Another one of the first Nintendo games is Clu Clu
Land. The title really doesn't lend to what the game is about.
It's a nice idea on a whole, but it doesn't pan out, not even by
the standards of those days and hardly by today's standards.
Basically, the game takes place in the underwater
kingdom of Clu Clu Land. There's this mean Sea Urchin
who steals all the gold bars (which looks remarkably like
Rupees from Zelda.) Guess who's out to
retrieve them? Yep, you guessed it...
In each of the levels, you play this Lolo-type
person, who just floats through each screen. To
change your direction, instead of pushing a direction
on the controller, you need to grab poles and steer
yourself to where you need to go. Anytime you run
over a hidden gold bar, it appears. Run over enough
of them, and a picture develops (this is predetermined in each level). The sea urchins will
try to stop you, but you can stun them and run them
into the wall. Just don't fall into the pits that spawns urchins. That's it. Just
finds all of the invisible gold bars and you've completed it all.
The graphics are very plain. There's no scrolling,
and the setting only changes slightly with each
level. The sounds are alright. There's bouncy music
throughout the game, and it's basically the only song
you'll hear (other than the stage complete tune). The
controls are very hard to use. As I said before, you
need to latch on to poles to turn, rather than
simply moving your little guy up or down. Chances are, you'll get
confused and run into an urchin, which is bad.
In the long run, Clu Clu Land is an average effort by
Nintendo. I know a 13-year-old ganme can't be as good
as today's games, but still, the controls bog it
down, and it gets difficult very quick. Clu Clu Land hardly deserves
the "classic" status it seems to have gotten from early NES gamers.
It's an interesting concept
for an era known for simple gaming (the idea seems like it would fit well
on an Atari 2600) but it just ain't that much fun. Worth a check
out, but you might not be playing very long.