Monster Party (NES) Review

Monster Party came out in North America in 1989. An obscure platformer game with a cult following, this game tells the heartwarming story of a winged monster named Bert enlisting a young boy named mark to help rid his world of evil monsters with just his baseball bat. This game parodies horror movies with the look of enemies and various bosses. This game can be downright weird at times. A canceled prototype of this game was discovered in 2011, and a dump of the unreleased Japanese Famicom edition was released in 2014. A hack made converting the NES edition to the unreleased prototype can be found here.

SO HOW IS IT? This game is so weird. All the levels have a variety of enemies which take multiple hits to kill as Mark or Bert, and the usual platforming. Level 6 is a maze that you have to navigate and level 7 goes vertical. Each level you need to defeat 2 or 3 bosses to get the key to exit the level. The bosses are just as weird from a singing plant, to a giant spider, and fighting fried shrimp. The enemies and levels are supposed to be parodies of various monster films and pop culture and it shows. Extra health and pills to change into Bert are sparse, and there is limited farming. I had a good time playing it, even if there is some jank when it comes to jumping and attacking. Enemies that shoot projectiles can be reflected back at them when using Mark with his baseball bat.

GRAPHICS AND SOUND: Graphics aren’t anything special, but Mark, Bert, and the enemies are detailed and each have personality. The bosses are large and each say something ridiculous before you fight them. Bosses are detailed and range from Death, a cat in a box, a singing plant, and more. All of the levels are pretty large and detailed. Halfway through the first level the world turns downright gruesome and weird!

PLAY CONTROL: You jump or fly with one button, and swing your bat or shoot your beams with the other button. Play control can be stiff at times resulting in missing your target or a jump. Pushback when being hit can mess up your day really fast. Trying to hit projectiles at the right angle to hit an enemy can take some practice.

CHALLENGE: This game has 8 levels and you fight 2-3 bosses in each to get a key to exit the level. Level 6 being a maze only has one boss. This game is essentially one big boss rush of bosses parodying various horror and sci-fi franchises. Some bosses are easy as Mark or Bert, some are harder resulting in you having to take damage while trying to defeat it, and others you can just stand in a corner and fire projectiles back at the boss as mark to damage it. Enemies in stages usually take multiple hits as either character to defeat and you may lose some life in the process. There’s limited grinding to improve your health or getting pills to become Bert. The game has unlimited continues so you can keep trying over again and there’s passwords too. Defeating a boss gives you a question mark that will either give you health, a pill to become Bert, or extra points.


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