Game: Hany on the Road
System: PC Engine
Release date: 1990
The titular protagonist in this game and in Hany in the Sky--a peculiar shoot 'em up that was released in 1989--takes a lot of crap these days for looking like an anthropomorphic prophylactic. Although understandable, such point-and-laugh attitudes cause a lot of people to overlook these games in general and this unique platformer--honestly, I've never played anything like it--in particular. That's a shame, especially when it comes to Hany on the Road, which has players race through a series of scrolling, multi-planed (or maybe I should say "multi-roaded," given the game's title) stages in order to ... actually, I can't remember why you're supposed to race through this game. I'm guessing it's so you can rescue the protagonist's kidnapped girlfriend, Lemon? Whatever the reason, the journey is plenty pleasant thanks in large part to the game's attractive, colorful and delightfully varied graphics (each level pretty much has its own look) as well as its jaunty soundtrack. Hany's travels aren't without their travails, however; there are times when "the little condom that could," as I like to call him, feels a tad slippery, for instance, and there are other times when he's a bit too speedy. Also, his lone method of attack--a backflip kick--can be difficult to time, which likely prompts most people to play the game as I do: By jumping over or otherwise avoiding the game's baddies--a number of whom are depicted in the cover art above--rather than confronting them head-on.
See also: Previous 'Great Gaymathon' posts