Genre: Platformer Developer: Tengen Publisher: Tengen Players: 1 Released: 1993
Tengen, A subsidiary of Atari games, was never known from making very good games. While they had some successful games on the NES, They never really got too far. After Sonic‘s debut, many companies thought that the best way to sales was to make their own platform mascot game. That led to many subpar titles, such as Aero the Acro-Bat and Zool. Where does Awesome Possum stand? Well…. don’t get your hopes up.
The game’s story, like other platformers, is fairly idiotic. You, playing the possum, most stop “Dr. Machino” from destroying the environment. Again, stories did not make these games, good gameplay did, which is an area in where this game fails as immensely as Aero did.
You do all this by jumping on top of the evil robot cohorts and running all the way to the end of the level, while avoiding “dangerous traps,” such as spike pits, and small multicolored jets. What I found odd was when the robots were sawing trees, they never fully “sawed” the trees down, they would just sit in the tree and “saw” forever. I guess it takes a while to saw a tree down. Also, most of the robots on the ground just swung their chainsaws and were not doing much more than that. Mr. Machino needs some better workers I guess, or maybe it’s a union thing. Who knows?
You start the game by trying to save the rain forest from Dr. Machino’s evil grasp, but the first thing you will notice are the horrendously bad controls. Jumping in this game, for example, is a pain because there’s no precision. Your character will flim and flay all over the screen before you regain control. Jumping on the evil robots is made even harder because the collision detection is way off. You think you hit the robot but then your character yelps in pain, and trust me, you will hear this possum yelp quite a bit. Then again, it doesn’t matter so much, because the game gives you so much health. It seems the developers could not fix the bad collision detection, so they figured that the extra health would compensate. Although they also placed health packs all over each level to make sure you stay alive, it does not work. Also, the gameplay gets very repetitive, as jumping on evil robots is fun for a little while, but soon loses its luster. I also found it quite odd that you don’t have to destroy any of the robots on any given stage; all you have to do is reach the end. It’s basically a matter of running and randomly pushing the jump button, and that’s it. Boss fights are also a boring affair and are nothing to really incite the player to keep going.
There are bonus questions after every level about the environment, simple things such as “If you recycled one newspaper, how many trees would you save?” They don’t add much, since all the player gets are some extra bonus points. The player can also collect trash to gain bonus points, as well as extra icons that are not explained at all in the game. You can fly on a giant bee…. why is not explained. Nevertheless, it’s possible.
The sound and music are another area where this game fails; the developers thought it would be a great idea to put in voices for the characters and the intro. Like most of the other things in the game, it was a bad idea. You will be running for the mute button after hearing the possum say, “I’m cool!” every ten seconds; it really starts to get on your nerves. The music is also repetitious and not well done at all.
If the subject content were not all that interesting to begin with, the gameplay, controls, and music helped bury this game deeply into the ground. Awesome Possum should have just been boycotted to prevent Tengen from making the game. It would have saved a lot of plastic.
SCORE: 2 out of 10