Year Of Release: 1991
The Simpsons Arcade Game from Konami would be the very first video game to be based on the Simpsons. It is regarded as one of the best beat em ups from Konami and still to this day many people consider it to be the greatest Simpsons game ever made. The arcade cabinet came in two forms, very similar to the Konami, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade Game. One was a standard two player cabinet and the other was a four player cabinet with each character having their own dedicated joystick just like Turtles did.
The game is very cinematic and Konami captured the look and feel of the show very well. It’s fair to say that no other Simpsons game until The Simpsons Hit & Run in 2003 captured the show so well. The story of the game sees Maggie accidently eat a diamond that Mr Smither’s had. He grabs her and takes her away. It’s now up to the other members of the Simpsons family to go through various Springfield locations to get her back. The game looks amazing with many nods to the TV show. As well as looking good there are many sound bites as well.
Game play wise, The Simpsons is very much like the Ninja Turtles arcade game. It is a scrolling beat em up and you have a choice of Homer, Bart, Marge and Lisa. Each character has their own style of attacks and strengths and weaknesses. One really cool thing about the game is that there is a real co-op aspect to it. Where you can come together to dish out some tag team moves that do more damage. If you want to beat the game without spending a ton of money then you really need to work together. Each of the levels has a number of enemies for you to face off against and there are also some great end of level bosses as well. There are various things like soda cans and billboards that can be picked up and thrown at enemies. In all the game is just a joy to play from start to finish much like the rest of Konami’s side scrolling beat em ups of the era.
Current High Score: 263 Points, 100 Percent Completion by Brian Ciesicki
The Simpsons Arcade Game would be ported shortly after its released in arcades to the Commodore 64 and the PC. These would be the only two platforms to get the game as LJN had secured rights to make Simpsons games for the home market. Interestingly though LJN’s Simpson games would also appear on the Commodore 64 and the PC as well.
The Simpsons Arcade game would eventually make it to home consoles over ten years when it was first released into arcades as a digital release on both the Playstation 3 and the Xbox 360.
The only other arcade game to feature the Simpsons was the 2000 release of Simpsons Bowling.
The Simpsons has had many games released based on them over the years. From 1991-1992 there was a staggering ten games based on The Simpsons released for home computers and consoles. A few of the notable ones are Bart vs The Space Mutants, Bart Vs The World, Bart Simpson's Escape from Camp Deadly and Bart’s Nightmare. The majority of Simpsons game were seen as either poor or average at best. Despite this many of them went on to sell very well.
2001 would see the release of the driving game Simpsons Road Rage. The idea what you would drive around Springfield picking up passengers and taking them to different locations. Sega were furious as the game was a clear rip off of their arcade hit Crazy Taxy. Sega would go as far as to pursue legal action against the game.
2003 saw what is regarded as one of the best Simpsons games and that was Simpsons Hit and Run. The game was kind of like Grand Theft Auto meets The Simpsons. It was a huge hit and very well received by gamers.