“Listening to this game’s music is an exercise in brazen masochism.”
– from the full review, which you can read here.
Let the record show that developer WinkySoft still clings to existence, releasing one or two games a year. Also, the publisher, Seta, was responsible for some strange entries in the annals of video game history, such as Magic Darts (NES) or Wizard of Oz (SNES).
You know how some games are average because they just kinda mindlessly lull along, doin’ what they do without ever especially doing it explosively (lookin’ at you, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes)? Adventures of Tom Sawyer is the opposite of that: A game that ends up as average because every time it approaches Awesome it matches it with a healthy dose of Suck. Is it just me, or is playing this almost maddeningly inconsistent? One minute the environment is lush and colorful, the next it is painfully plain and dreary. One second the enemies are mindless incompetent drones, the next you’re being attacked by demon assassins trained by Satan himself.
Even the scores that this game receives at NES Guide indicate this trend, too: Note how one reviewer gives it an 8.0 (!) while another gives it a 1.0 (!).
Read The Full Review For: Some of my more informal writing, with several turns of phrase not used elsewhere. Also, detailed coverage of Sawyer’s movement mechanics, the strangeness of the bosses, and this game’s oddly pervasive way of balancing itself with equal parts badness and goodness. I do forget to mention the bit about collecting T icons until every 20 garners an extra life, though. Whoops.
NES Gameplay Tips for Adventures of Tom Sawyer: Proceed slowly, and with caution, unless the situation explicitly calls for speed. Mute the sound. Never stop throwing rocks, or whatever those nondescript balls are. Stare the giant octopus in the eyes. Grab a red balloon if you ever see one. Play until you beat the game. Revel in the mysterious ending.