Released into arcades by Sun Electronics (aka Sunsoft) in 1983, Arabian is a platform game in which you play a prince on a mission to rescue a princess from a castle in which she is being held prisoner.
The 1987 Nintendo Entertainment System conversion of Spy Hunter was handled by Sunsoft and is an excellent addition to the Spy Hunter family.
In some respects this is better than the arcade original, because it’s not quite so mind-bendingly difficult…
Anyone familiar with the NES game Mr. Gimmick will see similarities between that and Trip World, a cute and slightly weird platform game released for the Nintendo Game Boy in 1992 (incidentally the same year as Mr. Gimmick).
Trip World features a shape-shifting bunny-like being called Yakopoo (yes, you read that right), and his quest to retrieve the Flower of Peace. Well, they don’t call this game ‘Trip World‘ for nothing, and the game’s designers were obviously smoking something spicy when they came up with that scenario.
It’s a pity, then, that the monochrome Game Boy restricts the use of colour in Trip World. The lovely visuals would definitely have benefitted from some colour. Especially in light of the marvellous use of colour in its spiritual predecessor (Mr. Gimmick).
Still: you can’t have everything. Was there ever a sequel to Trip World? Or a colour remake of it, you ask? I don’t know, is the truth. But I am going to look into it and find out.
Known as Gimmick! in Japan and Mr. Gimmick everywhere else, this 1992 release was an attempt by Sunsoft to push the graphical powers of the Nintendo Entertainment System further than they’d ever been pushed before (in order to compete with the Super Nintendo, which was relatively new on the market).
In order to do this, Sunsoft used all kinds of clever programming techniques using graphical tilesets and colours, and the end result is very striking. But it wasn’t enough to compete with the newer consoles of the time and Mr. Gimmick sank without a trace, into relative obscurity.
What makes Mr. Gimmick an attractive proposal now, though, is its difficulty. It is a deadly serious challenge to any gamer, although the gameplay is precise and not unfair, which makes it very appealing. And also because it is a lovely-looking obscure gem. A great-looking game that you’ve never heard of is mana from heaven to a retro games fan.
The scenario is funny too. You play a small, green creature called Yumetaro who was given to a small girl as a birthday present. Jealous of the attention the girl is giving to Yumetaro, the girl’s other toys kidnap her in the night and whisk her off to another dimension. So you have to go on a platform-based rescue mission to save the girl.
Mr. Gimmick is far too tough to be a kid’s game, although at first glance it might look like one. It’s aimed more at pros than anyone else.
And it was fun getting these grabs, but I was tearing my hair out with Mr. Gimmick in places. Especially the boss fights. All I can say is: thank God for quicksaves. 🙂
Sunsoft’s Christmas-themed platform game Daze Before Christmas first came out on the Sega Megadrive/Genesis in 1994. It’s a fun little game, if a little basic. It’s a kid’s game, innit? A version also came out for the Super Nintendo.
Happy Christmas from The King of Grabs!