Bonk’s Adventure for Turbo-Grafx 16
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  • The color palette is definitely sixteen bit, but they could have done a lot more with it
  • Heck, few people I knew even owned the system that the game was on, but the game itself is amazing, and well worth picking up and playing

    • by Goombasa

      all reviews
      It’s a pity that some consoles never caught on way back when in the days of the 16 bit machines. One such consoles was the Turbo GrafX 16, a machine that attempted to bring a lot of the most popular arcade games of the era into the home, and possessed a lot of games that probably would have been best left in Japan. But, the console did have a lot of gems that haven’t been seen in a long while, and one of these gems is Bonk’s Adventure, a game that showed us the head is used for much more than just thinking.

      Story: 6/10

      The story was made at a time when sweeping narratives were mostly left to RPG’s like the Final Fantasy series. Thus, the story is pretty simple. In fact, it’s even simpler than most other platformers of the 16 bit era. The year is 10,000 B.C. and Bonk has to go and stop the evil King Drool, who has kidnapped the beautiful dragon princess Za.

      Thus, it’s pretty much the same deal as Super Mario Bros, except in prehistoric times, before the

      invention of home plumbing. So it’s not terribly inventive, but it is funny as hell, taking a very stale idea that’s been used even BEFORE Mario’s time, and putting it in a time and place that you really don’t associate with that kind of plot. It’s stale, but still pretty nice.

      Gameplay: 8/10

      It’s kind of hard to describe how crazy this game is. Well, maybe not that hard. First, what is pretty standard about this game? Well, you have three hearts and each hit you take will drain a bit of those hearts. You can refill them by finding the occasional big heart, or by eating the fruits and veggies that appear all over the world.

      And that’s about it. Bonk can move through the land and jump from platform to platform, but how does he defend himself? With his big, cromagnon cranium of course! Every attack in this game involves his head. You can bash your head against creatures while on the ground and you can head drop onto them from the air. You can even hover for a limited time in the air ...

      • by rapidly spinning your head around after jumping.

        It’s a pretty inventive way to attack your enemies and it’s worth playing for the comic reaction alone. Even if it weren’t so funny, the controls feel fluent and solid, and it all works well within the context of the game.

        There are also some pretty neat tricks you can pull given the right circumstances. If Bonk swallows two pieces of meat, he becomes invincible for a brief amount of time, and even after eating only one, if he performs a head pound onto the ground, he causes an earthquake that freezes every enemy on the screen for a while. This can be pretty useful in stressful situations where there are a lot of enemies around.

        Graphics: 7/10

        They’re pretty good. They aren’t awe-inspiring, and they’re actually pretty plane. The color palette is definitely sixteen bit, but they could have done a lot more with it.

        But the characters are where its at. Every creature, every enemy, and of course Bonk himself, all look fantastic and the expressions that they make when attacked or when attacking are hilarious, I

        really mean it, they are laugh-out-loud funny. It’s great, and I highly recommend it.

        Sound and Music: 7/10

        The game sounds great, given that there’s only really music in the game. The sound effects are all wacky and exaggerated, but they don’t feel very unique at the point in time that the game came out. The music is what wins over the audio department. It’s just as wackey as the sound effects and it also has an up-beat quality that makes you smile when you hear it, but it also sounds primitive and actually fits the time period that the game is attempting to convey. It helps set the mood for a game that is set in a time that time forgot.

        Overall: 7/10

        It may not be a big-name game that everyone owned. Heck, few people I knew even owned the system that the game was on, but the game itself is amazing, and well worth picking up and playing. It’s fun, it’s wacky, it’s prehistoric. It’s a game that will entertain without fail, and whatever faults it has are very minor, and easy to overlook.

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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in August, 2009. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 28908794160831/k2311a089/8.9.09
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