Games | NES | Monster Party

Article by Anthony Roger? | October 30, 2010

Monster Party

Developer: Human
Publisher: Bandai
U.S. Release: 1989
Format: NES

Monster Party is... not a good game. Not in the traditional sense, anyway. The jump mechanics are terrible, the hit detection leaves something to be desired, and the graphics are nothing special. In places, the main character makes Simon Belmont look like a gymnast. The music wasnít even very memorable, minus the title screen theme.

But if it fails to be the Citizen Kane of 8-bit videogames, it makes a good case for being the budding mediumís Plan 9 From Outer Space. Itís got an 8-bit approximation of a schlocky horror vibe, a hilariously awful localization, and the mechanics are worth suffering through just to see the gameís high point: the bosses.

The bosses in Monster Party are... well, cheap and not fun to fight, to be perfectly honest. But theyíre also so completely bizarre itís impossible to not want to see more. Where else will you find a plant that says, ďHELLO! BABY!Ē before attacking? Or a boss that you donít actually have to fight because he states, ďSORRY, IíM DEADĒ?

Super Mario Bros. was pretty surreal, sure, but it canít hold a candle to happening upon Royce, a giant caterpillar laying on a bed. Itís like the creators took a bunch of horror tropes and nouns, threw darts at íem, and made bosses out of the resulting combinations, bless their hearts.

Even the gameís plot -- a boy named Billy is whisked away from his nighttime baseball game by some sort of gargoyle griffin (named Bert) that says only he can save the world -- is ridiculous. But admit it: You smirked when you read that 100% factual synopsis, didnít you?

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