The Smurfs Nightmare
|Editor Rating:||6/10, based on 2 reviews|
|User Rating:||6.0/10 - 1 vote|
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Not only is Infogrames'The Smurfs' Nightmare one of the first third-party GB Color games, it's also one of the first to support the GBC's Dedicated Mode. This means it's designed to take advantage of most, if not all of the GB Color's new features, and it won't run on any previously released Game Boy system. At this point the game itself seems "OK" (it's a basic platform game), but the graphics are gorgeous. If this is any sign of what's to come with the Game Boy Color, we're all in for a treat.
The Smurfs' Nightmare features 16 stages of platform action over six levels, each with puzzles, hidden secrets and lots of weird enemies. As Hefty Smurf, your goal is to travel through each world in an effort to free your fellow Smurfs from a sleeping spell cast on them by the wicked Gargamel. Generic? Of course. But still, for a portable game that's aimed at a younger crowd, it definitely could've been worse. There are two difficulty levels (Easy and Hard), and a password save system, too. (Why not institute a save feature? Passwords are so 1989...) The Smurfs' Nightmare is nearing completion (the version we played seemed finished), and will be available this winter.
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So often games that come to the Game Boy are simplistic and annoying. They seem like games little kids will enjoy more than serious gamers would. But really these games are just pointless excuses for real games. Well, although The Smurfs' Nightmare isn't the worst game on the Game Boy Color, it doesn't provide the kind of depth that's expected from a halfway decent title--no matter the system, thus putting it right on the imaginary line between average games and crummy pointless games. Which way is it leaning? WelL.yeah, the graphics are spectacular for the Game Boy-extremely colorful and all. Plus that parallax scrolling rocks. But being 1999, these things are unimpressive. What we need is some solid gameplay, which The Smurfs' Nightmare lacks. You go through a level, collect some stuff, look for some other stuff, avoid enemies and jump around all blue and happy-like. But if you die, you go on back to the beginning of the level without anything. If the levels had interesting design, they may not have been so boring. In addition, most "enemies" (90 percent of the time they're silly things like hot dogs and little smiling flames) are done away with by simply jumping on them. The challenge comes in the form of mastering control on a two-inch screen-which is just frustrating. Overall, I can't see a good reason to play this one seriously. It's for the younger crowd at best.
Kids will like (his game. As will Smurf fanatics (the few who are left, anyway). But what about grown up gamers who don't maintain a menagerie of blueskinned figurines? Well. The Smurfs' Nightmare is fun, in an old-school Mickey's Castle of lllusion-kinda way. It certainly shows how much better the Game Boy Color is at side-scrollers than the GB's past blur-ry-screened models. With lots of levels and solid control. this game is a mindless diversion.
I like platform games and I used to watch a lot of The Smurfs, but there's a lot that could've been done to make this a smurfier game First off. checkpoints. Levels are nice and big. but if you die, you have to start all over. Second, the ability to run. Lastly, since the levels are in close quarters it would have also been good to have the option of looking down so you can see what's below instead of risking death. Still, this is too smurfin' frustrating to be enjoyable.
I thought playing a game featuring the Smurfs would be stupid. Turns out it's OK. The graphics are sharp and attractive. The nightmare dream is an interesting way to present the levels as well. In reality the scenarios aren't nightmarish--just mildly challenging in a childlike way. In fact, the whole game is just a mindless side-scroller, featuring a limited amount of actions and variables. It's solid enough to keep the young kids challenged for a haul though.