Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle


Review by Nathan Dunsmore



Graphics: 3

Sound: 1

Gameplay: 2

Overall: 1


If any developer is worthy of an “underdog” title, it’s most definitely THQ. Their early years on the developing scene gave way to some rather ugly licensed offerings. Since then THQ has bounced back with some solid offerings (Scooby Doo anyone?). During 1991 however, the thought of THQ delivering a quality title seemed merely wishful thinking. Not only is this video game adaption a disgrace of the beloved Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoon, but a wasted effort the NES could do without.

rockbull1nes.png (5382 bytes)The story line proceeds the entertainment of the game itself. One of Bullwinkle’s relatives kicks the bucket and now Bullwinkle and his faithful companion Rocky set out to find the relative’s mansion and collect the inheritance. Naturally, Rocky &Bullwinkle’s usual antagonists Boris and Natashia catch wind of the news and will stop at nothing to prevent Rocky and Bullwinkle from reaching there desired destination. Along the journey gamers will travel through some odd, yet uninteresting, levels (lumber mill? Yawn!) and put up with Boris and Natashia’s pesky antics.

Rocky & Bullwinkle was released on the NES nearly seven years after its debut and the graphics completely fail to show it. Crummy character animations and a hint of bland level design mocked up with a disgusting color palette generate this visual eyesore. The frame rate also gets a sucker punch even when very little is taking place on screen. Rocky and Bullwinkle’s despicable looking mugshots on the opening screen are ridiculously laughable.

Little else is improved in the sound department. This is literally THE first game in which I have had to reach for the mute button due to the unbearable sound this game contains. Rather than quirky, offbeat tunes, gamers are treated to a quartet of obnoxious whistling, ringing, buzzing, thumping, bashing, and any other sound that can be defined as irritating.

If this game has any edge, it is the option to control either the dumb founded moose (Bullwinkle) or his sensible squirrel pal (Rocky). Rocky is clearly the better fit as he can fly short distances to avoid most oncoming dangers. Bullwinkle’s ability to ram is hardly notable due to the horrid collision detection. Even so, both control like a car lacking four wheel drive on icy roads. Most jumps are leaps of faith (in this case I use the word "faith" quite loosely) and bomb tossing is practically a wasted effort as the desired target is constantly in motion and they rarely detonate on impact. Best of luck to anyone who is bored enough to complete this dreadful game.

While THQ may not be the pitiful development team they once were (rest in peace Acclaim), R&B will always be a constant reminder to them that the past, while gone, is not easy to forget. Stick to watching the cartoon folks, at least that is educational.


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Last updated: Wednesday, January 25, 2006 11:20 PM