Today it is the turn of the Super Nintendo for me to look at a game I think is awesome, but does not get enough love. The game in question today is Joe & Mac Caveman Ninja. This was actually an arcade game that was ported to pretty much every system and computer. The arcade and other home versions are drastically different to what Data East did with the SNES version of this game.
I got the SNES in November for my birthday and that Christmas, Joe & Mac Caveman Ninja was waiting for me under the tree. I spent the whole day with this game and loved every minute of it.
The arcade, Genesis and other versions play more like a platform game with a bit of shooter thrown in there. The SNES version is very different. To start with this game looks like a million bucks it is one of the best looking games released in that first year of the SNES’s life. The idea of the game is that you play as Joe (and Mac in two player) and you need to save the cave babes.
There is a world map, but you cannot move forward until you have beaten a level. The world map does allow you to open secret bonus levels where you can get health, items and even extra lives. You open these levels by finding keys in the regular levels.
Each level sees you having to defeat rival cavemen and different dinosaurs. At the end of each level, there is a boss. The bosses are very impressive some of them take up nearly half the screen and they look fantastic. Joe can use his club to defeat enemies and bosses, but this can be powered up. You can make it so your club can shoot bones, boomerangs, wheels, and fire. By a mile, the fire is the best weapon. You can fire off multiple bones, but the fire is one flame per shot, but it can be a one hit kill so it is well worth using it.
The level design is awesome. You have the jungle, a waterfall, caves, ice caverns and even the inside of a dinosaur where you fight the devil who is possessing him….. yeah it is weird, but this is one very challenging boss battle.
Joe & Mac Caveman Ninja is a truly fantastic game and it remains one of my favorite SNES games of all time. It is very well made, looks good, plays good and it has a fun soundtrack. It by a mile is the best version of Joe And Mac and I would even say that it is better than the arcade version.