I had no idea what the object of this game was, nor how to control it. The only thing I knew was that it must involve a carnival somewhere along the line and probably with a hint of chaos thrown in for good measure. Handily, the game has a typed introduction in the form of a news flash, which reads just like something you'd see on CNN, or maybe by quality news anchorman (this just in! I lie! A lot!) Geraldo Riviera: "Oh no!!! The diabolical Dr. Grump has pignapped the lovely Miss Piggy! Kermit and the other Muppets must master the dangerous carnival amusement rides in order to save her. They need your help. Hurry!!!" Right. A likely story. Miss Piggy is easily the most irritating, obnoxious, pompous Muppet there is, and frankly I think the whole Kermit the frog getting it on with Piggy the pig idea is one of the major explanations for my warped childhood and stranger adulthood. I find it hard to believe that someone - anyone - would willingly kidnap the ham. Anyway, on with the fun! The picture quality in this review may be a bit off, but believe me when I say it makes no difference whatsoever. In fact, the less you can make out the more grateful you're going to be.
The game asks you to "put on your space suits, start up your motors and grab your juiciest tomatoes because here we go!" I don't know why I had to grab my tomatoes, but it gave me a tingling feeling. There wasn't a single scene in the entire game that involved tomatoes, only one that vaguely utilised space suits and several daft scenes where stupid, stupid cars were the order of the day. So in effect the makers of this game don't think you're ready to play unless you're sat in a weird car, dressed in a space suit and clutching frantically at your tomatoes. Oh well. Before you start the game, there's a strange little moment when the game states "Gringo! Get psyched! Here you go!". Of course, if you don't put your name is as Gringo it will say something else, but regardless of what you're called, this Muppet Adventure will urge you to get psyched before, as it says, "your next hair raising carnival ride". Now, I've got a fair amount of hair (oh, Gringo, you is just like Samson but without the strength) but none of it was raised during this stupid, stupid game. Let me show you why, by taking you on a tour of the carnival.
Apparently, in the Muppets' twisted world, funhouses are inhabited by dogs without bodies and strange clown entities sitting in even stranger vehicles. Oh, and there's a map of some sort that makes no actual difference to the game. Or anything ever for that matter. I sent Fozzie in to do whatever was expected of him, as he's the Muppet that's always cracking unfunny jokes and I assumed any funhouse in this game was bound to be ironic in its naming. Fozzie made his way through the highly simplistic maze (there's only one possible direction to go in), and I found it impossible to avoid getting 'bitten' by the freaky body-less dogs. Even if I was at the opposite end of the screen to the insane dogs with huge grins on their faces, I still managed to get bitten. After the fourth bite, I was more than happy to leave the stupid funhouse behind. I didn't pick Fozzie for any more of the games, and I also subjected a bear in the nearby woods to a beating just for good measure. Funnily enough, the bear didn't try and crack any jokes or say "wocka, wocka" far too many times, which is a vast improvement over Fozzie.
Less a Tunnel Of Love and more a Canal Of Crap, this has to be one of the cheapest carnival rides I've ever seen. Animal rides in a boat down a river of sewage, in a scene more reminiscent of Deliverance than any Tunnel Of Love I've ever seen in the movies. I say in the movies because I've never been in one of the things in real life. No, really, not even I'd stoop that low. Well, maybe if you gave me some money. Give me money! As Animal sails along the river, various random objects pass him by. These were - in no particular order - some bottles, an old tire, several old boots, a hippo's smiling face and a rather camp crocodile. All in a theme park's Tunnel Of Love ride. But don't go thinking you've struck it lucky with these fine pieces of quality merchandise and new animal friends. Oh no! Hit one of them and bizarrely you disappear off the screen before repeating the whole process another four times. Because the playing area is about two inches wide and there are roughly twenty million hazardous objects per centimetre, you can bet that this ride is another one you ain't going to be winning in a hurry. Poor Animal.
Not just Bumper Cars, but as the picture shows, this is Bumper Cars, Bumper Cars! Twice the irritating stupidity! Win! This was the easiest game to understand, aided by the fact that it plays out on a very small circuit; the aim of which being to do six laps in your alleged bumper car. The problem? The bizarre clowns and their wacky cars make a return, causing you to get stuck on the way round. To make matters worse, one of the clowns froze on the circuit, before half of his body disintegrated. I tried driving past the decomposing corpse, but no! I was trapped halfway round lap two! Success! I chose Scooter the Muppet to drive his way round to glory, but he failed me miserably. Probably something to do with no longer being used and relegated to the Muppet scrap heap, but the orange-felt skinned freak did me no good. Mind you, with the graphics collisions and odd whirring noise coming from the game for the duration of this ride, I don't think any of the characters would have fared much better. If you can't guess, I didn't triumph on this ride either, making the rescue of Miss Piggy even more unlikely - which made me being in a good mood all the more likely.
My computer went so fast I didn't catch more than one second of this particular game. I vaguely recall seeing something white and blob-like that went from the top left to the bottom right of the screen, and then it was over like some premature ejaculation of fun. It took five damn tries just to get the screen capture for that picture above of this infernal ride, so I hope you're grateful. Although I have the sneaking suspicion you couldn't care less. Relatively decent Muppet (yes, this site's reached a glorious new zenith; evaluating Muppets) Rowlf - the piano playing one - was the brave soul I sent into battle against the incredibly outsized ducks. Bear in mind that Rowlf is a three foot tall dog (hint: Muppets aren't real), the proportions of the ducks seems somewhat off. However, because this game lasted all of five seconds I'm not sure what the aim was to do. It's obviously not to hunt the ducks down, as they're fucking impossible to miss. Maybe it's for the player to shoot at the ducks and miss, and then have Rowlf turn round and laugh at you, like that dog in the NES Duck Hunt game. But then again, maybe no.
This ride was perhaps the most confusing of all of them. A strange Saturn-like planet-thing floated up and down the screen, making a buzzing noise. All around this strange object were various shapes and holes. Meanwhile, Gonzo floated around in an egg cup, blissfully unaware of what was going on. I hit the cursor keys a few times, and the only thing I managed to do was turn Gonzo 90 degrees either left or right, then make fire come out of his egg cup to boost him across the screen at an increased rate. Most strange. I assume this game is like a child's basic toy where the object is to put the right shape in the corresponding hole. However, this is Muppet Adventure: Chaos At The Carnival, where common sense takes a holiday, so don't take anything for granted. The object of the game was probably something else altogether, like designing a spacecraft fit for travel to Mars. There were some meteor things flying across the screen as well, but they never managed to hit Gonzo - well, I never managed to steer him into them in enough time - but I assume they're not good things. Stupid meteors! You can't turn your back on them for one minute!
I have no idea what's in here, so the accompanying picture is just one of the entire theme park. The big top - which you're evidently not allowed to enter until you've completed the other games - is in the bottom right of the screen, in between the Duck Hunt and Spaceride. That's all I can tell you about it. I assume Dr. Grump and his captive Miss Piggy are hidden inside the big top, and that the reason for grabbing my tomatoes is also in there. Apart from finding out that information, there's no real appeal for me to continue to struggle away at this ridiculous set of sub-par games and awful graphics. This game is painfully bad, and you should be well aware of it by now. Sometimes really old games can get away with being bad, simply because nostalgia takes over and you fool yourself into having a good time playing them. Not with this damn Muppet game and its assorted carnival nonsense. The age of it is no excuse for how awful it is. It gave me a headache this year, I'm just as confident it gave people headaches back when it was originally released. I'm still grabbing my tomatoes.
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