Category Archives: 30 Minute Reviews

Mendel Palace (NES)

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I was looking through my collection for a game to play for a quick review, and I noticed I actually owned a copy of Mendel Palace. I don’t remember actually buying it, and I know I’ve never played it, but I do remember WHY I would have bought it. Honestly, I know nothing about the game itself, but I do know a little something about the developer, Game Freak. You might have heard of them, they went on to make the little known game called Pokémon.

Of course you’ve heard of Pokémon, it’s just the most profitable franchise in the world. Well, before they went on to make that behemoth of a franchise, they got their humble origins with Mendel Palace for the NES. Considering how most NES games are, I’m probably going to have to find a copy of the manual to know what the game is actually about. But from the few pictures I have seen, it’s an arcade style game with some kind of tile element. Beyond that, I have no idea what I’m getting into. So, let’s jump in and see.


As I expected, the game starts without any explanation of what’s going on. It looks like we have 8 different bosses with what looks to be a 9th in the center, most likely after the other 8 are defeated. I have no idea what we’re doing, so I guess we’ll just go with the first option.

When the level starts, it’s not immediately obvious what we’re supposed to be doing. The floor is tiled, some of them stars, and a couple of enemies spawn in the corners. Pressing the buttons lets me slide the floor tiles, I guess. Not sure what that will really do.

Ok, so it turns out if I slide a tile while an enemy is on it, they will fly backwards. And if they hit the wall, they will explode. So, I guess the goal must be to defeat all the enemies this way.

Unfortunately, they don’t fly back very far, so it’s easy to get cornered by them. As expected, touching them kills you. So, keep moving.

As for the stars on the ground. It looks like they can be covered and uncovered by sliding their tiles. But they can also be collected by walking over them. I’m not sure what they do, but they have their own counter next to the lives counter, so they must be important to collect.

Other than that, the next couple levels are mostly the same. The initial star layout is different, and different numbers of enemies. But mostly the same. However, there are occasionally special tiles like this pink wave tile, which sends out a wave flipping every tile in 4 directions to the walls.

I also uncovered this sun looking tile which flips every tile on the board, radiating out from the sun tile. Very helpful.

At stage 6, things changed a little. The color changed to purple, and the enemies changed from green to blue. Along with the color swap comes a boost in difficulty. Now, when I slam the enemies into the wall, they break into 2 smaller enemies that also need to be defeated.

While trying to defeat them, I uncovered this swirly looking tile that ended up launching my character clear off the bottom of the screen.

When we land in the new room, we land directly on a moon tile, which turns the light off in the room. It also uncovers all of the stars in the room, so I guess that swirly tile was a bonus room.

For round 8, the color changed again to an orange, and the blue enemies have been replaced with their smaller clones, who, while weaker, do move faster. Still, this feels like a downgrade from the earlier difficulty. Thanks to a row of wave tiles in the center, they were easily defeated.

Then for round 9 we’re back to green tiles and the original green enemies. I even found a moon tile in the corner, which basically turned this stage into another bonus round.

Upon reaching round 10, we actually get a cut scene. We see a pink princess standing in the room. However, someone quickly drops down from above and drags her away. Not much to go on here.

Following this, we’re returned to the overworld and get to pick a new boss to challenge. I’m sure it will be mostly the same, but more difficult. So, let’s just do a quick spiral around and see what everyone is like. Starting at the top middle we have this guy with a mohawk. Unlike the first boss, he jumps around while moving, making it harder to push him away. You need to make sure he’s actually standing on the tile first.

In these levels, we also see our first instances of bricks blocking our path. These can apparently be broken by the enemies in certain situations. They can also be flipped just like other tiles. In this level it doesn’t help, since there’s just more bricks under, but there will probably be times when they can be cleared away.

Moving clockwise, we have this blue person in the top right corner. Their gimmick is, if they are left alone long enough, they will start making chalk drawings on the tiles. In they are allowed to complete these drawings, those tiles will become locked, and we won’t be able to flip them anymore.

In the higher levels, they can also draw more enemies that come to life off the tiles. We also encounter these green warp tiles from which enemies can respawn. These need to be flipped over as soon as possible to stop the respawning from happening.

Moving down to the brown haired boss, this one has a very simple, but challenging gimmick. They will actively jump when you try to flip the tile below them. You’ll have to time it so you flip the tile again when they land in order to attack them.

Down to the bottom right, and we have the evil clone of our player character. Just like us, they are capable of flipping the floor tiles against us. I didn’t notice it until rewatching for the review, but it seems like they only flip tiles when you do. So, keep that in mind when trying to deal with them.

Heading over to the swimmer, they are, well, a swimmer. They will walk around the boarder of the map, and then jump in and swim across the board, flipping over tiles as they go. It’s not hard to avoid them, since they move in straight lines. However, they move very fast, so it’s hard to actually hit them up against the walls.

Onto the incredibly creepy person in the bottom left corner. It’s hard to show in still pictures, but this boss is apparently a ballet dancer. They will spin around as they move and seem to move exclusively in diagonal directions. Since we can only move in 4 directions, they are a bit difficult to keep up with.

Finally, we come around to this heavy set guy on the middle left. Fun fact, this character can be found in the game files for Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald. Most likely as a place holder character during early testing. Anyway, this guy is, in my opinion, the hardest boss to deal with. The fact that they’re so big, they don’t get thrown as far as the other bosses. But what’s worse is their gimmick. They appear to be sumo wrestlers, so every time you attack them, they do a foot stomp which flips tiles and pushes you back to the wall away from them.

One good way I found out to get rid of them was to get two of them in the same lane. Their counterattacks will trigger each other until one of them ends up killing the other for you. Other than that, I couldn’t find a good way to kill them. With that, we’ve seen all the enemies. I’m sure with some practice we could get through this whole game. But for now, we’re going to have to walk away.



Price – $14.47

It’s definitely on the cheaper side of NES games. Plus, it’s practically a piece of gaming history. Well worth the price.

Play Again? – Yes, Probably

The gameplay is obviously more of an arcade game, so it doesn’t hold my interest as well as some other games. But it’s got a good balance of simplistic, yet complicated. I would definitely be interested in playing this again.

Total Deaths – 28 Deaths

As an arcade style game, it’s not surprising that I died so much. On the plus side, the game appears to offer unlimited continues. So, an attempt at beating the game appears possible.

Fun Rating – 8 / 10

This was a surprisingly fun game to play. A bit difficult, but not so much so to be off putting. As is common with NES games, the game itself doesn’t really tell you what the story is, so I had to find a PDF of the manual. Apparently, we play as Bon-Bon. Our best friend, Candy, is trapped in her own dreams, and her toys have come to life to keep her there. It’s up to us to fight her toys and free our best friend from her dream world. Quite the interesting story. I’d love to see some of the other in game cut scenes and see how this actually plays out. But that’s going to require a bit of practice.

Game Over. I’ll be seeing those words a lot if I plan to beat this game.


I hope you enjoyed this 30 Minute Review of Mendel Palace. If you did, like and follow me on Facebook or Twitter. Also leave your comments, suggestions, and recommendations. If you’re feeling real generous, you can even Donate to help me keep the site going. Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you next time.


Animal Crossing: Wild World (DS)


Another year is almost over, and it’s been another year of near total neglect for this site. Look, I’m sorry. I really do INTEND to write more for the site, but I need to pay the bills, and work gets in the way. I get maybe a month of normal 40 hour weeks before another big project starts and it’s right back to crazy 70 hour weeks, staying up until midnight working, and crashing once work is done. I simply don’t have the time or energy to be playing games, and that goes double for all the work involved in writing an article on those games. But I don’t want the year to go by with nothing posted, so I’ll push through it. I loaded up my emulator for the first time in months, saw it had new updates, and it finally supports Nintendo DS games. With that in mind, I had the perfect game to get a break from work. Animal Crossings!

Considering the absolutely perfect release timing of Animal Crossings: New Horizons for switch, I can imagine most people are at least somewhat familiar with the series. So, this game doesn’t really need much introduction. Obviously, we’re not playing New Horizons for switch. That was the 5th main installment in the Animal Crossing series. Instead, we’re going to be heading back to the 2nd game in the series, Animal Crossing: Wild World for Nintendo DS. There are definitely some welcome features in New Horizons that Wild World is lacking, but the basic game is all there. You go fishing, catch bugs, collect fruit, and try to pay off your massive debt to your new tanuki overlord, Tom Nook. With that said, let’s head over to our new town and try to have a little relaxing vacation from the real world.


The game begins with us in the back of a cab driven by Animal Crossing Series regular, Kapp’n. During our ride, Kapp’n strikes up a small conversation with us, gathering up some basic information like the current date, our name, our gender, and the town name we’re moving to.

After the basic information is established, he starts asking a few less obvious questions. Why did we choose this town? Do we have enough money to get settled? That sort of thing. The way you answer these questions actually determines what your character looks like. You will obviously be able to change your cloths, and eventually you will gain the ability to change your hair style, but these questions are the only way to change your character’s facial appearance.

We soon arrive in our new town, which I have named “Internet”. Kapp’n was kind enough to drop us off directly in front of the town hall, where we can figure out what to do next. Inside we find Pelly tending the counter. Thankfully, she is already fully aware of our situation. Tom Nook was kind enough to tell her we would be showing up today.

First things first, we need to check out the house that Tom Nook is providing for us. Pelly helps us pull up the town map and we get our first glance at our new home town. Every town is randomly generated, but they have a few things in common. Mountains to the North, West, and East as well as the ocean to the South. A river running through town down to the ocean. As well as a few scattered houses and other points of interest. For now, it looks like we just need to head directly North from the Town Hall and we’ll find our new home.

Without any difficulty, we found our house. It’s a nice little house from the outside. Inside it’s, well, a bit small and barren at the moment. We apparently left home with just the clothes on our back and nothing else. Tom Nook has provided us with a cardboard box, a candle, and a radio, which now make up the entirety of our current worldly possessions. It’s not much, but at least we have a roof over our head.

Having found our new home, we venture out to see what the town is like. No sooner do we step outside, Tom Nook is waiting there to greet us. Naturally, this isn’t just a friendly visit. Tom Nook is here for a reason, and that reason is to hand us a bill. He didn’t give us this home out of the kindness of his heart. He’s selling it to us for a total of 19,800 Bells (“Bells” being the in game currency).

As mentioned before, we have nothing at the moment, and so we have no way of possibly paying this amount. Thankfully, Tom Nook isn’t looking for us to pay him back right away. He’s happy if we just make small payments over time at the town hall. In the meantime, he does offer us up a solution. Why don’t we come work for him part time? Almost like he planned it this way from the beginning.

With that, he leaves us to do whatever we want at the moment. Having no other plans, we might as well find his shop now. Pulling up the map, it looks like his shop is right behind our house. Actually, if I look closely, I can see the store sign just behind my house already. So that’s convenient. Let’s go see what work he has for us.

Inside Tom Nook’s Store, Nook’s Cranny, we see that it’s a small little shop with only a few things for sale at the moment. But no time to shop, as soon as we enter the store Tom puts us straight to work. First things first, we need to put on our work uniform, so everyone knows we’re the new employee.

Our first real task is to go outside the shop and plant some trees and flowers to make the place look nice. This is an easy task. Just go outside, select the trees and flowers in our inventory, and plant them in the ground. Done. What’s next?

Before getting our next task, Tom has a sudden realization. Obviously, we just moved to town and immediately started working at the store. We couldn’t possibly have had time to introduce ourselves to the other villages. If we’re going to be working at the store, we should probably become friends with the locals first.

We check the map again to see where everyone is. Directly south is the Town Hall, where we can introduce ourselves to the Mayor. Then two beach front houses at opposite ends of the shore, and the final house is up along the river. A quick little loop to see them all and we should be done.

Since he’s the closest, our first stop is to see the Mayor, who we find outside the Town Hall. Before we can even introduce ourselves, he asks us a sudden question. Between The Chief, The Mayor, The Mail Clerk, and The CEO, who do we respect most. We want to make a good first impression, so naturally we say The Mayor. This makes him happy and causes him to blush a little.

After this we get into proper introductions. Mayor Tortimer also informs us that we should come see him during holidays. He’ll be waiting outside the Town Hall just like today to celebrate with us.

Continuing south we make it to Pippy’s house. Pippy isn’t home right now, but luckily they haven’t wondered off too far. Looks like they were going to do a little fishing before we showed up. We don’t want to keep them, so we keep the introductions short, and are on our way.

Following the coastline, we quickly make our way to Daisy’s house at the other corner of town. We let ourselves in and introduce ourselves to her. She seems nice, except for one little thing. DID DAISY STEAL THE MOON!!! WHAT’S GOING ON HERE?! We should probably leave before something bad happens to us.

Running as fast as we can, we make our way to the final villager’s house. Unfortunately, Mint isn’t home right now to hide us from daisy. We find her just out back, however, with a watering can. I guess she was tending to some flowers when we showed up. Anyway, we exchange our introductions, and for some reason she also mentions that she’s a Taurus, “the prettiest sign of them all!”. Weird, we didn’t ask, and no one else mentioned their signs or anything.

We end up talking to Mint again and she becomes more curious, asking us a couple personal questions, starting with our birthday. Well, this is DeadPark, and the first article on the site was posted May 26th, so I guess that’s our birthday. She seems happy to learn that we’re a Gemini, and then launches straight into the next question.

Which trait is most important, Kindness, Beauty, Coolness, or Charism? Out of those options, personally, I guess Kindness would be the most important. As long as you’re not an a**hole, I can usually get along with everyone. Mint, however, seems to be plotting something with this information. Not sure what to make of that…

Maybe we shouldn’t answer any more questions and just head back to Tom Nook. Tom at least seems happy with our performance. Now that the whole town knows who we are, he is considering putting us in charge of deliveries now. It’s only our first day and already we get a promotion.

As it so happens, there is currently an item in need of delivery already. Looks like Mint ordered something. Oh god, not Mint. I guess Nook didn’t want to deal with her either. Why else would he have an item waiting for delivery already.

We, however, don’t have much choice. We need to pay back that home loan. So, we head back over to Mint to deliver her package. Unfortunately, we can’t find her. We start looking around her house, and the weirdest thing happened. WE FELL INTO A HOLE! Looking back at the recording, I can barely see that the ground was disturbed, but I didn’t notice at all at the time. Thankfully, it’s not a deep hole and we manage to free ourselves rather quickly.

Not long after this ordeal, we do finally manage to locate Mint. Despite our company uniform, Mint seemed confused by us doing deliveries. I guess she didn’t notice. But she quickly understands the situation. Apparently, she had to do the same thing when she first moved to town.

In an act of solidarity, Mint decides she doesn’t need her delivery after all, we can keep it for ourselves. And so, we are now in possession of our very own cradle. Wait, a cradle? Like a baby cradle? THAT’S A BABY CRADLE!!! Mint, if you’re having a baby, you need this, not me. Hold on. Oh god. OH GOD! Single female living alone, overly affectionate to the new man in town, literal pitfall traps around the house, ORDERING A BABY CRADLE!! NO NO NO NO NO, I WANT NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS! I just moved to town, I’m not becoming anyone’s baby daddy!

We just need to put this out of our mind for now. Tom still has more work for us to do. This time, it’s a simple task, write a personalized letter to Daisy inviting her to shop at the store more. Easy!

Tom didn’t really give us much guidance about what the letter should contain, so I took the direct approach to capitalism. We have stuff, you want stuff. You have money, we want money. It’s a perfect win-win situation. So, in the envelope it goes, and hand it over to the post office. Another job well done!

Even though I thought we did that pretty fast, Tom Nook seems displeased with us. I’m not sure how we could have done that faster. But the work keeps on coming, and this time we need to deliver a carpet to Pippy.

Not wanting to upset Tom Nook any further, we RUN all the way to the beach to find Pippy. Unfortunately, now Pippy is upset with how slow the delivery service is. Apparently, this carpet was supposed to be delivered “YES-TER-DAY!”. There’s nothing we can do about that, we only just got here today! Thankfully, Pippy understands this and forgives us.

Since he has new carpet now, Pippy even offers to give us his old carpet. Which isn’t a carpet at all, as it turns out, but diner tiles. Oh well, it’ll probably look better than the bare floors the house has now.

With that delivery complete, it’s time to head back to Nook’s. But before that, I thought I saw something while I was talking to Pippy. I don’t want to miss it, so I run after it as fast as I can. What is that? It looks like a gift box floating around by a balloon. If I had a slingshot, I could probably shoot it down for a closer look, but right now I’ll just have to wonder what could have been.

Even with our little detour, Nook finally seems happy with our performance. That doesn’t mean the work is ending any time soon. Next up, we need to deliver a new watering can to Daisy. Nook gives us a warning not to use it ourselves, it belongs to Daisy. Fair enough, I wouldn’t want my delivery person using my stuff either.

Daisy is the easiest villager to find, since she’s still in her house. So, we rush over there and quickly complete the delivery. But it looks like we’re not the only delivery Daisy is getting today. Even though we JUST dropped it off at the post office, the letter we wrote to Daisy has ALREADY been delivered to her. I guess in a town this small, the post office doesn’t really have much else to do.

She’s very happy to get that letter, but at the same time, she offers up a bit of a warning. Everyone in town loves getting letters. What’s more, everyone in town loves SHARING those letters. So be careful what you write because the whole town will be reading it. Thanks for the warning, Daisy.

Once again, we return to Tom Nook, and once again he has more work for us. This time, he wants us to write an advertisement on the town bulletin board. He doesn’t give much direction, just something the kids will think is catchy and cool.

Much like with the personalized letter to Daisy, I take a very literal approach to this advertisement. Nook’s Cranny is the only store in town. You really don’t have a choice where to shop.

With that sad truth posted, we head back to Tom Nook. To our delight, that’s it! Tom doesn’t have any more work for us. Unfortunately, that also means he has no more need for us, and we’re fired. Shortest job I’ve ever held.

Of course, Tom doesn’t just forget about our house loan. He still wants that money, even if he is firing us from, as I pointed out, THE ONLY BUSINESS IN TOWN! Not only that, but we barely made any money working for him, only 1,400 bells. Not even 10% of our debt.

Tom does at least give us some advice on how to make more money. Turns out, he is willing to buy back anything we have to offer him, not that we have anything to offer him at the moment. He also suggests the other townsfolk might have odd jobs for us as well.

Of course, Tom is also gas lighting us a little bit. Yes, we have to pay back that house loan. But isn’t our house kind of small? Maybe we want a bigger house. Tom can make it bigger for us. But then we’d have a new loan to pay off. And after that, the house can still be bigger, which would be ANOTHER loan, and more work, and so on and so on forever. We have fallen for the trap and it’s already too late to escape this loop.

Either way, not having to “Work” is something to celebrate, so we do, while we can. After that, we head back home, put our old work uniform on display, lay out those diner tiles we got from Pippy, and contemplate what we can do next to make money.

At the moment, we really don’t have many ways to make money. What we can do, however, is shake trees to collect fruit, and pick up sea shells along the coast line. Just fill our pockets with as much as they can hold and bring them to Tom Nook for some quick cash.

It’s not much, but for that pocket full of stuff, Tom is offering 2,220 bells. 2,220 BELLS?! That’s more than he paid us for all that work we did! And it only took a minute to collect those shells off the beach. He was seriously ripping us off!

Unfortunately, we can’t get mad, since he is the only store in town. We have to stay on his good side. That said, we finally have some money of our own to spend. Tom doesn’t have a huge selection at the moment, but what he does have is a fishing rod. With this, we can go fishing and make some serious money selling him the fish we catch. Another vicious cycle. We make money from Nook, so we can buy stuff from Nook, in order to make more money from Nook, which is given right back to Nook.

We’re already part of the loop now, so I guess there’s no helping it. We might as well have some fun with it. So, let’s get fishing. It’s not particularly complicated in animal crossing. You look in the ocean or the river for shadows of fish, throw the hook in front of them, and reel them in when they bite it. Simple as that.

Now that we have caught a couple fish, we can go sell them to Tom Nook. Or, there is actually another option for us. Despite this being a tiny town with a population in the single digits, it has its own museum, curated by everyone’s favorite owl, Blathers. As an owl, he will naturally be asleep during the day, but he doesn’t mind being woken up if you need him.

Blathers will accept donations of any fish we’re willing to give him, though only 1 of each for display purposes. When accepting donations, he typically offers up some fun facts about the specimen in question. Unfortunately, he’s a bit hungry when it comes to fish. But not to worry, he’s a professional. Those fish will be properly displayed and cared for.

In addition to fish, Blathers will also accept insects, works of art, and even fossils to display in the museum. Unfortunately, the museum is currently devoid of any such displays. Apparently, the whole budget was used on the building, and nothing was left over to buy actual attractions. Looks like we’ll have to help fill these empty halls.

We can also take a short break in the café down in the basement. The barista, Brewster, isn’t really the talkative type, but he brews a great cup of coffee, and maintains a relaxing atmosphere in the café. On the weekends there are even live performances on the stage to the left.

While we’re exploring our options in town, we might as well stop by the only other store in town, situated immediately next to Nook’s Cranny is Able Sisters. Unlike Nook, who deals in anything and everything, the Able Sisters deal strictly in fashion. Clothes, hats, umbrellas, and other fashion accessories. If we want, they’ll even help us create our own custom outfits. I’m not particularly interested in anything they have in stock at the moment, and I’m even less interested in creating my own clothes right now. So, we won’t take up much of their time today.

One special note about fishing before we sell our catch. It doesn’t matter how much that fish is swimming around, or how much it’s fighting being caught. There’s always a chance that fish is actually a piece of garbage. And I don’t mean it’s a bad fish, I mean it’s a literal piece of garbage like a tin can, or a car tire. Just something you have to deal with. Thankfully, Nook is willing to take these off our hands as well. I believe there’s also a recycling bin inside town hall, if we want to dispose of it properly. Not sure, I usually just let Nook deal with it.

Anyway, we finally head back to Nook to sell off our pockets full of fish (and garbage). It only took about 10 minutes to catch a full inventory worth of fish, and Nook is willing to buy them off us for a total of 4,930 bells! We even had garbage and common fish mixed in there, so that amount can get a lot higher with better fish. At this rate we’ll have our house paid off in no time.

With that, I think it’s time for us to call it a day. We’ve actually done quite a bit today. We moved to town, fell into massive debt, got a job, got a promotion, then got fired from that job, and became the target of an obsessive stalker. Time to head into the attic of our new house and go to sleep in the bed. This will save the game and we can get some more work done tomorrow.

Now, when I say tomorrow, I mean real world tomorrow. One of the main features of the Animal Crossing series is that the game plays in real time. Every day the stores get restocked with new stuff, plants will grow, people will move in and out of town, and perhaps some random guest will visit your town. Case in point, as soon as we leave our house, we’re blindsided by Lyle here trying to sell us something.

Lyle asks us if we’re willing to take a questionnaire. I wasn’t planning on being bombarded this early in the morning, but he’s giving me the sense that even if we refuse, he’s going to ask us anyway. So, I guess we’ll take the questionnaire. First question, do we know who Mr. Redd is. As Lyle describes him “Short guy, black market, owns a tent?”. And yes, we do know Redd, at least from the other games. He is a fox who sells stolen art work. Not a fan of the whole black market thing, but Redd in the main way to acquire art for the museum, so we don’t have much choice.

Now, hypothetically, if the art thief Crazy Redd were to show up in town, what day would we want him to visit? I have no particular preference, so I choose Friday. End the work week with a little crime. Not that Lyle works with Redd, no one is saying that. Wink wink nudge nudge.

Anyway, enough about Redd, onto the next question. What do we think of Lyle personally. He seems like a trustworthy guy, right? Honestly, no, not really. He is clearly very shady. He cornered us as soon as we stepped out of our house and started asking us about the black market. Not the kind of thing someone on the up and up does.

Moving on, Lyle has a few more questions for us. Ten more. Seven. Three. Next question. My Impression of the insurance community is a positive one. Um, no. Insurance is a scam. If it worked as intended, it would be great, but they try to screw you out of benefits at every given opportunity.

I have put thought into my plans for a grim, inevitable future. Any future seems to be a grim one, so yes, I have. I have been the victim of frauds, scams, con jobs, or pyramid schemes. Actually, yes, someone hacked my Google account a few months ago and charged $200 worth of stuff. I had to file a claim on it. Which I then had to fight for because they didn’t want to accept that it wasn’t just me buying $200 worth of stuff.

With that, the questionnaire is over, crunching the numbers and, bad news. We’re alone, no plans, no safety net, bad stuff is going to happen to us. Sounds like a threat to me. Lyle looks kind of scrawny, I think I can take him down if I have to.

And now we come to the real point of this whole questionnaire. We need to buy insurance, and it just so happens, Lyle is selling it for the low low price of 3,000 bells. If we get hurt, we’ll get paid the same day. Sounds like a scam to me, but like I said before, all insurance is a scam, so what the hell, take my 3,000 bells. I can make it back in just a few minutes.

So yeah, I’m never seeing that money again. But Lyle claims if we’re ever hurt, we’ll get money. Problem is, there aren’t really a lot of ways to get hurt in this game, so I’m not sure when we’d actually benefit from this.

Now that that whole ordeal is done, we can finally head over to Nook’s and see what new stuff he has for sale today. Unfortunately, Nook also has news for us. He wants us to be aware of the Happy Room Academy. This isn’t anything major, they just come to our house, uninvited, and when we’re not home, to see what stuff we own, and then score out house. Nothing shady going on there. Again, I’m pretty sure we don’t really have a choice. Nook built the house, he probably has a spare key even if we refuse.

After we begrudgingly accept to join the Happy Room Academy, we can finally check out what Nook has in stock today. Still not a lot to choose from, and sadly no bug net today. However, he does have a shovel for sale, which is helpful too.

There isn’t a whole lot you can do with the shovel each day, but what little you CAN do is very profitable. First, you can use it to hit rocks. Doing this to most of the rocks in town will accomplish nothing. However, one rock a day will be a “Money Rock” and hitting it will cause it to spit out bags of money. There is a bit of a knock back, so you might have noticed I dug holes behind me to keep me in place while I hit the rock. Even with that, I only got 7 out of the possible 8 bags. Still, that earned us a quick 8,500 bells.

The other thing you can do each day is go hunting for fossils. These can be a bit tricky to find. You need to search for small X marks on the ground, which show there is an item buried there, then dig it up. But they blend in really well with the ground, so you need to be paying really close attention. If I remember right, there are 3 possible fossils each day. If you miss any of them, they’re gone and replaced with 3 new fossils the next day.

So, what that means is every day you have a chance to add 3 new fossils to your museum. Or, if you don’t care about the museum, Nook will buy them for a couple thousand bells each. Before you can do either option though, you need to identify them. Thankfully, Blathers has been taking classes, and is now “officially licensed” to identify fossils himself. Thank God. In the first game, you had to mail them out to be identified, then you’d get them back in the mail the next day, it was this whole thing. Blathers being able to identify them really streamlines the process.

Since dinosaurs were such large creatures, it takes multiple fossils to create a complete skeleton. Usually some combination of head, body, and tail. Blathers will happily accept whatever pieces we have, but unlike the fish, he does not offer any fun facts about the creatures until we have the full skeleton.

If you’re going out fossil hunting, you’ll have to sweep the whole town looking for holes, so you might as well keep an eye out for another daily change, weeds. Several weeds will sprout up in town every day. Some will look like little patches of tall grass, other might look like clovers. Either way, you’re going to want to pull these every day or your town will eventually become overrun with them.

After catching a few more fish, we quickly gather the last of the funds we need to cover our loan. Money in hand, we head over to town hall to make the payment. Only took a day and a half to pay off a house. Not too bad.

Without a loan hanging over our heads, we decide to head over to Tom Nook and rub it in his face. We’re free to do whatever we want now. Or, we would be. But Tom Nook is very manipulative. Our house is kind of small after all. Only 4×4, it’s barely enough room to stretch out properly. If we want, he can make our house bigger. For a cost of course.

In the end, we were foolish enough to continue the cycle of debt. And it looks like we’re not alone. A new house seems to have appeared overnight immediately next to our own. A bird named Anchovy is the newest victim of Tom Nook’s perpetual debt. At least they seem to be a little better off than we were. They actually have stuff they brought with them, though they haven’t had time to unpack yet. Sadly, it seems they were lured here with promises of food, which this town seriously lacks. There are cherry trees, and fish. I hope you like those options.

The futility of our situation settling in, we call it an early night. The next morning, we thankfully don’t have anyone waiting outside for us, but we do have some mail. Looks like the HRA showed up in the middle of the night to judge our house. We scored 306 points. I have no idea what the scale is, so I have no way of knowing how good or bad that is. From the sounds of the letter, it’s not a very good score.

Now that I think about it, Nook was supposed to expand our house last night. Not sure how he did major building construction with us still sleeping in the house, or how he did it all in one night, but it looks like he did. Our tiny 4×4 room is now a slightly bigger, but still rather tiny 6×6 room. It’s still not much, but we can move around a little bit now.

I’m afraid to even ask, but how much is this going to cost us? Tom Nook crunches the numbers, and it comes to 120,000 bells! That’s six times what the initial house cost! Where did that cost come from? It’s not six times bigger, it’s only a little over twice the size! I feel scammed.

Nothing we can really do about it now, we already agreed to this. All we can do is make money however we can. Thankfully, Nook finally has a bug net, which opens up another option for making money. In general, I feel bugs sell for less than fish. But there’s only so much fishing you can do before you go a bit crazy.

Catching bugs is pretty straight forward. It basically boils down to see a bug, swing the net at them. You’ll have to chase after things like butterflies and grasshoppers if you want to catch them. Likewise, you’ll have to creep up on bugs resting on trees, so you don’t scare them away. But there isn’t anything too complex to the mechanic, just swing the net.

Just like with the fish, bugs can be donated to the museum. Blather’s is happy to expand the exhibits but is a bit squeamish of bugs themselves. Despite his distaste for bugs, he is still an expert and will happily tell us an interesting fact about whatever insects we donate. For example, our little Monarch butterfly got its name because the orange color reminded people of the King of England, William of Orange.

And that’s pretty much it. You go fishing, bug catching, and fossil hunting to make money to pay off your debt. Then you expand your house, get new debt, and go fishing, bug catching and fossil hunting to make money to pay off that debt. So on and so on forever. Slowly the town will expand. More people will move in, Nook’s will get a larger building with more selections. During holidays there are special events to celebrate. Ultimately, it’s a simple life simulator. There’s no major narrative. There’s no combat or any real danger of any kind. You’re just enjoying your simple life in a small village, doing whatever it is that makes you happy.


Price – $26.94

That’s about what I expected for this game. It wasn’t exactly rare, so that’s a nice average price for a DS game.

Play Again? – Kind of?

The thing about this game is, in a world where I own New Horizons, there isn’t much reason to go back to Wild World. Don’t get me wrong, Wild World is fun, and very replayable. But New Horizons is just so much better, AND also portable thanks to the switch. So there really isn’t much incentive to come back to this one. If New Horizons didn’t exist, or I didn’t own it, absolutely I would come back to this one. They’re the same basic game.

Total Deaths – 0 Deaths

If you manage to die playing Animal Crossing, you’re playing the wrong game, or in some kind of Creepypasta. The closest you come to death is when either a tarantula or scorpion attacks you. Even then you don’t die, you just pass out and wake up in front of your home. But I didn’t encounter either of them in my little playthrough. If I remember right, they’re more of summer insects. I don’t think they’re out this late in the year.

Fun Rating – 8 / 10

It’s really hard not to compare this game to New Horizons. They’re the same basic game, but New Horizons added so many great features. Still, it IS the same basic game, and that game is very fun. I will admit that, personally, I do get bored with games like this that have no specific goal or ending. But I have played every entry in the Animal Crossing series because, during the time they hold my attention, they are a wonderful relaxing experience. At least, they’re supposed to be. If you want to play into the weirdness, you can just as easily end up with manipulative tanuki overlords and crazy stalkers. Whatever makes the experience more fun for you.

Mint, don’t make me get a restraining order!!


I hope you enjoyed this 30 Minute Review of Animal Crossing: Wild World. If you did, like and follow me on Facebook or Twitter. Also leave your comments, suggestions, and recommendations. If you’re feeling real generous, you can even Donate to help me keep the site going. Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you next time.


1942 (GBC)


1942 for the Game Boy Color is a fairly standard port of the vertical scrolling shooter arcade game of the same name. Set in the Pacific Theater of World War II, you play an America pilot attempting to reach Tokyo and destroy Japan’s Air Fleet. It’s a rather odd concept coming from a Japanese company, but it was made with a western audience in mind and ended up being very successful.

Obviously, a vertical shooter isn’t going to have very much to talk about. The number of enemies and their flight patterns will gradually get more complicated until it becomes too much, and I die. So, this review is also going to be split with just some random chatting from me. I hope you’ll join me anyway, so let’s go!


1942 was one of the games I grew up on. Originally, I played it on the NES, but that was at my uncle’s house, so I was happy when I saw the Game Boy Color port of the game. Personally, I prefer the GBC version over the NES because it does have a few additions to the game. First, it has actual options that allow you to change the difficulty settings. More importantly, it actually has a password save system, which is quite an oddity for what is basically an arcade game.

You might notice, the game starts on Stage 32. This is because we’re actually counting down as we get closer to Tokyo. I think this is a nice twist on the usual Stage system, because it takes away any guess work over how many stages you have left. So, with that, we take off from our aircraft carrier and head off to war.

The gameplay is quite simple and should be familiar to anyone that has ever played a vertical shooter. You move around the screen trying to shoot down the enemies before they shoot down you. You also have a limited number of specials, which in this game causes you to do a loop to avoid damage. I also want to note that no matter how many times I play this game, I ALWAYS forget which button does which, and ALWAYS end up wasting a loop at the start of the game.

For anyone that has ever played some of the modern Bullet Hell style shooters, this game will probably seem laughable. There are never very many enemies on screen, they rarely shoot more than once, and they mostly die to a single hit. There are some larger planes that show up occasionally, and they do take a few more hits before they explode, but not many hits, and they don’t come very often.

Like most shooters, there are a few power-ups we can get. In order to get them, you’ll have to shoot down the groups of red planes that occasionally fly by. Once you shoot down all the planes the power-up POW is left behind by the final plane. There’s really only 2 power-ups to get, one changes your 2 guns into 4 guns, while the other adds 2 smaller planes to each side of you to add even more firepower.

Really, the only other thing of note in each level is to avoid riding the bottom edge of the screen, because sometimes planes will come up from behind without any warning. If you’re too close to the edge, you’ll probably get taken out instantly before you even see them. Avoid those traps, take down the enemy planes, and before long you’ll manage to land on the next aircraft carrier, completing the stage.

So, from here, each level gets slightly harder. There are more enemies on screen, they sometimes fly more complicated patterns, and might even shoot at you. But otherwise, each level is basically the same as the last. Shoot a bunch of planes, make it to the next aircraft carrier.

Before I get into my random ramblings, we’re almost at Christmas and the end of yet another year. I hope everyone managed to stay happy and healthy this year. Healthy especially, considering Covid isn’t exactly going away. But I don’t want to dwell on that here, just wanted to say Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to those who don’t celebrate it, and Happy New Year to everyone.

Note: on the left is a power-up to gain an extra loop, which is dropped by a normal looking plane. On the Right, note you can lose the side planes individually if they get hit.

Anyway, you might have noticed I haven’t posted much recently. Not a huge shock from this site. I just want to say it wasn’t entirely my fault. I made that post earlier in the year saying I wanted to get back into writing more often, and I meant that. Unfortunately, my job got in the way and stole any free time I had for a while.

Not to get into too much detail, but management decided to move to a new software, so our entire customer database had to be migrated over. Because of the workflow for this process, it wasn’t really possible to split the work up, and I ended up doing the whole thing myself. From mid-July until late September, I was working 7 days a week, 10-12 hours a day. I don’t intend to complain, because the overtime pay was great, but needless to say, it didn’t leave me much time or energy to really do anything other than work.

It took me a while to recover after that. My first day off afterwards I was basically in shock and didn’t know what to do with myself. I had been working for something like 80 days straight and kind of forgot what it was I did on days I didn’t wake up and go to work.

Back to the game for a second, because we’ve finally come to our first password. These show up every 4 stages and let you start your game from that point. They don’t save any score or extra lives or anything, it’s just a checkpoint.

I still remember when I first got this game. Between the passwords and the continues after a game over, I managed to beat the whole game within 24 hours. My parents got mad a bit because they felt it was a waste of money if I could finish the whole thing that quickly, but I didn’t see it that way. I knew what the game was, I was happy to have actually beaten it, and I played it semi regularly after that.

Death Count: 2

In fact, I still do play it occasional. Whenever I want just a few minutes of arcade fun, this is one of a handful of games I turn to. Don’t get me wrong, it’s hardly a groundbreaking game. But it’s still fun in its simplicity. Oh, and we finally have our first death on Stage 26. Lasted longer than usual this time. Of course, I end up dying in nearly the exact same spot 2 seconds later, but whatever.

Stage 26 is also special because it gives us our first “Boss Battle”. For some reason, we’re not allowed to have our helper planes for this battle, since they ditch us just before the fight. However, they’re not really needed anyway. The enemy plane is quite big, taking up most of the screen, but it is taken out with only a handful of shots.

Death Count: 3

So back to my ramblings. It took me a little while to recover from all that overtime, and honestly, I just haven’t been playing as many games lately. For the most part, I’ve swapped over to manga and anime for the last couple of months.

Death Count: 4

Nothing really unusual. Reading One Piece and My Hero Academia, even though I’ve already watched both animes. I’m also finally watching Dragon Ball Z. I saw maybe 80% of it when it was airing on Toonami, but never in order. So even though it’s 50% power up screaming, I still feel I need to watch it properly. I’m also watching the old Lupin the 3rd anime, which is still fun today.

Death Count: 5

That said, it’s always in the back of my mind that I should be writing more articles. Not that I have a huge fan base on here or anything, it’s always been more for myself anyway. But I do want to play more classic games. I also really need to finish Final Fantasy VII. I know my articles are only about halfway through the game, but my gameplay is right up until the final boss. Maybe another hour and I will have FINALLY beaten the game a second time in my life, after having started and quit about 30 times.

Death Count: 7

Well, I finally got a game over on Stage 23, so how about we end it here. Not quite 30 minutes of gameplay, but I don’t have much more I wanted to talk about right now. So, if you’ve stayed with me through this, thank you for letting me ramble for a little while. Hopefully this will get me back in the writing mindset and I’ll see you again soon.


Price – $78.47

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! This thing is going for $78 now?! Glad I held onto it all these years. Hell, I even have the cardboard box and manual, I could probably get over $100 if I wanted to sell it. The NES version is still cheap, at only $14.64, so maybe look at that one if you want to buy a copy for yourself.

Play Again? – Occasionally

I’ve already said this is one of my go-to games when I want to kill a few minutes. There are obviously better shooters out there, but this one is fun in its simplicity, and holds some special nostalgia for me.

Total Deaths – 7 deaths

I’m actually kind of surprised I lasted as long as I did. Even without it being a Bullet Hell, I’ve very out of practice for shooters. That said, I did manage to beat it as a kid, so it’s not particularly difficult in general.

Fun Rating – 6 / 10

I’m giving it a fairly low score because, while I enjoy it, I’m not blind to the fact there isn’t anything particularly special about it. I do also have to point out the music in the game, if it can even be called music. There are a few little jingles at the beginnings of the stages, but during most of the level all you get are random beeps that aren’t much better than Space Invader noises. There’s definitely a melody it’s TRYING to keep, but I have a hard time calling those sounds “Music”. Other than that, it’s a fairly standard shooter. The Game Boy Color port does add some improvements in the form of that password save. However, I can’t really claim that is worth the $78.47 price tag is seems to have now. Seriously, I can’t get over that, I was expecting it to be a $5 bargain bin game by now. So yeah, if you want to play this game, maybe look for the NES version. But if you’re willing to shell out that much for the GBC version, you’ll be happy with the few additions it offers.

How are you $78 now?!

I hope you enjoyed this 30 Minute Review of 1942 (GBC). If you did, like and follow me on Facebook or Twitter. Also leave your comments, suggestions, and recommendations. If you’re feeling real generous, you can even Donate to help me keep the site going. Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you next time.


Dr. Mario (NES)

Cover Taken From


Ok, let’s get this out of the way right now. 2020 was a messed-up year and everyone knows it. I was lucky enough not to lose my job during the pandemic, and more importantly, never got sick. However, my work schedule has changed a bit, and I just haven’t figured out where this site really works into my typical day. I never forgot about it though, and I want to make an effort to get back into writing these articles. So, with that in mind, I thought a quick 30-Minute Review would get the creative juices flowing and remind how to put these things together.

Considering what’s going on, I thought it would only be appropriate to play Dr. Mario for the NES. I’m sure most people will be at least familiar with the name, even if they may have never actually played it themselves. It’s the game where everyone’s favorite plumber steals a lab coat and tries to pass himself off as a doctor. Of course, he is not qualified to be a doctor, and his solution to everything is to just pump the patient full of pills until either they’re cured or die of an overdose. So, let’s jump in and see if we can help Mario delay his inevitable jail time for impersonating a doctor.


Before we begin, we’re given a small number of options to enhance the experience. We can choose which level of the game we start on, the speed of the gameplay, and the music that plays. But really, who’s touching any of that. Maybe on later playthroughs we might start on a later level since we’ve already beaten the early ones. Not that we’d ever be good enough to beat the later levels. So let’s just accept the default settings, throw on that lab coat, and start throwing pills at patients.

Even if you’ve never played Dr Mario before, it should be quickly apparent what type of game it is. It’s basically a variant of Tetris. Unlike Tetris, however, the screen comes pre-populated with a handful of viruses which make up the main puzzle of the game. Our job is to move and rotate the multi-colored pills Mario throws until we can stack up a 4-section long chain of matching pills and viruses, at which point they all disappear. So really, it’s closer to Puyo Puyo than it is to Tetris. Now that I think about it, when did Puyo Puyo first come out? One second while I look that up… Google is telling me Puyo Puyo came out roughly 15 months after Dr Mario. So, I take that back. In reality, Puyo Puyo is like Dr. Mario.

Getting back on topic. Unlike Tetris, which is played until failure, each stage of Dr Mario has a clear end goal of removing all the viruses present on the screen. Thankfully, it doesn’t matter if there are extra pill pieces left on screen to accomplish this, just get rid of the viruses to win. After this, we move onto the next stage, which comes pre-populated with even more viruses, and we start the process all over again.

Obviously, as the number of viruses in each level increases, the levels become much more difficult. However, nothing can make the game more challenging than simply being stupid and dropping pills in just horrible positions. Honestly, current me wants to invent a time machine just so I can go back in time and strangle past me for whatever the heck this mess is that past me has created. Thankfully, Dr Mario has a very useful mechanic that makes it possible to get out of even this mess. That would be the fact that the pill pieces are affected by gravity. Once the viruses and whole pills holding the stacks up disappear, all the remaining pill pieces fall to the bottom rather than floating there like they typically would in Tetris.

To my surprise, after stage 5 there was actually a little scene where the viruses are sitting out on top of a tree just looking at clouds. Then for some reason a book flies through the air, flapping its covers like wings. NES cutscenes were weird.

Sadly, that will be the only cutscene we’ll be seeing today. By some miracle, we managed to make it all the way to level 9. But the power of my stupidity and frantic flailing eventually overcame any hope of completing the level as the pills eventually stacked up to the top of the screen. Mario better start running before the police show up.


Price – $8.99

Even though a lot of retro games have skyrocketed in price over the last year, Dr. Mario stayed fairly stable. It was never a particularly rare or valuable game, so it’s to be expected.

Play Again? – Occasionally

Dr. Mario is easily one of those games you can enjoy coming back to on occasion and playing a game or two to unwind.

Total Deaths – 1 Dead Patient

I managed to keep the patient alive through 9 rounds, which for me ended up taking 40 minutes through a combination of stalling and bad problem solving. But one dead patient is still one too many when you’re pretending to be a doctor.

Fun Rating – 7 / 10

Tetris is fun, always has been. Likewise, most of the Tetris variants are fun. That’s why they’re still being made. Dr Mario even has a mobile game now that has pretty good reviews. So obviously, this was a fun, well received game that holds up to the test of time. It falls into a lot of the same pitfalls that old arcade style games fall into. Namely that it’s generally repetitive and becomes boring rather quickly. But it manages to be a game that you would be happy to come back to for the occasional challenge. Final thoughts, it’s cheap, it’s easy to find, and it’s a classic of the system. If you don’t already own a copy, pick it up now. It belongs in everyone’s NES library, even if it only gets played on rare occasion.

Don’t worry Mario. I’m sure Princess Peach can pull some strings so you avoid jail time.

I hope you enjoyed this 30 Minute Review of Dr. Mario (NES). If you did, like and follow me on Facebook or Twitter. Also leave your comments, suggestions, and recommendations. If you’re feeling really generous, you can even Donate to help me keep the site going. Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you next time.


Who Framed Roger Rabbit (NES)

Cover Taken From


Every kid grows up watching cartoons. Some might even wish the characters were real, and hope to become friends with them. While such a scenario is still impossible, we can at least see how it might play out thanks to the masterful movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit. This was and still is one of my favorite movies of all time. For those of you who may have never seen it, it is a mix of live action and animation as if the cartoon characters were actually there. The basic story is that Marvin Acme, Owner of both Acme Corporation and Toontown, has been found dead, with Roger Rabbit as the main suspect. Wanting to prove his innocence, Roger enlists the aid of detective Eddie Valiant. However, Judge Doom and his band of Weasels are hot on their tail, intent on delivering swift justice should they manage to get their hands on Roger.

As far as the game goes, it is produced by LJN, which already doesn’t give me much hope. They were great at getting the licensing agreements, but rarely were they good at actually producing a good game. However, I’m going to go into this with an open mind. Considering the type of movie it was, and the few screenshots I have seen of the game, I’m going to guess this will be along the lines of a point and click adventure. Perhaps something similar to any of the recent Telltales Games titles. We’ll have to search for clues and items, and then use those items to make progress in the story. Basically more puzzles, and less action. With that prediction out of the way, let’s see what the game is really like.


The game begins in Eddie Valiant’s office with no explanation at all on what we’re supposed to be doing. Wonderful. Roger is already here with us, so I’m going to assume he is already wanted for murder like he was in the movie. It doesn’t seem like we can do much in here, so we head outside to the overworld and all its nondescript buildings.

I guess we’re supposed to be looking for clues to clear Roger’s name, and we need to search inside the different buildings. Unfortunately, some of them seem to be locked and we have no way in. Even when we can get in to the buildings, I’m not sure what we’re even looking for. Thankfully the people in the building seem to know. Or at least they know enough that whatever it is we’re looking for isn’t in the building.

Death Count: 01

As we head to another building, we end up getting hit in the head with a falling plant, and Eddie dies instantly from it. Well, not really die, he’s sitting there shaking his fist at me, so he’s still alive. But he might as well be dead.

Death Count: 02

After asking around at several buildings, we finally find an occupant who advise us to search the building. Unfortunately, Eddie ends up getting killed by a rat before we get the chance. This just annoys me. There’s no way to defend against the rat, it moves so damn fast, and it doesn’t even always kill us. Sometimes it will just kind of nudge us, other times it will outright kill us. I don’t see any kind of health meter that is going down, so I have no idea what the rules are for when it’s a nudge and when it’s an instant death.

Death Count: 03

The inside of the building isn’t any better, there are dogs and cats everywhere just waiting for the chance to attack us. Once again, sometimes they just nudge us, but other times they kill us instantly. I JUST WANT TO KNOW THE RULES!!!

When we finally do get to one of the rooms, we don’t find anything of interest. Most of the rooms have a single occupant, but they all just say to search the building. Well I’ve been searching the building and I don’t see anything! I can’t even figure out HOW to search the drawers or anything like that. Nothing seems to be interactable. I know they are, I did it accidentally before. But I can’t figure out what I did differently then versus now. I’m going to have to google the manual for this game, because I’m not making any progress at all.

Ok, so I guess we need to press Up and B at the same time to do a search. Time to start searching through every drawer we find. Most of them are empty, but in one we find Roses. Is that what we were looking for? Are roses a clue? Or an item? What are I supposed to do with these roses?

Back to the manual again, it looks like we can swap out the item we’re holding by pressing the select button. Great! Now we’re holding the Roses… This doesn’t help me at all. Talking to the occupants, they still tell me to search the building. Is that a default dialog? Is that going to change once I find the thing? I have no idea what we’re doing right now…

I can’t find anything else in any of the rooms, so we leave. Before long we find ourselves in front of Maroon Cartoons. A random passerby suggests we search this building. I would agree, there are probably lots of clues in there. Unfortunately, that black void in front of the building is not allowing us to actually enter the building. Once again, I have no idea what’s going on, or why we can’t do this simple thing, but we can’t.

Death Count: 04

We do spy a whistle on the ground though, which looks promising. Unfortunately, there is a black Demon Cat guarding it that simply kills us instantly if we even get close to it. With that, we lose our last life and get a game over. Good thing we still have 2 continues, because we haven’t accomplished anything yet.

Death Count: 06

We try again to get the whistle, and once again die instantly. We would have tried for it a third time, but one of the Weasels shows up and stops us. Roger quickly jumps up out of reach from him while Eddie tries to fight him off. But with the short reach of Eddie’s attacks, that ends predictably in failure.

When we come to, we run away as quick as we can. However, it’s still following us, and we have to fight it again in front of the next building. It is here that we learn Eddie can actually charge up his attack if we keep pressing the attack button over and over again. Doing this, we just wait for the Weasel to get close enough and then POW, straight to the moon!

Death Count: 07

Unfortunately, he shows up again almost instantly as soon as we come out of the building, which was empty. This time we get a few hits in, but the Weasel ends up killing Eddie. Once again, there is no health bar, so I have no idea if an attack is going to just bounce me back, or straight up kill me. Is it random chance?

Death Count: 08

After searching several move buildings that are apparently all empty, we have a random encounter with a little red snake. Given our previous animal encounters so far, I would assume we don’t want to mess with it, so we start running in the opposite direction. But the little bastard chases us down, and after a few blocks finally catches and kills us both… Perfect, another game over and we still have done nothing.

As we start the next life, we quickly make what feels like progress. We find some spring shoes, which might come in handy, as well as a drawer full of cheese. Maybe we can use this to distract some of the Killer Rats?

Death Count: 09

Things quickly take a turn for the worse after that. As we were crossing the road, Roger got hit by a car and flattened like a pancake. But he’s a toon, so he’ll just shake it off. Unfortunately, a vulture swooped down at just that same moment and carried him off. Apparently if Roger gets eaten by a bird, we also lose, so that’s another death for us.

Death Count: 10

Once we get Roger back, we continue the search and quickly find some random dynamite sitting in front of a building. But there is a Demon Dog guarding it. Not that we really think it will work, but we equip the spring shoes to try to jump over it… They didn’t help.

Ignoring the random dynamite, we continue on and eventually find a random crowbar on the ground. We pick it up and quickly make the connection that it might be able to break the locks off the doors. It does, but not in the way you might think. We can’t USE the crow bar on the lock, Eddie can only throw it. And if we’re too close to the lock, we just wasted a crowbar. What we have to do is stand a little ways away and throw it at the lock. Because that makes sense.

Inside, we quickly find… a heart? Is that like, someone’s actual heart just sitting on the ground? There’s no life bar for it to refill. And using it just has Eddie place it on the ground for it to disappear a few seconds later… So yeah, we are carrying around a couple of real human hearts right now…

Death Count: 11

I’m guessing that might have been a mistake. We’re definitely carrying around evidence of a murder now. Maybe not the murder we were investigating, but someone’s murder. As if to prove this theory, a couple of Weasels start chasing us down as soon as we leave the building. They catch us of course, and there is apparently a minigame to get away from them, but it’s seemingly impossible. We are given only 7 seconds after the joke is said to not only comprehend the joke, but understand the punchline, which I’m guessing we can then pick from a set of punchlines on the left, but I couldn’t figure out how to change the selection. So we die yet again.

Death Count: 12

We then make no progress at all with the next life. We weren’t paying attention, walked off the sidewalk, and Eddie was hit by a car. He’s not a toon, so he will not be recovering from that…

Now that we’ve used up all our continues, it’s Game Over for good. We do get a save code either way though, so we might as well start the game back up with this code and see where it puts us.

Turns out we get to start the game back at Eddie Valiant’s office, except we still have all the items we had before. If that’s the case, what’s the point of the lives and the continues if we’re just going to be able to keep going indefinitely?

We head in the opposite direction this time from Eddie’s office, and quickly find ourselves in a store selling dynamite. I would like to purchase this, but nothing I do seems to make a difference. So eventually we just leave without it.

Death Count: 13

The next building over, however, has a detonator just sitting on the ground. There is a Demon Rat guarding it though. It does kill us once, but we quickly learn to put down the cheese first to distract it, and then the detonator is ours.

Now that we have a detonator, I’m gonna head back to that store and set off that dynamite. Fuck him, I’ll kill us all if he’s not going to sell it to me! THAT got his attention. As soon as I try to blow us all up, he tells me how to buy something from him. Apparently we need to equip the wallet first. I should have guessed. After doing that, we can finally purchase the dynamite. Though truth be told, I don’t know why I want the dynamite in the first place…

Death Count: 14

And it doesn’t look like we’ll be finding out now. Shortly after leaving the store, the Weasels show up yet again to make our lives just a little bit harder. We elude them for a while, but once we got into the mountains completely outside town, I figured we might as well just let them catch us. Once again, I have failed to figure out how to change my answer and Roger is killed.

Death Count: 15

Our day just keeps getting worse from there. As we continued to search the various buildings, we came across one where we’re killed instantly as soon as we entered it. That little Demon Rat was standing RIGHT by the door, and killed us as soon as the screen loaded.

Death Count: 17

In fact, that little bastard killed us two more times as soon as we respawned. We were lucky to escape when we did, or we might have been trapped forever right there.

Once inside, we learn that there is actually something in this building to search for, so at least the deaths weren’t a complete waste. However, what we find is just a rattle. Once again, I’m not sure what we’re supposed to do with this.

As if to add insult to injury, once we leave the building, it looks like the Rat outside has ALSO somehow found a rattle. We manage to collect that one too, but now we just have two rattles that we don’t know what to do with.

Somehow we stumble upon the Ink N Paint Club. Of course, we can’t get past the bouncer at the door… At least I think he’s really there. He looks like he might just be a poster on the wall since he’s not moving at all. Anyway, we try to find another way in, but no such luck. The only thing we find is this damn vulture that keeps dropping bombs on our head.

Death Count: 20

Our search for clues continues rather unsuccessfully. After walking into a few empty buildings, Eddie ends up getting mauled to death by another Demon Dog. Later, while starting a conversation with a random passerby, a flower pot falls on his head and kills him before he can even get a word out. And then we followed that up with him getting bitten by a venomous snake. Who would have guessed that 1940’s Hollywood could be so dangerous?!

We do have a little bit of luck though. After recovering from the snake bite, the Weasels catch us yet again. However, the joke being told just so happened to line up with the default punchline this time. So we still have no idea how to CHANGE the punchline, but at least we know for sure that giving the correct punchline with allow us to get away.

Death Count: 21

Unfortunately, we don’t live much longer after getting away from the Weasels. As soon as we rounded the next corner, Roger got picked up by a random vulture and was carried off to be its next meal…

Death Count: 22

Shortly after that, we encounter a building we can’t enter. It doesn’t have a lock on it or anything, so I’m not really sure what the problem is. But then one of the other Weasels shows up and it all makes sense. Unfortunately, we had our wallet equipped instead of our fist. By the time we managed to fix that, we must have taken too much damage to our invisible health bar, because it was only one more hit before we died.

We do make a small amount of progress though. On the south side of town we find a brick wall blocking a tunnel. I’m not sure why, but when we interacted with it, it flew away. So that must be good, I think.

Unfortunately, you may have noticed the Weasels rounding the corner in that last picture. Needless to say, we didn’t make it far before they caught us. On the plus side, we finally figured out how to change the punchline. All we need to do is press the Select button. Somehow we even manage to get the right punchline as well.

Death Count: 24

Oh, and that tunnel. It doesn’t go anywhere. Nothing in this game goes anywhere. All you do is wander around and die. Will we get hit by a car? Will we get caught by the Weasels? Or will this stupid bird simply fly off with Roger? Well it turns out the Bird won this round. So on that note, I have had enough of this game. I Quit!


Price – $9.44

Even at that low price I feel like I was ripped off.

Play Again? – ARE YOU CRAZY?!

I can almost guarantee that I will not be playing this game again.

Total Deaths – 24 Deaths

I was not expecting to rack up a body count like this in what I thought was going to be a point and click adventure. There are simply too many random elements in this game that can kill you. And I’m still annoyed that I don’t understand why sometimes I die and other times I just get bumped back. There is no health bar or anything that I can see to indicate when it would be one or the other. Not to mention the whole lives and continues aspect is made pointless by the fact that you get a continue code on the Game Over screen anyway. The only thing you lose from having to start with the code is your exact position on the map. Even if the game simply gave you infinite lives, just take a look at that death count! 24 deaths in only 30 minutes of play. That’s practically a death a minute. There’s no reason for a game like this to have a body count like that!

Fun Rating – 2 / 10

At its core, this is still basically a puzzle game. Once we find the appropriate items to solve the appropriate problem, we could probably get through the game pretty easily. However, getting to that point is beyond tedious. There are so many things that kill you for no apparent reason. While annoying, it is something that can be accepted since death doesn’t really mean anything in this game. However, there are dozens of buildings in the city with no defining characteristics on the world map. So it’s hard to tell where you even are. Most of these buildings are empty, making them additionally pointless. Thankfully there are people inside to tell you they are empty. Honestly, thank god for that, because each building has several rooms which themselves have several spots to search. Having to go through the dozen or so hiding places is bad enough in a building you know has something to find. Having to search an empty building would just be torture. Honestly, I’m really upset that this game turned out as bad as it did. I’m actually a fan of this type of game, and like I said before Who Framed Roger Rabbit is one of my favorite movies. In the end, this is just another victim of LJN and their notoriously terrible game design.

Why would anyone want to continue this game?

I hope you enjoyed this 30 Minute Review of Who Framed Roger Rabbit. If you did, like and follow me on Facebook or Twitter. Also leave your comments, suggestions, and recommendations. If you’re feeling real generous, you can even Donate to help me keep the site going. Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you next time.


Super Monkey Ball Jr. (GBA)

Cover taken from


It has been far too long now since the last time I did a 30 Minute Review article, so I think it’s about time we fix that. Considering we just finished Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, and in doing so welcomed the Gameboy Advance library to the site, I thought we should start up a tab for the system over here in the 30 Minute Review section as well. So I scrolled through my GBA library and picked out a game I thought would be fun to look at. I ended up settling on Super Monkey Ball Jr.

Personally, I’ve never actually played a game in the Super Monkey Ball series, but I am at least somewhat aware of what the games are like. It’s similar to older games like Marble Madness where you guide a ball through a maze towards the goal. The difference here being that instead of a generic ball, it is actually a monkey running around in a giant hamster ball. While the premise of the game is simple, the series itself has had a rather large number of releases over the years. I know I won’t be doing myself any favors picking the Gameboy Advance version as my entry into the series, but I can still hope that the gameplay holds up just as well as the console and arcade counterparts. So without further delay, let’s jump in a see what the game has to offer.


When you first start up the game, there is the option to play the main game or the minigames. Unfortunately, minigames need to be purchased with points from playing the main game, and none are available yet. So we head into the main game, and start out with the beginner stages until we can get the hang of things.

Before the levels actually start, we are also allowed to pick which monkey will be inside the ball. To my knowledge, this is just a cosmetic change, and doesn’t affect performance, so we’re just going to stick with series mascot Aiai. With all our selections made, we get to see our first level, and it’s a very basic, flat level for us to start with.

The basic concept of the game is pretty easy to understand. We need to guide the Monkey Ball from the Start to the Goal. Along the way there are bananas that can be collected, but that is optional. I believe if you collect 50 bananas you will get an extra life, but you don’t need to go out of your way for them. One thing that might be hard to see with these still shot though is HOW you actually control the Monkey Ball. You’re not controlling the monkey to make him run, you’re actually tilting the whole world and allowing the ball to roll naturally downhill, which I think is a very clever design choice.

Death Count: 02

Floor 2 gradually increases the difficulty by putting a large hole right in the middle of the field. It’s not a very big change, but now the threat of falling off the platform is starting to increase. If you go slowly, it’s not much of an obstacle. However, the Monkey Ball carries quite a bit of momentum, so you might find yourself flying off the edge if you try to go too fast.

Things just keep getting harder from there with Floor 3 being practically a Figure-8. This was actually the level where I learned that you don’t need to collect all the bananas. I didn’t realize they were optional. So if you don’t have to collect all the bananas, then it’s really only a single turn before you make it to the goal. Nothing too hard.

Death Count: 03

Floor 4 is where things really start to get out of hand. Now the platforms are moving. In this stage the whole center section is twisting back and forth making it incredibly easy to fall off the side.

This actually got us our first Game Over. However, we are allowed 5 Continues before it’s Game Over for real. We also get to start off on the same stage we were already on, so there isn’t even any loss of progress.

Death Count: 05

We try it again, going a bit slower this time and make it all the way to the far end of the moving section. Unfortunately, that little nudge we got when transitioning from the moving section to the stationary goal section caused us to zip right past the goal, and off the edge again. Twice actually.

Luckily, Floor 5 is a Bonus Stage. There are quite a few bananas scattered around on the large flat section of the stage, which are all easy enough to collect. However, the real prize is the bunch of bananas off on their own. These are a little harder to get, because they’re on a small hill, but this bunch is worth 10 bananas on its own, so it’s well worth the risk.

Death Count: 07

The Bonus Floor was out first taste of any sort of uneven ground, and Floor 6 takes that to the extreme. The whole stage is a giant ramp down to the bottom. The turns aren’t difficult, but maintaining your speed down the ramp and not flying off the other end is the trouble.

Going downhill is one thing, but going uphill is another thing entirely, and that is what we see here on Floor 7. Because of how steeply you need to tilt the world in order to make the Monkey Ball climb the hill, you end up practically free falling off the stage once you get to the top. Thankfully there are bumpers on the first two hills to prevent this.

Death Count: 17

Unfortunately, this is not the case at the third hill, which is also the steepest of the three hills. It was actually so steep that we couldn’t even make it to the top. This was also the first instance where I noticed how unhelpful the camera can be. Any time I didn’t make it up the hill and rolled back to the bottom, I was unable to turn the camera in a way that was helpful, and ended up falling off the edge in my attempt to reposition myself. After nearly all my lives and continues, I did finally make it to the goal.

Death Count: 18

Unfortunately, the next stage was a collection of small tiles that would expand out to the edges and then shrink back towards the center to make a single platform. Needless to say, I fell off the edge very quickly, and that was the end of this run.

Sent back to the main screen, we decided to check out the minigames this time. Unfortunately, we are still a ways off before we will be able to afford any of them. These include Monkey Fight, Monkey Bowling, and Monkey Golf. We currently have 774 points to spend from that first attempt. However each of the minigames costs 2500 to unlock, so it’s going to take a few more attempts.

Death Count: 23

I won’t bore you with the details, but we manage to get back to Floor 8 having died only 4 additional times. Now that we’re back, we chose to head towards one of the corners in an attempt to get one of the large banana bunches. We get them, which was great, but we end up falling off the edge while trying to head towards the goal.

Rather than keep attempting to get the bananas, we decide to just head straight through the center to the goal. When we do this and take our time, we end up reaching the goal without much trouble.

Death Count: 24

This brings us to Floor 9 which is rather interesting. The layout is very simplistic. However, you might notice there is a gap in the path to the goal. It’s not just a bad camera angle, there really is no solid path from Start to Goal. For this stage we need to actually LAUNCH ourselves down the ramp and across the gap. This turns out about as well as you would expect. Too slow, and we don’t make it all the way over. Too fast and we fly off the other side.

Thankfully we get the hang of it pretty quickly. On our second attempt we stop JUST short of the edge and manage to turn ourselves into the goal for an easy win.

For the final floor of the beginner course, we have a rather large map with elements of all the previous floors. There are narrow ledges, moving platforms, ramps, jumps, everything we could ever want to force our little Monkey Ball off the path.

Surprisingly, this level still manages to give us a new obstacle. As we make it to the end of the course, we have a bit of a dilemma. We went so slow for the first part of the course that we’re not sure we can make it all the way around that final loop in time. This is actually the first time that the clock became an issue for us. So we take a bit of a daring move and simply jump the gap to skip the last section of the course entirely.

With that one daring jump, we manage to beat the beginners course and see the games credits. And I must say, they did a good job with the credits. Instead of being the simple scrolling list of names like every other game, it is actually another bonus level that you get to control. I’m not sure what kind of bonus these bananas give you, but try to collect as many as you can anyways while the credits roll.

Even though we beat the game, we still don’t have enough play points to unlock the minigames, so let’s give a quick look at the Advanced Course to earn those last few points. The first Floor of which looks very familiar. It’s the same basic level as the beginner course, but with a twist. That yellow line down the center is actually a speed bump that we have to get over.

Of course, that’s not much of a challenge, and we make it to the goal without any trouble.

Death Count: 26

Floor 2 however is completely new, and it’s a bit scary to look at. The whole level doesn’t even fit in frame during the preview. So we start the floor, and first obstacle is a couple of small hills. We get over them easily, but then the series of walls just past them gives us a little trouble. Mostly because I was trying to go through them too quickly. Once I slowed down, they were another easy obstacle.

Death Count: 28

Just past those walls we come to the next challenge, a ringed path with a bunch of pinball bumpers spinning around it. Obviously, touching any of these will launch our Monkey Ball clear off the map, so we’re going to have to keep pace with them and stay out of their way. Unfortunately, we fail to do that.

Luckily, the last obstacle on this floor is a simple little hole in the path. We easily navigate around this and manage to make our way to the goal.

When we see Floor 3, we’re actually a bit relieved. There are a couple of large moving platforms we need to cross, but overall it doesn’t look too hard. We cut it close transferring from one platform to the next, but we actually manage to beat this level without even falling off the side.

Floor 4 also ends up not being very difficult. In fact, it looks quite familiar. I think it might be a little bit narrower than the beginner course Floor 4, but other than that, it’s the same challenge. Once again, we clear this stage without any trouble.

Death Count: 29

Then we see Floor 5 and I am terrified. The whole section with the goal on it is flapping up and down like a bird’s wing. It’s actually flapping rather quickly too. We try to time it so we basically drop into the goal when it’s down, but we just end up flying off the far end of the platform.

Rather than try to get the goal again, I thought we’d check out what the heck this other platform is we can see in the preview. If we turn directly backwards from the start and run right off the edge, we actually land on a small platform below with a second goal. However, this isn’t a normal goal, this goal actually warps us straight to Floor 8, skipping over Floors 6 & 7 altogether.

Death Count: 30

Now that we’re on Floor 8, we see that it is very similar to the beginner course Floor 8. However, there seem to be fewer tiles, meaning we have to take a long way around this time. Not that it really matters, we end up falling off the edge almost instantly.

We still have a few continues to use, but I think we’ve made enough progress at this point to be able to afford one of the mini games. Before we even make it back to the main menu, that suspicion is proven true as we are presented with a list of options to unlock. All of them look like they’d be rather fun, but I’ve always liked bowling games, so I chose to pick that one.

The gameplay is exactly what I expected. There is a line that sweeps back and forth across the lane to signify your aim, followed by a sliding power meter for your strength. These are very common mechanics for many bowling games.

Unfortunately, I regret spending my points on this Minigame. It has all the makings of a fun game, but the speed of the meters are simply too fast to be fun. You can put a spin on the Monkey Ball to correct any bad aim, but that also seems to have a pretty steep learning curve as well. In the end I finish the game with a pathetic 59 pins.


Price – $12.47

It’s not exactly bargain bin price, but it does still fall on the cheap side of most GBA games. It seems like it will be a rather short game in general, but I think that price is worth it.

Play Again? – Yes

The gameplay itself is quite simple, but the level designs quickly become more challenging. And while that does mean it quickly becomes more frustrating, it never feels unfair. Because of that, you want to try it again and again to prove to yourself that you can beat the level. Then there are the minigames still to unlock and honestly I would be happy to play this again.

Total Deaths – 30 Deaths

This is definitely a game where death comes quickly and often. However, it always feels like player error rather than the game being unfair. Instead, it becomes part of the learning curve and every death just makes you want to try again, leaving you always in the mind set of “the next attempt will be the one”. So in that regard, I’m not even concerned with how many times I died. For this game, it’s just part of the fun.

Fun Rating – 8 / 10

Overall this was an enjoyable game to play. The simple concept is easy to pick up but hard to master, and the 3D graphics are surprisingly good for the system. Yes we died a lot while playing, but this is one time where it doesn’t really matter much. It’s part of the learning curve of the levels and ultimately part of the fun of the game. Then factor in the multiple minigames that can be unlocked and there is actually a lot more to the game than meets the eye. In the end, it’s a great game, well priced, and I would easily recommend it be added to your collection.

I do want to end this article on a bit of a side note though. When I was rewatching my playthrough to gather the screenshots and write this article, a very curious thing happened. Whenever I paused and frame stepped backwards to get my ideal screenshot, the replay broke. The tiny variations from going back a few frames actually screwed up the physics engine and made the Monkey Ball roll in a slightly different path from where it originally went. This of course caused him to fall off the world at a different time than in the original run, which then makes all the following recorded inputs meaningless. This is the first game I have every played where such a thing has happened during the replay, and I find that very fascinating that the physics engine is so sensitive that even the frame by frame inputs of my recording couldn’t perfectly replicate the original run if I interrupted it in the middle. Of course, that wouldn’t affect anyone under normal play, but I think it shows how powerful of an engine the game is running on that even the tiniest little interruption can send you down a different path.

I beat the game but still got a worse score…

I hope you enjoyed this 30 Minute Review of Super Monkey Ball Jr. (GBA). If you did, like and follow me on Facebook or Twitter. Also leave your comments, suggestions, and recommendations. If you’re feeling real generous, you can even Donate to help me keep the site going. Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you next time.


Pokemon Pinball (GBC)


The year is coming to an end, and admittedly it hasn’t been a very productive year for the site. Only two articles and not a single 30 minute review. I would feel guilty if i left it like that, so here we are pushing out one more article while we still can.

For today’s 30 minute review, I thought it would be nice to check in on an old favorite of mine, Pokémon Pinball. One of the earliest spin off titles for the series, Pokémon Pinball brings all the thrills of catching them all and converts them over to a pinball machine setting. It’s been a while since I last played, so I don’t remember many of the details, but I know you could catch or evolve all 150 of the original Pokémon in this game, though doing so is quite the challenge. But let’s not wonder about it, let’s just dive in and see how well Pokémon Pinball holds up today!


Just like with the original game set, Pokémon Pinball offers up two different Fields to play on, a Red Field and a Blue Field. The layouts of the Fields are slightly different, but more importantly, each Field has different Pokémon you are capable of catching. For no reason other than the fact it’s on the left, we’re going to check out the Red Field first.

When the Field first loads up, the screen in the center of the table will start to cycle through the different areas of the world. This will determine what Pokémon are available for you to catch during this playthrough. I happened to start my game in Lavender Town.

Now it’s time to get the obvious observations out of the way. The table is pretty bare for a pinball machine. The top half of the machine has a set of three Voltorbs acting as bumpers. There is also a Bellsprout that will swallow your Pokéball and spit it back out. Then there’s a Ditto in the top corner blocking a secret hole. I believe this is related to evolution, but I never managed to get him to move. The bottom half of the screen doesn’t really have much at all to interact with. There are the flippers of course, but other than that there’s really only the two Digletts poking out of the side walls to interact with.

Eventually a Pokémon will appear and you’ll be able to start catching it. I’d like to comment on what actually triggers the Pokémon to appear, but I didn’t notice it. Anyway, once a Pokémon does appear, you have only 2 minutes to aim your Pokéball up to the Voltorb bumpers to gradually uncover what Pokémon you have the chance to catch.

Once you uncover all the tiles, the Pokémon will finally be catchable. In my case, we get a chance to catch a Magnemite. To catch it, all you have to do it hit it a few times with the Pokéball. Each time you hit it, the word “CATCH!” will be spelled out below it. Manage to spell out the whole word and one more hit is all you’ll need to finally catch it. One Pokémon down, 149 left to go!

After you successfully catch the Pokémon, a nice bonus slot will appear. The hole has a bit of suction to it, so it’s not that hard to get the ball into it. As soon as you do, the various Bonus rewards will start to cycle until it finally lands on one. I happened to get Pika Power, which causes the Pikachu at the bottom to rapidly jump between the sides and help keep the Pokéball in play.

Before we leave the Red Field, there’s one last discovery I want to mention. If you manage to light up all three of the lights above the Voltorbs it will actually upgrade your Pokéball to the next powerful Pokéball. Now I have a Great Ball. My understanding is that the stronger balls will cause “CATCH!” to spell out faster. Unfortunately I never get to test that out as I lose my last ball shortly after this.

So that’s enough time for the Red Field. Let’s Move on to the Blue Field for a while. Right away you’ll notice that the Blue Field is nearly as simplistic as the Red Field, just with a bit more of a water typing to it. The Voltorbs have been replaced with Shellders, Bellsprout with Cloyster, and Digletts with either a Poliwag or a Psyduck.

One notable difference however is the blue arrow on the top half of the Field. This arrow has a gravitational nature to it, attracting the Pokéball to it and propelling it in the direction the arrow is facing. This makes it much easier in my opinion to actually get the ball up into the bumpers and special areas. It is also a contributing factor in making this Field feel easier and therefor more fun to play on.

I think partially because of this, I managed to not only catch a Pidgey, but actually evolve it too. That’s right! You can actually evolve the Pokémon you catch. Assuming you can keep the ball going long enough. Evolution in the game is actually fairly easy. After activating Evolution mode, which in the Blue Field is triggered by Slowpoke, you have to hit one of the various bumpers and switches marked around the Field.

Once you do, an EXP will appear randomly somewhere on the Field that you need to collect. After collecting 3 EXP, all you have to do is knock the Pokéball into the hole and like magic your Pokémon has evolved. I’m now the proud owner of a Pidgeotto!

After evolving my Pidgey into Pidgeotto, I apparently unlocked a Bonus Stage. Unfortunately, I lost the ball shortly after this and got a game over. So I guess I’ll simply never know what the Bonus Stage looks like.

That’s pretty much all there is to show you for this game. Two Fields where you play pinball and try to catch all 150 original Pokémon. The only other thing I want to point out is the fact that there is a Pokédex on the main menu that will let you see all the Pokémon you’ve managed to capture during your various play times.


Price – $9.97

I still have my original cartridge for this one, but a quick searched says you can find the game pretty easily for under $10. It’s a great game, especially for the price, and any Pokémon fan should have it in their collection.

Play Again? – Probably

I’m not good at pinball games. At this point I’m pretty sure it’s obvious I’m not very good at any games, but pinball I feel I’m especially not good at. However, this has a very fun and unique gimmick to it that goes beyond the traditional pinball table. For that alone I’d probably come back to this on occasion.

Total Deaths – You don’t die playing pinball (I hope)

You don’t exactly die playing pinball, but I did go through about 6 full games in just my 30 minute play time. I remember being able to keep a single game going for nearly an hour back when I played more frequently, but my skills have clearly rusted over time.

Fun Rating – 7 / 10

Pinball I think is one of those activities where you either love it or you hate it, and there really isn’t a whole lot of grey area in between. The two Fields are rather simplistic, and on their own would get boring very quickly. It also might just be me, but the Red Field seems much harder and less fun than the Blue Field. In this regard, the game isn’t really anything special and probably wouldn’t even earn a second glance. However, the ability to catch and evolve your Pokémon while playing is what really makes the game stand out. It’s still not a particularly deep mechanic, but with 150 Pokémon to catch, it’s a great incentive to play again and again. In the end, it might be just an average Pinball game at best, but it’s a very fun Pokémon Spin-off.

My high score for the new year!


I hope you enjoyed this 30 Minute Review of Pokémon Pinball. If you did, like and follow me on Facebook or Twitter. Also leave your comments, suggestions, and recommendations. If you’re feeling real generous, you can even Donate to help me keep the site going. Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you next time.


Tin Star (SNES)



I’m sorry everyone, I have failed you! When I started playing Tin Star, I did it with the intent to beat it and give it a proper full review. Now I’m half way through the game and I’m calling defeat. I simply can’t keep up with the game and it is too much for me to beat without cheating. I know I already use infinite lives cheats to get through most of the games I play, but I draw the line at infinite health. Still, I already have a few hours invested in this game so I’m going to review as much as I’ve seen.


If you’ve never heard of the game, let me give you a quick introduction. Tin Star is a Western themed game except for the fact that everybody is a robot. You play as the title character Tin Star, the new sheriff ready to clean up the town. Ideally you would play the game with the massive SNES Super Scope light gun, but without that you can also use the regular controller to play. Of course, playing a light gun game with a typical controller has its downsides. But I’m jumping the gun, let’s get to the game and see what it’s all about.


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The game takes place over the course of Tin Star’s first week in town. Before we start each day we get a little bottle shooting practice game. Shoot the bottle and then continue shooting it as it bounces around the screen for more points. It’s a great way to warm up for the day, and more importantly it’s an easy source of cash early on. You’ll need as much money as you can get since you have to pay every time you want to save your progress.

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Now that we’re properly warmed up to the controls, let’s jump into the real story. Tin Star and his companion Mo Crash are waiting to catch the next stagecoach into town when they strike up a conversation is a very googly eyed and manly looking old lady. She recognizes him as the new sheriff in town, to which Tin Star adds a terrible pun about also being the new “Head of Sanitation”, because he’s going to “Clean up the town”.

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After a terrible pun like that, I can hardly blame her for insisting he ride up on the roof with the baggage. In the end it’s for the best since the stagecoach is almost immediately under attack. You’ll have to do your best to shoot all the bad guys as they try to climb aboard and kill you.

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As I mentioned earlier, this game is ideally meant to be played with a light gun, but it can also be played with a regular controller like I am. In this case, a cursor shows up on screen which you can control for your targeting. What’s really interesting about this game is that despite being a light gun game, you can actually see your character Tin Star on screen while you’re playing. You can’t control him at all, but it’s odd for a light gun game not to be in first person perspective.

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Tin Star will be jumping all around the stagecoach in true action movie fashion, and after taking out a few waves of enemies you’ll face the game’s first boss, Joe Twiddley. Joe isn’t a particularly hard boss to fight. He’s somewhat fast and agile, thanks in part to his spring legs, but he only needs a few shots before he’s defeated. It is only the first level after all, so you can’t be expecting too much.

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I’m not entirely sure how you unlock it, but sometimes after you finish a stage you’ll be able to do a bonus round. In those bonus rounds, you have to shoot star targets from around a busty female robot as she spins around on a target board. These stars are small, so hitting them is rather difficult, but they are worth a lot if you do. Either way each stage will end with the undertaker assessing your performance and paying you accordingly. You’ll also be brought back to the stage select screen to be allowed to save your game should you so choose. It would be wise to save often, but as saving costs money, you may want to consider risking it.

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Once we get to town, Tin Star does the gentlemanly thing by offering to carry the Old Lady’s bags for her. However, the Old Lady wants nothing to do with him and says she can manage fine on her own. Tin Star is rather insistent about being a gentleman and tries to forcefully take the bags from her. During their disagreement, the Old Lady eventually shoves Tin Star away, causing him to knock over a potted flower which was sitting in the middle of the road.

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Apparently that innocent looking flower was actually Tiny Johnson’s prize geranium. And in true western fashion, Tiny Johnson doesn’t take kindly to people messing with his prized flowers. This whole thing is starting to feel like a set up. However, it looks like there’s no time to contemplate the situation as the mayor informs us of more pressing issues. It would seem the troublemaker Black Bart is currently busting up the saloon. As the new sheriff in town, we can’t just let that happen. So off we go to the saloon, Tiny Johnson will just have to wait.

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Inside the Saloon, the gameplay is a little different than the first stage. This time it is a first person perspective, but we still have no control over the camera angle. Instead the camera will slowly shift from side to side and you’ll just have to shoot all the enemies as quickly as you can. There are a lot of targets, so you’ll have to be quick about it. I also love the fact that a lot of the background items are interactable. You can shoot the bottles off the bar counter if you want. Or if you shoot the piano it will start playing. You can even shoot up the moose head hanging on the wall for some quick entertainment.

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After clearing out the saloon, Tin Star’s attention is quickly drawn to a pretty female robot outside. She seems to be quite taken by Tin Star as well, judging by the hearts that float up past her head. Unfortunately the romance has to be cut short when Mo arrives with some bad news. It looks like some rustlers have tied up Macnulty and they’re stampeding his cattle.

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This stage plays a lot like the first stage on the stagecoach. The screen will then scrolling right along with the action and you simply have to try your best to keep up with all the enemies. And trust me, there are going to be a lot of enemies trying to kill Tin Star. In addition to all the rustlers, you’ll also have to keep an eye out for sticks of dynamite that are randomly thrown at our hero. There are also quite a few vultures that for some reason have taken offence to our hero.

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Once again, do your best to survive the waves of enemies and you’ll be thrown into yet another boss battle, this time with Bareback Jack. We’re still only on the first day, so Bareback Jack isn’t much of a threat either. When you shoot him it will cause him to go spinning, revealing a nice target strapped to his back. Shoot that too and he’ll go for another spin. Just keep the bullets flying and he’ll be defeated without much trouble.

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With the cattle rounded up, it’s time to head back to town. Unfortunately, Tin Star just can’t catch a break today. No sooner do we get back into town do we hear that Tiny Johnson is also in town and out for revenge after we knocked over his flower. Seeing as we’re in the old west, there’s only one way to settle an argument like this, a good old fashioned quick draw.

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The quick draw stages of the game are the most obvious examples of where having a light gun is vastly superior to using the controller. In these stages, you’ll have to wait until the chamber of your revolver shows up in one of the four corners of the screen. When it does, you have to quickly shoot it to draw your gun, and then quickly aim your shot at the enemy. This can be quite the challenge with the controller since its movements are not nearly fast enough or accurate enough for the task at hand. But I don’t have a light gun to play it with, so we’ll just have to do the best we can.

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Tuesday starts out innocently enough. The town is going to be welcoming its first ever train. Back in western times that was probably a really big deal. While I’m sure it has great significance to the rest of the town, Tin Star is such a hero that he’s only happy to hear he’ll be connected to every jail in the territory now. The mayor however seems to only be concerned that the train will be bringing his caviar. I didn’t know robots ate caviar. Maybe it’s like some weird robot fish eggs. But wouldn’t that just be ball bearings? Whatever, we’re getting off topic now.

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Tin Star and the Mayor ride off together to greet the train, but it looks like Black Bart has his own plans for the train. And so we start our first stage of the day defending the train. Even though it was clearly morning just a second ago, it is now dark out as if in the middle of the night. Chronology aside, you’ll have quite a hard time defending the train. Especially since the bad guys seem to have rented out a few of the cars to set up stationary mini guns.

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Death Count: 1

Lucky for us, Tin Star is quite dexterous. He can jump from car to car without much trouble at all. In fact, at times he’ll even be hanging onto the side of the cars with one hand while shooting the bad guys with the other. And there are A LOT of bad guys this time. It’s honestly hard to keep up with just the controller.

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When you finally make it to the front of the train, you’ll have to face off against Black Bart himself. Somehow the fat bastard has wedged himself inside the smoke stack of the engine car. From there he’ll occasionally pop his head out to throw bombs at you. Once again, a real light gun would be much appreciated here. Because you have to shoot Black Bart to beat him, but you also have to shoot the bombs to avoid being blown to pieces.

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Eventually, you’ll have defeated Black Bart and the train will have successfully reached East Driftwood. All thanks to the actions of Tin Star. He deserves whatever reward he wants after that fight. Unfortunately, while we were out defending the train, the Bad Oil Gang went out and started attacking a wagon train in the area. It looks like we’ll have to take a rain check on that reward until after the Bad Oil Gang is taken care of.

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This is another stage like the saloon from the other day where the camera slowly moves side to side and enemies will pop up from every corner of the screen. There’s really nothing more you can do but to shoot as fast as you can and hope you hit everyone.

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After defending the wagon train, a robot named Schemp comes to tell us that Snake Oil is in town looking for us. However, Tin Star seems more concerned about the fact that Schemp looks suspiciously similar to his sidekick Mo. Turns out the two of them are actually brothers.

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And so we enter another of the quick draw stages. These are already starting to get really hard with the controller. It simply doesn’t move fast enough to draw the gun and then center back onto the relatively small target of the enemy before they draw their own gun. But somehow we manage it, and bring an end to the second day in town.

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Snake Oil is unfortunately still alive after our little shoot out the other day, but thankfully he is safely behind bars where he belongs. Of course, Tin Star has the worst of luck, as Snake Oil’s men are already planning to break him out of jail. As the acting sheriff, we can’t let that happen.

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Death Count: 2

This stage gave me no end of trouble. It’s another one of the side to side levels, but with a twist. This time, in addition to the waves of enemies that usually flood the screen, there are also a few enemies that are trying to blow up the jail. The problem is that they are a blink and you’ll miss them type enemy, and missing them is an instant failure for the level.

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Death Count: 13

This leads you to a tough balancing act between the normal enemies and the instant failure enemies. If you focus on the normal enemies, you’ll more than likely miss your tiny window of opportunity to actually prevent the destruction of the jail. However, if you focus too much on the jail, you’ll be shot full of holes by all the other enemies on screen. This stage alone was enough to make me want to quit, but after a handful of attempts, I somehow managed to beat it.

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Turns out the whole stage is kind of pointless in the end. Even if you successfully defend the jail, Snake Oil still manages to tunnel his way out to freedom anyway. In the end we have to chase him down again anyway. So saddle up on your horse Aluminum and go after him!

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Things just keep ramping up faster than I expected. On top of all the bad guys trying to kill you, there are dozens of sticks of dynamite flying through the air ready to explode in your face. These are just such small targets moving very quickly, it’s nearly impossible to hit them. And you can completely forget about hitting ALL of them.

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When you’re not avoiding explosions, you have to keep an eye out for dive bombing vultures. The problem with these guys is that they simply move too fast to react to. By the time you see them and get the cursor over towards them, they’ve already hit you and flown off. Then there’s the fact that they usually fly in groups. After being hit by one, you’ll be momentarily stunned and have no hope of recovering in time to shoot any of the others.

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In the end, you never do manage to recapture Snake Oil. To make things worse, you’re confronted by Bugsy as soon as you get back into town. So get ready for yet another quick draw, all because you knocked over a stupid flower back on your first day in town.

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Death Count: 15

This is probably going to be the last quick draw I can manage with the cursor. The amount of time you are given just isn’t enough anymore to accomplish with the cursor alone. I need to invest in the super scope at some time. Wouldn’t that be a sight? Doing a quick draw with a bazooka!

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The next day starts peacefully enough. Tin Star is bathing, while at the same time insisting to Mo that too much bathing will weaken a man. Also that he can’t wash his hair, because he only takes his hat off on Sunday, and it isn’t Sunday yet. Also I thought everyone was robots, Tin Star is pretty ripped and muscular for a robot.

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Anyway, the peaceful bath time is quickly interrupted by a bunch of Women and Men shooting up the town. At least that’s what Tin Star thought, Mo was quick to correct him that it’s actually the Bad Oil Gang in disguise. Looks like we’re going to have our hands full today as well.

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However, Tin Star is a good guy, and the Good Guy Code says never to shoot women and children. So it looks like Tin Star might be helpless to defend the town at the moment. That’s when Tin Star notices a convenient loophole in the rule. It clearly says not to shoot Women AND children. But these are just women with no children in sight. So grab your gun and start shooting!

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The journey through town is going to be a dangerous one. There are just so many members of the Bad Oil Gang it’s unbelievable. They’re around every corner. They’re on the roof tops. They’re bouncing around on springs. They even have stationary mini guns set up.

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Death Count: 18

With so many enemies, Tin Star is jumping all over the place. Occasionally he’ll be running from rooftop to rooftop. At one point you even manage to dive off a roof and into a water barrel down on the ground. Good luck keeping up with all the action.

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If you somehow manage to survive the journey through town, you’ll face off against the Blousey Bros! These criminals dressed up in flowery dresses and are prancing around between the water barrels trying to hide from you. What makes this so hard is the fact that for some reason there are innocent old ladies also hiding in the water barrels.

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Death Count: 23

If you shoot them while they’re trying to offer you some cake, you’ll end up taking damage for you error. Not only that, but you’ll fail to shoot the real bad guy and end up getting shot by them as well. Then of course there are the instances where two of them pop out of the barrels at once. Throughout the whole game I’ve been complaining that you simply can’t move fast enough to hit multiple targets with the cursor, and this is just another example of that flaw. The only redeeming quality of this boss fight is that it is perfectly patterned. There are no random elements to trick you up, and after enough failures, you eventually memorize the pattern well enough to beat the level.

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After finally making it past the Blousey Bros, we find out that the rest of the gang is busy trying to rob the Driftwood Savings and Loan. What is wrong with this town that there is this much crime?! So we saddle up again and head over to defend the bank now.

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Death Count: 28

This is another side to side shoot out where you can instantly lose at any moment if you fail to shoot one of the bombers. And you know what, I quit now. This is all just too much to keep up with. Are there any people in this town that aren’t criminals? Haven’t I already murdered hundreds of bad guys already? Is it possible that this town is populated entirely by criminals? In which case why am I bothering, I quit!


Price – $10.47

It’s not a bad price, and it is a very innovative game. But I would highly recommend only buying it if you have a super scope and a CRT TV.

Play Again? – Maybe

This game frustrated the hell out of me. But I would LOVE the chance to play it with an actual super scope. I can imagine this becoming one of my favorite light gun games if I actually HAD a light gun to play it with.

Total Deaths – 28 Deaths

I’m blaming a lot of those deaths on the cursor. It simply isn’t fast enough or accurate enough to keep up with the action on the screen.

Fun Rating – 7 / 10

Most of my review of this game has been complaining, so I want to take this moment to say that I actually did really enjoy this game. It is hard, and very frustrating, but it is also a lot of fun. I’ve said it way too many times already, but this is a game that clearly needs to be played properly with an actual light gun to get the full enjoyment from the game. However, I do want to praise it for even giving it a controller option of play. Most light gun games don’t even consider the controller as a possible alternative play mode. The action might be a little too much for the cursor to keep up with, but at least they tried. The story segments are also fairly funny, with a lot of fun wordplay. I honestly do wish I could finish this game because I’m curious to see how the whole thing ends. The graphics and animation were also top notch. Everything has a very cartoony look to it, and all the movements are very fluid. It’s also interesting in the approach to the genre. Even though it’s technically an on rail shooter, it’s interesting to actually be able to SEE your character on screen. Usually these types of games would be in first person with the enemies shooting directly at you. In the end, everything blends together to a rather unique and fun game. It’s just unrelentingly hard at points when you’re trying to play with the controller. Even so, it’s not an overly rare or expensive game. Why not pick it up and see if you can make a better sheriff that I did.


You can keep the town! I don’t care anymore!!


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I hope you enjoyed this 30 Minute Review of Tin Star. If you did, like and follow me on Facebook or Twitter. Also leave your comments, suggestions, and recommendations. If you’re feeling real generous, you can even Donate to help me keep the site going. Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you next time.



Pilotwings (SNES)

Pilotwings (SNES) - Full Cover


Welcome back to another 30 minute review everyone. Today we’re going to be taking a look at a true SNES Classic, in fact it was a launch title here in North America. I of course speak of the wonderful title Pilotwings. The game itself is rather simplistic, but what makes the game so memorable is the extensive use the SNES’s Mode 7 capabilities which allowed 3D graphics on the 2D system. In essence the game was basically a giant tech demo for the then new mode 7 graphics. Nintendo however has a great history with making amazingly fun tech demo games. Just look at Wii Sports. It’s still listed as one of the best games for the system, and that was a pack in game just to show off the new motion controls.

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Anyway, In Pilotwings, you play as an aspiring pilot as you go through various training sessions. But don’t knock the game as a simple flight simulator. In addition to the traditional plane you would expect, you also get to control a hang glider, a sky diver, and my favorite the rocket belt. I feel like I know a lot about this game, but truth be told I think I only played it once or twice at a friend’s house, I really don’t have much experience with the game. So join me as we test our skills and try to earn our pilot’s license.


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Join the Flight Club Now! So for the first lessons, we’ll just be learning the basics of the game. We won’t have access to everything right away, just the airplane and skydiving for now. But not to worry, I’m sure Tony here will have us flying like a pro in no time.

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As we play, we’ll be scored on how well we accomplish each task, and to pass we need to score at least 120 points between the 2 objectives. First we’ll start with the airplane where our goal is simply to land the plane without killing ourselves.

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Death Count: 1

It should be simple enough, we’re already flying straight into the landing strip. All we have to do is follow the markers down and land softly on the ground below. Of course this is our first time flying, so we land a little harder than we would have liked. I think our wheels just fell off… we’re going to have to try that again.

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The second attempt goes much better. We land safely on the ground and score an impressive 90 points on this first objective. That means we’re almost guaranteed to pass even if we completely mess up the skydiving portion. Speaking of which, we should probably get over there now.

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For the skydiving, you start out on the ground as a helicopter carries you up to height while you hang onto a ladder. It’s a very unusual form of skydiving that I’m unfamiliar with. I thought you usually fly up in a little plane and then jump out the side. Anyway, as you’re dropping down out of the sky you need to try to fall through a couple of rings. This sound simple enough, but the skydiver is a bit tricky to maneuver.

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Once you get close enough to the ground, you need to open up your parachute and try to land in the center of the target. Again the controls are a bit tricky here, but I’m sure we’ll get used to it. Somehow we even manage a pretty good landing. We might not have hit the center of the target, but we at least landed within the circle of the target.

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With that I manage to pass the first lessons and get my A class license. So it’s official, I’m now a certified pilot! The skies are open to me now! Of course, that was just the basic training. The lessons are only going to get harder from here.

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Lesson 2 gives us a new instructor, Shirley, and the promise that we’ll actually get to use the rocket belt soon. With 3 objectives this time, we now have to score 220 total points to pass. You may also notice we’ve had a change of location. And it looks like there’s now a pool of water surrounding the skydiving target area. But we’ll worry about that when we get to it.

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Death Count: 2

First up is the airplane objective. Once again we have to pass through a few rings on the way to the landing strip. However, we’re not already approaching it head on. So this is basically our first lesson in turning and maneuvering in the air. Unfortunately I couldn’t straighten myself out very easily and we ended up crashing again.

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We might still be able to do this though. So let’s move onto the skydiving objective. This time it feels like we flew up to a much higher altitude, and there were quite a few more rings this time than there was last time. That pool of water is quite intimidating though, it doesn’t leave much room for error.

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Death Count: 3

As I feared, we end up slashing down right into the water. With 2 bad performances already, it’s unlikely that we’ll end up passing this certification. So let’s just start over right now.

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This time around I have an almost perfect landing and get a much better starting score for the plane objective of the lessons. In the skydiving objective I end up missing a few of the rings, which is a bit disappointing. But I have a much better landing. I still didn’t hit the target, but I landed in the target zone outside the water for an easy 40 points.

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Now we finally get to play around with the rocket belt. This is so much fun, but it is a bit hard to control. In this objective, we have to pass through 3 rings before we head back to the target zone for a gentle landing. As fun as this is, I do have a bit of a complaint with the rings. They are a bit hard to spot at a distance since they are just tiny dots until you get close. Only once you get close do they expand out to full size rings.

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Death Count: 4

Once you actually find the rings, passing through them is quite easy. Landing on the other hand is not as easy. Just like with the sky diving, we have to be careful not to land in the water. Unfortunately that’s exactly what we end up doing. I’m not positive, but I don’t think jet packs work very well underwater. That also means I failed the lesson again and have to start over AGAIN.

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So once again we go through and get a good flight on the plane objective for a nice 74 points. Then we follow that up with a great landing in the sky diving objective for an additional 82 points. So it looks like we’re in really good shape to beat it this time. I thought I should take a slightly different approach this time and head for the target by crossing the bridge. That way I don’t have to worry about the water as much. It pays off as I get a fantastic 90 points for the rocket belt section.

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So with my total score of 246, I pass another lesson and get my B Class License. This game is already a lot of fun, even if it is rather challenging. I can’t wait to see what else is in store for me.

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We still have a little bit of time before my 30 minutes are up, so let’s check out Lesson 3. This time we’ll have Lance as our instructor, and we’ll finally be introduced to the hang glider. This time there won’t be a skydiving objective, instead it’s just the plane, rocket belt, and hang glider.

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Death Count: 5

So we start off with the plane. For the first time we actually have to start on the runway and get up to speed to take off. I was a bit hesitant though, and well, I ended up driving off the end and straight into the water… how about we give that one more try.

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Once we’re up in the air, there are quite a few rings for us to fly through this time. We’re actually doing quite a large loop out over the ocean before turning around and heading back to the island. It’s hard to tell since the island is almost never in frame, but I think we might have actually flown a full lap of the island this time around.

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Death Count: 6

The final ring however was a bit deceptive. It has you flying really high into the air right before you need to land. This made me dive too quickly in an attempt to still land on the runway. Predictably, I ended up crashing spectacularly. But no time to worry about that, let’s just move on and see what else we can play with in this lesson.

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The rocket belt level played out roughly the same as last time, except this time we need to touch pillars of lights rather than flying through the rings. This is quite a bit harder to accomplish, but not too hard. Then of course we have to land on a tiny target in the middle of the water. Surprisingly I have a great landing on my first try.

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It’s a nice score, but not enough to allow me to pass the lesson. No worries though, we’ll just go onto the hang gliding objective anyway to at least see what it’s like. To be honest, I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to be doing here. You start by being pulled behind a plane, but then it detaches and lets you off to do whatever you want. Since I have no other indications of where to go, I decide to head straight for that odd pillar of white clouds.

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Death Count: 7

Turns out that pillar of clouds were actually an updraft that pushed me way up into the air. Soon after I was giving my only instructions, try to land without killing yourself. But where am I expected to land? Do I aim for the tiny sky diving target? Or perhaps I’m supposed to land on the runway like a plane? My indecision ends up wasting too much time and I crash land in the middle of the lawn. But that’s ok, we’re out of time anyway.


Price – $9.00

It’s a cheap game, so there’s no reason not to add it to your collection.

Play Again? – Absolutely

This game is one of those simple yet challenging type games that are just loads of fun. I will absolutely come back and play this from time to time.

Total Deaths – 7 Deaths

At its core, it is a flight simulator game, so you need to be very careful with your landings. It’s not just going to hand you a “close enough” passing score.

Fun Rating – 8 / 10

This is a really fun game and I suggest everyone should play it at some point. The controls take a little while to get used to, but you can’t deny how much fun it is once you get the hang of it. On top of that, the graphics were quite revolutionary for the time, and in my opinion are holding up well enough for their age. No matter what, it’s hard to properly show depth in videogames, but this game does a good job of it. Even if I did die a few times I knew it was always my fault and I never got mad at the game. From start to finish it was a fun game, and sometimes crashing was the most fun part. Seriously, add this game to your SNES collection and be happy with the purchase.

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Someday I’ll fly free in the skies… Someday…


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I hope you enjoyed this 30 Minute Review of Pilotwings. If you did, like and follow me on Facebook or Twitter. Also leave your comments, suggestions, and recommendations. If you’re feeling real generous, you can even Donate to help me keep the site going. Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you next time.


The Fantastic Adventures of Dizzy (NES)

The Fantastic Adventures of Dizzy (NES) - Full Cover

A Massive 2 Meg Game!!! (Note: this cover picture alone is 11.6 Meg)


The Fantastic Adventures of Dizzy is one of the few NES games I managed to keep from my childhood. Most of the rest of them were either sold off at garage sales, taken by my older brother, or possibly lost entirely. This game however was special, so I always managed to hold on to it. Don’t get the wrong idea, I hated the game as a kid. It was just too hard, so I rarely ever actually played it. No, instead I held onto it for an entirely different reason. For one thing, this is an unlicensed game made for the NES, which in itself makes it very interesting to me. More importantly however was the fact that they packaged it in a gold cartridge. To my knowledge the only other gold cartridge games for the NES are the 2 Zelda games, so it made the game seem so rare.

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Now that I’m older, I realize the reason I didn’t like this game was because I didn’t understand what it really was. Back then I thought it was supposed to be primarily an action game with a little bit of puzzles thrown in, similar to how the Zelda series mixes action and puzzles. However, now that I’m older I see that I couldn’t have been more wrong. This game is actually a pure puzzle game which requires you to have an amazing memory. With this new knowledge maybe I’ll be able to make at least SOME progress in the game. There’s only one way to find out, and that’s to dive right in and see.


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Daisy, who I believe is Dizzy’s girlfriend, has been kidnapped by the Evil Wizard Zaks. It’s up to Dizzy to leave the Treehouse Village of the Yolkfolks and save her. If you haven’t already picked up on it, you’ll notice right away that Dizzy, as well as most of the other characters, are anthropomorphic eggs. Honestly I always found that cute and it was one of the reasons I always at least tried to play the game as a kid.

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As a puzzle game, you’ll primarily be picking up various items and bringing them to wherever it is they need to be used. Dizzy’s house acts as a basic tutorial, teaching you to pick up items, like the house key which is for some reason hiding up in the rafters, and to use them on the appropriate items, in this case Dizzy’s door. You might also notice that you can only hold a maximum of 3 items at a time, so you’ll be swapping items regularly. I hope you can remember where you left everything.

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Now that we’re outside, I’m suddenly remembering so much from when I was a kid. Primarily the fact that I had never managed to make it out of the Treehouse Village before, all the spiders always ended up killing me. They’re still very annoying because instead of most games where you take a hit and that’s it, this game gives you constant touch damage until you move away. Thankfully there are lots of fruit lying around to eat and refill your health.

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Thanks to my many years of gaming experience, I can finally make some minor progress in the game. For example I know enough to put the large plank of wood over this deadly spike pit now. Finally I can cross it and see what’s on the other side. Here we can find some weed killer to kill the egg eating plants in the Treehouse Village and explore more.

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And explore we do! With the help of some rope we can swing from platform to platform as we make our way around the village. Here we find the home of another Yolkfolk, Denzil. Thankfully we picked up his house key along the way and can actually see what’s inside.

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Unfortunately it looks like he has been frozen solid somehow. Probably more of the work of the Evil Wizard Zaks! If we want any help at all from him we’ll have to find some way to thaw him out first. And so we venture off into the world in search of more items to help us.

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Eventually I find a mining cave which has a “Dry Match” in it. This might be helpful somehow, we could start a fire or something to free him from the ice. Unfortunately the mine also has a minecart puzzle which ultimately does me in.

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You control the minecart and it’s up to you to guide it to safety. You get very little warning when something bad is going to happen. Instead you need to memorize the whole path until you can do it perfectly. This would take SEVERAL attempts before you can do it successfully. Unfortunately you only have 3 lives, and I wasted them all here. So it looks like that’s where my journey is going to end for now. Perhaps we’ll be back some other time to make another rescue attempt.


Price – $22.00

The game isn’t as rare as the gold cartridge would make you believe. However it isn’t quite a discount bin release either. If you’re into puzzle games though it’s definitely worth the price.

Play Again? – Probably

Now that I at least understand what I’m supposed to be doing I might try to actually beat it.

Total Deaths – 3 Deaths

If I ever want to beat the game, that number is going to have to be much higher. This game is definitely a trial and error type game.

Fun Rating – 7.5 / 10

This game was way too hard for me as a kid, and it’s still probably too hard for me now. However, it has the promise of being a really fun game. I’ll always consider this a hard game, but being honest, it really isn’t. It’s a puzzle game first and foremost, so in reality I simply don’t know the answers. If I did know the answers this would be a very fair and probably relatively easy game. It would just take a while before I have any idea what the heck it is I’m supposed to do. There are a lot of different items to collect, and the world is fairly expansive. So if you’re a puzzle game fan, you might just want to give this game a chance.

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Who are you and what are you doing here? This is a Yolkfolk Village, not a People Village!


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