The Adventures of Dr. Franken is an “enhanced” conversion of the Game Boy game, Dr. Franken. It was developed by Motivetime and published by Elite Systems in Europe and DTMC, Inc. in North America in 1993.
I’m emphasising the word “enhanced” here because I don’t think this SNES port is as good, or as much fun, as the Game Boy original.
It features twenty different stages, and has the same aim as the Game Boy version, which is to find the parts of your girlfriend, Bitsy, and re-assemble her. Unlike the Game Boy version, though, you’re shown a map of the world before each level and must choose which stage you want to play next (similar to Super Mario World).
The Monster can do a variety of physical attacking moves, as well as jump and throw a limited number of electricity bolts. He has a health bar in the top left of the screen and can pick up batteries to replenish it. A meter underneath the health bar indicates how many electricity shots he has left.
At the beginning of the game you have to find and pick up pieces of a passport, then find the exit. The in-game timer is pretty tight, though, so you can’t hang around. Once you’ve completed the first level the game splits into two branches and gives you a choice of which direction to go in. As you complete the various stages you can then open up travel to the five continents to find Bitsy.
Enemies re-spawn as soon as you leave an area and it’s easy to lose a life if you blunder around, so you have to be relatively careful when moving. You can end up jump kicking the whole time, so that you’re not surprised by something appearing unexpectedly in front of you.
The gameplay is bog-standard platforming, with mild beat ’em up elements, and is not very imaginative. The graphics are excellent in places, and the scrolling is as smooth as silk, but that doesn’t really make the game fun to play.
I didn’t like the music in this game at all. It sounds like someone with no musical imagination sat down with a sampler and churned out a bunch of substandard Eighties beats with dodgy sampled claps and no melodies. When the music in a game sounds like you could’ve done better yourself: you know it’s not very good…
The Adventures of Dr. Franken on the Super Nintendo will probably appeal to people who like bland gameplay and bland music, but to me it lacked that special ‘something’ that usually makes SNES platform games a joy to play. This just annoyed me, and frankly I had more fun playing the Game Boy and NES versions. Maybe I’m being unfair on it? I dunno. What I do know is that this game didn’t appeal to me as much as the other versions of Dr. Franken.
More: Dr. Franken on Wikipedia
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