Dr. Franken is a 2D sidescrolling game that casts the player in the role of Franky, a smaller version of Frankenstein's Monster, who must explore Dr. Frankenstein's castle in order to recover pieces of his girlfriend Bitsy and reassemble her. Franky eventually ends up travelling all over the world to find the remaining pieces.
Dr Franken was originally developed by Motivetime and published by Elite Systems on the Game Boy in 1992. It was ported to the Super Nintendo the following year. In the US, the SNES version is known as The Adventures of Dr Franken. The SNES PAL box art still calls the game Dr. Franken, though the in-game title screen refers to it by its new extended name.
Versions for the NES and Game Gear were also developed but never commercially released. The game was followed up with a Game Boy only sequel, Dr. Franken II, in 1997.
Dr. Franken is a 2D platformer featuring a complex map that requires the player to jump onto various objects and use stairs in order to navigate. Various parts of the castle are also blocked off until the player collects the proper items that will open up specific areas. The game features a map that displays Franky's position in all areas save for the castle's lowest level, which is an underground labyrinth.
Along the way, Franky must contend with numerous enemies and traps that must either be fought or avoided. Franky is able to deal damage using an electrical attack, though most of the game's enemies either come back to life or cannot be killed. The castle contains an electricity-charging machine capable of restoring Franky's life energy should he take too much damage from enemies.
Game progress is saved using a password system.
Electronic Gaming Monthly issued the scores of 7,7,6,6 and 7. Mike Weigand wrote, "This is a good, almost non-linear game involving Frankenstein with a pair of shades and some devastating attacks as he travels around the globe. The graphics are very cute and the animations provide plenty of laughs".