After conquering the space mutants, Bart Simpson is back to tackle the world. This time around the developers have tightened up the gameplay, broadened the scope and created the semblance of a real game. Unfortunately, this second 8-bit Simpsons game is just as bad as the original, offering a painful array of mini-games and frustrating platforming puzzles.
So get this, Krusty and Mr. Burns have sponsored a worldwide treasure hunt for the winner of an art contest. It turns out that out of all the submissions, Bart won. This prize spends our hero on an international adventure to collect all of Krusty's treasure items. But Mr. Burns isn't happy with the situation and does everything in his power to make sure Bart can't collect all of the treasure. Will you be able to gather up all the goodies before losing complete interest in the paper-thin story? Probably not.
As the title suggests, the game takes players all over the globe. We skate down the Great Wall of China, fight mutant fish at the North Pole, explore the pyramids in Egypt and head to Hollywood to become a star. Each stop is split up into several sections, usually requiring Bart to complete some sort of mini-game before advancing.
The controls feel a lot like Bart vs. the Space Mutants, which isn't what I would call a glowing recommendation. Bart's jumping is loose and he slides around more than a cartoon boy should. Normally this isn't a problem, but the game has a tendency of throwing excruciating platforming challenges at you. Expect tiny platforms, leaps of faith and bottomless pits; things you will learn to hate by the end of this game. Interestingly, Bart vs. the World has an impressive check pointing system in place, which is surprising given the era.
When you're not playing a mediocre platformer, you'll find yourself stuck in even more mundane mini-games. Early on you'll play a sliding puzzle, a card match memory game and even a Simpsons trivia game. As you travel around the world you'll find that the game doesn't let up. You'll be forced to play slot machines, shell games and more of that damn sliding puzzle. Say what you will about Bart's first 8-bit adventure, at least the Space Mutants didn't bring sliding puzzles along with them!
Outside of a few cinemas sprinkled throughout the game, the developers make absolutely no attempt at comedy. You'll see Marge, Homer, Lisa and Maggie turn up along the way, but don't expect any witty banter. Comedy is tough to pull off in an 8-bit side scrolling action game, yet it doesn't even feel like they tried. At least Bart vs. the Space Mutants made the attempt, as bad as it was.
You don't need me to tell you that Bart vs. the World is not worth playing. You're a smart enough gamer to know that the poor controls, crummy graphics and annoying mini-games weren't worth your time. I'm convinced that this alarmingly bad platformer was made by people who actively hate The Simpsons.