Tiny Toon Adventures is a 2D side-scrolling platformer game developed and published by Konami. It is based on a cartoon series with the same name and it is the first game in the series of Tiny Toon Adventures games. It was released for Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1991. At that time, 16-bit consoles were already out, but Konami managed to show that sound, graphics and animation can still look amazing on 8-bit NES. In 1993 Nintendo Power magazine placed Tiny Toon Adventures in the top 20 NES games.
While Buster Bunny was relaxing at home, Montana Max suddenly appeared on the TV and told him that he Kidnapped Babs Bunny! Buster concluded that he has no other choice but to go and rescue Babs.
If you don’t press Start immediately on the title screen, after a few seconds a cute cutscene with this story will be displayed on the screen.
Tiny Toon Adventures is a side-scrolling platformer similar to games such as Super Mario. Your goal is to reach the end of the level by the end of the time limit, while avoiding enemies, or killing them by jumping on top of their heads, sliding, or using your ability. If an enemy touches you, you will instantly die, except if you have a heart item.
You can also collect other items that will help you get more lives, stop time, or let you switch to an alternate character (more about that below).
The game is split into 6 stages, which can consist of up to 3 levels, a miniboss and a main boss. After beating the boss, you will get a key that will let you proceed to the next stage. Each world has a unique theme, and you will visit places such as Acme Acres, caves, desert, forest, underwater stages, Wackyland and finally Montana Max’s mansion. All levels are beautiful and have a matching soundtrack.
The first levels are quite easy, but as the game progresses they become increasingly harder. As a kid, I never reached further than stage 5. Some criticize the game for being so hard, especially because it was intended for kids, but it’s not unusual for NES games to be extremely hard, that’s why the expression “NES hard” exists.
If you collect 11 carrots or an odd multiple of that number, such as 33, 55… 99 after finishing that stage, Duck Vader’s space ship will take you to a secret bonus level where you can win 3 extra lives.
At the beginning of each stage, you can select an alternate character. Later, you can switch to an alternate character by breaking the balloon and collecting the star item. Each character has unique abilities.
Playable characters are:
- Buster Bunny – the main protagonist of the game. Fastest of all characters
- Plucky Duck – is able to fly short distances and he is very good at swimming
- Dizzy Devil – can use tornado ability to kill enemies and become invincible for a while
- Furrball – can climb and slowly slide down vertical surfaces.
It is fun to find different ways to pass the level using different characters. Some levels super easy to pass with a certain character, while being much harder with other characters. If you lose all your lives, you will have an option to play that stage from start and you will be able to select a different alternate character.
The game looks absolutely amazing! Especially if you consider that it runs on 8-bit NES. Sprites are big and very detailed. All characters are animated and have different walking, jumping pushing, laying, flying, sitting, swimming and even waiting animations!
The levels are also very detailed and some background elements are animated as well. Every stage is set in a different environment, so it will never feel repetitive. Although stages 5 and 6 are graphically less impressive, all in all, the game looks beautiful and it aged very well.
While making this game, developers really pushed the limits of what was possible on NES. Graphics can make you easily mistake it for a 16-bit console game.
With fun gameplay mechanics, 4 characters to choose from, gorgeous graphics and an iconic soundtrack, this is definitely one of the best NES games out there. Also, it’s one of my favorite NES games. If you never played this game before, you should definitely check it out and if you have, you should pick it up again, because it is as fun as you remember it was, 30 years ago.
Have you ever played Tiny Toon Adventures, what are your thoughts about it? If you haven’t, would you like to try it? Tell us in the comment section below.