To get things rolling on this little place of mine, I felt that it would be appropriate to take a look at what was possibly the most popular gaming genre of the 90’s: Character-based platformers!
In 1991, a game called Sonic the Hedgehog came out. Not only did it single handedly put the then somewhat-floundering Genesis ahead of the competition, but it also paved the way for many other platformers that aimed to cash in on it’s popularity.
Some were successful…
…and others, heck no.
But enough with the monologuing, it’s time we moved on to the topic of today’s review: the 1994 video game, Boogerman: A Pick and Flick Adventure.
Released in 1994, this relatively obscure title revolves around the escapades of the billionaire, Snotty Ragsdale as he farts and burps his way throughout Dimension X-Crement as the superhero Boogerman, seeking to reclaim the power source to a machine his friend Professor Stinkbaum has been working on by the dastardly Boogermeister..and yes, I did not make ANY of those names up. For you see, this game’s main selling point it’s that it’s gross… and that’s pretty much it. But, putting aside the tiresome gimmick, how does the rest of the game stack up? Not that great, unfortunately.
THE LOOKS – Okay, before I get into tearing this game apart, I might as well get into some of the things I like about it. The game’s graphics are actually very well done! The graphics are somewhat dark and grotesquely detailed, which perfectly fits the game’s tone. The characters also have very smooth and flowing animations, which gives it a much more “cartoonier” feeling than most of the other games in the Genesis’ library, only rivaled by Earthworm Jim and the two Toejam & Earl games. However, if there’s ONE problem I have with the graphics, it’s that sometimes they resort to having more visual gags than they should in the hopes of gaining even the slightest chuckle. For example, in the second world, The Pits, they would often have an ear with wax oozing out of it randomly pop up from time to time..like, seriously. Is that even necessary?
THE SOUND – Like the graphics, I had little to no problems with the sound. Each sound effect fits each character’s action well, such as when Boogerman would let out a slight burp, or when he would charge up and let out a powerful fart. The music was also fairly good. Not great, but good. Each level has a somewhat catchy beat to it, and while some might get on your nerves a bit such as Mucous Mountains, others tend to be rather memorable such as the first stage Flatuent Swamps or Boogerville. Other than that, the game’s sound is just fine.
Boogerman, doing battle against Revolta.
THE GAMEPLAY – Brace yourselves, because this is where the game gets bad. On concept, Boogerman aims to put a twist on what people would usually expect from a platformer…gross-out humor! However, in a somewhat ironic turn of events, they didn’t even bother to make the gameplay itself stand out from other platformers at the time! While the controls aren’t terrible per-se, they’re not exactly good either. It’s somewhat easy to slip up on even the simplest of jumps, and the somewhat floaty feeling does not help in the slightest. The level design doesn’t fare too much well either, with each world having about four stages, each one more tedious than the last and making the game feel MUCH longer than it should be. This is also not helped by the often random difficulty spikes, with enemies and bosses sometimes having unfair advantages over you with their faster and more unpredictable patterns compared to your rather limited farts, burps, and booger-slinging. The camera is also not very good either, as it sometimes focuses too much on Boogerman himself, often making most jumps feel like a leap of faith. The gameplay is pretty much your everyday cash-grab gimmicky platformer, all with the poor level design and problems you’d expect to come with it.
THE BOTTOM LINE – While Boogerman: A Pick and Flick Adventure may boast some very good graphics as well as a decent soundtrack, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s a mediocre platformer with uninteresting and often unfunny level designs and gimmicks, repetitive level design, and terminally unfunny humor. If you want a platformer with an emphasis on comedy that’s actually worthwhile, just check out the Earthworm Jim games. As for this one…well, I’d only recommend for the most hardcore of platformer fans out there.
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(P.S. The creators of this game actually launched a Kickstarter to make a reboot in 2013. No, seriously. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/boogerman20th/boogerman-20th-anniversary-the-video-game)