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Review Crew
Joe & Mac: What Did the Critics Say in 1992?
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on March 14, 2014   |   Episode 16 (Show Archive)  


Joe & Mac (Super NES)
Ever wonder what Electronic Gaming Monthly, GamePro and other popular magazines thought of your favorite 8-, 16- and 32-bit games? Now you can find out, thanks to Review Crew! This is the only show on the internet that is willing to go back in time to find out what old school critics thought of retro games at the time. Did they pan your favorite game? Did they love something terrible? Find out every week as Defunct Games presents Review Crew!

Now here's something you don't see anymore: Caveman games. They seemed to be all the rage back in the 1990s, what with Chuck Rock, Dinolympics and Trog. When it comes to the caveman trend, Joe & Mac remains one of the most memorable. But is it worthy of this distinction? We dig through the archive to see what Super Play, Electronic Gaming Monthly, Super NES Buyer's Guide and Video Games & Computer Entertainment thought of Joe & Mac back in 1992. The results may shock you!

(NOTE: Although we occasionally cut for length, no other edits are made to the review. Defunct Games does not change any of the wording, grammar or punctuation use. Also keep in mind that our score is the average of all critics at the time, not just the sample that is reprinted on this page. If you still have more questions, I recommend you check out the Review Crew FAQ, where we address the review guidelines, converting scores, magazine covers and more.)

Joe & Mac
[ Company: Data East | Console: Super NES ]

8 out of 10

"It is good to see that companies are starting to make games that are fun to play. Joe and Mac, besides being one of the best two player simultaneous games, has some of the most humorous animations to date. This great game is fun for all and, with the bonus rooms and secret levels should offer plenty of challenge." -Ed

GAMEPRO (February 1992)
5 out of 5

"Joe and Mac is looking pretty strong coming out of the SNES starting gates. Although it's not a super intense action/adventure, it has a solid foundation of great graphics, easy gameplay, lots of levels, and rockin' tunes which make it a fun game, especially for two-person play. Join the prehistoric "club" and take a peek into the past with Joe and Mac." -The Missing Link

8 out of 10

"First of all, I've never played the coin-op version, so I can't make a comparison. Everyone says it is mediocre, but when I played it -- I thought it was great! The levels are complex enough to make you want to go through them many times for power-ups and stuff. Best of all are the dino-bosses! The only bad item is the sound." -Mike

72% out of 100%

"Investigating a bit further, we actually find that this is a coin-op conversion, and one that's pretty true to the original. The snag is that there isn't a lot to hold your interest. There are some amusing sound effects, and the graphics are bright and cheerful (although not terribly well animated), but the appeal starts to flag after a few minutes. I'm afraid this, coupled with the awkward controls, soon saw me adopting a 'couldn't care less' attitude towards the game."

(April 1992)
8 out of 10

"Although Joe & Mac is more of the same arcade gaming that was pioneered by those infamous Mario Brothers, its wonderful graphics and sound boost it above the ordinary. If you liked Super Adventure Island, you'll go bonk-ers over Joe & Mac." -C.W.

7 out of 10

"I really enjoyed the visual appearance of this game. Although the overall concept has been somewhat overdone, the new look and feel that Joe and Mac possesses makes it stand apart from the crowd. There are many shortcomings to the play, but if you're an action fan who enjoys good looks, then this one's a winner!" -Steve

89% out of 100%

"Joe and Mac are back an' they're lookin' good! This was a fine conversion on the NES but this version's a dead ringer for the arcade game. The sound and graphics are identical or as near as damn it -- I couldn't see any difference and I was looking real hard! If you liked the arcade cabinet buy this now!" -Gunns

3.7 out of 5

"Jump into the action-packed world of Joe and Mac and take on a band of prehistoric plunders in this two-player simultaneous thriller from Data East. It's survival of the fittest and funniest in 12 awesome stages of devious dinosaurs, tricky pterodactyls and other crazy creatures. Start fighting and secure your position on the evolutionary ladder."

7 out of 10

"Joe and Mac is a pretty cool game. There are a few things missing from the coin-op like the R-Type style way of powering up your weapons. Other than that, the graphics are incredible and the bosses are incredible and the bosses are HUGE! Good sound and solid play make this cart a contender. The game is a little too easy for my tastes though." -Dude

6 out of 10

"I am sad to say that Joe and Mac is not nearly as fun as I thought it would be. While the graphics are fun to look at, the control is not the best I've seen on the Super NES, and leaves a bit to be desired. The sound is excellent, of course, but without the game play, even a 16-Bit cart is average." -Sushi X
REVIEW CREW AVERAGE: 78% - Although GamePro gave Joe & Mac a perfect 5 star rating, most magazines weren't as kind to the caveman duo. Magazines like Super Play and Electronic Gaming Monthly noted how unimaginative the game is, despite having good gameplay and a cool setting. On the other hand, N-Force and Video Games & Computer Entertainment seemed willing to overlook some of the problems, thanks to the two-player action and strong presentation. Even with a few detractors, Joe & Mac managed to average a respectable 78%. Not bad for a couple of cavemen.



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