Approximate Release Month: April 1993
Developer: Riedel Software Productions
Publisher: Hi Tech Expressions
The breezy nature of Tom and Jerry lends itself well to beginners, but only beginners.
Tom and Jerry is a very easy platformer. This shouldn’t be too surprising considering it is clearly made for children. What is strange is how little of the Tom and Jerry license is used here other than, you know, Tom the cat and Jerry the mouse. Those are probably all you need, but I would have liked to see some more winks and nods toward the classic cartoon like Spike and Tyke cameos.
Instead, the levels, enemies, and obstacles are bog-standard. Pieces of cheese are scattered throughout Tom and Jerry‘s dozen or so levels and if you collect 100 of them you get an extra life. There are also peas to pick up, which you can then throw at enemies to take them out from a distance. The pea throwing is a little strange, though. The Y and A buttons both shoot peas, but at slightly different angles so sniping an enemy from far away is a chore. Most enemies need three jumps to kill so I generally just used the pea. There are more than enough peas littering the levels that running out of ammo isn’t really possible.
Oh, and there’s no run button. Running wouldn’t make Tom and Jerry better in any way but I would be much less annoyed by it. As it is, the game is dull and far from exciting. For example, one level has Jerry riding a skateboard. You might imagine that this would control differently than just Jerry on his tiny mousey feet, but the only change is that you can’t move backwards.
Tom and Jerry feels very slapped together. Other cartoon-based games like Road Runner’s Death Valley Rally and Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Busts Loose were able to inject their properties’ personality into platformers and managed to be better than if the developers hadn’t bothered. Tom and Jerry isn’t terrible for what it is, but that’s all it is.
Next week: I’ve never seen the movie that Toys is based on, but it has a cool poster at least.