“Perhaps the most intriguing item-driven mechanic, however, is how Whomp ‘Em handles extra lives: The “magic potion” item essentially is an extra life, but the player is limited to holding three at a time. This is a strange, different-from-the-norm way to handle an extra-life mechanic. It does seem to add some tension, as it removes the possibility of simply hoarding dozens of lives, as can be done in other games, while also making it a priority at times to hunt for those crucial hidden potions.”
– from the full review, which you can read here.
This is one of those oft-overlooked hidden gems.
I am really not sure what informal, first-person thoughts to add on this game, as I think the full review covers my thoughts pretty well. I can give a bland summary of “It’s good, but not great; worth a look, but has some flaws,” but that is hardly anything amazing.
I will say this, I guess: Whomp ‘Em gets accused of being a Mega Man clone, but I will defend it. For two reasons: First, because how is being a Mega Man clone a bad thing? Seriously, of all the game-progression formulas to copy, Mega Man is a really good one. Secondly, because although some elements are definitely derivative of the Mega Man franchise of the NES era, others are not. In other words: It is more than just a Mega Man clone, even if it is not as good as the best Mega Man games. Got it?
I will say this, too: That final level is torture.
Oh, and I recently found a half-decent way to make NES gameplay .gifs! I am so excited! Whomp ‘Em was my test subject.
Read The Full Review For: Much more in-depth critical commentary on what makes this game good, what its flaws are, descriptions of some of the mechanics at work, etc. Quick note/plug: If you would like to just read my NES game reviews, without the informal blog thoughts, you can subscribe to get those updates directly through email.
NES Gameplay Tips for Whomp ‘Em: Learn to mostly just rely on your basic spear attack. Swing your spear through the air everywhere if you need extra lives, because potions are hidden invisibly. Remember your downward and upward strikes, as they are your most effective friends against some enemies. If you can avoid it, never touch bosses, as some of them instantly take away extra lives. Also, I would recommend utilizing this exploit that I explain in the video, in order to max out your health bar early in the game:
I think this game has great visuals, so I have a bunch of screenshots. Enjoy.