In this week’s episode we take a look at The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Tom Sawyer. That book every elementary/middle school child has to read in the U.S. Unfortunately for me I could not remember much about the book when I was playing this game. I vaguely remember something about painting fences but in this game that is not to be found. Instead you’re fighting Indians on dinosaurs, giant lizards, falling stars and dragons that shoot fire. I’m pretty sure none of that was in the book or I’d have liked it a lot more.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a 1989 release and from the looks of it, it had to have been developed as a much older title. It has that distinct Famicom look and feel where there are a lot of solid colors, and your character always seems like it’s transparent or something. Each level you move around dodging and attacking enemies. You have a “rock” be default that you throw in an arc. The arc does take some getting used to, but the advantage is you can spam it a lot. You can also get a slingshot which goes in a straight line but you have limited shots or time with it. I couldn’t tell which it was. You can also collect “T” icons, which I’m guessing is for Tom. 20 of them grants you an extra life so my advice to you if you want to try to beat this game without continuing is to farm in the early levels. It’s always 20 so you can gather in bunches.
Each level has a boss. From a giant octopus to some creepy bearded devil you run the gambit of boss mechanics. Some have spawns you have to hit, some have specific weak points. It’s all standard fare and in general is pretty well done. Despite my early belief that this game would be really crappily done,The Adventures of Tom Sawyer plays like a pretty good game. For the most part you feel like you’re in control of your character, only some of the enemies are really hard to kill and once you figure out the boss fights you’re able to beat them pretty easily.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer only really sucked on specific levels. In the Haunted House level there are platforms that act as stairs, but for some reason you end up having very weird physics when jumping over them. It is the only play in all of Tom Sawyer where we experienced this and it was very very frustrating. The other problem level is when you end up in the clouds (this game is pretty weird). For whatever reason we had a very hard time getting through that level. Between the birds that swarm you and the little mini Lolo’s that charge you, that is the level where the game gets serious. Lastly I have to mention that the final boss in the game is really really weak. I expected to have a serious challenge on our hands but it was very very simple
Outside of that I guess I was a bit surprised that The Adventures of Tom Sawyer didn’t follow very much of the book. There is literally only one level where you’re on a raft. If I was to guess at the format of the game I was expecting a shmup style of game with you on the raft the whole time. I never really peggedThe Adventures of Tom Sawyer as a platformer but in most cases it works. The music is OK, not great and as I mentioned the graphics seem a bit dated but are OK. Some of the sound effects are downright hilarious and border on Atari sounds.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer in the end is another OK to good game but not a great game. I think part of it simply was the source material not really being 100% video game worthy. It’s not that the gameplay is bad or that the game mechanics are all bad, but it just feels like it was a bit forced. The first thing we assumed was that it was another game that god rebranded for the U.S. but that does not appear to be the case. It’s worth having in your collection but it’s definitely not a game with a lot of replay value.