Cool World FI

SNES A Day 149: Cool World


Approximate Release Date: February 1, 1993
Genre: Action/adventure
Developer: Ocean Software
Publisher: Ocean Software

Cool World is an interesting yet unsuccessful attempt by a licensed game to do something novel.

Most licensed games on the Super Nintendo are rote action or platformer games that don’t really try to do anything above and beyond that. Most, like Chester Cheetah: Too Cool to Fool, are forgettable at best. There are a few games like The Addams Family that show some care went into their development and fun to play and thoughtful in some way.

Cool World falls somewhere in the middle of those two extremes. On the bad side, the game is ugly and the controls are as stiff as a corpse. This reflects more on the movie than the game, but I find the design of the backgrounds and characters to be amateurish and even creepy at times. Nothing about the Cool World world is appealing. Humans inhabiting a cartoon world is little more than flipping the Who Framed Roger Rabbit concept on its head in the most basic and unoriginal way possible.

The remarkable part of this game is that it’s kind of an adventure game, which I dig. It’s baby’s first adventure game – the first two “puzzles” are to get into the library by finding a book to return and to scrounge up enough money to get into the dance club – so I don’t think it will stump anyone too hard. I love that Cool World tries to encourage exploration and backtracking with these item-based puzzles, though. And the soundtrack is good, too!

But like I said above, the controls are atrocious. There are a few instant-kill enemies, and dodging them or fighting them is inconsistent. And why is jump on Y? I can’t think of any game other than Cool World with jump on that button. If you watch the video, count the several times I intend to jump but instead punch the air instead. It only happens once in the video, but it’s embarrassing how many times I was arrested by the little tiny policemen trying to get into the nightclub because my character wouldn’t do what I needed him to do.

It would have been easy for Ocean Software to shove out Cool World as a standard movie-to-game platformer, but instead, they made a weird platformer that secretly wants to be an adventure game. It’s not a good game by any means, though.

Tomorrow: The SNES version of Dragon’s Lair is an action game and not an FMV game like in the arcades.

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