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Nintendo Power Uncovered
Nintendo Power #21: February 1991 - Star Tropics
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on January 24, 2013   |   Episode 21 (Show Archive)  

After nearly three hundred issues, Nintendo Power is finally coming to an end. To send this long-running periodical off in style, the Cover Critic has decided to review every single issue. Join him as he experiences every aspect of Nintendo's journey through their magazine covers.

Between the December 1989 Track & Field II cover and this month's Star Tropics design, I'm starting to think that Nintendo is sending us a message. Every time the temperature dips below freezing, Nintendo's artists warm themselves up by creating these wildly out of season covers. They are in denial; overdosing on bright colors instead of the reality of short days and cold nights. I suppose that's better than actually playing Star Tropics.

There's nothing simple about this month's Nintendo Power cover. Much like the busy Tetris artwork from a few months ago, you'll find a lot of small details scattered around the tropical locale. There's a submarine in shallow water, birds playing piano, a comet in the distance, seashells on the beach and one very excited dolphin.

Just as my body started adjusting to the warmer climate, I noticed something even more disturbing than piano keys lining the beach. One of those birds has a skeleton for a head! Forget the submarine invading my privacy; I'm now officially freaked out by this bird that is looking right at me. If only I had something more powerful than a Yo-Yo!

Despite my misgivings about Star Tropics, I am largely impressed with this cover design. The skeletal bird, submarine and comet are intriguing enough to warrant a closer look, and the tropical island is tempting in the dead of winter. Best of all, Nintendo's artists moved away from clay models, opting instead for paper cut-outs and origami. This is definitely one of Nintendo Power's brightest covers.


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