Neat ideas badly implemented
Technically, this game is deeply flawed:
- The controls are sluggish and delayed
- Collision and hit detection are sketchy
- Sprites are barely animated
In addition to that, the scrolling in this game is a an enemy all by itself. Not only can Bart literally outrun the screen, there is no way to go backwards. If you miss something, you miss it. In other words, there is essentially an invisible wall following you at all times. On top of that, the framerate is horribly choppy, even for Game Boy standards.
If you look past these obvious flaws, the core gameplay is solid and diverse enough to distract from the severe lack of enemy variation. Much like Mario in Super Mario Bros. III, Bart can wear different costumes like a football attire or the protective gear of a beekeeper.
As far as weapons go, the boomerang can be used to hit enemies from behind while the default weapon - a blowgun, according to the written manual - merely stuns enemies. There is no distinction at all regarding the controls, so hitting the B-button simply launches both.
Visually, this game is decent. The sprites look detailed enough, though the animations and backgrounds are pretty tame. The choice of "colors" is fine most of the time, there is just enough contrast to avoid confusion, however some elements tend to bleed into each other - logs swimming in the water for instance. But overall it's a decent looking game.
As for the sound, well, it's the Game Boy. The music is nowhere near the quality of a Donkey Kong Land, but not terribly annoying either, aside from the horrific voice samples. Constantly hearing the signature lines "Eat my shorts!" and "Aye caramba!" does not make them particularly funny. All in all, the audio department is nothing to write home about.
This game clearly had potential, but the execution is just sub-par and lazy. The technical problems and wonky controls overshadow the nice ideas - the scrolling in particular is a very serious issue. One blind jump is bad enough, but this game seems to be all about jumping and walking blindly into the unknown, and not in a good way. Furthermore, Bart controls like a wet sponge and the collision detection never feels right. Overall, this game just doesn't work very well on a technical level, and it's a shame.