Gremlins 2: Shinshu Tanjou

Gremlins 2: Shinshu Tanjou
グレムリン2 新・種・誕・生

Release: December 14, 1990 | Developer: Sunsoft | Publisher: Sunsoft

When discussing the topic of quality Famicom third-party developers, you often hear the same names repeated ad nauseum; companies such as Capcom and Konami are perennial favorites, and for good reason; they created some of the most iconic and influential games in history. Other companies such as Hudson Soft, Tecmo, and Irem may also enter the conversation for the same reasons. There is, however, one developer that you don’t hear about as often as you probably should:  Sunsoft.

Although Sunsoft had been in the video game industry since the seventies, they rose to prominence in the late 1980’s and early 90’s developing a string of brilliant and successful titles, both original properties and license-based, before imploding during their transition to the 16-bit consoles.

Gremlins 2, along with Sunsoft’s own Batman, is among the premiere movie-based video games of the 8-bit era. Remaining remarkably true to the film’s story, Sunsoft still managed to distill the look and feel of Joe Dante’s Gremlins 2: The New Batch movie into a challenging (yet rarely unfair) isometric platformer.

You play as Gizmo and are tasked with navigating your way through the Clamp Building, a high-tech skyscraper beseiged by the title gremlins. Along the way Gizmo is armed with a variety of size-appropriate weaponry such as flaming matches and paperclip crossbows, which serve to increase both your attack power and attack range.

Defeated enemies drop crystal balls which can be exchanged for items such as extra lives in the stores scattered throughout the games 5 stages.

As good as Gremlins 2 is, the gameplay and graphics pale in comparison to the phenomenal soundtrack that was almost a prerequisite for Sunsoft games of the era. Journey to Silius, Batman, and Blaster Master (to name a few) were all defined by their soundtracks, and Gremlins 2 is no exception.

Gremlins 2: The New Batch is a relatively underappreciated game that certainly deserves a second look, and can still be found reasonably easily and inexpensively.

Nathan White

Nathan White is an amateur appreciator, sub-professional old games writer, professional designer and bush league taco critic.