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Tom & Jerry: Frantic Antics

Genre: Platformer Developer: Beam Software Publisher: Hi-Tech Expressions Players: 1-2 Released: 1993

When I was just a boy, my grandma and I would always watch Tom & Jerry. Even now I enjoy watching it every so often. I remember around 1991, a Tom and Jerry movie was announced, and I (being quite young), couldn’t have been happier. The movie came out, and I was disappointed with it entirely, but that didn’t stop Majesco for making a horribly below average game off of the licence.

The predictable story from the movie makes its uninvited way into the game. Tom and Jerry’s new friend Robyn (a human) learns that her father is still alive and tries to go to Tibet to find him, but her Auntie Figg won’t let her get away! Right away things begin to go downhill, starting with the graphics, which are nicely detailed and fit with the movie, but little more. The strange stances of Tom and Jerry themselves seem too robotic, and stiff, lacking any decent animation. The enemies range from rodents and cats to fat people, who also look robotic and have a nasty tendency to respawn right behind you. The level design is poor at best, and mind numbing at worst, so all 8 levels look like a jumbled mess.

Music is decent enough, and suits the platformy style of  the game, but the sound is so terrible that I cannot find words for it. The game also has the most awkward, loud, and annoying falling sound I have ever heard, It sounds kind of like a charged up beam from a Sonic game in REVERSE.

Well, “how’s the gameplay” you ask? Well, you do like frustrating and cheap gameplay right? Then you will love Tom & Jerry. You have to collect fish or cheese for health, and footballs and trash lids for projectile weapons. This game control is quite awful, and this is most apparent when you have to jump. Leaping from one area to the next is WAY too difficult for children to enjoy. Something else that takes away from whatever enjoyment could be derived from this game is that you have to restart the entire level if you die. This is not going to endure many younger players and will likely frustrate older gamers enough to cause them to lose interest entirely. The hit detection is also annoying, as you don’t flash after getting hit, so enemies can combo you to death (there are even one-hit kills)!

For some reason, I still managed to enjoy this game, as it has a charm to it that I just can’t understand. The two-player cooperative mode is entertaining enough to make it worth taking a look. Nomad owners should be happy to know, that you can take mediocrity on the go, as blur is minimal! Although it’s not that easy to find, it’s cheap on ebay and other places, so if you like Tom & Jerry why not pick this game up. If not, the sun will still shine tomorrow.

SCORE: 6 out of 10

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