Approximate Release Date: February 1, 1993
Developer: Visual Concepts
Publisher: Hi Tech Expressions
The past handful of games haven’t been too great, and that very much benefits Harley’s Humongous Adventure.
There have been two good games in the past month – The Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse and Push-Over – while the entirety of the 1993 offerings have been particularly awful. Even a drop of decency is enough to lift my spirits in this barren desert of Super Nintendo game releases. Harley’s Humongous Adventure is a much-needed oasis because it’s an okay platformer that I enjoyed for an hour.
The central conceit of Harley’s Humongous Adventure is that you’re a kid with a jetpack who gets turned tiny, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids style. You need to collect sciencey gizmos throughout your home to grow up to your normal size. I’ve always liked it when games are clever about perspective and proportion. It falls apart if you think about it too hard, though. For instance, some of the items you get don’t work in the context of being shrunk. It makes sense that tacks and nails are weapons because they can be pretty small. But you can also pick up … hula hoops? Dynamite? Bouncy balls? In addition, some of the bad guys look like monsters instead of bugs or inanimate objects that might instead pose a danger around a house.
It’s silly to call the game out on those kinds of inconsistencies, but the idea is the only truly outstanding part of Harley’s Humongous Adventure. It’s the hook. Without it, there’s nothing special here. If you’re reading this blog, you already know how to play it. The game controls really well, though, which has been a problem with a few recent games. There are a few cheap enemy placements here and there, but the game is generous with health restoration items and is on the easy side because of it.
Also, and I mentioned this earlier, you get a jetpack to use. Holding X lets you zoom around the stages in a way that could have been a real differentiator for Harley’s Humongous Adventure in such a saturated genre. It literally burns through fuel quickly, though, which is a rare find outside of the first stage. If you’re going to put a jetpack in the game, let me use it!
If Harley’s Humongous Adventure had been released after a run of great games for the SNES, I’d be much less positive on the game if only because it’s a little on the boring side. I’m okay with boring right now.
Tomorrow: Taito’s Hit the Ice checks in.