Review by Arguro

Reviewed: 11/12/18 | Updated: 11/14/18

Way too short and easy to appeal to anyone over the age of six.

Here is an interesting game. Chip N Dale: Rescue Rangers: The Adventures in Nimnul's Castle, not only has one of the longest names ever, but is also simple game that is difficult to describe. This is a game that was clearly designed for small children, since it uses Saturday morning cartoon characters and is ridiculously easy for any video game veteran.

The game stars the titular Rescue Rangers with the player controlling Chip and Dale (the chipmunks, not the exotic dancers). There are a total of nine levels in the game, but only three different settings. The unfortunate part here is that the screens are static, meaning they do not scroll. You walk from left to right and the level is complete.

In the first three levels, you lead Chip and Dale, who move as one entity, up a cliff to Professor Numnul's castle. Each screen moves you closer until you finally enter the castle after clearing the third screen. Green slime gets thrown down from the top of the castle walls while the mechanical dogs attempt to eat the heroes. All are characters recognizable from the cartoon. There are small holes in the ground and you must guide Chip and Dale into the holes to avoid the dogs, and out again to avoid the slime. Contact with either one results in the loss of a life.

The second set of levels involve Chip and Dale on a set of stairs. One is the controllable chipmunk and the other is a step below, running away from a mechanical dog. You must hand down screws to the other (which one is Chip and which one is Dale anyway?) all while avoiding fireballs that rain down slowly. The last set of levels feature a very similar style of play, except one chipmunk is on the ceiling avoiding the hand machine that is also a boss in the NES game. The last three are, obviously, the most difficult, but still fairly simple.

The entire game is basically pattern recognition. In the first three, you need to figure out the pattern that the slime falls and avoid stepping into the hole it is approaching. The flames in the second three fall in the same place at regular intervals and in the third group, the hands that squeeze the life out of your character seemingly grope at random, but actually do so in very short patterns.

Getting to the seventh level without losing a life is beyond easy. Since the screens do not scroll and all you can do is move left or right, it becomes very easy. Grabbing the screws in the second set of levels is automatic. All you have to do is figure out when and where to press the down arrow key to hand it down to your partner.

There is no jumping in the game. Movement in and out of the holes in the first three levels is conducted just with the left and right arrow keys. Pressing either one against a wall will make Chip and Dale lift one another up and out. On the steps, you cannot ascend to the next one until all the screws are gathered and handed off. You don't even climb the ladder on your own in the seventh, eighth, and ninth level. It is all done automatically for you.

Graphically, the game feels rudimentary at first, but then you have to remember that this game came out for personal computers running MS-DOS in 1990. This was right when programmers were starting to take advantage of computing technology.

Chip and Dale within the game look more or less like their cartoon counterparts, but seem washed out and pixelated. The cut scenes within the game are slightly better animated, but still feel off from memories of the cartoon. While the colors of the game are on par with other games released at the time, the lack of level depth and overall game play depth is certainly unforgivable. Short games are alright if you get a different experience every time, but when the exact same variables present themselves at the exact same time and place, this game is too simple, even for children.

There is no music in the game, background or otherwise. There are your typical beeps and boops that come out of the computer's internal speaker. At first, they sound obnoxious, but these too are on par with computer game sounds from the time. There is a menu option to shut them off, which is well admired.

The game does feature an option to control it with a joystick, but they keyboard serves admirably here, since only three keys will be needed across all nine levels. The game moves at a fairly slow speed, making reaction to events easy, but it does not move so slow that you will not enjoy it, at least in this aspect.

This game is often categorized as a platformer, but it is less that and more puzzle, although the puzzle elements are not at all difficult to decipher. This game is a very basic, rudimentary game that is targeted for children. This does not mean that adults cannot enjoy it, but it simply is not a very deep, thorough, or difficult game. If you go in having never played this game before, it should be beatable in an hour's time. This is not a bad game, because it does what it is designed to do, which is appeal to small children who enjoy the cartoon. Just do not expect it to be as fun as the Nintendo game.

Rating:   2.0 - Poor

Product Release: Disney's Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers - The Adventures in Nimnul's Castle (US, 03/31/90)

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