Gauntlet II

I’m already bored.

Review Date: April 26, 2021

Release Date: September 1, 1990

Platform: NES

Publisher: Atari/Tengen

Genre: Shooter

Anecdotes: After playing the first NES Gauntlet, I thought the second would improve on the first game. Gauntlet was a personal favorite of mine. I had heard about Gauntlet II somewhere, likely Nintendo Power, but then the disappointment started. It was not going to be like the first like; it was going to be like the arcade version.

Description: Players will play maze-like rooms fighting tons of enemies and looking for exits. Once an exit is found, players go to the next room. Rinse and repeat until bored.

Positives: The game is capable of hosting four players at a time.

Negatives: The game never ends, so there is no real point to it. The rooms also feel like they’re never going to end. That’s because the characters are slow, slow, SLOW! Nothing happens quickly and none of it has any point. To make it worse, every room after level 5 is randomly generated. There is no set level 6 or later and any room could appear at any time. The game has a list of rooms to choose from and one is picked at random. It can even be flipped or rotated.

The key and bomb capacity was reduced from 10 of each to 6 total. Players can only hold a total of 6 keys or bombs combined. When the limit is reached, they can’t walk on the spaces the keys or bombs appear on. In the worst cases, this can actually block a character in.


Yeah, these jerks tried to make it sound like levels actually matter for something here.
I somehow got all these keys, which means that if another key or bomb appears, I can’t walk onto that space. Softlocks are possible that way.
What? Forget it; I’M DONE.

Final Opinion: Take Gauntlet, remove the plot, make the game infinite, and cut the speed in half. Then make the rooms random and we have a recipe for the disaster this game is.

Grade: F

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