Approximate Release Date: June 1, 1992
Publisher: Acclaim Entertainment
It’s not especially insightful to say that licensed games are usually subpar. But Krusty’s Super Fun House manages to be, well, fun.
So what does Krusty’s Super Fun House do to avoid the usual pratfalls of these types of games? The biggest reason is that it doesn’t feel like a The Simpsons game. If I were told that this was going to be a standalone game that got a Matt Groening coat of paint late in development I would believe it without hesitation. But that’s good; too often licensed games are rushed out and slavishly devoted to fan service. That’s not the case here; there are some cute posters hanging in the background and some cameos of The Simpsons characters, but that’s about it. I don’t think show’s theme song even makes an appearance.
Krusty’s Super Fun House is a puzzle/platformer where you have to create a path to lead rats to an extermination machine at the end of the level. Once you do that, you can move on to the next puzzle room. It’s a more fun, more forgiving, more simple take on Lemmings. Some puzzles will require patience if you get the rats’ movements out of rhythm with each other. It can be annoying to have your puzzle solution laid out perfectly and have to wait for four or more different groups of rats to stroll through the maze.
The platforming aspects of the game isn’t as well developed as the puzzles – there are some enemies running around in the level and hazards you need to avoid – but it’s inoffensive for the most part. What I don’t like is that some puzzle rooms have special blocks to break open to unlock specific other rooms which have to be completed to finish the stage. These special blocks are usually hidden in the level and look the same as any other block. It’s a goofy way to gate progression.
One weird thing Krusty’s Super Fun House does, which I’ve never seen any game do, is devote buttons to pausing and restarting the music. It’s a strange use of the L and R buttons, and between this and Capcom’s MVP Football I’m wondering if developers in 1992 were struggling with how to best use these then-unique buttons. Shoulder and trigger buttons are old hat now but were totally novel and weird when Nintendo introduced them with the Super Nintendo’s controller.
Krusty’s Super Fun House is a bad The Simpsons game but a good puzzle game. It’s not very challenging, but it’s worth an hour or two of your time.
Tomorrow: I know nothing about Space Football: One on One but I’m excited to experience the future of football.