Spanky's Quest FI

SNES A Day 67: Spanky’s Quest


Approximate Release Date: July 1, 1992
Genre: Action/platformer
Developer: Natsume
Publisher: Natsume

Spanky’s Quest is a treat in all respects, but you can’t mention it in even the politest company without causing giggle-fits.

The premise of Spanky’s Quest is a little goofy, though. You play as Spanky, a monkey who cannot attack the fruits-and-veggies-based enemies directly. Instead, he can blow bubbles and bounce them on his head. The bubble will only stun enemies, so you have to activate the bubble to turn it into one of four sports-themed balls. The power and nature of the attack are determined by the number of times you bounce the bubble on Spanky’s head before activating it. One bounce results in a weak, single-target baseball. Two bounces pummel enemies with a torrent of soccer balls. Three bounces result in an area-of-effect attack with volleyballs, a perfect attack against bosses. Four summons a rain of basketballs which can wipe out a level’s worth of enemies in one shot with some skill and luck.

This sounds complicated, but it’s not. The bubble bouncing is very generous and you won’t often lose control of the bubble. The great jazzy soundtrack helps keep things relaxing, too.

The novel gameplay does a lot to make Spanky’s Quest interesting because the game is otherwise pretty by-the-numbers. There are five worlds, each made up of ten stages and a boss fight. The goal in each stage is to collect all the keys so you can move on. The enemies will try to stop you, but they’re not very smart and usually follow the same pattern over and over. The fact you can’t directly attack them means they can corner you very easily, though.

The biggest problem with Spanky’s Quest is that it’s short and easy; I was able to get to the fourth world with little trouble. Even still, I’d totally recommend checking out this little-known game which for some reason wasn’t a hit. Maybe if Spanky’s Quest went by its amazing Japanese name – Monkey Reflections: The Adventures of Mr. Jiro – it would be more beloved today. Fewer bad jokes would be made at the game’s expense, at least.

Tomorrow: The best part of Mario Paint is the music tools. And the fly swatting. I lied. It’s actually a little game called Street Fighter II: The World Warrior.

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