If the idea of chasing a bunch of monsters all over the country to get your band to Woodstock on time sounds like fun, the geniuses at 7th Level have got a great CD-ROM interactive adventure for you.
"Arcade America" challenges even the toughest platform-style gamer's skills ("Donkey Kong Country," "Sonic the Hedgehog," etc.), with more than 60 incredibly detailed screens, 23 characters and - hang on here - lots of grunting, jumping and belly bucking.You're the game's hero, Joey, a cute little guy with a Twinkie-filled gut sticking out in front, and, well, let's just say a refrigerator repairman-esque derriere sticking out in the back, who has to make it to New York from California in time to perform with his band.
At the beginning of the game, Joey is sound asleep at home as his pet monsters are trying every means possible to wake him up. Unfortunately, the monsters blow up the house in a ridiculous attempt, and an earthquake is triggered by the explosion, dropping California into the ocean and blasting the monster band members to 10 different cities and tourist venues across the nation.
Thus Joey's mission begins, taking him from Alcatraz to the Grand Canyon, to New Orleans and New York, as he runs, jumps and drives to avoid every possibly conceived obstacle - all the while never stopping to think about pulling up his pants. With only his sling shot and deftly accurate belly bounce to assist him, Joey must defeat the villains in each location, or risk losing his highly coveted sponge cake.
And all the while, Joey is wise-cracking his way through the game, sounding like a mix between an intensely annoying Bobcat Goldthwait and Cheech Marin, with a few body moves Curly "Three Stooges" Howard would be proud of.
The game itself delivers fantastic realism, 40 levels of difficulty and more than 10,000 cells of hand-drawn, digitally inked and painted animation. The exhaustive and detailed production makes platform-style games like "Sonic the Hedgehog," "Donkey Kong Country" or "Earthworm Jim" look like "Pong."
Besides that, this game is funny. Even though this reviewer didn't quite make it to Woodstock (yet), there were times I thought I would bust a gut from the humor. C'mon, we're taking about a game that lists its three skill levels as Mondo Weenie, Tough Guy and Mondo Tough Guy.
"Arcade America's" suggested retail price is $39.99. It supports Windows 95 and 3.1.
The game is rated Teen 13+ to adults for mild, animated violence and comic mischief, and although the humor isn't vulgar, it's sophomoric enough that little kids should avoid it.
Other 7th Level products include "Battle Beast," "Take Your Best Shot," "Monty Python's Complete Waste of Time," "Tune-Land" starring Howie Mandel, "G-NOME" and "The Universe According to Virgil."
- IBM, Tandy or compatible 486 33MHz or greater
- 8 MB RAM
- Windows running in 256 colors or greater
- Double-speed CD-ROM drive
- MPC-compatible sound card and amplified speakers
- MS-DOS 3.3 with Windows 3.1, or Windows 95
- 33 MHZ. 68LC040 or greater processor, including Power Macintosh
- Apple System Software version 7.1 or greater
- 8 MB or more of RAM with 4 MB or more of application RAM
- 256 color display
- CD-ROM drive