Chester Cheetah: Too Cool to Fool is the first of two advergames for 16-bit systems that feature the Cheetos mascot Chester Cheetah in his own platformer. Too Cool to Fool has Chester passing through a series of stages eating cheesy snacks and avoiding perils.
The game was eventually followed up with Chester Cheetah: Wild Wild Quest, also for the Genesis and Super Nintendo.
Chester Cheetah is being held against his will in the Four Corners Zoo by the zookeeper, Mean Eugene. Chester Cheetah orders a motorcycle from a catalogue to help him escape from the zoo, but Mean Eugene intercepts the package and hides the parts around the zoo. With the help of his friends, The Hip-O and Funky Monkey, Chester must find the parts to his motorcycle so he can "ditch this zoo and ride away to Hip City, USA."
Chester Cheetah: Too Cool to Fool is a fairly straightforward platformer with the only actions available to the player being walk, run and jump. Enemies are dazed (occasionally killed) by being jumped on. Extra lives are gained by collecting one hundred Paw Badges. The factor that differentiates Too Cool to Fool from other platformers is the objective of having to find a motorcycle part in each level. The player can find the exit to each level, but they can't use it until they have found the motorcycle part.
There are five stages in Chester Cheetah: Too Cool to Fool each with a different theme and different enemies.
Stage 1: Four Corners Zoo Park
This stage starts with Chester chilling on a bench when Mean Eugene and Grunt, his dog, run by with a box full of Chester's motorcycle parts. Chester leaps off the bench and hops into action. This appears to be an entirely flat plane with a few areaa, but the majority of it takes place underground in a maze of sewer pipes.
Stage 2: Monkey Pits
This stage has a jungle theme and is a fairly vertical level with lots of vines and trees to climb. Funky Monkey helps Chester in this level by jumping on enemies and retrieving the motorcycle from a branch that Chester can't reach.
Stage 3: Gator Alley
A very horizontal level taking place over water that is filled with enemies and areas where Chester will fall into the water. The Hip-O helps Chester by acting as a moving platform so he can cross some water. There is a lengthy boat section where Chester must avoid Mean Eugene's boat and some logs.
Stage 4: Hidden Caves
A cave stage filled with bats and boulder punching pigs. This level has many pitfalls that will cause the player to be looped back to the beginning of the stage. It also has a lengthy mine cart sequence that, like the boat section in the previous level, involves dodging Mean Eugene.
Stage 5: Bird House
The first seconds of this level take place on a jungle canopy but as soon as you can say "Dangerously Cheesy" Chester is launched onto the back of a large butterfly-like creature and the beginning of an incredibly long flying sequence begins. Mean Eugene attacks in a helicopter with rockets, but is finally defeated for good and Chester grabs the final part of his motorcycle.
There are a number of items that can be grabbed that help Chester in his muffler-hunting quest.
- Cheetah Paw: This health restoring item resembles one of the cheeto paw snakes that were in production in the early nineties. This is surprisingly the only possible reference to cheetos in the game.
- Sunglasses: Although Chester is always wearing sunglasses, he can grab this additional pair to turn the screen monochrome and reveal hidden badges.
- Guitar: This guitar will make Chester invulnerable as he rocks out. The problem with this item is that it relinquishes control from the player as Chester stands in one spot and takes a few hops to the left and right. In one stage grabbing the guitar will cause Chester to jump off the platform he is on and get damaged by water.
- Sneakers: These give Chester the ability to dash by holding down a button. When dashing Chester can jump a considerable distance. Until the Chester gets these he can only walk at a pace that should make him ashamed to call himself a cheetah.
- Skateboards: The skateboard will bring Chester to the bonus stage. In the bonus stage Chester rides the motor powered skateboard to collect as many badges as possible.
- Paw Badges: The standard collectible. Get one hundred and get an extra life.
Chester Cheetah: Too Cool to Fool comes with a gem of a manual. Not only is it filled with Engrish, but the writers have attempted to have every line rhyme. This leads to sentences such as "Good gain by swipin' the motorcycle frame!" and "If you're hip and brave enough, check out these Hidden Caves and stuff."
The manual also has a coupon for 50 cents off a bag of paw shaped Cheetos. The coupon expires 12/31/93.