Home Alone (NES)

Home Alone NES Full Cover

Prediction

It’s Christmas time, and what better way to get into the spirits than with some classic Christmas movies, specifically Home Alone. I’m sure we all know the story by now. Poor little Kevin McCallister is accidentally left home alone for the holidays while the rest of the family went on vacation. On his own, he must defend his house from the would be burglars Marv and Harry, the Wet Bandits.

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Convert that action to the NES and you create the nightmares of my childhood a gem of a game. Kevin has already called the police, but it’ll be 20 minutes before they arrive. Use every tool you can find to defend yourself and stay alive until the police come to save the day.

Gameplay

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As I mentioned, the goal is to stay alive for 20 minutes until the police arrive. Just like in the movie, Kevin has a whole arsenal of traps he can set to slow down the burglars. In the game, each trap is represented by a square tile showing what the trap is. There are light bulbs, nails, ornaments, even the pet Tarantula is there. Kevin can hold up to 3 traps at a time. But you can set as many as you want, and there are a lot of them to set. Unfortunately there’s really no indication or distinction between a set trap and a triggered trap. Either way it’s just a square sitting on the ground.

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With only 2 enemies to worry about, you might think it’ll be simple. You would be wrong. The game is damn near impossible. For starters, the bandits move significantly faster than Kevin. Then the game is very demanding in regard to the stairs, at least the side view stairs. If you’re not in the exact right position, you’ll just be standing there waiting to be captured.

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Personally, I blame this games difficulty on the police. What kind of response time is 20 minutes? Kid, home alone on Christmas, with burglars trying to break in. They should be there in 5 minutes or less.

Verdict

Price – $11.50

I’m going be honest. I’m not sure this is worth anything more than $5.00.

Fun Rating – 2 / 10

The concept is mostly good. I can’t really think of a better way to replicate the action of the movie. The problems are in the execution. The AI is too good, and the controls aren’t tight enough. In the end, constantly losing isn’t any fun. Thinking about it, even if you did have a strategy to win, the game never changes, and only lasts 20 minutes. So there’s really no replay value either.

Play Again? Probably not

I owned this game as a kid and I rarely played it even back then because of how hard it is. Since then I’ve only ever played it ironically to refresh my mind with how stupidly hard it is.

Total Deaths 15 Deaths

I didn’t even play the full 30 minutes, I only played for 21 before I quit and felt I had enough to write the review. Most of the attempts I couldn’t even last a full minute. Even my best attempt only lasted 8m 56s! It’s simply too difficult.

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