Popeye: Rush for Spinach

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a game by Namco Ltd.
Genre: Racing
Platform: GBA
Editor Rating: 7/10, based on 1 review
User Rating: 8.0/10 - 9 votes
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See also: Popeye Games
Popeye: Rush for Spinach
Popeye: Rush for Spinach
Popeye: Rush for Spinach

Popeye has had a pretty hard time making an impact outside of the comic and cartoon worlds. The 1980’s Robin Williams movie received generally favourable reviews sure – but nobody talks about it nowadays. Another area of difficulty for everybody’s favourite sailorman was the world of video games. After being unfortunately snubbed for what would eventually become Donkey Kong, Popeye tried his hand at a number of video games throughout the late 80’s and early 90’s, but none of his outings were really a roaring success. One of the last efforts made with the IP was Magic Pockets’ 2005 Gameboy Advance title – Popeye: Rush for Spinach.

A mad dash

It’s a real shame that Rush for Spinach never really got the attention that it deserved. Effectively a 2D take on Mad Dash Racing with a Popeye license, the game plays as a platforming racer, with a mix of on-foot and vehicular segments. There’s a fair bit of variety in the races, and some high-difficulty too. Rush for Spinach is not an easy game, but it’s fun for all the right reasons.

Spinach shortage

The plot of Rush for Spinach is a strange one for sure. The evil Sea Hag has stolen the world’s supply of the leafy green, and it’s up to Popeye, Olive Oyl, Wimpy and Bluto to reclaim it. This takes them across a variety of different locations – all whilst racing each other. It’s not the easiest to understand plot – but I’m a firm believer in gameplay over story anyway. There’s a tonne of game modes avalilable, from standard quick rush (race), to an adventure mode, a challenge mode, and more.

What’s the rush?

Gameplay is the real draw here, and the reason that Metal Jesus is probably eyeing it up for a future hidden gem video. You race through courses that have a lot of steeps and stoops, as well as vehicle segments in cars and on skateboards. There are plenty of alternate paths and obstacles to avoid, and all round each race is quite a varied experience due to all this packed-in content. Unfortunately, it’s not all plain sailing. You can’t really see that far ahead of your character, so you’ll often find yourself coming to a halt by walking into an obstacle or falling down a hole.

This is a real negative for a racing game where momentum is everything, and if you’re stopped by an obstacle, good luck catching up – Rush for Spinach is unforgivingly difficult – and it’s highly unlikely you’ll catch up after making a mistake.


Despite receiving negative reviews at the time of release, Popeye: Rush for Spinach is a lot of fun. It’s a game with a lot of character and charm, and quite a unique experience on the platform. It isn’t necessarily a must-play or a hidden gem, but you’ll probably have a few hours of fun with it if you give it a chance.


  • Varied mechanics.
  • Lots of game modes and content.


  • Unforgiving difficulty.
  • Hard to see what’s coming up.

Download Popeye: Rush for Spinach


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Snapshots and Media

GBA Screenshots

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