Back to the Future is a NES game developed by Software Images and published by LJN Toys in 1989. It is based on the movie franchise of the same name, specifically the original Back to the Future film. Players take control of the main character, Marty McFly
, and progress through four key moments in the movie. The game features top-down "arcade style" gameplay and three different mini-games taken from the film's own storyline.
Back to the Future starts out with players controlling Marty on foot in top-down, arcade-like stages set in 1955 (the past). The goal is to collect "clock" icons that appear in the stage, while avoiding various enemies and other obstacles in your path. Enemies in these stages include: Bees, men in blue and red construction-like outfits, and little girls with jump-ropes. The construction workers, as well as the little girls, can shoot projectiles at Marty which will slow Marty down. The purpose of collecting clocks is to prevent the photo (located at the bottom-center of the screen) from fading. Collecting 100 clocks restores the photo to its original, non-faded status. If the picture completely fades, or the timer for the stage runs out, Marty loses a life. There are also two power-ups Marty can acquire to help him along the way: A bowling ball (used against enemies and some obstacles), and a skateboard (useful for getting through the level quickly to avoid the timer running out). At the end of each area you can jump into the air right as the level ends, and you will gain extra points which are added to your overall score. This can be done either with or without the skateboard.
As you progress through the game, players have to complete three different mini-games. These games include: Marty defeating Biff Tannen
's gang of bullies in the cafe by throwing pies from behind the bar, blocking all the kisses Lorraine sends Marty (in the shape of little hearts) in a classroom, and having to position his guitar properly to stay in tune at the dance in order for George and Lorraine to kiss. The gameplay in these segments is comparable to that of Paperboy, an arcade game released by Atari.
After getting past the regular stages and mini-games, Marty must then complete the final stage. In this level players take control of the DeLorean time machine in top-down view at night. The goal is reach exactly 88 mph by the end of the level while avoiding obstacles and lightning striking ground ahead of Marty. If this is achieved, the DeLorean will be able to transport Marty back to the present (1985) and the game ends. If Marty runs out of lives without being able to do this, the game is over and Marty is stuck in the past.