Crazy Gaming: Cool World

Doing chores in a video game, what's not to like?
November 04, 2010

Cool World (1992)

Game System: Super Nintendo

Developer: Ocean

When it came to the late 80's LJN started to make more bang for their buck with video games based on movies. And as the 90's rolled around, a few other game companies began to leech from this trend and made some games of their own. Lawnmower Man, The Mask, and Die Hard Trilogy are prime examples. Cool World didn't do well for the critics, nor the audience, but it was watchable in some areas, despite the lack of plot strewn in the film. The SNES game though, trashed some of the more adult elements of the film.

Mode 7 effects, you never let us down!

So as the game starts, you play as Jack Deebs, the artist schmuck who created Cool World and its inhabitants, and he's thrown into the cartoon landscape, which would be about seven minutes into the film.

Throughout the game, you'll be collecting items such as car keys to get to designated areas and advance the game, and in your way are doodles, some you can take out with your fists, which are cartoon hands, and others you can't. And by offending a doodle that's not meant to get hurt, you're lectured by Cool World's detective, Frank Harris to not commit any crimes, and you'll be charged with a fee to pay for doing so. You can also use your cartoon hands to climb up certain buildings and gather nickels, and find other hidden items strewn about.

So after collecting some nickels and items required to get into some of the locales, you'll be going to Holli's dance club, which you need five, count 'em, five nickels to get in. Your objective in this part is, and I can't believe I'm saying this, is to get Holli a soda, and deliver it to her without breaking the glass. I just want to point out, there's plenty of irrelevant parts of this game that don't happen in the movie, but in a way to try to lengthen the game's time to play through.

Whee! A bumper car to drive with more freedom!
After you meet up with Holli, she says that she'll meet you at "her place" a.k.a. the top of a skyscraper. But that's not enough, she says she wants you to buy her a "gift" before you can get intimate with her. So as you find a pair of car keys, you're off and driving through a speedy platform segment where the pitfalls are frequent and the obstacle placement is frustratingly atrocious. The more your car is damaged, the more it's likely that you'll die.

Once that mess of a game level is over, you're in Candy Land, and you have to find pieces of candy randomly placed in the area and go in the Malt Shop to get Holli's "Gift". Ah well, the game's nearly over at this point, only to lead to the car driving level again!

Which leads me to the dreaded game over sign. It's just a bunch of cartoons from the film that barely had any screen time at all, let alone they probably didn't spark any interest to the viewers.

As you climb up to Holli's place, Nails begins to follow you, but he doesn't really do anything. For those who haven't seen the movie, Jack Deebs has sex with Holli to change her into a real human. However in the game, it's censored and instead they kiss for about one whole minute... While umm.... Nails just watches them with a straight face. Just like in the movie, this leads Holli in going into the real world.

And after you pick up a Pen and head back to Candy Land to get the Spike, you're taken back into the real world and into Las Vegas with the last objective to take the Spike to "Ocean Hotel". Ha, nice try plastering your name on building placement, game developer.

The top of the tower is also a gauntlet of bosses that you have to deal with before making it to the end. One will throw "instant death" bombs, while another will be sitting on a pile of blocks that he's sitting on that you'll need to knock off so he falls. A few minutes of dodging and hitting later, you make it to Holli, who shoots doodles out of a umm.... Canon, I guess? And as you make it over to her, you plant the spike in the same canon that she shot the doodles out of. Once that's said and done, the game is finished, anti-climactically.

And the funny thing is, this game can be beaten within at least 40 minutes if you're ace enough to beat those car levels near flawlessly. It's that short. Also the game does half of the job of clearing up of what's going on with the game. In the movie, the spike is barely mentioned, so the ending left me speechless, in a baffled way. There's not much dialogue in this game either to sort the plot out, mostly doodles requesting certain items for permission to get into other places, while others are complete asswipes and force you to give up your nickels if you come in contact with them.

Ugh. Well that's Cool World. A game based on a black sheep box office film, and a frustrating game to boot.



Coming up: He's limbless, he flies with his hair, he's a hero!
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