The Three Stooges (video game)

Last updated
The Three Stooges
Three stooges box art.jpg
Box art. The Evil Banker is modeled after Ted Healy. [1]
Developer(s) Incredible Technologies
Publisher(s) Cinemaware
Designer(s) Bill Zielinski
Artist(s) Tim Skelly
Composer(s) David Thiel (Amiga)
Gavan Anderson (NES)
Platform(s) Amiga, Atari ST, Apple IIGS, Atari 8-bit family, Commodore 64, PC, Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy Color (cancelled) Game Boy Advance, PlayStation, MS-DOS, Windows (Digitally Remastered Edition), Macintosh (Digitally Remastered Edition)
Release
Genre(s) Adventure

The Three Stooges is a video game originally released by Cinemaware in 1987 for the Commodore Amiga personal computer, based on the comedy act of the same name. In the game, players control Stooges Moe, Larry and Curly in minigames based on classic Stooges films with the aim of raising enough money to save an orphanage. The game was later ported for different systems including the Apple IIGS, Commodore 64, NES and Game Boy Advance. A remake of the game was also released for Microsoft Windows and Macintosh. While the game has been praised as a faithful adaptation of the Stooges films, it has been criticized for repetitive gameplay and limited replay value.

Contents

Gameplay

Players must select a minigame to complete for each in-game day. Three stooges screenshot.png
Players must select a minigame to complete for each in-game day.

Game designer John Cutter designed the game as a kind of board game. [2] The Three Stooges must rescue an old woman's orphanage by earning money in minigames based on various Three Stooges films. These include cracker-eating contests (based on the Stooges short Dutiful But Dumb ) and boxing matches (based on the short Punch Drunks ). [3] Players select minigames by timing a button press as a hand randomly points to various symbols representing in-game events, including non-interactive events that can raise or lower the Stooges' cash total. Each event takes up one in-game day; players have 30 in-game days to earn as much money as possible. [4]

The hand gradually speeds up from one day to the next, but can be slowed down by landing on a space that allows Moe to pummel Larry and Curly. The player must avoid mousetrap spaces, which injure the fingers on the hand; landing on four such spaces immediately ends the game, regardless of the number of days completed.

Several different game endings are possible, depending on the amount of money the player has earned. These range from the banker foreclosing on the orphanage due to the Stooges' inability to collect enough money to pay the rent, to the orphanage being saved and renovated and the Stooges marrying the owner's three daughters. [4]

The game included a fair amount of humor – the game itself loads initially as Defender of the Crown (another Cinemaware title) with a splash screen and music. The game version of the Stooges walk onto the screen, the music screeches to a halt, a Larry soundbite exclaims "Hey, this looks like a kid's game!", Moe replies "You idiots!", and follows up with a smacking noise and Curly yelling, "OH!". The NES port, made by Activision, used a slightly edited version of the Ghostbusters title screen instead, in order to promote Ghostbusters II , and included an extra soundbite of Curly saying "Hey, fellas! We're in the wrong game!". The 2002 port by Crawfish Interactive kept the Defender of the Crown opening, only this time having Moe yell "You idiots! We're in the wrong game!", then having the Stooges walk along a country road with billboards advertising Crawfish, as well as the now-defunct Cinemaware and the then-upcoming game Wings.

The game was later ported to the NES, developed by Beam Software and published by Activision. [3] [5] Cinemaware directly released a port for the Apple IIGS in 1990. Versions for the Game Boy Advance (developed by Crawfish Interactive) and PlayStation (developed by Flying Tiger) were published by Metro3D, Inc. and released in 2002. [6] [7] The game was also updated for release on Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh as one of Cinemaware's "Digitally Remastered" editions. [3] A port was completed for the Game Boy Color, however it was cancelled in 2000 and only footage of the beta has been released.

Reception

The Amiga version of the game received mixed reviews, with the game's graphics and digital voices receiving most of the praise. Mark Patterson of Commodore User gave the game an 8 out of 10, citing positive impressions of the game's humor, writing that the game was "probably the only game that has intentionally set out to make people laugh, and worked." [4] [8] Computer Gaming World wrote that the Amiga and Commodore 64 versions "captured the Three Stooges magic", stating that for fans of the trio it was "simultaneously a delight and piece of 'living' memorabilia". [9] Compute! called The Three Stooges "one of the high points of the season", stating that the game "looks like the Stooges, sounds like the Stooges ... and most important, feels like the Stooges". [10] However, Commodore Computing International criticized the game's limited replay value and long loading times. The publication also criticized the game's lack of a "common theme" and called the game "a little disjointed." [11] The Games Machine offered similar criticism, stating that while the game is "a masterpiece in FX and presentation", the gameplay is "disappointingly shallow." [12] Six reviewers in Digital Press gave the NES version 9, 7, 6, 7, 8, and 9 (all out of 10). [13]

Related Research Articles

<i>Skate or Die!</i>

Skate or Die! is a skateboarding game released by Electronic Arts in 1988 for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Atari ST, Apple IIGS, Amstrad CPC, and IBM Compatibles running MS-DOS. It was ported to the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) by Konami, and published by Ultra Games. The Atari ST conversion was contracted to Codemasters, who contracted Kinetic Designs to do the work.

<i>Defender of the Crown</i>

Defender of the Crown is a strategy computer game designed by Kellyn Beck. It was Cinemaware's first game, and was originally released for the Commodore Amiga in 1986, setting a new standard for graphic quality in home computer games.

<i>Paperboy</i> (video game)

Paperboy is an arcade game developed and published by Atari Games. It was released in North America in April 1985. The player takes the role of a paperboy who delivers a fictional newspaper called "The Daily Sun" along a suburban street on his bicycle. The arcade version of the game featured bike handlebars as the controller.

<i>Commando</i> (video game)

Commando, released in Japan as Senjō no Ōkami, is a run and gun, vertically scrolling arcade game released in 1985, unrelated to the 1985 film of the same name. Its influence can be seen in various later games in the shooter game genre. Versions were released for various home computers and consoles. The game also appears on Capcom Classics Collection, Activision Anthology, and on the Wii Virtual Console Arcade, as well as Capcom Arcade Cabinet for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Cinemaware

Cinemaware was a video game developer and publisher that released several popular titles in the 1980s based on various film themes. The company was resurrected in 2000, before being acquired by eGames in 2005.

<i>Ghostbusters</i> (1984 video game)

Ghostbusters is a licensed game by Activision based on the movie of the same name. It was designed by David Crane, produced by Brad Fregger, and released for several home computer platforms in 1984, and later for video game console systems, including the Atari 2600, Master System and NES. The primary target platform was the Commodore 64 and the programmer for the initial version of the game was Adam Bellin. All versions of the game were released in the USA except for the Amstrad CPC version, which was released only in Europe, and the MSX version, which was released only in Europe, South America, and Japan.

<i>International Karate +</i>

International Karate +, often abbreviated as IK+, is a karate fighting video game published in 1987 by System 3, originally for the Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC and ZX Spectrum. It has since been ported to a number of other platforms. The Commodore 64 version was released in the U.S. under the title Chop N' Drop.

1986 has seen many sequels and prequels in video games and several new titles such as Metroid, Out Run and Bubble Bobble.

<i>Thexder</i> video game

Thexder is a run and gun game from Game Arts, originally released as a PC game for the NEC PC-8801 in 1985 and subsequently ported to a number of other personal computer platforms throughout the 1980s and 1990s as well as the Nintendo Entertainment System.

<i>Starglider</i> 1986 video game

Starglider is a 3D video game published in 1986 by Rainbird. It was developed by Jez San under his company name Argonaut Software. The game is a fast-moving, first-person combat flight simulator, rendered with colourful wireframe vector graphics inspired by San's love of the 1983 Atari coin-op Star Wars.

<i>Hostages</i> (video game)

Hostages is a tactical shooter video game developed and published by Infogrames. It was released for the Acorn Electron, Archimedes, Atari ST, Amiga, Apple IIGS, Amstrad CPC, BBC Micro, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, MSX, NES, and ZX Spectrum platforms in 1988. The game was released as Hostage: Rescue Mission in the United States and Operation Jupiter in France; the NES port is titled Rescue: The Embassy Mission.

MicroIllusions, based in Granada Hills, California was a computer game developer and publisher of the home computer era. MicroIllusions, as a company, was a strong supporter of the Commodore Amiga and typically released titles on that platform before porting it to others. Activision cancelled them as an affiliated publisher after a year of signing them up. The company went out of business in or about 1990.

<i>The Three Stooges</i> (2012 film) 2012 film by Bobby and Peter Farrelly

The Three Stooges is a 2012 American slapstick comedy film based on the film shorts from 1934 to 1959 starring the comedy trio of the same name. The film was produced, written and directed by the Farrelly brothers and co-written by Mike Cerrone. It stars Chris Diamantopoulos, Sean Hayes, and Will Sasso, re-creating the eponymous characters played by Moe Howard, Larry Fine, and Curly Howard.

<i>New Ghostbusters II</i>

New Ghostbusters II is an action video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System and Game Boy, both developed and published by HAL Laboratory in 1990 in the PAL region and Japan. The NES version was never released in North America due to licensing issues with Activision. As a result, NES players in North America only received Activision's Ghostbusters II game. A Game Boy version of New Ghostbusters II was released, titled Ghostbusters II. This version was also released in North America.

<i>GBA Championship Basketball: Two-on-Two</i> 1986 video game

xxGBA Championship Basketball: Two-on-Two is a 1986 computer basketball game for the PC, Amiga, Apple IIGS, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64. It was developed by Dynamix and published by Activision.

<i>Shanghai</i> (video game)

Shanghai is a computerized version of mahjong solitaire published by Activision in 1986 for the Amiga, Atari ST, Atari 8-bit family, Commodore 64, IBM PC, Macintosh, Apple IIGS and Master System. Shanghai was originally programmed by Brodie Lockard.

<i>The Real Ghostbusters</i> (1987 video game) 1987 video game

The Real Ghostbusters is a 1987 shoot 'em up arcade game developed and published by Data East in the United States. It is loosely based on the animated series of the same name. In Japan, Data East released it as a non-Ghostbusters arcade game under the title Meikyuu Hunter G. In 1989, Activision published The Real Ghostbusters for various computer platforms in Europe, including Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, and ZX Spectrum.

"Swingin' the Alphabet" is a novelty song sung by The Three Stooges in their 1938 short film, Violent Is the Word for Curly. It is the only full-length song performed by the trio in their short films, and the only time they mimed to their own pre-recorded soundtrack. It contains a censor-baiting line; when the singers start ringing the changes on the letter “F” it seems as though an obscene word will result, but it does not.

<i>Ghostbusters II</i> (computer video game) Wikipedia article about two topics

Ghostbusters II is a 1989 action video game based on the film of the same name. It was published by Activision for various computer platforms. British studio Foursfield developed a version for Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, and ZX Spectrum. It features three levels based on scenes from the film. Dynamix developed a separate version for the DOS, also based on the film. The non-DOS versions were praised for the graphics and audio, but criticized for long loading times, disk swapping, and the final level. The Amiga, Commodore 64, PC, and ZX Spectrum versions were the only versions released in the USA.

References

  1. "Image: tedh1.jpg, (250 × 134 px)". oocities.org. Retrieved 2015-09-02.
  2. Barton, Matt (2010-01-05). "Interview: Bob Jacob On The Cinemaware Era". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2010-06-11.
  3. 1 2 3 Fletcher, JC (2008-04-17). "Virtually Overlooked: The Three Stooges" . Retrieved 2010-06-11.
  4. 1 2 3 "The Three Stooges." Your Amiga. Aug–Sep 1988. pp 24-25.
  5. Compute! Gazette. December 1988. Issue 66, Vol. 6, No. 12
  6. "The Three Stooges for Game Boy Advance". GameSpot. 2002-06-15. Retrieved 2010-06-11.
  7. "The Three Stooges for PlayStation". GameSpot. Retrieved 2010-06-11.
  8. The Three Stooges Review. May 1988. pp 62-63.
  9. Wilson, David M. (August 1988). "Yes, We Have No Bananas!". Computer Gaming World. p. 30.
  10. Ferrell, Keith (September 1988). "The Three Stooges". Compute!. p. 66. Retrieved 2013-11-10.
  11. "The Three Stooges." Commodore Computing International. August 1998. p 89.
  12. "Where There's Nyuk There's Brass." The Games Machine. June 7, 1988. p 54.
  13. Santulli, Joe (September 1994). "Random Reviews". Digital Press. p. 10.