The Simpsons: Bart & the Beanstalk
America's favorite dysfunctional family takes a leap back in time for a satiric retelling of a classic fairy tale. Fans of the show, though, will be disappointed.
Fee Fi Homer Hum
Bart and the Beanstalk is a six-level, side-scrolling action/ad-venture with a Simpsons touch. The very poor Simpson family sends their son Bart into town to exchange the family cow for some food. Along comes Monty the Miser who wants to give Bart some magic beans for the cow. When Bart refuses, Monty throws in a slingshot, and before you can say "Don't have a cow, man," Bart returns home with the beans. The rest is a tale about a boy, a beanstalk, and a big brute of a giant.
As Bart, armed with only your trusty Slingshot, you travel up the Beanstalk, across the Clouds, and into the Castle of Homer the Huge. Along the way, you pick up trusty giantslaying items like Paper Airplanes, Firecrackers, and Golden Eggs. You can also regain strength by picking up Magic Coins, and you must have a certain number of coins to exit the level.
Why the artillery, man? Because the Beanstalk and the surrounding areas will throw, bees, stalk weevils, flying bugs, and more at you. Plus, you have to reckon with a boss at the end of each level, and that could be anyone from the Cloud Boss to Homer the Huge.
The graphics in Bart and the Beanstalk are grainy and not very detailed. Bart is a tiny sprite who takes up less than a quarter of the screen, and the backgrounds lack any real detail. The Beanstalk just kind of hangs there.
The music and sounds in the game don't fare any better. There are no discernible Simpson tunes, and the sound effects are minimal. Since Bart is full of his own brand-name witticisms, you'd expert to hear one of them from time to time.
All Stalk, No Action
It's hard to figure out where the fun went in this humdrum title, since it's almost impossible to lose out with a naturally funny family like the Simpsons. Nevertheless, this drab game definitely lacks personality. There's a challenge here for those who want to sit through yet another simple side-scroller. Everyone else, though, might be better off trading in their magic beans for a cow.
- The regular slingshot doesn't reach all the way across the screen. You'll have to sneak up on enemies and hit them from behind.
- If you catch three Magic Coins in a row, some of your health will be restored. Plan your jumps carefully when you see three coins in a row.
- To knock off the Homer Spider Boss in the first stage, just stay in your comer, shoot, and jump over him when he gets near you. Remember that your slingshot doesn't reach all the way across the screen.
- Just to the left and below this ckMJd is an Invincibility Goose Egg. Use it to march past this missile and into the castle.
- Beware of the holes in the castle wall. Steam shoots out of them and knocks you off your perch.
- Beware of stationary light-colored clouds in this stage. They disappear after you jump on them.