Wrecking Crew

My parents always said this game was named after me and my brothers.

Review Date: February 16, 2021

Release Date: October 18, 1985

Platform: NES

Publisher: Nintendo

Genre: Creation

Here’s the Wrecking Crew sampler: the enemy went through the green door to end up in back, the M is the start of a chain of letters spelling out Mario if they’re hit in the correct order, and the annoying fireballs from Mario Bros. are back.

Anecdotes: It took us a while to get this game, as we didn’t have it at launch, but we did get it something like three years later. Of the 18 NES launch titles, Mario appeared in five of them: Golf, Pinball, Super Mario Bros., Tennis, and Wrecking Crew. We pretty much treated this as filler material; when we got bored, this game went it even though we never really saw a point to it.

By the way, this is the last review of the NES launch games. I’m skipping 10 Yard Fight because there’s a better football game I want to review, Gyromite and Stack Up wouldn’t be fair without access to the robot, and amazingly, I have NEVER played NES Tennis. Never; not once in over 35 years.

Description: Mario and Luigi are given an area. Each area requires them to knock down walls through direct hammering or bomb chains. Meanwhile, Mario will be chased by enemies and annoying fireballs, losing a life if one hits him. Occasionally, a bonus stage will appear. In those, a coin is dropped behind a random wall. Break down the wall with the coin within the time limit to get the bonus.

Too bad there is no couch here. That’s where the coin would be.
I win!

Positives: As pictured below, some rooms have bombs in them. Hitting a bomb will be like landing a hit on everything next to it, but it gets even cooler when a bomb at the other end causes another hit to everything, and it can take out whole rows of walls quickly. Be careful, though; get out of the way quickly or Mario falls to the bottom and may not be able to get back up.

The bomb hits a whole line of doors and walls, and they can be chained with another bomb.

Negatives: There are a lot of traps in this game. There will be plenty of times when Mario will be trapped in such a way that he will either be fed to the enemies or he will stuck without access to the necessary parts of the room. The former is the better option, as it only costs a life. The latter will lead to a reset. A big part of that is bad level design, but the fact that Mario can’t jump only makes it worse.

With those enemies coming up from below, Mario is stuck. There is a way out, but good luck figuring it out.
There are plenty of good way to get stuck in here, with only eggplants to come get Mario.

Grade: D

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