Approximate Release Date: October 12, 1992
Developer: Sculptured Software
Publisher: Acclaim Entertainment
The Simpsons: Bart’s Nightmare is a very bad minigame collection.
The premise for this game is solid. Bart falls asleep while writing a paper, and everything takes place in his dream. Given that The Simpsons universe is relatively grounded, being able to put beloved characters in fantastical settings doing weird things is a decent way to approach adapting the television show to games. And this game looks like a The Simpsons game should, with loads of characters and lots of bright colors. This is the only praise I have for Bart’s Nightmare.
The “hub” of Bart’s Nightmare is a street you walk down and try to avoid enemies until pieces of paper appear. The pieces of paper are the minigames, and there doesn’t seem to be a way to trigger their appearance. Sometimes one will be right in front of you when the game starts, other times it might take several minutes of walking down this stupid sidewalk. When you find one, you jump on it and start a minigame.
Now, these minigames have been uniformly awful. It’s possible I’ve missed a good one, but Bart’s Nightmare seems to randomize which games you’ll get to choose from. The controls are stiff and are different from game to game with no explanation. Some games last only a few seconds, while others are so easy you’ll want to purposely run out of lives to make it go away. The only minigame that approaches fun is the side-scrolling shooter featuring Bartman, but that’s a low bar. I had more fun in the awful hub than I did playing any minigame.
A minigame collection lives and dies by the quality of the games, and The Simpsons: Bart’s Nightmare falls apart in this regard. Play Krusty’s Super Fun House instead!
Tomorrow: At least Hook isn’t the most ridiculous movie to have an action video game made out of it.