A Much Needed Blast From the Past
I am a child of the ’80s, that is said with great pride, and any ’80s baby will probably tell you that one of their fondest memories of that decade is Saturday morning cartoons. Heroes were allowed to be violent, robots transformed, and turtles were teenage, mutant, AND ninjas, so like any old fogey, I pine for those days to return. Well, my dreams have come true thanks to Kickstarter and developer Mighty Rabbit Studios in the form of universal iOS title, Saturday Morning RPG. It is a totally tubular mash up of virtually every popular cartoon of the 80’s.
You play as Martin “Marty” Michael Hall (yeah, that’s right) charged with rescuing his girlfriend, Samantha, from the evil commander Hood and his goons. Marty starts out as a 90-pound weakling but is soon visited by “The Wizard” who grants him a magical Trapper Keeper fully equipped with stat building scratch and sniff stickers and the ability to turn ordinary toys and household items into powerful attacks.
The combat is turn based and mostly sticks to the traditional JRPG with menus to chose attacks and characters who patiently wait in line to move. Battles are demanding and can get quite difficult due to a poorly integrated timed-tap system used to defend attacks and refill much needed mana. Throughout the game you’ll find vending machines where Marty can buy iconic toys and other ’80s memorabilia; these are kept in your backpack and serve as special attacks so you can blast a goon with a Care Bear stare or run a dude over as Optimus Prime. Gotta say though, my favorite has to be pulling out a pack of fruit stripe gum (yeah man, FRUIT STRIPE GUM!) that summons a stampede of rainbow colored zebras across the screen. The use of these items can be quite frustrating on the first few tries as some require a specific tap pattern that you’re not warned about ahead of time.
Saturday Morning RPG has pixelated art which has become very common among many iOS games before it. The music has an awesome nostalgic quality that helps pull it all together. So if you’re looking to relive some of the best moments of classic 1980’s Saturday morning cartoons, download this app. The first episode is free and each additional episode is $1.99; I was able to finish each in just under two hours and, trust me, it’s time well spent.