Posted in Retro Gaming

Toonstruck: This is no time for games! …or is it?

(This is part of my journey going playing through 1996’s Toonstruck. You can follow the entire series on the Retro Gaming page.)

Here’s a new place we haven’t explored before — the arcade! And major props to Toonstruck’s designers, who positioned this view as a POV of an actual arcade game (look at the foreground). It’s like we’re looking at a game within a game about bears gaming. So meta, my head hurts.

The arcade is owned by a rather surly Octopus, which Drew notes is suspicious in overly sweet Cutopia. Turns out the Octopus is from Zanydu, but he decided to come over to Cutopia to con the fluffy little whatevers out of their quarters. And it got really good at playing Wacman, which it creams Drew at.

And speaking of humiliation, Drew utterly bombs at the strength-o-meter. Christopher Lloyd gets to ham it up a lot during this part, and it’s honestly a treat to see him have fun while the animators go all out with his cartoon world interactions. Now, how can we reverse his fortunes…?

The answer to life, the universe, and everything — according to the cartoon world — is to bring your own big honking mallet to a showdown with a strength-o-meter. This time, Drew smashes the ever-loving bolts out of it, sustaining only mild cranial injuries along the way.

I think this screenshot needs no explanation. Well, it probably does, but it’s also more amusing without context.

It’s finally time to visit the third land of Toonstruck — the Malevolands. This dark and shadowy place is gatekeeped (that’s a verb, don’t look it up) by B.B. Wolf, who demands wine, and lots of it. Of course, completing his mission nets Drew and Flux a one-way trip to his cooking pot…

Fortunately, this isn’t the kind of adventure game where you can actually fail or die, so while things look dire, it’s more like a slowly simmering jacuzzi… with carrots. The pair manage to get out by rocking the boat, er, bowl and then running over all the wolves. It’s the feel-good action flick of the summer!

Another “MEANWHILE…” interlude gives us some more menacing Tim Curry, who orders a trio of lackeys to arrest Drew and Flux. It only serves to remind me that this game needs way more Tim Curry than it’s already getting.

2 thoughts on “Toonstruck: This is no time for games! …or is it?

  1. You know, I came up with an idea for a real Wacman arcade game that is similar to the ticket redemption games that the company ICE makes for Chuck-E-Cheese, where the best is 3 out of 5 games against another player or the one Computer & you will be given a set number of tickets based on whether you win or not, similar to the Dino Dash game, do you think that would be good?

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