When I started playing Bonk’s Adventure (Virtual Console), I expected to see a game to rival Mario and Sonic; A game that stands out above the rest of the boring platformers. Unfortunately, it turns out that Bonk’s Adventure is nothing more than one of the rest of the boring platformers. Yes, it stands out in numerous ways: Bonk’s weapon is his head, he goes through a dinosaur’s intestinal system, there is a way to cheat that is practically spelled out on the controller, it is not mind-numbingly hard, the characters can be described as somewhat comical, and the princess that you are saving is named after Neapolitan flatbread (Princess Za? Really?). Now that the good points are out of the way, let me describe the bulk of it. The storyline was boring and badly explained. I feel like a large portion of the story was not in the game, or the programmers decided not to make anything but bare bones. The graphics were definitely passing, but it looked like an NES game. Nothing too impressive, but the sprites were a bit quirky, so you won’t be too disappointed. Unlike Mario or Sonic, the controls aren’t very smooth. I found myself often rapidly pressing the attack button during recovery of the dive attack while an enemy was coming to swoop down on me. I rarely got up in time. Another issue is level design. Most of the levels are basically flat with a different theme for each, until they start looping backgrounds in later levels. The music was eh. It was standard 16-bit music. Caveman theme, caveman music. Makes sense. It fit the game well, but did not impress. One annoying issue was spots to continue from. It doesn’t tell you where your spot is saved. You just need to die to find out. I went through most of the last world
(to 5-4) and died. The last save was 5-1. I died there twice. Then I got to 5-7, then died. I continued at 5-5! Another problem was this game’s idea of a level. I got through one level in 4-5 seconds. It was a transition to a water stage. That’s what they call a level? Couldn’t they just have ended the previous stage with a puddle? The length was also an eyebrow raiser. I beat it in 2 hours, and I by no means did a speed run! And no, replaying the game isn’t enjoyable either. There are a few secrets to find, but they’re just rooms with a life energy or a jumping game for life energy that isn’t fun.
Did I have fun with this game? Yes. Could I have found a better game to spend my time with? Definitely.
Replay Value: 3
Overall: 5 (Meh. It’s worth a try.)