Flashback: Animaniacs

By Jonny Casino

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been doing something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.  I have been hiding out, watching Animaniacs on Hulu, and playing the Animaniacs game on my Genesis.  This is a show that I loved as a kid.  Even if I did not understand all the jokes, I was always laughing.  To this day, it is hard to see a beautiful nurse and not think “Hellloooooo Nurse”. 

One nice thing about watching Animaniacs as an adult is that I now understand all the jokes.  The writers did an amazing job of throwing in a lot of jokes aimed at the parents.  I can’t even count how many times they poked fun of Bill Clinton and his indiscretions.  The show really was made for all ages.  A reboot of the show will be coming to Hulu, later this year, and I could not be more excited.

Animaniacs is a platformer developed by Konami.  Being able to play through the game, while watching the show, is the real treat.   The platforming is basic, but not overly easy.  You must jump over gaps, dodge flying objects, and survive other random obstacles.  I failed a lot during my time playing, but it never felt unfair.  I would not say that the mechanics are perfect.  They are a product of their time.  What I will say is that they do not take away from the joy I had playing. 

The platforming is what makes the game “a game” but the real charm comes from Yakko, Wakko, and Dot.  Each one has their own special abilities that allow you to make it through some light puzzles.  You will need to swap between them to get past roadblocks.  Its normally pretty easy to figure out who you need when, but there is still so much charm in it.  Every time Dot blows a kiss to remove an obstacle, I can’t help but chuckle.

As I’ve stated with almost every other retro game, this game is not easy.  It’ll take time to learn the levels and be able to make it to the end.  As of right now, I have not made it all that far.  I read some stuff, and it looks like Pinky and The Brain are the final bosses.  This makes me happier than anything because Pinky and The Brain was my favorite part of Animaniacs.

I have a long way to go to finish the game and many episodes of the show to watch.  The thought of all of this just makes me smile.  I am not sure if this will be one I binge, but I will be going back to the game many times over the coming years.  The final question always is if the game still holds up.  It absolutely does.  If you are one to collect retro games, the Genesis version of Animaniacs needs to be on your list.  I need to specify that it’s the Genesis version because I’ve heard the SNES version is different and not great.

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