Review by forcexdistance
"(Monkey) business as (un)usual....."
Gordo 106 is a good Lynx game that came out relatively unnoticed and remains relatively forgotten, which is a shame. I suspect that the Lynx was on its last legs by then (1993) and few magazines promoted or reviewed the game en masse. The game has a creative story-line and involves a monkey on a mission to rescue his fellow lab-test-subjects from cages (or let them out through doggy doors). The adversaries range from large humans with Syringes to Elmer Fudd style hunters at a hunting convention to Wall-street fat-cats with money bags! One of my favorites is the ape-creature on stage 5-3 that goes from being mean/nasty to helpful when you flip the switch controlling his mood helmet. The level designs include but are not limited to labs, mansions, and even fashion shows (the latter complete with womens shoes stamping at poor Gordo). Like more recent titles such as Alien Hominid, the game moves between being cute and being morbid! The game is fairly lengthy with about 20 stages.
Graphics (8): The game has great graphics (although not quite on the same level as Dracula the Undead or Shadow of the Beast). Like the latter game (and other Lynx titles like Rygar) Gordo 106 sports nice attention to detail and cool parallax scrolling on each of the 7 different stage designs:
3. Fashion center
4. Earl's puppy farm
5. Research and development
7. Dungeon (optional)
Sound (8) Unlike some Lynx titles, Gordo 106 has lots of different musical tracks and pretty good ones to boot. My favorite is probably the track on stage 1-1. The sound effects don't seem all that spectacular, however.
Gameplay (7) The game consists of freeing animals from cages as you jump between platforms throwing apples at odd adversaries. Finding apples replenishes ammo and finding bananas replenishes health (although there are some one-hit deaths in the game from fire, mechanical traps, etc.). The control is decent, but double-tapping to run has never been the most-user friendly set-up in my opinion (think Battletoads). You can throw apples in 3 directions which is cool, but you can't throw them while jumping.
Challenge (8) Like many Lynx games, you cannot continue but you can earn free lives. The game has a high learning curve and seems tougher than it really is (if that makes sense). It is my suspicion that the high initial challenge may have turned off some players from giving the game the chance it deserved. Specifically, the dungeon can be a fairly frustrating affair. Like War World on Gamecube, you are given the opportunity to save yourself if you fall into a pit. While it might seem fine and good to get a second chance, the dungeon can be frustrating, time-consuming, and confusing. Try to avoid falling in if you can! The game in general can be difficult with lots of one-hit deaths, somewhat non-linear gameplay, and portions involving trial/error. There is a final boss to the game, but it is somewhat confusing because you must simply avoid him on two of the final stages and then defeat him on the third.
Overall (7) The game is not perfect, but I believe it to be FAR better than some of the informal reviews it has been getting. I admit it can be a bit of an acquired taste, but some of the best things in life are. The game has good graphics, sound, play mechanics, and level designs. Gor-do or Gor-don't? Do play Gordo 106!!
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 04/12/11
Game Release: Gordo 106 (US, 12/31/91)
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