The Simpsons: Bart vs. the Space Mutants

by Byron Nilsson, Jonathan Dunn, Paul D. Walker
Ocean Software Ltd
Sinclair User Issue 117, Nov 1991   page(s) 14,15

Label: Ocean
Memory: 48K/128K
Price: £10.99 Tape, N/A Disk
Reviewer: Steve Keen

If you've never seen The Simpsons T.V. show then you're really missing something (probably a Sky T.V. satellite dish).

Well it's almost out of this world as it's quite unlike any other cartoon you've ever seen (in an indescribable sort of way). But don't worry friends, the faithful will be Bartless no longer as he's now out on Speccy and getting set to save those of us without satellite dishes...

Bart's home town, Springfield, has been invaded by space mutants. They've taken over the bodies of good citizens and now plan to build an awesome weapon to take over the planet. No-one except our hero knows that these beasts are among us as the only way their true form can be detected is through the lenses of Bart's trendy, X-ray specs.

Spread over five platform levels are the objects that the "visitors" require for their diabolical scheme. Bart's task is to locate these aliens objects first and, in level one, respray their purple components with his can of red paint.

Although the objects he needs change to hats in the second level and balloons in the third etc, the song remains the same: collect the requisite paraphernalia on each level and avoid the nasties.

Some of the pieces needed are out of Bart's grubby little paw's reach and thus a puzzle element is introduced. The game is littered with extra features including teleportation icons and secret levels. There are numerous shops where you can buy the tools needed to solve the various puzzles but I'm not going to give away any real secrets here.

Springfield's a dangerous place to live as it's infested with obstacles. Dancing ballet shoes, moonwalking trainers and disembodied heads in paper bags roam freely throughout all the levels. It's the wide variety and versatility of the invading aliens that keeps you interested as you never know what alien will be coming around the corner next.

Attention to detail is first rate and this Spectrum version when compared to other formats is almost identical - Bart even turns and blinks at you when he's not moving. Bart's "see through" appearance, so common in Spectrum games, is a little annoying, but control of the "egg-tray" head is brilliant as he walks, leaps and runs with ease and there's none of that silly control delay seen elsewhere in the Speccy world.

There's not enough room here to dissect this game but rest assured you'll get months of pleasure out of it. An unusual original platform game that begins in Springfield and finishes at the local Nuclear Power Plant where dad works. (Hey this is Bart world!) So look out dudes, it seems that Bartholomew J. is here to stay!

Bart's an underachiever and proud of it! And Ocean/Acclaim have achieved a great deal with the Simpsons. It's a thoroughly excellent conversion from the NES system and the puzzles and Bartesque gameplay will make you Do The Bart Man, 'till the wee hours.

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Graphics: 89%
Sound: 87%
Playability: 87%
Lastability: 90%
Overall: 90%

Summary: An identical copy of the Nintendo Entertainment System Simpsons game, and although the gameplay is quite complicated, the game has a depth that makes Neptune look a sad, shallow man. Buy this game or you'll eat your shorts.

Award: Sinclair User Gold

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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