NES game, Wurm: Journey to the Center of the Earth.

Eschewing the typical lighthearted fluff that contextually justifies the large majority of the NES’s game library, Wurm: Journey to the Center of the Earth presents itself as an unusually weighty cautionary tale wrought by a variety of gameplay types and cinematic exposition. As the brainchild of Yoshikawa Shouichi (also responsible for Golgo 13: Top Secret Mission’s excellent scenario direction, script writing, and English translation), Wurm follows… Continue reading

Home Alone

Overview / Review of T*HQ’s 1991 NES game, Home Alone.

Loosely based around the plot of the film, Home Alone for the NES puts the player in control of eight-year-old Kevin McCallister, a boy accidentally left at home alone when his scatterbrained family takes off for Paris without him. The large and well-kept McCallister home, now seemingly vacant, becomes the target of the “Wet Bandits” Continue reading

The Simpsons: Bart vs. the Space Mutants

Overview / Review of Acclaim’s 1991 NES game, The Simpsons: Bart vs. the Space Mutants.

After three years of starring in short animated segments on The Tracey Ullman Show, Fox Broadcasting readied the pointedly absurd yet telling antics of the famous yellow family for the spotlight. First airing over the 1989-1990 broadcast season, The Simpsons met with immediate success, breaking all previously existing Fox rating records. The Simpsons, however, was more than just…
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Cyber Stadium Series: Base Wars

Overview / Review of Ultra’s 1991 NES game, Cyber Stadium Series: Base Wars.

At the turn of the 24th century, American baseball team owners are fed up paying the astronomical salaries demanded by even the worst players on their teams. At a board meeting, the owner of the Boston Banshees suggests robots as a replacement to traditional human participants, confident that cheaply produced players that do battle… Continue reading

Where’s Waldo?

Overview / Review of T*HQ’s 1991 NES game, Where’s Waldo?

Where’s Waldo?, the worldwide smash hit series of children’s books by British illustrator Martin Handford, dares adventurous readers to find the eponymous traveler, recognizable by his trademark red and white striped jumper, matching bobble hat, and large black specs. Waldo, or Wally, as he is known in his native England, has a habit of getting lost amongst giant throngs of people in a multitude of (often hilarious) situations… Continue reading

Monopoly

Overview / Review of Parker Brothers’ 1991 NES game, Monopoly.

Following “Black Tuesday,” the infamous stock market crash on Wall Street of 1929 that sent the world economy into a desperate tailspin, a board game rising from the wake of the previous crash in 1893 discovered a newfound resurgence at the hands of an unemployed laborer, Charles Darrow. Looking to make ends meet, he reinvigorated Lizzie Magie’s game, The Landlord’s Game, originally designed to illustrate the evils of monopolistic empires… Continue reading

Barbie

Overview / Review of Hi Tech Expressions’ 1991 NES game, Barbie.

Wildly popular and highly controversial since their introduction to the American public in 1959, Mattel’s Barbie has provided young girls a fashion savvy, boy crazy friend on whom they could depend to provide countless hours of entertainment. Throughout their lengthy tenure… Continue reading

The Last Ninja

Overview / Review of Jaleco’s 1991 NES game, The Last Ninja.

The Last Ninja originally appeared on the Commodore 64 as The Last Ninja 2: Back with a Vengeance in 1988, the second installment of System 3’s hugely successful adventure trilogy. All three games in the series became hits both critically and commercially; the three titles comprising The Last Ninja trilogy were considered the height of technical achievement in games… Continue reading

Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom

Review / Overview of Hudson’s 1991 NES game, Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom.

Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom hails the tradition of one of gaming’s oldest established genres – the text adventure. Being amongst the earliest games developed for computers, text adventures created worlds out of prose, with the player’s options limited only by their imaginations and the limitations of a “verb-noun” text parser. Well-known early entries such as Adventure (1975) and… Continue reading

Battletoads

Overview / Review of Tradewest’s 1991 NES game, Battletoads.

Battletoads, a late generation game owing much of its style to the infamous Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon, is among the best of prolific developer Rare’s offerings on Nintendo’s eight-bit workhorse. Battletoads stars three oversized humanoid amphibians named after unsightly skin blemishes… Continue reading

AD&D: Heroes of the Lance

Overview / Review of FCI’s 1991 NES game, Advanced Dungeons and Dragons: Heroes of the Lance.

Three centuries have passed since the thirteen days of sheer destruction, known as the Cataclysm, devastated Krynn. All sense of order fell to ruin, and the survivors, disenchanted with the gods, fought endlessly amongst one another. Forgetting the ways and beliefs of old, the people of Krynn… Continue reading

Captain Planet and the Planeteers

Overview / Review of Mindscape’s 1991 NES game, Captain Planet and the Planeteers.

Captain Planet and the Planeteers, the wildly popular cartoon series from the 1990s, succeeded in selling its left wing environmentalist agenda to kids by disguising itself as an exciting and well-produced sci-fi superhero adventure. Based on the first season of the television show, Captain Planet and the Planeteers for the NES closely mirrors… Continue reading

Lone Ranger, The

Overview / Review of Konami’s 1991 NES game, The Lone Ranger.

The Lone Ranger follows Konami’s penchant for quality licensed action titles, joining ranks with other notable Konami titles like Mission: Impossible, Monster in My Pocket, and Tiny Toon Adventures. The Lone Ranger founds its premise on the 1981 western film, The Legend of the Lone Ranger, which was in turn based on The Lone Ranger, a radio serial (running 1933-1954) and television series (1949-57). Continue reading