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Joe & Mac 2/3: Lost in the Tropics / Tatakae Genshijin 3: Shuyaku wa Yappari Joe & Mac (ジョー アンド マック 戦え原始人3 主役はやっぱりJOE & MAC) - SNES (1993)

American Cover

Japanese Cover

The third console Joe & Mac game feels like it's based off Congo's Caper, although this time it's much closer to its roots, offering similar visuals and the return of two player simultaneous gameplay. By default Joe and Mac are limited to their short range clubs, although they're more useful than Congo's little stick. Through power-ups they can upgrade to spiked clubs and hammers, which also throw out little projectile waves. Additionally, after you eat something, you can spit out the remnants - for instance, when you grab some meat, you can shoot a few bones, or breathe fire if you eat a hot pepper, or take a drink of water and spit it out. There are also occasionally dinosaurs you can ride, which feels just a bit too close to Adventure Island 2. Instead of gems, the levels are now littered with stone wheels, which act as currency. You can revisit each level as many times as you want to grab them, if you feel the need.

After the first stage, you have free roam of an overhead island map, which acts as a fancy stage select. In between levels, you can visit a village and spend any collected cash to regain health. You can also choose to buy flowers, which will allow you to pick from one of three girls hidden behind a set of curtains. There's a chance that she'll marry you, and if she does, you can remodel your hut and buy her more stuff. If you make her happy enough, she'll pop out a kid or two, despite your character being nowhere near her, which is rather suspect, to say the least.

It's not a particularly long game, but you can also get passwords here. These adverture elements are nice, but they feel way too underutilized. All in all, it's a pretty decent game, one that feels most like a true evolution of the first game instead of all of the different tangents of its other sequels.

While this game is known as Joe & Mac 2 in North America, apparently Europe decided to count Congo's Caper as a sequel, so they named it Joe & Mac 3 in that territory instead. You can find a picture of Congo in one of the huts, solidifying their link. The Japanese subtitle, Shuyaku wa Yappari Joe & Mac, means something like "Of Course the Lead Roles are Joe & Mac," poking fun at the second game. Lost in the Tropics is a strange subtitle for the English releases, considering only one stage takes place in a tropical environment.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Data East

Publisher:

Data East

Designer:

Shingo Kuwana

Genre:

Action: Side-Scrolling
Platforming

Themes:

Prehistoric
Sex Sells


Joe & Mac 2 (SNES)

Joe & Mac 2 (SNES)

Joe & Mac 2 (SNES)

Joe & Mac 2 (SNES)

Joe & Mac 2 (SNES)


Joe & Mac Returns - Arcade (1994)

Arcade Flyer

Never mind the questionable grammar of the title - Joe & Mac Returns once again strays further from its side-scroller roots to a single screen platformer a la Bubble Bobble. In fact, it's essentially the third in Data East's Tumble Pop series. (You'll notice that the final boss in both games is practically identical.) Your main weapon is still a club, which also fires a small stream of fire along the ground. This won't kill enemies, but it stuns them, allowing you to grab and stuff them in your bag. You can then roll the bag like a rock, which in turn can kill other enemies. The more enemies you jam into your sack, the larger it'll be, and the more foes it can take out at once. Nearly all of the stages have a tied up woman, who will toss out bonus items when rescued, but pushes you across the screen in disdain if you hit her. Some stages also have enemy generators, which will pump out foes until you chuck some enemies at it. At the end of each stage, you'll also be treated to a vaguely sexist cinema of Joe and/or Mac getting into hijinks with the ladies.

Each stage ends with the obligatory boss fight, and later levels include evil versions of Joe & Mac, along with other Data East characters like Karnov (from Karnov, obviously), Mizoguchi (from Fighter's History) and the mechs from Rohga. This sort of crossover stuff was common in Data East games - both Tumble Pop and its sequel Diet a Go Go featured enemies from the Joe & Mac games.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Data East

Publisher:

Data East

Designer:

Makoto Kikuchi

Genre:

Action: Single Screen
Platforming

Themes:

Prehistoric
Sex Sells


Joe & Mac Returns (Arcade)

Joe & Mac Returns (Arcade)

Joe & Mac Returns (Arcade)



Cinema Screenshots


Final Boss


Unreleased Remake

After touching up the arcade oldie Toki, the French development team Golgoth Studios also announced a remake of the original Joe & Mac. All that was ever shown, however, was a piece of concept art, and it seems the project quietly went under.

Joe & Mac Remake Concept Art


Related Articles


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Caveman Ninja
Congo's Caper

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Joe & Mac 2
Joe & Mac Returns

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