One of the things I remember from my youth is Chucky Cheeses. It wasn’t for it’s pizza, however, but the arcade games you could play. One of the games I would play was The Simpsons Arcade Game. I’d spend all my tokens playing it every time we were at Chucky Cheeses. What pleasant surprise I got when the game was re-released on Xbox Live Marketplace earlier this year. Despite it’s age, The Simpsons Arcade Game’s is still fun after all these years.
The Simpsons Arcade Game begins with the Simpsons family walking through Springfield as Waylon Smithers and a couple of his goons steal a diamond from the Jewelry store. While running from the cops, Waylon bumps into Homer, and the diamond is knocked out of his hands. Homer’s daughter Maggie snatches the diamond in her mouth, which prompts Smithers to kidnap Maggie. The Simpson family then sets out on a wild goose chase to rescue Maggie; ready to fight whatever stands in their way.
In the game, 4 players take control of one of the 4 remaining Simpson family members; Homer, Marge, Bart, and Lisa. Each family member fights with a unique weapon; Marge fights with a vacuum, Bart attacks with his skateboard, Lisa wields her jump rope like a whip, and Homer fights with his fists. As the player, you must fight your way through several levels to get to Maggie; facing various enemies along the way. At the end of every level , there is a boss that must be defeated before you van progress to the next level. There are a variety items in which you can find and use to attack enemies and even regain health. Naturally you lose a life when you run out of health and face a game over when you run out of lives unless you use a continue. The number of continues you have depends on which game mode you are playing.
There are a variety of game modes and features in the re-release of The Simpsons Arcade Game. The game features both online and offline co-op for players to play with each other. After beating the American version of the game, players can unlock and play the Japanese version; which features more items and allows players to gain more health. Both versions feature 3 different modes which alters the game difficulty a bit. Quarters mode recreates the arcade experience by giving you a limited number of continues, while Free-Play mode gives you an unlimited amount of continues for a more casual experience. If you’re looking for a challenge, Survival mode gives you only one life and no continues. In addition to the game modes, there are unlockable rewards the player can earn for beating the game; such as game-related art and sound tests.
I hadn’t played The Simsposns Arcade Game in years, so it was nice to be able to play it again. It was quite a surprise though, because the game was quite different than I remember it to be. I was able to beat the game in less than two hours thanks to the game’s Free-Play mode. Back when I was a kid, I could never beat the game thanks to the limit number of quarters I had and my lack of skill (I was much younger after all). Boy have things changed since then. The game’s short length may seem like a let down, but it makes sense when you think about it. After all, it’s an arcade game that comes from a time in which video games didn’t last forever with their endless quests and exploration. Besides, the re-release features unlockables and other extras that make the game worth playing more than once.
If you enjoyed The Simpsons Arcade Game back in the day, or if you enjoy beat-em up style games, then this downloadable re-release is worth the $10 you’ll pay for it. Those who enjoy big, adventurous games may want to pass on it though. The Simpsons Arcade Game is rather short after all and the $10 might be better spent on game add-ons or other downloadable games. Despite this, it is still a fun game that is filled with nostalgia. As somebody who enjoyed playing The Simpsons Arcade Game in his youth, I was definitely happy to get my hands on it again after all these years.