Too Much Free Time

Discussion and reviews of games for NES, Intellivision, DOS, and others.

Archive for December, 2006

First Impressions: The Addams Family: Pugsley’s Scavenger Hunt

Posted by Tracy Poff on December 9, 2006

Another Addams Family-themed platformer, in which you play as Pugsley who (apparently) has to rescue his family.

Much like the previously-reviewed Addams Family game in which you play as Gomez, this is a pretty standard platformer.

I have no idea what’s wrong with Pugsley’s eyes. The other graphics are pretty decent, but the character sprite for our hero is kind of… bad. But that’s not a major issue.

You can run about outside the mansion or enter it to find several doors, each apparently leading to a quest to rescue a particular family member.

The stairs are a bit annoying, since you just run right off the side if you keep going. You have to jump back to the left in order to ascend them, which is a bit of bad design.

Once you choose a door, you are presented with the usual obstacles: enemies, projectiles shot by those enemies, blocked doors, and spikes (or something) on the floor that kill you. Additionally, there are hints scattered about that tell you what you should be doing.

I didn’t actually rescue anyone, but this game seems like it could be pretty decent. Probably better than the previous Addams Family game, so worth a try.

Posted in Decent, First Impressions, NES, Platformer | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

First Impressions: The Addams Family

Posted by Tracy Poff on December 8, 2006

This one is a platformer in which you play the part of Gomez Addams.

It’s actually a pretty standard platformer. Collect the treasures, avoid the enemies and spikes.

I’m not totally sure what the goal is, since I couldn’t quite work out how to exit the level, but I doubt it’s anything special. This game does seem to have rather uneven level designs. The above pictures show the usual screens: walk right and jump over the bad guys, or bounce off of their heads. On the other hand:

This is way too many spikes for a single screen. I couldn’t get through this part after a few tries, so I gave up and tried another screen.

In all, this is an average platformer with nothing special to set it off from the rest, as far as I can tell from playing the first level. Try it if you want to play every platformer ever, but otherwise the mario games are much more worthwhile.

Posted in 1992, Decent, First Impressions, NES, Platformer | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Abadox: The Deadly Inner War

Posted by Tracy Poff on December 8, 2006

A shooter this time, and a pretty good one, at that.

Since this game incorporates powerups, you begin, as in most similar games, with nothing but a pathetic little pea-shooter and no armor, moving very slowly indeed.

I had quite a bit of difficulty dodging the shots from the–very bizarre–enemies at first, but then I got a speed powerup and a couple of options and the dodging was no longer necessary.

After progressing through a level that looked like it was made of worms, or possibly intestines, and fighting enemies like flying mouths and eyeballs, I reached the first boss: some sort of skeletal dog with bits of flesh still clinging to it.

This boss just jumps around a bit while releasing a few shots, so it was no problem to kill. After defeating this boss, we proceed to the second level, which is rather like the first except in much closer quarters and with various obstacles which required dodging. At the end of this level was the second boss, a face made of intestines, with its eyes floating about in front of it.

This boss, too, was no trouble to beat, although it did destroy my options. However, after destroying this boss, the game changed from a horizontal scroller to a vertical scroller–which scrolled from bottom to top, just to make it more confusing.

I died a bit into this level, since I had no options and some enemies are only half-destroyed by a shot. This game is much better than most of the others I’ve tried. I liked Super R-Type for the SNES better, but this is also a pretty good example of the genre. Worth playing.

Posted in 1989, Full Review, Good, Horizontal Scrolling Shooter, NES | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

First Impressions: A Ressha de Ikou

Posted by Tracy Poff on December 8, 2006

A search on Wikipedia tells me that Maxis released this game in the US as A-Train, and it is a simulator in which you build a railway system.

Well, I like the old SimCity games, so I like Maxis, so I should like this, right? Let’s see:

Well, it doesn’t look bad so much as it doesn’t seem to have any interface. Playing with the buttons didn’t seem to do anything, but not to worry; there is a help screen:

Unfortunately, the help screen isn’t very helpful. Still, I persevered, pressing buttons at random on the theory that a million monkeys playing a million copies of A-Train will eventually figure out the controls. The biggest change I made was causing it turn turn to night:

Actually, I’m pretty sure that that was either timed, or just based on how many buttons I’d pressed, rather than any particular action of mine. I couldn’t work out what to do with this before my patience ran out, so I quit. Japanese people play pachinko games too, but that doesn’t make them good games; it’s no surprise that this game was a dismal failure in the US, despite its huge success in Japan. Avoid it.

Posted in Bad, First Impressions, NES, Simulation | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

First Impressions: 8 Eyes

Posted by Tracy Poff on December 8, 2006

This game is like Castlevania, except much, much harder.

When the game begins, you select which country to play in first. I understand that it’s something like Megaman: play in the wrong order, and the game is much harder.

The game really looks quite a lot like Castlevania, and plays similarly, too, with one major difference: in 8 Eyes, you have a falcon with you, and some enemies can only be destroyed by the falcon. Unfortunately, you only have control over the falcon when there are two players–the second player controls the falcon. With one player, the falcon just flies left and right, and your control is limited to telling it to swoop down to attack or return to your shoulder.

The result of this lack of control is that the game is way too hard with one player, and I can’t imagine why anyone would play it just to control the falcon. Give this one a miss.

Posted in 1988, Bad, First Impressions, NES, Platformer | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »