The Simpsons: Bart's Nightmare

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a game by Sculptured Software
Genres: Action, Educational/Kids, Platformer
Platforms: Sega GenesisGenesis, SNESSNES
Editor Rating: 6.1/10, based on 8 reviews
User Rating: 6.7/10 - 6 votes
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See also: The Simpsons Games

Our semi-studious, spike-headed bad boy, Bart Simpson, is a few decimal points away from flunking the fourth grade. He's got one last chance to pass — a homework assignment. Resigned to his fate, Bart grabs a pencil and calculator and promptly... falls asleep!

In his dreams, something strange and unexpected happens. His homework papers blow out the window. Bart chases them and finds himself in a wacked-out version of Springfield, complete with floating Lisa Simpson fairies, mobile mailboxes, and walking TVs. Aye carumba, it's a nightmare -- Bart's Nightmare!

Mind Games

Bart's Nightmare is Acclaim's first Simpsons foray on the Super NES, and this is good news for Simpsons fans everywhere. The 16-bit processing power provides excellent cartoon-style animation and cool music. However, the game is not a dream come true. The game play is fun in places, average in others, and sometimes completely frustrating.

The bad dream begins in Windy World, a surreal, side-view Springfield. The action here is confusing. Bart must avoid figments of his overactive imagination, including Jebediah Springfield Statue heads, Otto-man's school bus, and Blinkie the three-eyed fish. From here, Bart must catch his wind-scattered homework papers to transport into any of five nightmare sub-levels called Other Worldly Worlds. If he beats a sub-level, he keeps his homework. But win or lose, he returns to Windy World until he retrieves all his papers.

Doin' the Bartman

The best World is "Bartman". This is a high-flying shoot-em-up sequence. However, it's slightly marred by slowdown and real sharpshooters should find it easy to beat. With his Bartsuit and slingshot, Bart blasts off into the clouds above Springfield to face old TV show foes-turned-bosses, including the mean-spirited twins Sherri and Terri, Barney Grumble and his belching pink elephant, and nuclear power plant owner Monty Burns.

ProTip: Pop Krusty balloons to earn Bart 1-ups.

Big Lizard, Small City

"Bartzilla" is a two-part World where Bart transforms into into a half-kid, half-Godzilla, city-crunching lizard. In the first part of the level, he stomps side-view across Springfield and nails incoming jets, choppers, and tanks with eye beams and bad breath. The control here is limited -- all Bart can do is fire and stop moving forward. In the second Bartzilla section, Bart's shrunk from giganto to just really big. He climbs a vertically-scrolling skyscraper. At the top, he tries to electrify Homer Kong.

  • When you see a jet fighter cruise into the foreground, press X to fire an eye beam and ground it as it circles. Bartzilla is a creative monsterpiece. The slick graphics and animation are some of the best ever on the SNES. However, the areas are short and fairly easy.
  • Wait for Homer Kong to throw a punch. Then, scale up the safe side of the skyscraper and turn on the juice. Bart Under the Microscope

In "Bart's Bloodstream", Bart shrinks to microscopic proportions for a plasma plunge. Bart's blood is contaminated by viruses, so he blows them away with a pump gun a la Dig Dug. As he swims, Bart must touch Smilin' Joe Fission several times to release his homework. The gurgling underwater sounds are great, but the visuals are average. The game play is simplistic swimming and pumping.

Viruses slow you down. Concentrate on Joe Fission.

A Game of Cat and Mouse

In "Itchy and Scratchy," Bart steps into his favorite afternoon 'toon for a side- view, eight-room romp. Itchy and Scratchy incinerate Simpson with their trademark "toys" -- bazookas, flame throwers, and giant carving knives. Bart battles back with dart guns, fire extinguishers, and mallets. The frenetic graphics are superb, and the run-and- splat action is good and tough.

Stand on the far-left kitchen countertop in Level 1, Room 4 of Itchy & Scratchy. Wait for Itchy to chuck a carving knife, and then flatten him with your mallet.

Indiana Simpson

Bart whips into adventure in "The Temple of Maggie," an Indy-style death walk across a bridge of rickety stepping stones. Bart hops from block to block and avoids or whips pesky blue demons, Maggie's pacifier missiles, and a lava pit. The control is precise, but judging each step is a demanding challenge. The background and color shadings here are terrific. The sounds are haunting, but sparse.

Night Sweats

The title, "Bart's Nightmare", is an accurate depiction of this game's challenge level. The sub-levels range in difficulty, but beating them all without dying in the Windy World is a tall order for a short kid. If Bart gets hit in the Windy World too many times, he wakes up and gets an "F" with no way to continue. That "F" soon stands for "Frustration" as you're repeatedly forced to replay from the beginning.

A Simpsons Summary

At its best, Bart's Nightmare is an outstanding tribute to Simpsons creator Matt Groening, and the music and sounds are snappy. However, the game is too schizophrenic and repetitive for its own good. The Other Worldly Worlds win for concept, but lack of depth place them in the middle of the pack. You'll want to check out this game just to see Bartzilla stomp a few buildings, or to see Itchy and Scratchy's violent antics. If you're thinking long-term investment, sleep on it.

Download The Simpsons: Bart's Nightmare


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • Game modes: Single game mode

Player controls:

  • Up, Down, Left, Right - Arrow keys
  • Start - Enter (Pause, Menu select, Skip intro, Inventory)
  • "A" Gamepad button - Ctrl (usually Jump or Change weapon)
  • "B" button - Space (Jump, Fire, Menu select)
  • "C" button - Left Shift (Item select)

Use the F12 key to toggle mouse capture / release when using the mouse as a controller.


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • Pentium II (or equivalent) 266MHz (500MHz recommended), RAM: 64MB (128MB recommended), DirectX v8.0a or later must be installed

Game Reviews


Battle the mighty Homer Kong in the game Game Players called "An SNES Dream Come True"! Enter the world of Itchy and Scratchy in Entertainment Weekly's #1 rated SNES video game! Vanquish vile villains as Bartman in one of Video Games and Computer Entertainment staffs "favorite games!" Check out the amazing eye-popping graphics, Bart's real digitized voice, dazzling action and game play that'll keep you up all night!

Yikes! There's more Bart on the game boy!

Oh no! Bart and Lisa are trapped in the dreaded Camp Deadly! Ironfist Burns will be happy to make their stay a very long one! Help Bart and Lisa escape the clutches of this evil dictatortype dude. Have food fights, climb trees, play capture the flag (against the whole camp), and take on the camp bullys! The entire camp (except Lisa) is after you, so take 'em on and cowabunga, dude!

Bart's in deep, deep trouble! To find his homework he has to outwit the bazooka-firing Itchy and Scratchy, battle the mighty Homer Kong, escape the dreaded Momthra, and more! Help him if you dare...but hurry! The fire-breathing, laser-firing Bartzilla is coming... and this dream has nightmare written all over it!!!

The one-and-only Bartholomew J. Simpson is back on Sega screens. If you think you've seen his latest adventure before, it's because you have. Bart's Nightmare by Acclaim for the Genesis is an almost identical rerun of the SNES version. It features the same Groening- inspired graphics, weird music, and sloppy game play.

Sleep Walkin' in Springfield

Bart's always teetered on the brink of academic disaster, and this time his worst fears may come true. As a last chance to pass the fourth grade, Bart must turn in his homework, but he falls asleep while working on an assignment. In his dreams, Bart's eight homework papers blow out the window. Bart must retrieve them all, or suffer the humiliation of a big fat F!

Bart's Nightmare takes him through six gorgeously illustrated scenes, with action that's completely different in each area. The game play is fun and funny at times (especially in Bartzilla's building- climbing area), but jumping around from one section to another grows somewhat tedious. The sounds and strange music strains have personality, but there's not enough audio variety.

Bart begins his homework search by strolling the streets of Springfield. Armed with bubble gum and watermelon seeds, the boy must avoid the school bully Jimbo, Principal Skinner, and other threatening figments of his overactive imagination.

If Bart can find a page of his homework while in Springfield, he will be transported to one of five Other Wordly Worlds, where he must face his worst nightmares. Bart dino-sizes himself as Bartzilla and fries buildings, Momthra, and Homer Kong. Bartman then flies high on a fun, little side-scrolling airborne shootout against Red Baron Burns and his crew. Bart then makes like Indiana Simpson and hops his way over pits of fire in The Temple of Maggie. In Itchy & Scratchy, you'll find a game within a game -- Bart gets to slug out against his favorite cat and mouse 'toon team. Finally, Bart's Bloodstream puts Bart under the microscope as S he tries to dear his blood of nasty viruses. The game play is full of sizzle, but its lack of depth in the action leaves you hungry for substance.


  • In Bartman, Apu's got something to cure what's ailin' you.
  • Smash Marge's eyeballs for 1-ups in Itchy & Seratchy.

Get a Grip on Yourself, Man

The controls in this game deserve an impassioned "Dohf!" 99.9% of all other Genesis games place the Jump command on Button C and the Fire commands on the other buttons. For some unfathomable reason Bart's Nightmare completely throws you off kilter by using Button A to Jump. Overall, the controls are moderately responsive, but those misaligned buttons are a real hassle.

Another Bart bother is its lack of continues, which means you must start the game over if you run out of Zs (you wake up, and lose). This repetitive Nightmare never seems to end.

To form a longer-than- usual Z meter, lose all your Zs, then catch two "anchor" Zs (one at each end of the screen).

Bart Barely Makes the Grade

Like young Simpson himself, this game passes final examination. But, with no continues, weak controls, and semi-fun game play, this one won't be graduating magna cum laude any time soon.

In this all new, action/adventure game fa the SNES, bad boy Bart's dozed off while he's supposed to be doing his homework The Bartster dreams that his homework floats out the window. To collect the lost pages, Bart has to journey through eight different worlds, where all kinds of wacky, weird happenings make Bart's dream a nightmare! For example, in the Windy World, Bart battles strange enemies with the help of Lisa Fairies, chewing gum, and root beer burps! Ultra cool, 16-bit graphics give the game a just-like-TV feel. Cowabunga dude!

The Simpsons: Bart's Nightmare - Bart has to stay up late and write a paper for class tomorrow. For once, he is determined to get a good mark. However, very quickly, he falls asleep. Nightmare after nightmare haunt his subconscious, and it is up to you to get over each one, so that Bart will eventually wake up. From such dreams as being in an episode of Itchy & Scratchy to swimming through his own bloodstream, this platformer offers a nice challenge through its many diverse levels.

its a good game i tank this game is scry because the Nightmare part but when i chry it it mint dont be screy

Snapshots and Media

Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Screenshots

SNES/Super Nintendo/Super Famicom Screenshots

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    Justin Garcia CoolDuelist said on Forum:

    Bart finally did his, except he fell asleep and the pages he wrote flew out the window, because he left the fan on. Now he has to get them back, of course this is a nightmare, but the more pages you get in the nightmare, the more he wrote in real life and gets a higher grade. The only is it's kinda hard to get into the page. This game is recommended by me, JGCD.