although i’ve never really played a pinball game in real life, i’ve enjoyed playing various pinball video games over the years, the most recent being the enjoyable pokeball pinball for GBC. i’ve been meaning to play through the well-regarded kirby’s pinball land, but i thought i’d tackle revenge of the ‘gator first, which preceded it by 4 years and was also developed by HAL laboratory.
i suppose i’m becoming somewhat of a pinball video game snob, because although the game is enjoyable it doesn’t feel very distinctive. the alligator theme is entertaining despite being fairly random, and although there’s just enough variety to the game mechanics i couldn’t help wishing that there was just a little more to keep me engaged; this is understandable as the game was released close to the game boy’s launch. the game features four screens and 3 bonus levels, although progressing from screen to screen gets a little tiresome. in particular, of the four screens you’ll end up spending most of your time on the one 2nd from the bottom, as progressing upwards from that screen takes some effort. also, the bottommost screen is the hardest of the four, so there’s a definite sense of resignation as you try to save yourself and get back to the 2nd screen. in the four main screens there’s a heavy emphasis on hitting certain blocks to get the “savers” that block the holes at the bottom of the current screen before attempting to progress upwards, and this also gets repetitive. the game features a 2-player mode that looks somewhat interesting, but lacking game boy buddies i didn’t get to try that out.
i’m always down for retro games and so i didn’t mind giving this game a try and playing until i earned a respectable score, but like many early game boy games it’s not a classic for the ages. hopefully kirby’s pinball land will be more engaging.