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Bonk’s Revenge

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Released: 1991

Genre: Platformer

Format reviewed: PC Eng/Turbografx-16

Publisher: Hudson Soft

Developer: Red Company

Poor old Bonk doesn’t get the love he deserves here in the UK. While Amiga owners might be familiar with him under the name BC Kid (an adaptation of the Japanese PC Genjin name), the cancelled release of the PC Engine / Turbografx in the region meant that he was doomed to even greater obscurity than in the US, where the Turbografx was just a third-place competitor. But while he might not have enjoyed the same level of fame as rival platform mascots Sonic and Mario, there’s no denying that Bonk has starred in some rather good games – and of his three PC Engine outings, Bonk’s Revenge is our preferred choice.

The game does everything a good sequel should. The gameplay on offer is much the same as that found in Bonk’s Adventure, with the addition of some nifty new moves like the ability to bounce off walls by headbutting them, allowing for wall jumps. This allows for some more complex level design, and you’ll find that level design has in fact improved throughout the game, with a greater range of power-ups adding variety. The game is also graphically improved over its predecessor, boasting a more colourful look and an additional layer of polish, thanks to the improved shading on most objects.

Although it didn’t receive conversions like the original game, Bonk’s Revenge is one of the more widely available games on PC Engine as it was released on HuCard in Japan and the US, as well as on a special compilation CD bundled with American Turbografx CD systems that also featured Gate Of Thunder and Bonk’s Adventure. So really, if you’ve got this platform, there’s no excuse not to own Bonk’s Revenge.

If you’re wondering how the PC Engine failed to crack the Western market with games like this, wonder no more – Retro Gamer explained all in issue 135, available now via ImagineShop.co.uk and GreatDigitalMags.com.