Friday the 13th (NES, 1989)

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a game by Atlus
Platform: NESNES
Editor Rating: 5.5/10, based on 2 reviews
User Rating: 6.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: Horror Games
Friday the 13th (NES, 1989)
Friday the 13th (NES, 1989)
Friday the 13th (NES, 1989)
Friday the 13th (NES, 1989)
  • Manufacturer: LJN
  • Machine: Nintendo

"Don't go in there!" you shout to the screen. But, what do you know, the teenage, no-name actor does and gets him or herself lovingly axed or diced up with a machete by none other than the star of the movie himself - Jason.

Last summer, the hockey-goalie-masked slasher "took Manhattan" in his eighth movie. And what better way to commemorate the everlasting timeliness of these quality films than with a Nintendo game? Though Friday the 13th (the video game) isn't set in the Big Apple, it does take place at every kid's favorite camp resort - Crystal Lake! The place where all the mirth and mayhem originated. As the instruction manual puts it: "It's a pretty typical summer... You and your six Camp Counselor friends are watching over the kids... The days are bright and sunny... The nights are cool and clear ... "...And Jason is on the rampage". Couldn't have said it better myself. Yes, it's up to you to save the kids and destroy Jason (sorry, folks, you can't be Jason in this game). In the movies, there are always plenty of naive teenagers to keep Jason busy. In the game, you have to play the role of six camp counselors - switching from one to another - while protecting fifteen children. Talk about a tough job. The counselors (three male, three female) look in every way like the boneheaded teens from the films.

The game starts out with a map of the entire layout of Crystal Lake. Here, you'll find the locations of small and large cabins, trails, wooded areas, Jason's cave hideout and, of course, the infamous Crystal Lake itself. This screen is also where you select the camp counselor you intend to play - each stationed at his or her own cabin. By strategically placing Idiot Teen 1 in one area of the campground and Idiot Teen 2, 3 and so on in other separate places, you can cover as much of the campground as possible (and get to the kids quickly when Jason finds them - more on this later).

It's not apparent or mentioned in the instruction manual, but each of the six counselors is different from one another in areas of running speed, endurance and offensive power. For example, counselors Laura and George are the fastest runners and, thus, can move from one area of the camp to another in less time On the other hand, Mark, though a slowpoke, is better able to withstand Jason's usually fatal attacks.

Once you've selected the counselor you want to be, the game screen switches over to a side view of your character standing in front of the cabin he or she was just in. Moving the controller right or left makes your video teenager walk along the trail in the appropriate direction. To stop you, zombies rise out of the trail path and attack. These "dead heads" can be easily done in by throwing rocks; or avoid them entirely by leaping over them. Other creeps out to drain your life energy include wolves and crows.

Entering the cave or wooded areas can be hazardous if you don't know your way around. These places are confusing mazes, but finding your way through them is necessary to defeat Jason. In the cave, an arsenal of weapons is hidden, which you must retrieve and use on Jason. But these items are guarded by bats and even the head of Jason's dead mom. Like real-life mothers, being cross with her can spell out your own doom.

And then there's Jason himself - what an annoying pest he can be. An alarm sounds and an indicator flashes to warn you when the happy hacker is attacking one of your counselor pals or the children hidden away at the shore of Crystal Lake. When this happens, better stop whatever you're doing and come to their rescue. If you don't, Jason will "defeat" them in no time (as the instruction manual prefers to ambiguously describe his executions).

Those who've watched the movies and claimed that they (if they were the victims on screen) would've never done "this or that" but "something else instead", when yet another teen got brutally eliminated by Jason, now have their chance to prove themselves on the Nintendo, courtesy of LJN. Unless Jason takes a vacation and passes up his ninth movie, be warned, potential idiot teenagers: Ol' Hockey Mask is just as brutal in his first outing on the game screen.

Download Friday the 13th (NES, 1989)


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • P-200, 32 MB RAM

Game Reviews

  • Type: Action/Adv
  • Difficulty: Avg.

Jason, that unstoppable killing machine that thrives on teenage bodies, makes his Nintendo debut in this action/adventure contest from LJN.

As a camp counselor you must protect the little kiddies wandering about while fending off the attacks of old Mr. Hockey Mask himself. Gather up all of the children and make your way out of Camp Crystal Lake before it's too late - or you may find yourself facing Jason one-on-one!

People says:


Friday the 13th could have been an excellent game, with blood spurting and knives slashing. What we get instead is another boring Goonies II rip-off that is just plain dull. The graphics are sub-standard and the whole game is slow and tedious to play. This game could turn even Jason's stomach.


A very poor game that displays little of what an action/adventure game should contain. The action portions of play are sparse, the adventure offers little challenge, and the whole thing is topped off with graphics that are just plain bad. Friday the 13th is not very enjoyable at all.


They've got to be kidding. The graphics are sub-par and the game play is average at best. There needs to be more substance for a game like this to succeed. None of the game elements (the action, the quest, etc.) deliver any real punch.


Friday the 13th's game play is just awful. The graphics are plain and you don't need to apply any strategy to beat the game. Just wear down Jason and, in the process, wear yourself down. A real loser.

Snapshots and Media

NES/Famicom/Dendy Screenshots