Bart vs the World review –

Developer: Imagineering   Publisher: Acclaim    Release: 12/91   Genre: Action

They sure didn’t waste any time with that license did they? Once Acclaim/LJN got a hold of the Simpsons license the stream of games was sure to follow. But I don’t think anyone could have predicted it would be so fast. Both Bart vs. the Space Mutants and this adventure, Bart vs. the World were released in 1991. Honestly I don’t think anyone would complain if the games were actually good but that simply isn’t the case. Bart vs. the World suffers from the exact same problems as his first adventure only this time the game does not have an enjoyable first level to prop it up. With an idiotic control scheme this is one licensed title best avoided.

Bart wins a contest on the Krusty the Clown show for an all around the world Scavenger Hunt for Krusty memorabilia. However the contest is a front by Mr. Burns in an effort to repay the Simpsons family for all of the trouble they’ve caused him. But the job is too much for a feeble old man so Burns enlists his many distant relatives to dispatch Bart and company once and for all.

Bart vs. the World does not aspire to be anything more than a straight side scrolling platformer this time around. However the structure of the game has changed. Each country has two levels with a boss battle to cap it off plus optional mini-games for extra lives. There are numerous power-ups such as firecrackers for offense and the head of Jebediah Springfield for invincibility. For long time fans of the show picking up a cape will transform you into Bartman, granting the gift of flight. Flying is important as it will allow you to comb every inch of the levels for the most important items, the Krusty branded souvenirs. These award a mass of points at the end of each country and also unlocks the best ending and an extra level.

As you can guess from that description there is a heavier emphasis on platforming than the prior game. Unfortunately it is just as dreadful. The same setup of both run and jump tied to the A button carries over. Meanwhile the B button sees little use as enemies are sparse. Any momentum you build is usually lost once you try to jump. The way the levels are laid out (the North Pole for example) you’ll be tasked with executing multiple platforms in rapid succession but lack the room to build up speed to do so.  Bart also slides around rather than coming to a complete stop when you want. To further exacerbate the myriad list of problems the collision detection is spotty. Prepare to fall through many a visible platform due to missing the alleged “sweet” spot.

Seeing how quickly this came after the first game means it was probably in production around the same time. This means the developers more than likely did not see the negative feedback Bart vs the Space Mutants received. Or at least that’s what I want to believe. If the controls were sensible like nearly every other god damn platformer on the NES the game would at least be tolerable. The sad thing is the bad controls would return a third time the following year!

Outside of the platforming levels the game’s only bright spot would be the mini-games, which is pretty sad. Simpsons trivia will at least bring up fond memories of the show. They are simple enough that even I, who hasn’t watched the show in years, can guess my way through. Everyone enjoys a good sliding puzzle and you can figure out the images relatively quickly. The rest are fairly mundane, such as the shell game, card matching, and slot machine. They all seem like low brow attempts to inject more aspects of the Simpsons into what is otherwise a generic platformer but it simply doesn’t work and comes across as halfhearted.

In Closing

Like the previous game Bart vs. the World is simply not worth your time regardless of how interesting the premise.  Acclaim was 0-2 with the license at this point and unfortunately that record would not improve any time soon.

Post Author: lordmrw

I’m just a dude who has been playing video games for over 30 years and want to share my extensive knowledge with the masses.

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