City Connection

Oh, and there are balloons. They are worth bonus points, and grant a city-warp effect when three are collected. Magical warp balloons, yes. Even with those hexing helium semi-spheres, City Connection ...

The Adventures of Gilligan’s Island

The game instead has the Skipper as the central character with Gilligan as your sidekick. You basically walk across the jungle looking for the other castaways. On the way the duo are attacked by birds...

10 Yard Fight

The game clock is divided into two fast counting thirty minute halves, which I appreciate since I'd probably still playing the game of Baseball I began if I didn't say to hell with it. The difficulty ...

Whomp ‘Em

Whomp 'Em looks great. The enemy designs are fun and varied, while some of them even move smoothly in interesting ways – check out the floating hands in some of the vertically oriented portions. The...

Mach Rider

In an uncharacteristically dark story for 1985 Nintendo, the setting is a post apocalyptic Earth in the year 2112 after an alien invasion of the evil Quadrunners. Whether the programmers were Rush fan...

Monster Party

The "Sorry I'm Dead" monster is more of an in-game joke than a "boss", as it's already dead when you get there, and you get a little question mark power up from it (usually) for doing nothing. But the...

Baseball Simulator 1.000

The actual batting screen is fine, just fine. As a baseball simulator, those intense pitch-by-pitch at-bats are well-done, and seem to be fine-tuned to a mechanical science by Culture Brain. It is a s...

Excitebike

Design Mode is exactly what it sounds like. You get your own NES canvas and get to paint it however you like. Starting with a completely bare track, there are 19 ways to litter it with shit that would...

Total Recall

While you are playing and trying to figure out what exactly is going on you will have a happy bubbly soundtrack to listen to. This game is supposed to be a gritty, and dark at moments but the music de...

Blues Brothers

To put it simply: Blues Brothers is a very challenging game. But to merely put it in such stale words, such simple terms like “extremely hard,” only dulls the true nightmare effect this cartridge ...

Stack-Up

Enter R.O.B., the greatest Trojan Horse in gaming history. At a time when noone was willing to part with their funds for a video game system, Nintendo unveiled the Robotic Operating Buddy along with t...

Double Dribble

Finally, one of the most awkward options screens in gaming history is found: Settings such as period length, team, and difficulty level can be altered, but with each button press, rather than simply a...

Godzilla: Monster of Monsters

On Planet X, as with the previous worlds, you have to face all the monsters you previously faced, plus of course the game's final boss, King Ghidorah, who also naturally happens to be the hardest mons...

Crash ‘n’ the Boys: Street Challenge

[youtube id=”X_vP3K1UlvU” width=”633″ height=”356″]   All in all, the richness of Crash ‘n’ The Boys: Street Challenge is certainly appreciated, and se...

Popeye

Popeye is given a weapon the Marios and Kongs didn't have at the time as he can swing his mighty fists at anything that moves with the exception of "Brutus". To take that huge, burly tub of fatfuck do...

Dudes with Attitude

To try and summarize, though: Dudes With Attitude is an action puzzler, like a fast-paced arcade/puzzle genre hybrid. The player controls a Dude of his or her choices; these are little round head-shap...

NES Baseball

The worst part of this game, and the main reason is gets such a low mark is the goddamned fielding. The controls are just anarchy. Any fielder you control moves about the speed of a mudslide and the g...

Batman

Since it was based on the movie, there were plenty of impressive (for NES anyway) cut-scenes featuring key moments of the movie and some just for the game. Except the plot of the game is shortened to...

Mighty Final Fight

Most gamers worth their salt know that the first game to truly establish the conventions of the genre known as the "Beat 'Em Up", was 1987's Double Dragon. Developed by Technos, DD became an arcade sm...

Donkey Kong Jr.

The game plays remarkable similar to the original, yet with a new twist. Instead of being a short Italian dude with concrete shoes, you're a monkey that can barely jump but can grab hold of vines, rop...

Kung Fu

Beat 'em ups seemed to be released every week in the late 80s/early 90s with some legendary titles like Golden Axe, Double Dragon, Streets Of Rage, and Final Fight at the forefront. These and every ga...

Dragon Power

Obviously this was back well before Dragon Ball Z got popular along with a handful of other anime programs, so the rather curious decision was made to change many of the actual references to Dragon Ba...

Kid Klown

The other area that this game really stands out, for anyone who has ever played it, is that while on the surface it seems very much like an "easy kids' game", it also packs some serious punch in the d...

Bugs Bunny Birthday Blowout

The control is fairly tight, and Bugs is able to jump pretty high, which only makes sense for a rabbit in a cartoon world. There are some enemies he can jump onto and stand on without taking damage, a...

Ufouria: The Saga

Ufouria is a platformer that is similar to Wonderboy 3. It offers one big world to play in rather than individual levels & includes different areas that only certain characters can access. Seeing the ...

Sword Master

Aside from the black-and-white flaws and strengths, there are a few elements that must be judged on a player-by-player basis. The foremost example may be the level-up system. As the player slaughters ...

Donkey Kong Jr. Math

The game sure looks like DK Jr. from the arcades but that's where the similarity ends. There are 3 modes to "play" but the only difference between A and B are that B uses negative numbers. The gist of...

Bucky O’Hare

This title boasts the usual high-quality Konami effects, many of them recognizable from their library of other NES games (try the Start/pause button in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartridges, or ...

Hogan’s Alley

Game A is your standard 3 target shooter. This would be one of the rare times I enjoy no kind of musical track because if you're an FBI agent trying to concentrate, the last thing you want is bouncy c...

Ninja Gaiden 2

The gameplay is tough! If you really want an old school 8-bit challenge, then this is it! Look no further unless you want something even more difficult like Battletoads. You'll be trying to beat this ...

Double Dragon II: The Revenge

The combat is also a lot faster and smoother than the first NES game. They also have a decent control set-up where one button hits/kicks opponents on one side, and the other button takes care of the o...

Bible Buffet

Bible Buffet is a hybrid game that forms a juxtaposition between the board game category and the overhead adventure games as well. With up to four human players (someone can even play alone if they wi...

Clu Clu Land

Onto the meaty part of the burger. You're a fish named Bubbles trying to collect coins while avoiding the Unira, a nasty type of sea urchin. Without the game manual, I wouldn't have clue one that this...

Air Fortress

In those latter halves, the player goes into a multi-directional scrolling platform environment that takes place in the Air Fortress itself. Firing a laser pistol with the A button, or those oh-so-pow...

NES Baseball

The problem with the game are really three things. The first is the speed of the game, it really goes far too slow for it's own good. The second are the controls which aren't so hot when you're trying...

Super Mario Bros

The only negative I can even possibly find with this game is the 2 player. If you are Mario, you have to die in order for it to be Luigi's turn. If the person playing Mario was good, go to the store, ...

Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Yet play proceeds without major issues. Even if some parts are annoying, it is rare to feel truly helpless. The ability to duck is a niceand very necessary touch, even if Sawyer can do little else but...

Whomp ‘Em

Some of the stage designs are questionable. Among Let's Players and others, the final level has gained notoriety for being rather difficult and just plain cheap. These design errors are evident elsewh...

Twin Cobra

Twin Cobra does not have the most polished presentation, but it definitely offers a challenge that makes hearty demands on a player's reflexes and flight tactics. Fans of the genre will enjoy discover...

King of Kings: The Early Years

In Jesus and the Temple, the player actually controls characters on foot, alternating between Joseph and Mary per level. With gameplay mechanics most akin to the Bible Adventures game, precision-jumpi...

Baseball Stars 2

The gameplay of the game is nothing but wonderful. If there is a strong point of this game is the gameplay which is what makes you want to come back for more. Not only is it challenging at times, but ...

Ghostbusters II

On the first level, the player notices three barricades blocking three of the lanes. Now, by their height, it could be supposed that they look low enough to jump over. This would not be an unreasonabl...

A Boy and His Blob

Despite the technical shortcomings of its audiovisual presentation, A Boy and His Blob is undoubtedly one of the most distinctive titles in the NES library. Its creativity and utter uniqueness lends i...

Power Blade

The game itself though, is of the solid blade hurling action variety, with a decent range of enemies and obstacles to avoid/destroy. You can choose any of the levels from the main hub in any order you...

Darkman

Darkman the NES game has both good and bad elements to it. In summary, some good aspects: Innovative stages involving photography and differing gameplay goals, differing characterizations based on Dar...

The Jetsons

The music is decent for this game. It definitely doesn't make you feel like you are in the future but there is nothing more amazing like an 8-bit soundtrack especially if it's upbeat and fun. The soun...

Bigfoot

Supposedly, the plotline (yes, those roaring engines really need an expansive plot for motivation) involves Bigfoot and his rival, The Growler, in a race across the United States of America. At certai...

Kickle Cubicle

There’s something quite refreshingly odd about it as well. The opening world is named ‘vegetable land,’ yet apart from veg circling you in celebration at the end of a stage there isn’t a sight...

Bad News Baseball

To put is simply: Bad News Baseball is not only a great baseball game on NES, but a great 8-bit video game altogether. Every baseball game had some sort of celebratory animation for home runs, but Bad...

Little Samson

The NES was already past its prime but developers knew every trick there had to be for the console. Programming a beautiful game was no problem due to the experience developers had. In other words, si...

Flintstones: The Rescue of Dino & Hoppy

Flintstones: The Rescue Of Dino & Hoppy looks pretty, sharp, and pretty sharp. The animated sprites are drawn well, the enemy designs are competent, and the levels vary widely in their appearance. Eve...

8 Eyes

The gameplay is as tough as you'll find. I guess you can't say it's Battletoads tough but more like a very tough side scroller that you don't want to play again. The game has decent controls but the m...

Mappy-Land

Sometimes the trampolines are a bit touchy, and the third-level vines especially so. In fact, this entire game has a very distinct feel to its controls that takes some getting used to. Once you get us...

Mike Tyson’s Punch Out

The musical score of this game is quite astounding. Did I mentioned there are only a couple of songs in the entire game? Well, they do the right job that's for sure. The music will get you pumped up w...

Beetlejuice

This game looks okay. There are some still frames that look like characters from the movie, and one particularly creepy face shot of Beetlejuice that is reused every time something happens. But the ac...

Pinball Quest

The level design in the game is creative and every level carries a different objective. As you climb your way towards the top you will find the one annoying feature of this game, as everytime you lose...

The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles

The game provides a decent pace of action; not quite Ninja Gaiden or Mega Man, but a respectable clip nonetheless, while traversing through the historical context of such areas as World War II-era Ger...

Demon Sword

This can be a difficult game to master, especially some of the boss fights, but once you get the hang of the patterns of the infinitely generated hordes of enemies, it becomes a fun little romp. Victa...

Vegas Dream

Vegas Dream features multiple game modes such as slot machines, Black Jack, Roulette, and even Keno (if you didnt get enough of playing that in the bar). But what makes this game stand apart from the ...

Twin Bee

The gameplay is truly enjoyable! I can't say enough! The game is short but fun and quite challenging. If you think the first stage was easy, they are just easing you in. Be sure to get all the power u...

1943: The Battle of Midway

This game offers a true test, even for shoot-'em fans. The design is tight, the waves approach with just the right mix of anxious panic without seeming completely impossible, and the entirety feels ap...

Batman

It remains to be one of the more memorable games of my childhood, and features one of the most unforgiving final boss fights I’ve ever encountered in a game. This game is based on the first Batman m...

Barbie

Each "level" of this "game" is actually a dream that Barbie is having, which is a convenient cop-out way to explain the ridiculous elements in each stage. Nonetheless, Barbie is armed to confront her ...

Alpha Mission

Alpha Mission already suffers a blow in being ported to a television setting, since vertically scrolling shooters are much more apt to their original arcade screens, oriented to provide an optimal per...

Banana Prince

The game is a simple platformer that is just too fun to put down. The game has a lot of different features from such games as Super Mario and even Zelda 2. Combine those two schemes and you have an aw...

Archon: The Light and the Dark

One other quirk applies. Each side has a magician; for the Light side, a wizard, and for the Dark, a sorcerer. Not only are they powerful in combat, with a very strong projectile attack, but they can ...

Seicross

During game play the player rides a hovering motor bike racing through each level, shooting enemies, collecting energy and saving your blue friends. All of the levels are similar as in they scroll rig...

Wayne’s World

In typical THQ fashion, the level design is less than extraordinary. On the first level, for example, Garth literally just has to walk to the right while firing his gun in order to reach the finish, d...

Mega Man

The graphics are very stable. They are nothing amazing but it does make you feel like if you are in the future. The game looks and feels great overall. There aren't that many weird things off from the...

Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones

This is a brutal video game, but brutal because the computer is relentlessly unwaveringly tough, the move set boils down to only a couple of effective options at most in any given situation despite th...

Werewolf

The player controls the werewolf, who begins the game as a man but, after defeating the first mini-boss character very soon into the game, collects a token to become the werewolf; afterward, the state...

Bomberman II

Of all the tweaks to the original Bomberman NES game, major and minor, the most noteworthy is probably the visuals. From the in-your-face title screen to the overhaul of the main quest looks,Hudson sh...

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

The visuals may actually be the high point of the game. The backgrounds are colorful, the animations are smooth, there are few clipping/slowdown issues, certain background elements are animated, the c...

TMNT 3: The Manhattan Project

The gameplay is even better than the one before. When you pick a turtle, they will have their own unique skill. You have to use their skills accordingly in order to get through the levels with ease. O...

Amagon

Considering the patterned movements of many of the enemy obstacles, this already creates the inherent issue of requiring the player to undergo trial-and-error gameplay techniques in order to conquer t...

Alfred Chicken

The visuals are not awful, but they lack a certain polish. In a way that is difficult to describe yet obvious the moment you see it, the art used is very "flat," lacking outlines or layers, giving the...

The Adventures of Lolo

Way back in 1988, Hal Laboratories, who would still be churning out quality titles in later decades, released a quirky little cartridge for the Nintendo Entertainment System called The Adventures of L...

Lee Trevino’s Fighting Golf

The Masters got me thinking about this game, although ironically, Lee never won that tournament, his only Major fail. But, I put a lot of time into it back in the day, and like real golf, you find you...

World Games

One odd side item worth mentioning is a humorous glitch in the Sumo Wrestling game: Although normal gameplay would not reveal it, the wrestling ring level wraps. In other words, what goes off one side...

Adventure Island

The power-ups are interesting, and provide the key motivator. Taking the form of eggs, when they are bumped into, they reveal themselves. The most common is the axe, always gathered first to provide a...

Kid Icarus

With the release of Kid Icarus it was only fair to pick the classic counterpart as the pick for this week. The game itself is not for beginners or crybabies. It's one of the toughest NES games around ...

The Adventures of Bayou Billy

And now we come to the reason why this game earned notoriety and an appearance on Captain N: It was overwhelmingly difficult! Rumor has it that the Japanese release was too easy, so for the internatio...

Wolverine

The problem with the NES iteration of Wolverine is that the concept itself, of taking a popular license character and producing a below-average game with him or her as the starring vehicle, was not or...

Gyruss

The majority of the obstacles to victory consist of groupings of enemies that fly in, dance around in some form of pattern, then make their way to the middle of the screen. Much like Galaga, a handful...

Weird Games: Zombie Nation

Released in 1990 for the NES by KAZe, Zombie Nation follows the story of an alien named, Darc Seed, (See what they did there?) that fell to earth on a meteor. Unfortunately, the meteor fell right smac...

Crystalis

This week I have one of my favorite picks period. Crystalis is the equivalent of an upgraded Zelda title. The game itself is jam packed with action around every corner. The story line is also very int...

Dragon Warrior

You take role of a warrior (Elwood?) in order to save the princess and slay the dragon. Dragon Warrior(Quest in Japan and lately here) is the one that started it all in terms of quest style games. If...

Elevator Action

After completing a level, the next stage is generated, with exactly the same building, but a randomization of red-door locations. Also, the A.I. gradually become smarter and more sneaky in their tacti...

Mike Tyson’s Punch Out

The game starts with a tune-up fight: A guy named Glass Joe, who is really just a punching bag, or practice to get used to the controls. The graphics look cool, decent sound effects, and Mario is your...

Cool World

The level design is also very questionable. Some require puzzles to be solved, like on Main Street when the player needs to enter the Slash Club, but has to figure out that he has to blow the lid off ...

Baseball Stars

This time around, Baseball Stars for the NES takes top honors as it's a game well over due for a mention right here at Retro Gaming Life. The game itself combines the RPG elements with sports elements...

Die Hard

There are 40 baddies to kill throughout the building levels, by fists or weapon. You’ll need your fists, because I find myself running out of ammo very quickly. But, it’s just as fun pummeling th...

Disney’s Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers

There is a loose storyline involved the literally named villain Fat Cat and his nefarious efforts at small-world domination, and eventual kidnapping of the chipmunks' friend. As the player defeats lev...

Batman

Another item he can find is health to boost his life meter, which at full strength allows him to take several hits before dying, although even Batman's death is impressive, as he bursts into a flash o...

Toxic Crusaders

There are even the usual beat-'em-up elements like a skateboard level (quite essential to any 80's or 90's gaming experience) and even an underwater stage. The enemies are pattern-based, as repeated p...

Rygar

This game looks grand, from the multi-colored environments that take Rygar through areas of sandy deserts, snowcapped mountain peaks, and even lush woods, to the varied monstrous enemies he encounters...

The Uncanny X-Men

The “graphics” found in X-Men are genuinely bad. The character sprites are tiny, with only the palette colors enabling you to discern who is who, and not making any effort to showcase the famous c...

Wrecking Crew

Another title for the books! Wrecking Crew is a simple game that keeps repeating and repeating over and over. The game consists of Merio which is trying to destroy buildings and such. There is this du...

Jaws

Usually, movie-themed video games are developed too quickly, as they seek to capitalized on a film's popularity as rapidly as possible. While this may have been the case with Jaws, it does not show; t...

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

This was the second and final Star Wars game released on the NES, and for some reason, it feels like it takes a step backward. Maybe it is the slightly more linear gameplay, the seemingly increased ch...