Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Day 31: The Goonies

When it was released, The Goonies was The Most Important Movie Ever Made to most kids around my age. For some of them, it still is. It would have been an immeasurable tragedy for a quickly made, poorly executed, grab the money and run licensed game bearing the Goonies name to have appeared on store shelves.

Fortunately, that's at least one tragedy Generation X never had to face. The Goonies game for the Commodore 64 is a clever and addictive action/puzzle game that makes great use of elements from the movie.

Each level requires the use of two Goonies to make it through a scene from the movie. All the classics are there. The pipes under the country club, the death organ, the pirate ship. Just like in the movie, success depends on solving a series of puzzles while avoiding the Fratellis.

The novel teamwork concept works very well. Pressing the fire button switches control from one Goonie to the other. Getting through each level requires the use of both, one preforming a task that allows the other access to a needed area or object.

If The Goonies has one failing, other than the primitive but decent for the time graphics, it's the sound. Sound effect are minimal and usually almost completely drowned out by a constant loop of "Goonies R Good Enough." The tune, recreated with the incomparable C64 SID sound chip, sounds good a first, but wears after extended play.

With only eight screens, The Goonies is woefully short by today's standards but those eight screen do a wonderful job of capturing the spirit of the movie and require enough trial and error to keep most gamers playing for a while, even now.

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