Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I am thoroughly disappointed by Fun'N'Games.  When I saw the game sitting on the shelf it seemed like something right up my alley.  It appeared to be another game like Art Alive! for the Genesis, but with extra non-painting modes like Mario Paint.  It even was capable of using the Sega Mega Mouse, which I don't have, but that's cool, right?  I've never come across one of these non-games that I couldn't squeeze some fun out of by doing some weird shit.

What I didn't know was that it was developed by Leland Interactive Media, the Tradewest subsidiary responsible for Double Dragon V: The Shadow Falls.  For those of you who don't know, that was the Double Dragon fighting game for the 16-bit home consoles, which also happens to be the worst of the three Double Dragon fighting games.  Not only is it below Rage of the Dragons, which was fun though not legally allowed to be called Double Dragon, but it is even worse than the Neo Geo Double Dragon, which was based on the live-action Double Dragon movie. 

But that's enough about their other games, which seem like masterpieces compared to the half-baked crap that is Fun'N'Games.  The first thing I noticed when I started the game is that it uses a cat sound effect, and probably others, that sound identical to the cat note from Mario Paint's music program.  It probably isn't a case of theft, just two companies pull stock sound effects from the same source.  The opening scene, the title screen, and really the whole game is quite garish.

There are five different modes to choose from.  The arcade has three games to choose from, and none are any good.  One is a bad Pacman clone in which a mouse turns into a dog when it eats a bone, another is a bad first person space shooting game, and the last is a Whack-A-Mole knockoff.  Though these games aren't any good, they are better than half of the other things on the cart.

The half that is worse includes a mode where you can play dress up by choosing the clothes and hairstyle for a sprite by cycling through different overlays, and a similar mode has you choosing between various heads, bodies, and legs for a character.  Together, these modes could potentially entertain a human for almost 2 minutes.  Granted, this game came out before the advent of Flash and the ability to make stupid little things like this for the Internet, but it was never something that was entertaining.

The music creation mode fairs better.  On the surface it appears to be more convoluted and difficult to use than the one in Mario Paint, but the keyboard at the bottom of the screen actually makes it relatively easy to bullshit out a decent tune.  Though it has roughly the same amount of buttons, the Fun'N'Games music creation isn't quite as robust, so it's kind of a wash.  While Fun'N'Games has more pre-made songs,  they are all public domain, and they just aren't as fun as having the Mario theme.

The paint mode is a lot like Art Alive!, with a few key differences.  It's nice that they have a larger amount of pre-made background to color and there is a much larger amount of color palettes and strange patterns to paint them with.  This mode is quite serviceable, and I was able to make something quite trippy, it just doesn't have the same weirdness that made Art Alive! fun to mess around with.  I think this has a lot to do with the stamps being so tiny and useless. Fun'N'Games is just missing the quality of Mario Paint and the corniness of Art Alive! and doesn't do anything to make it stand out.  At least Good Housekeeping promises to replace the cartridge if it is defective.

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