My name is Chris, I am an editor at PC Games and this is the format in which I introduce you to titles from the 16-bit era that I either catch up on or rediscover. Welcome to 16 days of 16 bit.

Tag 10: Virtual Bart

No matter how bad the show is now, the Simpsons were just great in the ’90s. The yellow family from Springfield impressed with their clever and sometimes wonderfully anarchic humor. It was probably not just in my childhood that the kids who couldn’t repeat the sayings from the current episode the next day were pretty uncool.
Of course, in our circle of friends we also longed for a good Simpsons game, but somehow it never turned out to be anything.

16 days 16 bit: Day 10 - Virtual Bart (1)

16 days 16 bit: Day 10 – Virtual Bart (1)

Those: PC Games

Bart vs The World on the NES was fair and Bart’s Nightmare on the Super Nintendo was worse. However, at some point a friend reported about the game Virtual Bart that he had gambled at his cousin’s house. Allegedly a “fantastic game”. Unfortunately, the title wasn’t available anywhere, so I’m only catching up with Virtual Bart now. And that’s a good thing, because if I had spent my scarce pocket money on this junk at the time, I would have been even more annoyed than today.

Virtual Bart is a collection of mini-games embedded in a lame story. There’s a science competition going on at Springfield Elementary School and Bart signs up for a VR experiment. It is then strapped to a plate, rotated and thereby one of six mini-games is selected. And, to be honest, the cutscene at the beginning is the best part of the game.

16 days 16 bit: Day 10 - Virtual Bart (3)

16 days 16 bit: Day 10 – Virtual Bart (3)

Those: PC Games

In a game you are a dinosaur and you jump through a level that is especially convincing with its prehistoric game design. Some Simpsons characters are now distributed as dinosaurs or cavemen in the level and attack Bart. The worst enemy, however, is the imprecise controls that make you slide across the platforms. As a result, you often fall down and can repeat jump passages. It’s about as much fun as prostate cancer, and it makes me kill Bart until I have run out of lives and can choose another game.

In game number 2 you are out and about with Baby Bart and have to fling yourself from branch to branch and avoid squirrels in order to find Bart’s pacifier. So, at least I think that’s the goal. Actually, I don’t care either, because the controls are again imprecise and the game isn’t fun either. So I’d rather commit virtual suicide again.

Next, Bart is a pig and must escape the slaughterhouse. What the hell were the developers smoking anyway? I jump on the butchers’ heads and free other pigs by pulling levers. The double jump for this only works if he wants to. After about three minutes I come to a point where I don’t immediately understand what to do, and I don’t care. The mini-game is so bad that I voluntarily let myself be made into ham.

16 days 16 bit: Day 10 - Virtual Bart (4)

16 days 16 bit: Day 10 – Virtual Bart (4)

Those: PC Games

In another mini-game, you have to shoot tomatoes at Bart’s classmate and school principal Skinner with a slingshot. Yay how exciting. The controls are bad, I’m annoyed and don’t make any effort. At least this time I don’t have to kill myself to end the game because I just have to throw away all of the tomatoes. Next game.

Now you are in a water slide and have to avoid the other Springfieldians in it. If you take the wrong turn, you’ll see Homer’s fat ass stuck. If the game hadn’t put me in a state of toleration by now, I might laugh. Now I’m just relieved that the mini-game – for whatever reason – is over.

16 days 16 bit: Day 10 - Virtual Bart (6)

16 days 16 bit: Day 10 – Virtual Bart (6)

Those: PC Games

The last game is a kind of post-apocalyptic road rash. Bart races towards the nuclear power plant on a motorcycle and has to avoid obstacles and fight the well-known rowdies. As if the control of the motorcycle wasn’t complete crap anyway, the game often doesn’t register when you hit the opponents. When the countdown runs out and I screwed up the game, I’m just relieved again.

Yeah, I haven’t won a single mini-game and I don’t give a damn. With such a drooled licensed cucumber, I can’t develop any ambition. Well, at some point I had to meet a shit game in this format. I’m sure I’ll have better luck with my game selection tomorrow.

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