I was quite surprised to see Mr. Bones was as-yet uncovered. Well, no time like the present, as they say -- I guess. Many (or I suppose I should say the scary few that had Saturns) may have missed Mr. Bones; I can't recall seeing too much press, save for the glowing reviews it received from the critics.
Mr. Bones' story is of a voodoo-esque wizard who has amassed an undead army of skeletons to take over the world. One skeleton in particular, Mr. Bones, is resurrected but does not possess the evil tendencies of his cohorts, as evidenced by his blue glowing eyes (instead of the rests red eyes). Mr. Bones then finds a blind blues musician in the woods who teaches him to play the ol' GitBox and sends him on the soul-crushing path of professional musicianship -- or world saving hero. Which ever.
The game begins as a standard side-scroller but quickly progresses into a hodgepodge of many different genres; it's almost more an assortment of mini-games than one cohesive style. Many of the more memorable games involve music or rhythm in some fashion. The game will have you rocking out on the guitar to convert the skeletons to good, or playing the drums, or even pressing buttons in a correct order to tell jokes and ... laugh the hell out of your attackers. Yeah!
The Graphics are superb; one scene in particular in which Mr. Bones is escaping a rolling pile of logs stands out. While 3D rendering could appear somewhat choppy on the Saturn, it wasn't a problem with this game. The nicely animated CG cut scenes interspersed are evidence of that.
And while it cannot be called a platformer exactly, it maintains several fundamentals. The life system involves the word "BONES" displayed in bone characters at the top of the screen. As hit are taken, bones from the word are removed, also reducing the bones of your character; the weakest point reduces your character to a hopping spine with a skull. It's worth taking all the necessary hits just to see that spine-skull thing hobbling around the screen.
I suppose my only complaint with this game is its relatively short length. I received this game as a birthday present one fabled birthday in the long long ago, and beat it over the weekend. I like to think I'm just that hardcore, but I know that simply wasn't the case. I also distinctly remember trying to jump down the stairs that weekend and hitting my head on the ceiling, so I wasn't exactly running at top speed. But don't let my cognitive incapacity sway you from enjoying a truly unique game.