In 1992, gaming legends Sunsoft decided to give the NES/Famicom one final hurrah with Gimmick! or Mr Gimmick! As it was known in Scandinavia where it was released in the only localized version. Sunsoft are back and they have decided to bring Gimmick! back to show gamers exactly why their name inspires such joy through us old school lot.
Gimmick! Special Edition is a port with enhanced features of the original NES game in both it’s Gimmick! And Mr. Gimmick states.
Being the game was developed in 1992 it had the tall task of being enticing enough for gamers to want to pick up an NES title over the new and shiny Super NES and if anyone was capable of it, it was the team behind Blaster Master, Batman and Gremlins 2, three of the best looking and sounding NES games ever.
Gimmick! Is a traditional 2D platformer where you take control of mascot worthy Yumetaro who has the ability to spawn stars above their hand and chuck them with wild abandon. Yumetaro needs to save a girl who’s been kidnapped by evil toys and taken to a mysterious universe, fortunately the star not only disposes of toys but is also a convenient way of riding around, similar to another colourful blob, coincidence I’m sure.
You have 6 increasingly difficult stages to run, jump and fire stars across to save the girl and earn your place in gaming history, interestingly there is actually a secret stage and ending should you find a hidden magic item in each stage without using a continue which is no small feat!
There are single use secondary weapons but total mastery of the star is a must, as previously mentioned it’s not just a weapon but you can use it to reach hard to reach places and find the aforementioned magic items for the secret ending.
The standout here aside from some beautifully crafted NES sprites is the level design which is challenging but also really fun to explore with the various traversal options on hand, once you nail the star ride the world becomes your oyster.
The Special Edition in this version relates to a Speedrun mode alongside an art gallery, rewind and save state features, all the essentials for a re-release and you’ll likely need the latter especially if you want that secret ending!
Gimmick! Special Edition is a fantastic re-release by Bitwave Games who also released the Toaplan Arcade Shoot Em Up Collection Vol.1, they have a knack of lovingly re-releasing lost gems for a new audience and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Gimmick! Sees another resurgence, especially with a physical release on the way and the markets current love of tough retro platformers, bravo Bitwave!