#123 - Win, Lose or Draw NES Game
It's so crappy you'll wish Robb Weller were there to host it.
(Released in 1989)
Text by: Robert Seidelman
There is a big rule when it comes to video games. Anytime you have a licensed game, it's bound to suck and suck hard. With current technology, that rule has since passed, but when you were a kid in the 80s and heard your favorite cartoon was going to be made into a video game, you were excited. But when you played the game, it was garbage. Namely because it was made by a group called Hi-Tech Expressions.
Hi-Tech Expressions is known for creating some of the biggest piles of crap for the NES. They took such licenses such as Barbie, The Muppets, Sesame Street and Fisher-Price and turned them into stuff you wouldn't want to even look at. For our purposes, they are responsible for creating the biggest piles of crap in game show video game history. They created the NES version of Remote Control, and to be honest, that's the best game out of the trifecta of terribleness. We will talk about the worst of the bunch at the end of the month, and why that game really earns that honor. But for now, let's talk about Win Lose or Draw.
First off, let's take a look at the box art. It's what you come to expect from a licensed game. It uses the logo and set from the show. The big problem with this look and why they use this is they have 7 people playing the game, yet none are celebrities, Vicki Lawrence or Bert Convy. I mean if you're going to make a cover from the game, at least have it from the show. Remote Control and Fun House had stuff from the show, but this just looks like they weren't trying. Sadly, this would be the best part of the entire game.
The front screen is a sepia-toned mess. It looks like they took the box art and turned it into the opening title of the game. At the very least, they could have animated the logo instead of this ugly thing. Fun House and Remote Control had animated openings, at least this one could have.
Now if that wasn't bad enough, the graphics on that game is worse. I mean, sure it's supposed to look like the set, but I don't remember being it drenched in purple and everything looking so dinky. And the colors for the rest of the game just look so ugly. It's the bright pinks, purples, Greens and the drawing board doesn't look like a drawing board at all. Not only that, this is the only game screen for the entire game. So, get ready to throw up pastels after this is all said and done.
The game play of it all is lame and is entirely broken. If you play it as a one player game against a computer, then you can get some enjoyment out of this. However, when you are playing with friends, it's a mess. The arrows move the cursor and you have to hold A to draw. Pressing B clears everything. So, you could be done and a mispress erases it all. It's just so screwed up and makes an already terrible looking game even worse.
To compound the lameness, every time you get a puzzle right, your side does this celebration with a dorky line like "Rad" or "Sweet" or "Very Special". Those types of celebratory lines should be saved for games like the Fisher Price games, or even Earthbound (Yes, when you got a level up, sometimes the game would say Sweet!). I understand it's supposed to be cool in ways, but this just makes an already lame game seem like it was made in 2 weeks. The music was the same bed over and over again. I'm just happy that it wasn't the 8-bit version of the theme song over and over again like Remote Control was. However, it's more annoying than that, especially when you hear the puzzle right music. I'm not going to have it here for you, you're going to have to YouTube it yourself.
And Just to quickly wrap this all up, here's the win screen. Yeah, they put as much effort into that as they did this game, which is to say not much.
To sum everything up, this game is just a really lame cash-in on an already dying game show. The show would be cancelled in 1990 because Bert Convy was on his death bed and nobody wanted to watch Robb Weller stumble his way through another show. There could be some enjoyment out there, but this style of game was done much better when it was Anticipation. If you can track down a copy of that for $2-3, it's much better than the $1-2 you would spend on this pile of junk.
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