For week 3 I decided I needed something a bit shorter, as I had little time to play games this week. Actually it was last week but I had so little time that I’m only getting to write about it now. Anyway, as a MST3K junkie there is a gem of a game that’s been sitting in my queue for a long time that I was itching to play. Checking on How Long to Beat and seeing most people beat the game in 1 hour or so I decided it was finally time to get to Manos Hands of Fate.
While many many bad console games have come from movie licenses (“Nightmare On Elm Street” or “Friday the 13th”, each for the NES as examples), there used to be a certain fun just to be had from seeing how bad the game could be. Until higher fidelity graphics came along, there wasn’t the chance to match the game to the story. Giant bees attack Marty McFly in the Back to the Future game, as an example. Well Manos is lucky, since there is little to nothing that you could bring from the film that would ruin the game and very little you could add to a game that would be worse than the film!
What we do have is a really well made platformer. If you’re a fan of Mario Bros or Mega Man, the platforming might even be a bit boring but considering this was originally a mobile game the precision that would have been required would be frustrating. The graphics look like they just fell out of an NES as well, except no slowdown or flickering was to be seen. The levels, of which there are 8, are fairly diverse with little to no tile-set palette swapping. Each level ends in a boss fight and all in all the game itself could have just been an NES game. I did have some frustration with later levels, but handy checkpoints and continues that leave off from the last level you attained and not the beginning take care of that.
For 3 bucks and change, you could find a LOT of games that are far worse or based on far better movies but I’m not quite sure many of them would make you feel like a kid again. I do recommend this game, but I think unless you’re an MST3K fan or a Manos fan (hello all three of you), that the game is best purchased on a sale. Mine was around 50 cents and for an hour of gameplay I consider that a steal.