Krusty’s Fun House [NES]

Title Screen

Krusty’s Fun House. How can it go wrong? It has all the Simpsons characters in it, it can’t be that bad, right? Right? Surely it’d be a little bit funny, at least? Wrong. Clichéd jokes aside, all Krusty’s Fun House really did was waste the hour of my life that I spent playing it.

See the "pie"? (click to enlarge)

See, you play as Krusty, whose clothes are pretty much the same colour as the background, and what you do is you find these little blocks that are pretty much the same colour as the background, and then press down while standing on them to pick them up. You then place the blocks around the place to herd rats into the exterminating machine, which is controlled by Bart in the only stage that I could bear to play. Apparently the little things that Krusty throws are pies, but they look like round yellow balls. See the picture to the right? Yeah, that’s a “pie”. And you can kick some of the blocks with the B-button, but seeing as you can’t kick anything else (Krusty doesn’t even do a kicking motion when you press B), it’s impossible to work that out for yourself.

I don’t know what the story is, apparently he’s trying to get the rats out of his “lovely fun house” and needs help from “kids”. Hey, Krusty, if the rats “aren’t too bright”, then why do you need my help? Surely you can manage it by yourself? He does seem to be very, very keen on the kids. Within a minute of starting the game, he greets the “kids” three times in consecutive frames, including one way-too-enthusiastic “hiiiiiii kids!”.

Hiiiiiiii Kids!

As I said, you pick up blocks that you find around each level by jumping on them and pressing down. You then place them in wherever you think is necessary to solve the level by pressing down again, and they’ll appear underneath you. To solve a lot of the puzzles, however, what seems like a glitch is actually required, where you stand on the edge of a platform/whatever and press down, and the block spawns not underneath you, but next to you. Like this:

What the fuck?

How are the kids supposed to work this out? I did it completely by accident, then thought “how the hell did I do that?”, and spent the next five minutes trying to replicate it. Also in this game are snakes that shoot laser beams and items dubbed “super balls” – big purple balls that you throw to kill the laser snakes and destroy some blocks. And that’s about it. Oh, and a few palm trees, and platforms that go up and down and up and down.

Ahhhh, shit.

I knuckled through the horrible, frustrating music and Krusty’s cheesy grin for a good hour, until I got to the sixth level. It was at that point that I had one life left (after only just realizing that returning to the level select screen cost a life). The sixth level is time-based. If you don’t sprint down to the exterminator and place a block down, you’re fucked, because the rats all fall in a hole and don’t come out. Needless to say, I was fucked, as I couldn’t restart the level, because it would cause a game-over, which pretty much restarts the console. I couldn’t be bothered enduring the other 5 levels again just to keep playing something that was truly causing me pain, so I gave up.

I don’t even know what the points were doing there. In other games, points usually do something, and you get bonuses for the speed with which you complete a level, the number of lives you have to spare, etc. In this game, they mean fuck all, and if anyone, ever, had the balls to play so long that they got a six-digit score, then congratulations to them, but, dear God, I hope no one has ever been that stupid.

Krusty’s Fun House is not entertainment. Reading mildly funny satirical reviews of it may be, but, by itself, it’s shit. I can imagine this game being created as something else for the mindless children of America, until a market rep thought “Hey! Kids like the Simpsons! Let’s make it Simpson-related!”, and Krusty’s Fun House was born. And please, please listen to me – don’t you ever play it. Ever.

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