Release date: 1983
Poor Popeye. Thanks to Donkey Kong and Nintendo's main man, Mario, everybody's favorite (or not) middle-aged sailor was all but ignored during the Famicom's earliest days on the market. That's too bad, because this arcade conversion--which tasks the titular seaman with collecting the hearts, letters and musical notes of his true love, Olive Oyl, while avoiding the fists of his mortal enemy, Bluto--is both an accomplished (for its time, anyway) and enjoyable one. Is it as accomplished and enjoyable as fellow launch titles, Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr.? Not really--Popeye's graphics and music aren't quite as "arcade accurate" as its gorilla- and plumber-filled counterparts, for instance--although that's not to suggest it's not worth owning. On the contrary, this short (it's just three stages long), Shigeru Miyamoto-designed game is well worth adding to your collection if you're a fan of old-school platformers--or particularly awesome cover art.
See also: Previous 'Great Gaymathon' posts