Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The Great Gaymathon Review #29: Warpman (Famicom)

Game: Warpman
Genre: Action/Arcade
Developer: Namcot
Publisher: Namcot
System: Famicom
Release date: 1985

If I told you a game was "part Bomberman, part Robotron," would you be interested in it? Well, those of you who answered "yes" should check out Warpman as soon as possible. Granted, this Famicom-only sequel to Warp & Warp, a not-so-classic quarter-muncher from 1981, isn't nearly as good as either of those aforementioned games, but it's far from a stinker. In fact, it's pretty darn fun.

The premise, for those of you who care about such things: you control a spacesuit-sporting dude who has to warp between two worlds, Maze World and Space World, in order to combat hordes of strange--and kind of cute--alien creatures. While in Space World, the game plays like a less-frantic Robotron, with the titular Warpman taking out his rather tongue-y foes with some sort of ray gun. Warp over to Maze World, however, and it plays more like a poor man's Bomberman, with the game's extra-terrestrial adversaries being dispatched with time-delay bombs.

As for why Warpman is trying to exterminate these eight-bit baddies: sadly, I haven't a clue. Of course, such story-free games were the rule rather than the exception back in 1985, weren't they?

Anyway, although there's definitely something a bit archaic about Warpman--its sprites are well drawn but its backgrounds are barren, while its soundtrack, if it can even be called that, is a cacophony of ear-splitting blips and bloops--it's worth picking up if you're partial to Namcot's particular, and often peculiar (see: Dig Dug, Mappy and Pac-Man), brand of old-school arcade titles.

See also: Previous 'Great Gaymathon' posts


RetroKingSimon said...

I am there! Sounds like a fantastic game and just the sort I like. Thanks for bringing it to my attention! Even the cover is great! :P

Bryan Ochalla said...

It's nothing amazing, Simon, but it is fun! Try it out and then let me know what you think of it, will you?

Sean said...

I quite like Warpman. Its other great advantage is that it has a cooperative 2 player mode. My wife likes it too.

I think these early Namco games that were numbered 1-18 are the games that I play the most. Also, as your Warpman demonstrates, they have some of the best box art out there!

Bryan Ochalla said...

Ah, yes, I completely forgot about the two-player mode! Of course, I've only played it by myself, so that's probably why :P

Anyway, yes, these early Namco/Namcot games are really great, aren't they? I still have to get a few more of them -- Babel, Galaga and Galaxian, especially.

Do you have all of the first 18, Sean, or do you still have to get a few of them?

Sean said...

I have all 18, unfortunately though I don't have any of them boxed. They have a CIB copy of Galaga at Mandarake in town here for about 6 bucks that I am tempted to buy just for the box though:)

Bryan Ochalla said...

A CIB copy for $6? Man, you are lucky! If I were you, I'd definitely get it :)