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Bart's Nightmare: Did Critics Love Bart's 16-Bit Dream in 1992?
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on August 29, 2014   |   Episode 88 (Show Archive)  

   

The Simpsons: Bart's Nightmare (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 Monday, Wednesday and Friday as Defunct Games presents Review Crew!

So far this week Bart has battled the space mutants and pissed off the world. So what huge adventure does the troublemaker have in store for the 16-bit Super NES? He's going to sleep! While that may sound lame, Bart's Nightmare ended up being one of Acclaim's best Simpsons games. See what Game Informer, Super Play, N-Force, Nintendo Power and GamePro thought of Bart in this episode of Review Crew.

(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.)

The Simpsons: Bart's Nightmare
[ Company: Acclaim | Console: Super NES ]

SUPER PLAY #1
91% out of 100%

"Genuinely cartoon-like graphics, a weird sense of humour and bags of playability make this off-the-wall multi-game extravaganza surprisingly successful. It works well because it doesn't just rely on novelty, there's actually a fair amount to do here. The surprise hit of the month." -Jonathan Davies

GAME INFORMER (November 1992)
9 out of 10

"Bart's Nightmare is one of the most original action games I've played in a long while. This game has to be one of the best SNES carts to-date. Bart's Nightmare has interesting gameplay, with graphics and sound to boot. Acclaim has made this a must-have for Bart fans." -Andy, The Game Hombre

N-FORCE #6
87% out of 100%

"Aye caramba! Bart's SNES adventure is every bit as much fun as the legendary cartoon series. Retrieving his homework pages means completing the main level and the numerous sub-levels. The cartoony graphics and brilliant sampled speech give the game loads of character -- the root beer burps are so real you can almost smell them!" -Chris

NINTENDO POWER (October 1992)
4.2 out of 5

"Bart Simpson has fallen asleep while doing his homework. You've got to guide him through six surreal stages and help him gather up the pages which have blown out the window and scattered in the wind. The character and situations in the adventure are inventive. I like all of the things that Bart can do, but find him sometimes difficult to control." -George

GAME INFORMER (November 1992)
8 out of 10

"Bart is busy doing homework. He finishes it and falls asleep, then his papers blow out his open window. Bart's Nightmare is an innovative game. It's not quite as true to the show as Space Mutants, but if you like the Simpsons and you like video games, do the right thing and buy this game to save Bart's academic career." -Rick, The Video Ranger

GAMEPRO (December 1992)
3.5 out of 5

"At its best, Bart's Nightmare is an outstanding tribute to Simpsons creator Matt Groening, and the music and sound are snappy. However, the game is too schizophrenic and repetitive for its own good. The Other Worldly Worlds win for concept, but lack of depth place them in the middle of the pack. If you're thinking long-term investment, sleep on it." -Slasher Quan
REVIEW CREW AVERAGE: 82% - After being thoroughly disappointed with Bart vs. the World, the critics seem to have come back around. Bart's Nightmare may sound simple when compared to the first two adventures, but this gave Acclaim a chance to be weird. It paid off, as Game Informer was quick to say that Bart's Nightmare was "one of the best SNES carts to-date." Super Play agreed, saying that the game is fun "because it doesn't just rely on novelty."

GamePro wasn't as convinced. Slasher Quan liked the concept and art style, but complained about the game's short length and periodically crummy controls. Nintendo Power did like the game more than Quan, however George noted the sometimes difficult controls. Despite these complaints, most critics liked the game, and Bart's Nightmare averaged an impressive 82%.

Out of the three games the Review Crew has covered this week, Bart's Nightmare scored the best with critics. They also liked Bart vs. the Space Mutants, which scored a so-so 77%. With an average of only 48%, it's clear that Bart vs. the World was the critic's least favorite Simpsons game. I concur; Bart vs. the World is garbage.

ON MONDAY'S EPISODE: Are you ready for some football? I sure hope so, because the NFL season kicks off next week. To help celebrate, the Review Crew will be looking at three very different football games from the 1990s. Up first is Mutant League Football, the cheeky ghoul-infested spin-off of Madden. See what critics said about this football game on Monday. Make sure and check out the Review Crew archive for more old school reviews, and don't forget to tweet me @DefunctGames to let me know what games you want to see next!

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