Initially released on the TurboGrafx-16, Bonk, or as it was known in Japan, PC-Genjin, was a success and was eventually ported over to competitor consoles. In arcade versions, Bonk would be accompanied by a female version of himself.
In Bonk's Adventure, the player assumes the role of the caveman Bonk. The player must navigate their way through five different worlds to rescue Princess Za, who has been captured by the dinosaur, King Drool. In a time when consoles had to have mascots, Bonk was the solution for the TurboGrafx-16. As a platformer it would be held in direct comparison to Mario and Sonic. Although it was a star when it came to graphics, in particular color palette, it never garnered enough popular appeal to push sales of the Turbo-Grafx.
In November/December 2006, Bonk's Adventure was released on the Wii's Virtual Console. It is currently available for 600 Nintendo Points and supports all controller types. It was also added to the PlayStation Network store in 2011.
Bonk's weapon is his large head, which can be used to defeat the various prehistoric enemies that stand in his way. While on the ground, Bonk smashes his head forward. In the air the headbutt creates a spin that, by pressing the button repeatedly, can slow Bonk's descent. Bonk is capable of juggling an opponent, gaining more points with each consecutive hit. The term juggling makes particular sense in this game since each time Bonk hits the enemy from below they pop up in an arc and Bonk must run to catch them before they land. Lives are gained through score, as well as found within the world, although they are few and far between.
In addition to prehistoric monsters there are a number of pod-like flowers that offer goodies for Bonk. Some of those goodies are fruits and vegetables that boost Bonk's score. Others contain meat, and an handful are hidden monsters that will pop up and bounce after Bonk.
If Bonk collects meat he evolves. There are 3 different levels for Bonk to evolve to. The first level is where he starts. The second level Bonk gets blue tints and is able to pound the ground and temporarily freeze enemies. The third level turns Bonk into an invulnerable, green tinted version of himself. This invulnerability only last a short time. Meat comes in two forms: Small meat will only transform Bonk one level whereas large meat will transform him two levels. After enough time, and without more meat, Bonk will revert back to his original self.
There are 5 levels in Bonk's Adventure. Each has a number of sub-level to complete that basically requires Bonk to move to the right, jump over enemies and avoid pits and traps. Occasionally there would be doors for Bonk to enter, which would result in a mini-game. These mini-games include a vertical drop where the challenge is for Bonk to spin and eventually land on his feet; a challenge to headbutt rocks of lava that come out of a volcano, and a jumping challenge where Bonk bounces from flower to flower trying to collect the most fruit without falling into the pits below. After completing the mini-game Bonk is dropped back into the world he came from in the exact state he left it. After 8 mini-levels Bonk encounters a boss by hopping in a bizarre dinosaur skull elevator.
In total there are six different bosses in the game, four of which are being controlled by King Drool. Each boss wears some sort of headgear which Bonk must destroy by headbutting it until it breaks.
Huey is one of the enemies being brainwashed by King Drool. He blows bubbles as an attack, and requires fifteen hits to beat. After a few hits, the brainwashing helmet is damaged and on the fifteenth blow is subdued.
"Gee Wiz!! Thanks!! I feel a lot better. I'm your new friend. Arf Arf Arf!!"
Gladdis has the ability to create a clone of herself, after which Bonk must attack the real Gladdis with a head stomp. The imaginary Gladdis will jump around and throw stars, but Bonk will pass seamlessly through her. In the next phase of her pattern, Gladdis returns to a single form and teleports around the screen, shooting stars at Bonk.
"You're my hero!! You've won my heart and mind, Bonk!!"
Kongo Zilla's stage takes place on icy terrain, which makes handling Bonk more difficult. Kongo Zilla digs underground with his spiked arms and throws ice blocks at Bonk.
"You made a monkey out of me, Bonk. Come to think of it, I am a monkey! By the way, have you seen Princess Za?"
Punchy Pedro is named for his punches. One of which is quick and the other of which does a significant amount of damage. As with all bosses, his head of the weak spot to aim for.
"You really rang my bell on that one. It feels great to be out in the light. Now I can find my beloved Princess!"
After these four bosses are beaten, Bonk will have to fight them all in succession, although Kongo Zilla won't have his icy floor to make Bonk slip.
T. Ractor Head
When Bonk gets to Princess Za, he finds out that she has also been brainwashed by King Drool, and Bonk will have to fight T. Ractor Head to save her. He has all of the previous bosses' abilities, as well as a volcano which shoots rocks and homing darts. Once Bonk defeats him, Princess Za comes out of her brainwashed state.
"I am Princess Za from Moonland!!"
"My people had been brainwashed!!"
"Help me get back to Moonland!!"
King Drool uses a shield which renders him invincible. He shoots fireballs and later dives at Bonk from the sky.
There are many items and powerups which Bonk will come across on his travels.
One piece will give Bonk the ability to headbutt the ground, stunning all nearby enemies, and two pieces will grant temporary invincibility.
Equivalent to two pieces of small meat.
Vegetables will give 50 points, as well as regaining a small amount of health.
Fruit will give 100 points and regain twice as much health as vegetables.
Red hearts fill up a section of health.
Blue hearts raise the amount of health sections by one.
These are found sparingly through levels, but are also received every 100,000 points.
Collect all of these in a level and receive an award at the end, akin to Super Mario World's dragon coins.
PS Vita Compatibility
Despite not being in the official compatibility list, Bonk's Adventure can be played on the PS Vita. To do this, the user must first download the game to the PS3. From there, go to Content Transfer on the PS Vita and select the game for transfer. Once complete, the game will show up on the Vita's menu.