The Captain Novolin wiki last edited by mento on 02/17/16 04:49PM View full history


Sponsored by Novo Nordisk, makers of the Novolin-brand insulin, Captain Novolin is an educational SNES platformer that was released in 1992, intent on teaching players on diabetes. In fact, the eponymous protagonist, a superhero, has diabetes himself. The game follows Captain Novolin's mission to save the mayor of Pineville (also a diabetic) from the alien Blubberman. To make matters worse, the mayor can only survive forty-eight hours without insulin.


Before each level, the game--with the help from a couple of doctors--goes through what Captain Novolin should eat and avoid depending on the meal and time of day. The player must then check his glucose level and inject insulin into his blood stream.

Speedboat jumping
Speedboat jumping

The game plays like a standard platformer that plays from left to right. Enemies (aliens disguised as "sugary junk", like candy, chewing gum, and donuts) come from the right, and usually either run, jump, or fly towards the player. They can be avoided with well-timed jumps and dashes or stomped on, and being hit by them will cause Captain Novolin to lose health. Occasionally, Captain Novolin rides a speedboat, but this doesn't change the fundamental basics (Novolin can still jump with the speedboat) besides the fact that he's constantly moving forwards.

Littered throughout each level are various foods. The type of foods depend on the time of day. For example, bananas and cereal crop up in the morning, while chicken and potatoes appear at night. A suitable amount of these healthy foods must be picked up to keep Captain Novolin's glucose level stable; too many, and the character will fall onto the ground, face down, unconscious (and one life is lost) with a message informing the player that his blood glucose level is too high. Players can earn bonus points by answering multiple choice questions about diabetes correctly at checkpoints.

Each level is also linear with no alternate paths or hidden levels. At the climax, the player must defeat the only boss in the game--the antagonist Blubberman, who throws pies--before saving the mayor.


 A donut-disguised alien
A donut-disguised alien

Captain Novolin is regarded as one of the worst games on the SNES, with many people citing the shallow and repetitive gameplay as the main reason. However, given its educational purpose, it is unlikely that the developer made gameplay its highest priority.

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