Tom and Jerry in Video Gaming - NES,SNES,Genesis,SMS

Let's take a little time to talk about a very beloved cartoon show: Tom and Jerry. This duo of cat and mouse has been around for a long time, spanning numerous decades in various reimagining. It's kinda hard not to know who these two icons are. The classics are going to be my main focus here, simply because this is what I grew up with. The premise of the show is heavily focused on true slapstick comedy.

Tom cat would often try to capture Jerry the mouse and wanted to either to eat him, or trump him severely, though they do team up occasionally. The humor in games and cartoons is often taking advantage of cartoon code of never being able to die, so they would often experience a lot of things any human would find painful or fatal.

Personally, I feel this concept would translate well in a video game, so we will check out a few games spanning various consoles to see if this duo of cat and mouse has what it takes to keep us as entertained in the games as they did in the cartoons. Let's take a look into some old games, and get back to times when it all started.

Tom and Jerry (and Tuffy) - 1991 - NES and PC

Tuffy was Jerry's little nephew, a little gray mouse that wore a diaper. Tuffy is nowhere present on the opening screen, possibly because the premise is that you play as Jerry and you have to rescue him from Tom, whom he has locked up in the attic. Upon starting the game, I'm suddenly being attacked by an enemy toy soldiers and chattering teeth, bees and spiders, being send your way, and you don't even have the chance to experience what the controls are. NES controller only has 4 buttons and a d-pad. Even though the first level starts off in the basement, It's kinda strange why not using enemies who fit well in tom and jerry universe instead.

Tom and Jerry Frantic Antics (Genesis)

When the game starts up, you play as Tom in your goal to simply make it from one side of the screen to the other and avoid the obstacles. One time jumps make a weird ugly metallic sound, and I don't see why they couldn't make it sound more cartoony like in a Mario games. So you walk around collecting fish and dodging a very strange cast of characters. The enemy you see on this stage is rats wearing bull caps, riding unicycles, rats wearing fedoras riding go carts, rats wearing backward hats shooting shotguns, granny from Looney Toons, and if that wasn't weird enough she walks around spitting her teeth at you. Needless to say, this cast is soo weired. Here you can play Tom and Jerry Frantic Antics

Tom and Jerry for the SNES

The game starts up with some film, like you see in a movie, and than the game begins. We are playing as Jerry again, also throwing balls at bugs too. The game was made by the same company as Frantic Antics (hence the same concept). I can see a kid enjoying this game, but I really had a hard time trying to get into it. The second level is so huge, and way off target for the Tom and Jerry game. You find yourself in a blue room, throwing balls at aliens and little Frankenstein monsters (?!). Anyways, you go around collecting bits of cheese and trying to navigate your way out of the level, all the way moving around these treadmill like platforms. The platforming isn't too hard and the controls are responsive.

Tom and Jerry The Movie (Sega Master System - SMS) from 1992

Stage one is the kitchen. When the game starts up, you're playing as Tom, kind of interesting that let you be put in the role of antagonist again. Your goal is simply to chase down Jerry and avoid the obstacles. You can either walk after Jerry, run after Jerry, and sometimes swim after him as well. It's up to is to how you approach things, as there are many hazards that will determine your pacing. Jerry like to throw bombs at you as well. The screen will constantly be moving. when you get hurt in the game, either by Jerry or by any hazards you loose a little bit of your life. The life indicator is located in the upper left part of the screen. It would have been clever if they've made a 9 small units of life instep. Anyways, the game seems to be a lot of trial and error, but to me at least it feel like Tom and Jerry game should be - which is Tom chasing Jerry and trying to catch him.


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