Developer(s) – Radical Entertainment
Publisher(s) – THQ
Released first on the NES and Game Boy in 1992, and then remarkable re-release on the Super NES the following year, and then on the Mega Drive the year after that, Rocky and Bullwinkle was one of many mediocre licensed games released on the system, along with Nightmare on Elm Street and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? But out of these three games, the worst has to be Rock and Bullwinkle for a good number of reasons.
Graphics – 5/10
The first of which being the visuals. Though a number of more advanced graphics rendering techniques were incorporated during development, such as black outlines for characters and sprites, the overall conceptual design is nothing short of woeful. There have been many games to have come and gone that have made good use of cartoon-like visuals (most cel-shaded games spring to mind), but the scenery and style of this game make it seem that it was literally drawn by a four year old.
Gameplay – 2/10
A traditional 2D platformer, the game basically involves having to get from point A to point B, and not much of anything else. There is a small basis in combat, with being able to use grenade and some specialist attacks, and some basis in variety being able to switch from two characters at will, but that’s not to say that any of it is enjoyable. The game can simply be rushed without much difficulty, making combat largely unnecessary.
Controls – 4/10
Even after almost a decade since the release of the original Super Mario Bros, there were development companies that still couldn’t get the fundamentals of the genre right. Rocky and Bullwinkle is one of the most prominent examples of which. Not only are the stair climbing controls terrible inaccurate, but so is the hit detection, making combat unnecessarily hard and nigh on unbearable to cope with. There were other games in the genre that suffered from issues like this, but this game took it to a whole new level.
Lifespan – 0.5/10
For first time players, it will take about an hour to play through this game, but for veteran players (although there aren’t many of them, since not a lot of people in the right mind should actually play this game for any extended amount of time), the game can take inside seven minutes to finish. It is a painfully short amount of time for a video game to last, but with a game of such undeniably bad quality, there isn’t much call for it to last any longer than that.
Storyline – 2/10
As in the cartoon, the story involves Rocky and Bullwinkle resolving to find and defeat their arch nemesis, Fearless Leader. Personally, I was never a fan of the cartoon, and so making a video game from the source material was always going to be an inevitably bad idea. It’s a terrible license, which has somehow warranted the development of a terrible game, and by proxy, a terrible film (by some distance, the worst thing Robert De Niro has ever done with his career).
Originality – 0/10
There is no originality about this game, since everything that is incorporated within had already been done before, and theres absolutely nothing present in it to be able to differentiate it from other prominent games in the genre at the time. I fact, a lot of the many stables of the genre, such as bosses, are not present, which only makes matter worse.
In summation, Rocky and Bullwinkle is one of the worse video games I’ve ever played. Even if players may have played every single platform game, and still hunger for more of the same, I can’t recommend it at all.