Nintendo had an absolutely staggering sized booth at the Winter CES in Las Vegas. There are a ton of games on tap for 1989, and we expect even more to be announced at the Summer CES in June. We already went over what Nintendo has in the pipeline, as well as some other third party licensees are working on, but now we finish it off with the rest of the games announced and/or shown. We’re not going to go in-depth on all of them (we only have so much time), but where pertinent we’ve included some screens and a brief description. Start saving those pennies!
Nothing new to report from this company, except they reiterated they are busy working on Wheel of Fortune Jr. and Jeopardy Jr. for the younger crowd. They also have plans to release Hollywood Squares and Double Dare in the future.
We got another look at several games already announced from Hal, including:
Adventures of Lolo
This is a maze-type game where you have figure out how to solve each room to move to the next. You play as Lolo, a round creature who is off to rescue the princess. You can move blocks and dispatch enemies to collect all of the treasures.
This one combines both side-scrolling shoot’em-up and then once you dock you get off of your ship and it’s a little like Metroid. This dual gameplay nature of the game might prove successful. At least it’s something different!
We noticed a trend at this year’s CES: pinball games! No less than three are currently scheduled to release this year. So far Nintendo’s Pin Bot seems like the one to spring for, but we’ll withhold final judgement until all of them finally make it to store shelves.
Now you don’t have to leave home to play the slots! You can partake in a game of Blackjack, Roulette, and Keno as well! Will you hit it big?
Both Sesame Street games should be arriving soon in stores. Later in the year expect the first chess simulation game, The Chessmaster, to arrive along with Win, Lose or Draw. A game based on Jim Henson’s most popular cast of character is in the works called Muppet Adventure.
If you’re too bothered to get dressed and head out on the boat to do some fishing, now you’ll be able to do it from the comfort of your couch. Black Bass II is in the works (what happened to the first one?) and should arrive before year’s end.
Adventures of Dino-Riki
You play a caveman named Dino-Riki in this colorful action game. The viewpoint is from above and reminded us a bit of Ikari Warriors, except this one the stages auto-scrolled sort of like a shoot’em-up game! You throw axes at the enemies and get other power-ups to help along the way. You even have a jump button to avoid hazards!
Hudson Soft is into its shooters this year. This space shoot’em-up takes place on an alien world and the levels alternate between horizontal scrolling and side-scrolling. This one looks pretty paint-by-number at the moment, but perhaps there’s something special to be had?
Jaleco is jumping into the sports games department. Two new games were announced, including GOAL!, a soccer game where you get to play in the World Cup. HOOPS is a neighborhood basketball game. An emphasis on graphics was placed for both games, similar to Bases Loaded, which released last year.
Also on tap and releasing shortly is RoboWarrior, a sort of maze-like game mixed with shooting mechanics. This one slightly reminded us of Hudson Soft’s Bomberman, but with better graphics and more variety in stage design.
If you’re not into the high-octane action games that are so prevalent on the NES, then perhaps Nobunaga’s Ambition will tickle the strategy portion of your brain. Already a hit on the PC, this one could be just what the doctor (or your parents) ordered.
The Adventures of Bayou Billy
Moving away from their arcade pedigree is an original game being developed for the NES from Konami. This one combines several styles of play into one Game Pak. You’ll have side-scrolling beat’em-up action, behind the wheel driving, and even shooting levels that utilize the NES Zapper! The game takes place down in New Orleans, so not only do you have to deal with mobsters and gangsters but also gators! This one looked pretty exciting and is sure to be a hit.
Defender of the Crown
This PC hit is coming to the NES courtesy of Ultra. The game takes place in medieval England and you’re a knight with some soldiers at your command. You have to build an army and win the heart of a beautiful maiden. You might even run into Robin Hood!
Ah, the classic arcade shooter finally comes to the NES. This one had been on practically every system to date, so it’s a bit odd it has taken this long to reach the NES. Still, it’s a fun game and one that fans will want to check out!
Jack Nicklaus’ Greatest 18 Holes of Major Championship Golf
Just what we were waiting for…another golf game! Play 18 holes from famous courses around the world. Up to four players can partake and the graphics looks pretty good, but maybe not up to Konami’s usual level. Time will tell if this is worth the money.
Yet another arcade classic is on its way to the NES. We have to be honest here – this might be too little too late. When we’ve got tons of other games releasing with dazzling visuals and long, complicated adventures to solve, we’re just not sure anyone is going to want to go back and play single-screen games like this ever again. Plus, it’s a bit awkward jumping from square to square here since they’re at a diagonal and the NES controller isn’t the best input method for this style of game.
Have you ever wanted to be at the helm of a submarine? Well, you’re in luck with Ultra’s Silent Service. This one takes place during World War II and will have you finding enemy ships, chasing them down, and sinking them to the bottom of the ocean!
Skate or Die
The popular skateboarding game is coming to the NES this month! You’ll have several events to take on, including Downhill Jam and Freestyle. Are your moves gnarly enough?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
We’ve been hearing about this game for about a year now and it’s finally coming (or say they say) by summer. You get to control each of the four turtles and they each have their signature weapons. We expect this to be one of the biggest games of the year, given how popular the turtles are becoming.
Track & Field II
What better game then this one to give you numb thumb? You’ll have to press those buttons as fast as you possibly can to win! There are more events to take part in than ever before, including: Swimming, Fencing, Triple Jumping, Hang Gliding, Pistol Firing, High Diving, Archery, Hurdles, Gymnastics, Arm Wrestling, Skeet Shooting, Pole Vaulting, Taekwondo, Canoeing, and Hammer Throwing!
LJN are masters of the licenses and they’re showing no signs of slowing down. They’ll be making games based on all sorts of mainstream media, including: Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Marvel’s X-Men, Back to the Future, The Punisher, Beetlejuice, and even Pictionary and NFL Football. The question remains: will any of them be any good?
Mattel is entering the NES business with a new accessory: the space age futuristic Power Glove. This device is placed on your hand and will detect movement. It’s interesting that both this and the U-Force are due to be on stores shelves this holiday season as they both try and use motion to change up the game. Bad Street Brawler should be one of the first games designed specifically for the accessory, although Mattel insists it should work with a host of existing titles.
The company known for board games is on the cusp of releasing a bunch of NES games. The first trio include: California Games, Marble Madness, and World Games. They have also acquired the rights to Jordan VS Bird One-On-One, a basketball game originally developed by Electronic Arts.
Announced from Mindscape are: 720 (skateboarding), Infiltrator (action game), and Road Runner. Little was on-hand to actually try, so we expect these might be a ways off yet.
The company announced a game called Air Hawk, which we assume is some sort of flying action title, but they had no information to share other than the game’s name. Stay tuned for Summer CES.
The company that brought you Ikari Warriors is digging into its arcade hits and porting over Guerilla War, and P.O.W. We can never get enough of those military shooters (or can we?). Yet another baseball game is on its way, Baseball Stars. Will this one be something special? We’ll know more later this year.
Desert Commander and Spy VS Spy II: The Island Caper are in the works for the NES. Perhaps more surprising is the announcement that Seika is bringing Shadowgate to the system! This was a fantastic PC adventure game and we’re excited to see how this one looks and plays on the NES.
A new licensee, Seta, is bringing out the Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Little was shown at the show, so stay tuned!
Xenophobe was on display (avoid this one – trust us) as was Fester’s Quest and Terminator. The former is based on the Addam’s Family character and reminded us slightly of the dungeon areas of Blaster Master – which is definitely a positive thing. Terminator is an action side-scroller that shows promise.
Operation Wolf and Sky Shark are on the way. The former is compatible with the Zapper accessory if you so desire.
Shown six months ago, Mappy Land was once again on hand to play. Also in development are Mystery Quest and Fist of the North Star.
Tecmo had one of the best games on the show floor this year: Ninja Gaiden. This game has you playing a young ninja bent on a revenge-seeking mission. Not only are the graphics some of the best we’ve ever seen on the NES, but the game implements a new cinema-mode that propels the story forward between action-packed levels. Tecmo said the game was complete and they’re just waiting for the chips to catch up to manufacturing. They’re hopeful the game should be out in a couple of months!
Tecmo also showed off a pair of sports games: Tecmo Baseball and Tecmo Bowl. Both looked great and should provide hours of enjoyment to fans. Later in the year they promised Professional Wrestling and Silkworm, but didn’t have anything to show for either.
At CES Nintendo announced they had revoked Tengen’s license to make games. That’s because the company went rogue and has been making games using its own chips and cartridge shells. Although not licensed by Nintendo, these carts should still work in your NES just fine. On the docket are four games that have been in arcades and now they’re on the way to the NES.
You pay as a secret agent who must make it through the stage alive. Armed with a handgun and the ability to hid behind doors, you’ll have to infiltrate secret bases and take out an underground conspiracy.
The arcade game is making a return to the home console. Up to 2 players can race simultaneously in this top-down view of the track.
Tetris was a computer hit over the past few years and is a puzzle game that’s difficult to explain because we’ve never seen anything like it before. The screen has different shaped blocks falling from the top to the bottom. Your goal is to clear the lines away before the pile has a chance to grow to the top of the screen. It’s a game from the Soviet Union and it’s quite addictive!
In the future a force of alien space stations have approached Earth and it’s up to you to infiltrate them and destroy the forces from within. You and a buddy can go at it together with the Vindicators – a tank that’s powerful enough to blow the enemies away!
Yet another new NES licensee, Toho announced that Godzilla: Monster of Monsters will be hitting the console later this year. You’ll journey across several planets to destroy everything in your path!
After releasing one of the biggest hits of last year (Double Dragon), we came away unimpressed with Tradewest’s offerings. John Elway’s Quarterback looked pretty dated, Magic Johnson’s Fast Break might be fun, but the PC game was just OK, and Taboo: The Sixth Sense was just a very strange tarot card simulator. Pass!
Not much was actually being shown from Vic Tokai, although they did announce that Terra Cresta, Kid Kool, and Clash At Demonhead are all supposed to arrive this year. We should know more about these titles this summer.
Phew! That’s a lot of games on the way for the NES! So far this year seems to be lacking the star power that we saw in 1988, but don’t count out games like Ninja Gaiden and Mega Man II – both of which look stellar. We’re sure there are more surprises in the wings as well. One thing’s for sure, there won’t be any shortage of titles to choose from this year!