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31 Bonus Levels of Christmas
Cool Spot: The 7up Can of Doom
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 13, 2010   |   Episode 19 (Show Archive)  

   

It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're taking a look at 31 of the best-known bonus stages in all of video games. Each day we're going to look at a different level and review it, while also trying to figure out what makes it tick. Join us as we post a new episode of the 31 Bonus Levels of Christmas every day leading up to the biggest holiday of the year!
Cool Spot: The 7up Can of Doom
[ Console: Genesis/Super NES | Year: 1994 | Grade: B+ ]

I have it on good authority that this is not what a 7up can looks like on the inside!
The Context: The name "Spot" may not mean much these days, but back in the mid-1990s it was synonymous with all things 7up. In this Sega Genesis game the heroic Spot spends a lot of time shooting fizzy bubbles, jumping over enemies, hanging off balloons and trying to save his imprisoned buddies. The levels seem straight forward enough, but obsessive collector types will quickly discover that grabbing all of the red dots scattered around the world will result in a very special bonus stage. Once complete, it's back to saving all of Spot's friends and making sure this torture never happens again.

The Rules: It shouldn't surprise anybody that Cool Spot's bonus stage takes place inside a can of 7up. The object here is to use the floating bubbles to jump around the can and collect various

Long before it became the thing that gave kids type 2 diabetes, 7up was the "Family Drink!"
red spot icons and letters that will eventually spell out U-N-C-O-L-A, 7up's catchphrase at the time. Players that are able to complete this task in the allotted time will be rewarded with bonus points and a 1-up to go with their 7up. Those who fail out will have another opportunity in the next stage.

The Verdict: On its own this bonus stage isn't anything special. These are simplistic stages full of platforming challenges and items to pick up. But in the context of this soda pop-inspired action game, setting your bonus stage in a 7up can is pure genius. These stages are deceptively

With kung fu moves and nimble animation, it's a mystery why nobody has turned the Esurance lady into a advergame!
difficult. I remember thinking that these levels were a breeze after playing the first level, only to discover just how difficult the game can be in the later stages. Cool Spot not only proves that a cartoon soda spokesman can make a compelling video game character, but also that a simple bonus stage can be made even better thanks to an inspired set piece.

Completely Missing the Point: While I won't go as far as to say that we need more advertisement games, Cool Spot certainly suggests that not all cartoon spokes-characters are created equal. That doesn't mean that we need a game from every soda company or fast food joint, but what do I have to do to get a sidescroller starring that energetic Esurance lady? Perhaps she can go on an adventure to kill Flo from those annoying Progressive Insurance adverts. Or better yet, she can take down all of Geico's half dozen spokespeople. Now that's a game I would pay for.
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